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August 11, 2010

Stress hormone acts vital role in immune system

A new study has found that the stress hormone may play a vital role in the function of the immune system.
Cortisol testing may benefit individuals who regularly feel anxious & nervous. The researchers from UCLA found that stress reactions can increase inflammation in the body. For those who experience chronic stress problems, this can lead to serious complications like heart disease, depression & asthma.

For the study, participants were exposed to several socially stressful situations. These included preparing & delivering an impromptu speech in front of an audience & performing mental arithmetic in front of disapproving observers. They then used mouth swabs to measure inflammation. They found that individuals who reported the most stress had the greatest inflammatory reactions.

"This is further evidence of how closely our mind & body are connected," said lead researcher George Slavich. "We 've known for a long time that social stress can 'get under the skin' to increase risk for disease, but it's been unclear exactly how these effects occur." He also added that this is likely to 've negative consequences for the immune system, which causes the inflammatory reaction.

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