Tuesday, November 13, 2018

How Chronic Stress Add to Your Belly Fat

How Chronic Stress Add to Your Belly Fat Have you ever wondered if there is any connection between your level of stress and the tendency to put on weight? Researches show that stress can lead to obesity.

During a study conducted at the Wake Forest University, monkeys were fed with a high fat and cholesterol diet that most Americans normally take and it was found that monkeys, who were socially stressed gained higher proportion of weight and body fat, compared to other monkeys. Researchers believe that this phenomenon would hold good even in case of human beings and in fact, the findings could open up new ways and means to help the growing numbers of Americans afflicted with obesity.

Elaborating about it, Carol A. Shively, professor of pathology and lead researcher at the Wake Forest University said, “Abdominal fats are far more harmful than excess fat on other parts of the body. Unfortunately, overweight people tend to develop excess fat on the abdomen.”

Also Read: 9 Ways to Spot Early Signs of Breast Cancer

Excess belly fat is also known as the associated cause of heart diseases. In order to have a greater understanding of the relationship between social stress and cardiac ailments, professor Shively and the group of researchers, conducted their study on female monkeys. The monkeys were kept in the natural environs and were given a high fat and cholesterol rich foods. The natural environments fostered the emergence of aggressive and docile personalities among the monkeys. The docile and subordinate monkeys were lonely and were often subjected to aggression from the more vibrant ones.

The study showed that although all the monkeys gained weight as a result of the high fat rich foods, the socially less active monkeys gained more visceral fat, as revealed by CT scan. They also had a higher level of cortisol, a stress hormone responsible for the accumulation of abdominal fat and the growth of the fat cells. Their arteries were also found to be blocked with plaques. The monkeys with more abdominal fats also develop metabolic syndrome and all these things together lead to atherosclerosis.

Although the female monkeys like women have a natural protection against cardiac ailments, in case of female monkeys with higher level of stress and hence more belly fat, the production of the natural protective hormones by the ovaries is inhibited. This condition of hormonal deficiency leads to atherosclerosis and other serious disorders like osteoporosis, coronary heart diseases and cognitive impairment.

The research team also came up with the fact that the monkeys, who were under stress, had an irregular menstrual cycle, with less occurrences of ovulation. In this regard, Shively said, “Women often are not even aware of the fact that they are not producing adequate amount of hormones. Hence, in case of over-weight women, doctors should go for proper investigation of their ovarian function and hormonal level.”

According to Shively, the findings of the study also give credence to the general advice the experts suggest to maintain a good health – like having a balanced diet, exercising and above all leading a stress-free life. Some experts, who studied the report even, propose that stress reduction therapies like meditation and yoga should also be included in the weight loss program for obese people.

Also Read:

Why Migraine Sufferers Have Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

10 Ways to Make Yourself Keep Going to the Gym

Connection Between Fertility Drugs and Thyroid Cancer


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