Last week, I showed you how the nasty symptoms of the common cold don't come from the virus, as everyone thinks they do. Instead, these symptoms come from out-of-control inflammation. When your body isn't fighting the virus effectively, inflammation increases and causes the symptoms. But there's something that can substantially increase your risk for this hyper-inflammation — stress.
The same researchers that found out the cause of the cold symptoms took their research a step further. When Dr. Sheldon Cohen and his team from Carnegie Mellon University looked into the body's inflammatory response, they discovered a dysfunctional hormonal response was at the heart of the problem.
"Inflammation is partly regulated by the hormone cortisol and when cortisol is not allowed to serve this function, inflammation can get out of control," said Cohen. He went on to explain how prolonged stress decreases the effectiveness of cortisol to regulate the inflammatory response. Stress essentially decreases your cells' sensitivity to the hormone. This allows for runaway inflammation, which makes you more susceptible to the common cold. But even worse, it significantly increases your risk for the development and progression of many other diseases.
We've known for decades that stress wreaks havoc on the body. We know that it makes you more susceptible to heart disease, depression, and infectious diseases. However, no one has ever applied this to fighting the common cold. But it makes perfect sense.
Since Cohen's team had discovered that inflammation was the root cause of major cold symptoms, they wanted to look at the role of stress on these symptoms.
To conduct the study, the researchers conducted an intensive stress interview of 276 healthy adults. Then they exposed the participants to a virus that causes the common cold. After the exposure, they quarantined the subjects for five days and looked for signs of infection and illness. Here's what they found.
Cohen said that those participants who experienced a prolonged stressful event were more likely to have immune cells that were unable to respond to normal hormonal signals. It's these signals that normally regulate inflammation. These also were the participants who were most likely to come down with a cold.
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So Cohen and his team conducted a second study. This time they assessed 79 healthy participants. The researchers wanted to know how well their bodies were able to regulate the inflammatory response. Then they exposed the participants to a cold virus and monitored them for the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These are the chemical messengers that trigger inflammation. As expected, those who were less able to regulate the inflammatory response were more likely to come down with a cold.
This explains why some people always get colds and other people almost never get them. It is all about how well their body regulates inflammation. "The immune system's ability to regulate inflammation predicts who will develop a cold, but more importantly it provides an explanation of how stress can promote disease," said Cohen. "When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma, and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well."
This allows us to take a completely novel way to prevent colds. All you have to do is help your body control the inflammatory response. If you can do this, you won't get any more colds (and you can avoid many other health problems as well). A healthful diet and exercise are vital for preventing inflammation. And one of the best ways to help control your body's inflammatory response is by taking Reduloxin. The formula was specifically designed for this exact purpose. For me, this is one of the most important formulas I take on a daily basis.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
Sheldon Cohen, Denise Janicki-Deverts, William J. Doyle, Gregory E. Miller, Ellen Frank, Bruce S. Rabin, and Ronald B. Turner. Chronic stress, glucocorticoid receptor resistance, inflammation, and disease risk. PNAS, April 2, 2012 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1118355109