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It starts when you put a load on it: whether airborne or a virus, your cells are put into repair and recovery mode. As part of this process, the body whispers in action and produces proteins that help rebuild your cells and RNA, the chemical messengers that trigger the release of other health-promoting compounds. These RNA agents perform the repair process by clumping together to form stress granules.
If they do their job properly, these particles are actually useful, Dr. Benjamin Wolozin, Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology at the Boston School of Medicine and co-founder of Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company focused on neurodegenerative diseases. Stress granules protect the cells from damage and essentially create a temporary shelter so that the body can better repair itself, he says. Once the stressor is gone, the stress granules can be easily swept away, a process that usually takes only 1
However, if something interferes with the cleaning process, stress granules accumulate. And this construction can cause serious health problems. "Studies show that this may be related to the development of Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Wolozin. (Look at the other strange things that can cause stress for your body.)
Although scientists are still trying to pinpoint the culprits interrupting the granule removal process, potential suspects may include conditions that constantly strain your body as a shortage a chronic illness or life in a heavily polluted area. (For your information: Pollution could be the biggest enemy of your skin.) Sustained stress is another potential culprit, says dr. Wolozin. "Studies in Alzheimer's disease models show that chronic, unpredictable tension lasting about two weeks can accelerate Alzheimer's-type pathology," he says. When you're under pressure, "your body releases hormones called glucocorticoids. One theory is that constant exposure to these hormones can lead to an accumulation of stress granules, leading to neuronal atrophy and degeneration characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. This may explain why studies in Alzheimer's have been exposed to a high level of stress, "says Dr. Ioannis Sotiropoulos, a researcher at the University of Minho in Portugal, who studies the relationship between mental stress, stress granules and brain pathologies such as Alzheimer's and depression. (For your information, stress is a big problem, especially for the American.)
The bottom line: You need to get rid of these particles before they cause damage. Luckily, scientists have discovered strategies that can help you with this.
Practice the 30 x 5 Workout Rule
"Exercise brings more blood to the brain, and it has many positive effects that prevent the accumulation of stress granules," says Dr. Wolozin. "It increases the supply of nutrients, oxygen and healthy growth factors to your neurons and speeds up the removal of toxins from the brain." It is also one of the most effective ways to increase your stress tolerance. Experts still do not know what type of exercise is best for the brain, but a study in the Annals of Neurology found that people who exercised moderately for at least 30 minutes were likely to be less with one five times a week Accumulation of harmful proteins that have been linked to other research on stress granules. (By the way, exercise has all these other mental benefits.)
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
Keeping your gums healthy means it's a surprisingly effective weapon against stress granules. "One of the body's sources of stress comes from plaque and gingivitis, which cause inflammation, send molecules called 'cytokines' through your system and injure the cells," Dr. Wolozin. Forgetting flossing once or twice is no big deal, but proper care of your teeth in the long run is important. Brush at least twice a day, use dental floss daily, and visit a dentist twice a year. Between meals, you can chew sugar-free chewing gum with Xylitol, a natural sweetener, which reduces the risk of tooth decay. Or do one of the new Listerine Ready Tabs ($ 13 for a pack of 56, amazon.com) that contain ingredients that help reduce plaque.
Taste the Rainbow
"As part of their normal energy production process, cells release free radicals, harmful, unstable molecules that cause oxidative or deleterious stress," Dr. Susan Blum, founder and director of the Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, New York. Without control, this can lead to a heap of stress granules. Fortunately, the antioxidants in vividly colored products can prevent and reverse oxidative stress, says Blum. A good rule of thumb is to eat a rainbow with every meal. "Fill 70 percent of your plate with vegetables and add different colors: dark leafy vegetables, red and orange peppers, beets, sweet potatoes, radishes, purple potatoes and yams," says Blum. "In addition, you should aim for a total of two servings of colorful, seasonal fruits – apples in the fall, citrus in the winter, berries in the spring, and drupes in the summer." (These other foods can actually help fight stress as well.)
Clear the Air
Early research suggests that there may be a link between environmental toxins and stress granules, Dr. Kelly says. Wolozin. So far, lead and mercury have been affected, but there are probably others. Therefore, it makes sense to reduce the pollution burden. Concentrate on what's in your house, since indoor air can be just as polluted as outside air. In fact, a study in the journal Science found that volatile chemical products – such as pesticides, furniture coatings, detergents and personal care products – are currently rivaling traffic as a rival source of urban air pollution. Consider investing in a good air purifier. The new personal air purifier from IQAir Atem (399 $, amazon.com) can sit on your bedside table or desk and instantly create a fresh air bubble around your bed or workspace, as well as the Honeywell Doctor's Choice True HEPA Tower Allergen Remover (190 $, walmart). com) will clear the air of a whole room.
Side note to the outside air: You can stop worrying about whether the fumes and other pollutants you encounter while running, cycling, or walking will do more harm to your overall health as well. As it turns out, you would need to cycle outdoors for up to seven hours a day for these negative consequences to increase, according to the University of Cambridge study. (More: How Does Air Quality Affect Your Workout and Your Health?)
Track Your Stress
Bracelets and clip-ons that calculate, and in some cases, correct, the tension are the latest highs -Tech wearables. "Chronic stress can lead to unhealthy behaviors such as eating or drinking too much," says Mithu Storoni, a member of the Shape Brain Trust, Doctor of the Author of Stress-Proof . "Devices that track stress can alert you to behaviors so you can change them." Look for a device that measures heart rate variability (HRV), such as heart rate variability (HRV). For example, the Garmin Vivosport ($ 170, Amazon.com). It uses HRV to calculate the stress during the day, and provides breathing exercises when it is high. Another option is Touchpoints Basic (160 Euros, thouchpointsolution.com). Wear a bracelet on each wrist. They vibrate in a way that can calm you down. (Some of these tips can also turn your stress into positive energy.)