Monday June 24, 2019

Human Body May Not Cope With Evening Stress, Study Reveals

The team first measured the diurnal rhythm of salivary cortisol levels from the volunteers and then exposed one group to stress test in the morning, and another to the evening

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Your body may not cope with evening stress: Study. Pixabay

Human bodies which experience stress in the evening release less cortisol — the primary stress hormone in humans — compared to stressful events in the morning, and thus may pose vulnerabilities, according to a new research.

The study, led by medical physiologist Yujiro Yamanaka at Japan’s Hokkaido University, the body’s central system reacts less strongly to acute psychological stress in the evening than it does in the morning, suggesting possible vulnerability to stressful events in the evening.

“Our study suggests a possible vulnerability to stress in the evening. However, it is important to take into account each individual’s unique biological clock and the time of day when assessing the response to stressors and preventing them,” Yamanaka commented.

The study, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology Reports, explored a small group of young and healthy volunteers with normal work hours and sleep habits to find out if the “hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal” (HPA) axis responds differently to acute psychological stress according to the time of day.

The HPA axis connects the central nervous and endocrine systems of the body. Cortisol is released for several hours when the HPA axis is activated by a stressful event.

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Representational image. Pixabay

This helps provide the body with energy in the face of a perceived need for fight or flight. Cortisol levels are also regulated by a master circadian clock in the brain and are normally high in the morning and low in the evening.

The team first measured the diurnal rhythm of salivary cortisol levels from the volunteers and then exposed one group to stress test in the morning, and another to the evening.

Also Read- Millions Of Urban Children Worse Than Rural People: UNICEF

The researchers found that salivary cortisol levels increased significantly in the volunteers that took the stress test in the morning while no such response was observed in those that took the test in the evening.

“Our body can respond to the morning stress event by activating the HPA axis and sympathetic nervous system, but it needs to respond to evening stress event by activating the sympathetic nervous system only,” Yamanaka said. (IANS)

Next Story

Don’t Stand and Eat, it May Up Stress and also Mute Taste Buds

The vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system

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Stress, Taste Buds, Eat
Posture impacts taste perception, with food tasting better when you are sitting down. Pixabay

Researchers have found that spending more time standing up and eating for even a few minutes prompts physical stress, muting taste buds.

The study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research finds posture impacts taste perception, with food tasting better when you are sitting down.

The researchers looked specifically at how the vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system, which impacts taste and flavour.

“This finding suggests that parents might be able to make unpleasant-tasting, healthy foods seem more palatable to reluctant children by having them eat standing up (vs. sitting down). In a similar vein, it might be beneficial to maintain a standing posture when consuming pharmaceutical products that have unpleasant tastes,” said study lead author Dipayan Biswas, Professor at the University of South Florida in the US.

Stress, Taste Buds, Eat
Spending more time standing up and eating for even a few minutes prompts physical stress. Pixabay

The research team found that the force of gravity pushes blood to the lower parts of the body, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood back up to the top of the body, accelerating heart rate.

This activates the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and leads to increased concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol.

This chain reaction reduces sensory sensitivity, which impacts food and beverage taste evaluation, food temperature perception and overall consumption volume.

When people experience discomfort, foods that normally taste good do not appear as pleasant to the palate, said the study.

Also Read- SIAM Urge Government to Hold Wider Consultations, Follow Practical Approach on Electric Vehicles

The research team confirmed their hypothesis by having 350 participants rate the tastiness of a pita chip. Those who were standing gave it a less favourable rating than those who were sitting in a padded chair.

They expanded the study by inducing additional stress and asked participants to try fruit snacks while carrying a shopping bag. Both sitting and standing participants reported the additional weight made the food item taste even worse. (IANS)