Sunday January 19, 2020

Not Neurons But Stress Hormone Control Your Body Clocks

The body clocks are controlled by the stress hormone

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Stress hormone
Stress hormone control everything from sleep needs to body temperature. Pixabay

Stress hormone, and not neurons, manage the fixed circadian rhythm that controls everything from sleep needs to body temperature, the researchers have found.

Our internal clock is controlled by some very distinct hereditary genes, known as clock genes. These genes are particularly active in the so-called suprachiasmatic nucleus area of the brain.

However, these areas of the brain are not directly linked by neurons, and this made researchers at the University of Copenhagen curious.

Using lab tests, the team demonstrated that the circadian rhythm is controlled by the stress hormone, corticosterone.

“In humans, the hormone is known as cortisol, and although the sleep rhythm in rats is the opposite of ours, we basically have the same hormonal system,” said Associate Professor Martin Fredensborg Rath from the Department of Neuroscience.

In the study with the stress hormone corticosterone, the researchers removed the suprachiasmatic nucleus in a number of rats.

As expected, this removed the circadian rhythm of the animals.

Stress hormone
Research demonstrated that the circadian rhythm and sleep cycle is controlled by the stress hormone. Pixabay

However, the circadian rhythm of the cerebellum was restored when the rats were subsequently implanted with a special programmable micropump.

In this case, however, the researchers used the pump to emit doses of corticosterone at different times of the day and night, similar to the animals’ natural rhythm.

“Nobody has used these pumps for anything like this before. So technically, we were onto something completely new,” said Rath.

With the artificial corticosterone supplement, researchers were again able to read a rhythmic activity of clock genes in the animals.

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“This is interesting from a scientific point of view, because it means that we have two systems – the nervous system and the hormonal system – that communicate perfectly and influence one another, all in the course of a reasonably tight 24-hour programme,” Rath elaborated.

The researchers now plans to study other rhythmic hormones in a similar manner, including hormones from the thyroid gland. (IANS)

Next Story

Know About the Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is popular among fitness enthusiasts

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Green Tea
Green Tea is rich in antioxidants, particularly epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. Lifetime Stock

Green tea is popular among fitness enthusiasts and those trying to shed some kilos. Whether you are trying to boost your overall health, or just your metabolism, a couple cups of that tea can help massively, say experts.

We speak to Dolly Kumar, founder-director at Gaia – Good Health and Razi Khan, tea sommelier and director of sales and marketing at Typhoo Tea to find out.

How does green tea help?

Kumar: Green Tea is rich in antioxidants, particularly epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, and that’s why green tea can do wonders for your health. Regular consumption of it enhances the body’s metabolism, aids weight loss and helps in case of obesity, helps reduce blood cholesterol, helps control anxieties and also has anti-aging benefits.

Khan: Green tea has become a popular beverage worldwide, enjoyed by different age groups. The drink comes with loaded antioxidants and nutrients. It has become a go-to beverage for those who are conscious about their health and fitness.

Green Tea
Green tea has become a popular beverage worldwide, enjoyed by different age groups. Lifetime Stock

How much and when to take?

Kumar: 3-5 cups a day before and after meals, is ideal. Avoid consuming it post-dinner since it contains a meager amount of caffeine.

Khan: The intake should be between 2-3 cups a day. It assists in curbing appetite and should not be taken in excess. My advice is to take a cup in the morning or evening. One can drink after meals to boost your metabolism too. Advisable not to take it before breakfast.

How to choose from available flavors?

Kumar: This depends on primarily taste preference. Some like their tea minty, some like it lemony while some prefer the simple and classic taste of plain tea, and so on. Furthermore, different variants of the tea has added benefits of the active ingredients such as tea with ginger helps improve digestion and helps in sore throat, lemon helps control hunger pangs, lemon and honey helps burn fat, Cardamom helps lower blood pressure, Tulsi helps boost immunity and Jasmine helps relieve stress.

Khan: A cup of tea that helps to heal, energize, stimulate and uplift your mood, improves your health, heals emotional wounds and dissolves cultural barriers is always a good idea. It’s like your very own magic potion but finding the exact right blend for your current state of mind is essential.

Also Read- Here’s How a Low Fat Diet May Cut Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Pro tip: Pairing it with regular exercise helps increase the body’s metabolism and it is especially beneficial to drink green tea before a workout. No matter what health issue you are looking at, this could be a beverage for everyone. (IANS)