Research finds stress lowers immune system

You may have seen us talking about this new research on the Channel 7 news last week.

Scientists at Sydney’s Garvan Institute have confirmed what’s been suspected for years: stress makes you sick. For the first time, researchers have made a direct connection between the nervous and immune system.

Stress leads to a build up of a hormone that inhibits the body’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses.

High levels of the hormone Neuropeptide Y were found in mice subjected to stress. This hormone, otherwise known as NPY, is the little-known cousin of adrenaline. During stressful periods, nerves release much more NPY than usual. This molecule attaches to the cells of the body and can then turn things on or off. If there’s too much of the hormone then the function of the immuse cells diminish.

The impact of stress on the body can be observed in elite athletes who not only put themselves through vast amounts of physical stress – their training – but also the emotional, the psychological stress of feeling the pressure of Australia on their shoulders, wanting to compete and wanting to do their best. These athletes succumb more frequently to infections….

But it’s not just elite athletes who are prone to stress. Pressures at work and at home cause emotional and mental stresses that can be equally damaging.

Almost a third of all work absenteeism is due to infective illnesses, costing employers more than $10 billion a year.

The good news is that it is possible to deal with stress.
Click here to de stress by joining our next More Than meditation Course.