Maglione-Garves, Len Kravitz, Ph. However, these commercials do not fully inform the general public about: What is stress and its significance to overall physiological functioning?
The actual pathways involved with the stress response and the one responsible for cortisol release. The function and importance of cortisol for bodily function. The potential link between cortisol and obesity. The potential link between stress, cortisol, and appetite, weight loss supliments and stress. The harmful health effects of stress-induced obesity. The purpose of this paper is to briefly review, discuss and clarify some misconceptions on these topics and to suggest some practical assessment and stress management ideas for the fitness professional and personal trainer to incorporate with students and clients.
What is stress and its significance to physiological functioning? Every person has an optimal positive stress level referred to as eustress, weight loss supliments and stress, while stress that is harmful is noted to be distress.
What are the stress response pathways? People can react to a stressor in different ways. When the stress is prolonged and seen as hopeless, the individual becomes more distressed and feels defeated.
This activates the hypothalamus in the brain. What follows is a cascade of hormonal pathways resulting in the final release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex of the kidney. The brain has the ability to selectively activate the fight, flight, or defeat responses 3.
Although the stress pathways work together, they each can uniquely affect the function of bodily processes, weight loss supliments and stress. Where does cortisol come from and what is its purpose in the body? It is a steroid compound based from a steroid nucleus hormone that is produced in the cortex of the adrenal glands located on top of each kidney.
Fasting, weight loss supliments and stress, food intake, exercising, awakening, and psychosocial stressors cause the body to release cortisol 3,4,6,7. Cortisol is released in a highly irregular manner with peak secretion in the early morning, which then tapers out in the late afternoon and evening. Energy regulation and mobilization are two critical functions of cortisol 4. Cortisol regulates energy by selecting the right type and amount of substrate carbohydrate, fat or protein that is needed by the body to meet the physiological demands that is placed upon it.
Under stressful conditions, cortisol can provide the body with protein for energy production through gluconeogenesis, the process of converting amino acids into useable carbohydrate glucose in the liver. Additionally, it can move fat from storage depots and weight loss supliments and stress it to fat cell deposits deep in the weight loss supliments and stress 8.
Cortisol also aids adipocytes baby fat cells to grow up into mature fat cells 9. Finally, cortisol may act as an anti-inflammatory agent, suppressing the immune system during times of physical and psychological stress, weight loss supliments and stress.
The potential link between cortisol and visceral obesity: What is going on at the tissue level? Cortisol directly effects fat storage and weight gain in stressed individuals.
Tissue cortisol concentrations are controlled by a specific enzyme that converts inactive cortisone to active cortisol This particular enzyme is located in adipose fat tissues. Studies with human visceral weight loss supliments and stress surrounding the stomach and intestines and subcutaneous fat tissue have demonstrated that the gene for this enzyme is expressed more by obese conditions It has also been demonstrated in research that human visceral fat cells have more of these enzymes compared to subcutaneous fat cells.
Thus, higher levels of these enzymes in these deep fat weight loss supliments and stress surrounding the abdomen may lead to obesity due to greater amounts of cortisol being produced at the tissue level. As well, deep abdominal fat has greater blood flow and four times more cortisol receptors compared to subcutaneous fat 8, weight loss supliments and stress.
What is the potential link between stress, cortisol, and appetite? Animal and human studies have demonstrated that cortisol injections are associated with increased appetite, cravings for sugar, and weight gain It has been thought that cortisol directly influences food consumption by binding to receptors in the brain specifically, the hypothalamus.
Cortisol also indirectly influences appetite by regulating other chemicals that are released during stress such as CRH corticotrophin releasing hormoneleptin, and neuropeptide Y NPY What are the harmful health effects associated with stress-induced obesity?
Chronic stress can contribute to several harmful physiological events. When body tissues are exposed to high levels of cortisol for extended periods of time, some cellular and tissue alterations may occur.
High levels of cortisol cause fat stores and excess circulating fat to be relocated and deposited deep in the abdomen, which left unchecked can develop into or enhance obesity. In addition, hypertension high blood pressurehyperlipidemia elevated lipidsand hyperglycemia elevated glucose have been linked to elevated cortisol levels 10, Individuals with a high waist-to-hip ratio which identifies visceral obesity are at a greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes mellitus, and cerebrovascular disease 8.
Are there any practical assessment tips for the fitness professional to utilize? To help identify clients with a potential risk for the diseases described above which are associated to stress-induced obesity and distinguish any patterns of fat distribution, fitness professionals can utilize a waist-to-hip ratio WHR measurement or waist circumference measurement.
The WHR is the circumference of the waist divided by the circumference of the hips. The waist measurement is at the narrowest part of the torso between the ribs and iliac crest. The hip measurement is around the buttocks at its maximum posterior extension, weight loss supliments and stress.
What are some useful stress management tips for the fitness professional to incorporate with their students and clients? Fortunately, fitness professional are already doing many physical weight loss supliments and stress to help their clients manage stress. Many types of aerobic and anaerobic exercise have been shown to be effective interventions in reducing or managing stress.
Meditation, weight loss supliments and stress, progressive relaxation, deep breathing, and visualization are methods that can be effective in decreasing stress-induced symptoms. Also, eating right and getting enough rest should be incorporated in a stress management plan for life.
Conclusion Stress will always be a part of daily living and is necessary for providing challenge to physiological and psychological development. However, too much stress over a period of time combined with poor coping habits may cause physical, chemical, and hormonal imbalances in the body, thus leading weight loss supliments and stress disease and death if left unchecked.
The pathways of the stress response are complex and may activate other hormonal pathways, resulting in the release of cortisol. The chronic release of cortisol combined with altered tissue production is linked to type 1 diabetes and treatment development of abdominal obesity in both men and women.
Cortisol is associated to overeating, craving high caloric fatty and sugary foods, and relocating fat from the circulation and storage depots to the deep internal abdominal area. As fitness professionals, we must continually educate the general public of the value of exercise and stress management activities as important strategies for managing stress and lessening the health risks associated with stress-induced obesity.
Bottom line As fitness professionals, we should familiarize our clients and students with the links between stress and abdominal obesity.
Cortisol is a necessary hormone that is responsible for fuel regulation and is released while exercising, eating, awakening, and psychosocial stress. However, if there is too much cortisol in circulation, abdominal obesity can develop. This type of central obesity is linked to developing weight loss supliments and stress disease, type II diabetes mellitus, and cerebrovascular disease.
An effective and regular exercise and stress management program may be a key to reducing and or preventing stress-induced obesity. References 1 Jones, T. Prevention, Stress Management, and Treatment pp. Biological basis of the stress response. Organization of cardiovascular and neurohumoral responses to stress: The brain as a target of endocrine hormones.
Krieger and Hughs, Eds.: Journal of Internal Medicine The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 87 8 Rise in morning saliva cortisol is associated with abdominal obesity in men: Journal of Endocrinology Investigation Stress and body shape: Hormone and Metabolism Research Abnormal cortisol metabolism and tissue sensitivity to cortisol in patients with glucose weight loss supliments and stress. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology 87 Zemel, 1,dihydroxyvitamin D3 modulation of adipocyte glucocorticoid function.
Stress may add bite to appetite in women: Glucocorticoids and neuroendocrine function. International Journal of Obesity Visceral fat and psychosocial stress in identical twins discordant for obesity. Stress-related cortisol secretion in men: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription.