Cortisol: The stress or death hormone.
Hormone control may hold the secret to stop accelerated aging.
Modern society has forgotten how to live in harmony with its environment. Constant stresses create havoc in people's systems.
Cortisol is produced by the body to help deal with rampant stress. Its excess produces harmful side effects. Its constant presence, in high amounts, prevents other important substances such as Hgh, testosterone and estrogen from being produced and from performing their proper functions to keep us healthy and help us feel young.
Damage of Excess Cortisol:
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, have documented the negative effects of excess cortisol:
Reduced muscle, increased abdominal fat
Impaired memory and learning
Reduced glucose utilization
Reduced Growth Hormone, Testosterone, DHEA output
Reduced estrogen, and more.
Cortisol & Immunity
A 1995 study by researchers at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Mainz, Germany, reviewed extensive literature concerning cortisol's immune-suppressing effects.
Cortisol strongly damped T-cell proliferation, crucial toward defending against virally-infected and mutated cells in the human body.
Hiemke C, et al. Circadian variations in antigen-specific proliferation of human T lymphocytes and correlation to cortisol production. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1995; 20(3):335-42
Jabaaij L. et al. Immunologic, endocrine and psychological influences on cortisol-induced immunoglobulin synthesis in vitro. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1993; 18(8):591-605.
Cortisol & Osteoperosis
A study published in The Lancet compared hormone levels in women who experienced very fast bone loss with those who enjoyed very slow bone loss.
The only significant difference found was that women who lost bone rapidly had markedly higher cortisol levels.
Manolagas Sc, Anderson DC, et al. Glucocorticoids regulate the concentration of 1, 25-dihydroxycholecalciferol receptors in bone. Nature. 1979 Jan 22;277 (5694):314-5.
Manolagas SC, Anderson DC, Lindsay R. Adrenal steroids and the development of osteoporosis in oophorectomised women. Lancet. 1979 Sep 22;2 (8143):597-600.
Cortisol & Fat Accumulation
Cortisol activates fat-storage enzymes in cells.
Researchers at the Sahlgren's Hospital in Sweden identified a direct link between cortisol levels and midsection obesity.
The higher the cortisol level, the greater the fat accumulation and waist-to-hip ratio.
According to National Institutes of Health scientists, "Fat storage is enhanced by an increase in activity of LPL, the activity of which is stimulated by prolonged exposure to high tissue levels of cortisol in combination with insulin."
Marin P, Cortisol secretion in relation to body fat distribution in obese premenopausal women. Metabolism. 1992 Aug;41(8):882-6
Peeke PM, Chrousos GP. Hypercortisolism and obesity. Ann NY Acad Sci. 1995 Dec 29;771:665-76.
Cortisol Adds Appetite
Researcher Elissa Epel also documented the link between stress, cortisol and central body fat in 59 premenopausal women.
She noted that women who experienced the most stress-and cortisol output-were those who also had the most midsection fat.
In another study Epel noted that high cortisol levels had another undesirable effect: amped up appetite.
Epel ES et al. Stress & Body shape: stress-induced cortisol secretion is consistently greater among women with central fat. Psychosom Med. 2000 Sep-Oct;62(5):623-32.
Epel E et al. Stress may add bite to appetite in women: a laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behavior. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2001 Jan; 26(1):37-49.
Cortisol & Impaired Memory
Researchers at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University in North Carolina validated the ability of cortisol on impairing memory and damaging brain cells.
University of Wisconsin researchers also linked stress-induced excess cortisol to brain damage.
They reviewed literature in which subjects with extremely high cortisol levels later developed psychiatric disorders and cerebral cortical atrophy observed in CT scans.
Kerr DS chronic stress-induced acceleration of electrophysiologic and morphometric biomarkers of hippocampal aging. J Neurosci. 1991 May;11(5):1316-24.
Jensen, Genefke, Hyldebrandt, Pedersen, Petersen and Weile, 1982. Uno H et al. Neurotoxicity of glucocorticoids in the primate brain. Horm Behav. 1994 Dec; 28(4):336-48.
Factors that Increase Cortisol
Caffeine & Cortisol
15 ounces of coffee can double adrenaline production, which leads to increased cortisol.
Coffee can also increase noradrenaline levels, which raises blood pressure and increases heart rate.
Sugar & Cortisol
According to John Yudkin, MD, two weeks of consuming a high-sugar diet can increase both insulin and cortisol levels.
His research shoed that fasting insulin levels increased 40% and cortisol levels shot up 300-400%.
Cortisol & Stress
Researchers at UCLA have shown that stress is one of the strongest instigators of excess cortisol.
Other studies have similarly documented the sustained rise in cortisol that occurs during period of high stress.
Futterman AD et al. Immunological and physiological changes associated with induced positive and negative mood. Psychosom Med. 1994 Nov-Dec;56(6):499-511.
Cortisol & Prozac
Studies at the University of Colorado and Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, showed that Prozac (fluoxetine) increases both cortisol and ACTH levels.
Research at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, also documented the cortisol-boosting effects of Prozac.
Laudenslager ML, Clarke AS. Antidepressant treatment during social challenge prior to 1 year of age affects immune and endocrine responses in adult macaques. Psychiatry Res. 2000 Jul 24;95(1):25-34.
Torpy DJ et al. Diurnal effects of fluoxetine and naloxone on the human hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 1997 June; 24 (6):421-3
Meltzer H et al. Fluoxetine, but not tricyclic antidepressants, potentiates the 5-hydroxytryptophan-mediated increase in plasma cortisol and prolactin secretion in subjects with major depression or with obsessive compulsive disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology. 1997 Jul; 17(1):1-11.
How to Reduce Excess Cortisol
Minimize sugar consumption
Increase vitamin C uptake
Increase natural growth hormone
Increase DHEA, testosterone, estrogen
Resistance weight training to increase Hgh
Vitamin C Combats Cortisol Overload
New research documents the benefits of sustained-release vitamin C on hormone levels.
Researchers at the University of Trier in Germany found that patients receiving 1 gram three times a day of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) enjoyed markedly lower blood pressure and cortisol levels.
Vitamin C vs. Cortisol
A 2001 University of Pretoria study found that 500 mg. of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) taken twice a day reduced serum cortisol levels by over 30%.
Studies at Complutense University also found that women who supplemented their diet with 1 gram of vitamin C had markedly lower cortisol levels.
The drop in cortisol was especially pronounced in women suffering from heart disease.
De la Fuente M et al. Immune function in aged women in improved by ingestion of vitamins C and E. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1998 Apr;76(4):373-80.
Peters EM, Anderson R. Theron AJ. Attenuation of increase in circulating cortisol and enhancement of the acute phase protein response in vitamin C-supplemented ultramarathoners. Int. J Sports Med 2001 Feb;22(2):120-6.
Longevity Cultures & Vitamin C
Hunza - Apricots
Vilcabamba - Citrus, Pineapple
Azerbijian - Mulberry
Tarahumara - Mangoes, Papaya
Ningzia People - Wolfberries
Phosphatidylserine Combats Cortisol Overload
Several studies at the Institute of Medical Pathology at the University of Naples, Italy, found that 50 mg. of phosphatidylserine can dramatically lower stress-induced spikes in cortisol levels.
Researchers achieved even greater declines in cortisol with 75 mg. of phosphatidylserine.
Monteleone P et al. Effects of phosphatidylserine on the neuroendocrine response to physical stress in humans. Neuroendocrinology. 1990 Sep;52(3):243-8.
Monteleone P et al. Blunting by chronic Phosphatidylserine administration of the stress-induced activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in healthy men. Eur J. Clin Pharmacol. 1992; 42(4):385-8.
Exercise & Growth Hormone
Sustained high-intensity exercise is one of the most effective natural growth hormone releasors.
Activities such as running and resistance training (weight lifting) have been shown to increase the quantity of growth hormone in the body by increasing the sensitivity of the hypothalamus.
Exercise is also key to maintaining low insulin & blood sugar levels. Both of these are important in triggering the release of the growth hormone.