Does Stress Make You Fat (Continued)
Stress...fat...an endless cycle? It may be a classic catch-22, but how do we put the kibosh on the whole thing? (continued)
The researchers then experimented with blocking these specific fat-cell receptors or removing this receptor's gene from the abdominal fat cells. When they did this, the stressed mice on high-fat, high-sugar diets did not become obese. In addition to not getting as fat, they also did not suffer the metabolic changes linked to stress and diet, including glucose intolerance (prediabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc.) and fatty liver — an accumulation of fat in the liver that is often associated with obesity and diabetes. The lead author of the published report called the effect of breaking this chain of molecular events "remarkable."
While the researchers talked about the ways in which these findings can be used by pharmaceutical companies to create drugs that interfere with these receptors, thereby reducing fat cells, it might be wiser to simply put some extra time and energy into addressing our culture's stress epidemic. We're always on the lookout for that magic pill that will mean we don't have to do the heavy lifting — that is, we won't have to change our unhealthy ways. Change is hard, but change can be good.
What are the best ways to manage and relieve stress? You've no doubt seen countless articles on relaxation techniques, exercise, yoga, and the like. Stress relief is big business in our stressed-out country, so you can find books, videos, websites, gadgets, and services galore that claim to melt away stress and anxiety. But what really works? Scientists want the answer to that question and have begun to study in earnest methods for relieving stress.
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Some people have trained diabetes alert dogs that bark and lick their face in the middle of the night when their child is experiencing dangerously high or low blood sugars. I don't have a dog to wake me up. When I sleep past the alarm and forget to test my son's blood sugar, I turn to my go-to guy - a hallucinatory stone-faced murderer. Completely zonked hours after I wanted to wake up and check Charlie, I found myself walking along the...