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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 6/19/13.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Vitamin D supplementation may delay precocious puberty in girls - Science Daily, 6/17/13 - "Among girls, puberty generally begins between the ages of 10 and 14 ... Precocious puberty is diagnosed in girls when sexual development begins before the age of 8 ... girls with precocious puberty were significantly more likely than those with age-appropriate development to have a severe vitamin D deficiency. Among the precocious puberty group, 44 percent had a severe deficiency in vitamin D, compared to 21 percent of the group with age-appropriate physical development"

Testosterone improves verbal learning and memory in postmenopausal women - Science Daily, 6/17/13 - "the Australian researchers randomly assigned 92 healthy postmenopausal women, ages 55 to 65, who were not receiving estrogen therapy, to receive one of two treatments for 26 weeks. The treatments were a testosterone gel (LibiGel, BioSante Pharmaceuticals) applied daily to the upper arm, or a placebo, an identical-appearing gel containing none of the medication ... Before treatment and at 12 and 26 weeks of treatment, subjects underwent comprehensive testing of their cognitive function ... After 26 weeks, the women who received testosterone therapy had a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in verbal learning and memory -- how well they recalled words from a list"

Testosterone therapy may help improve pain in men with low testosterone - Science Daily, 6/17/13 - "The study included 84 men ages 18-64 years old with opioid-induced testosterone deficiency. Their average age was 49 years ... At the beginning of the study, and then again at 14 weeks, the investigators assessed pain measures and quality-of-life parameters"

High prevalence of NSAID prescription in those at risk of heart attack/death in primary care - Science Daily, 6/14/13 - "These data demonstrate an immediate increase in the risk of death and MI, challenging the safety of even short term use"

Healthy Lifestyle Habits Linked to Better Memory - Medscape, 6/13/13 - "A random sample of 18,552 adults in all 50 states participated in this study, which was conducted between December 2011 and the end of January 2012 ... Older adults who did not eat healthily had an OR of 1.86 for memory problems compared with those who reported better eating habits ... Smoking increased the OR for memory problems to 1.88 in young adults compared with nonsmokers ... Weekly exercise was linked to better memory in the middle-aged and older groups, but not in their younger peers ... Obesity predicted memory problems in the 2 older groups"

Vitamin C may be beneficial against exercise-induced bronchoconstriction - Science Daily, 6/12/13 - "Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction means the transient narrowing of the airways that occurs during or after exercise. It can cause symptoms such as cough, wheezing and the shortness of breath. Formerly, this condition was called exercise-induced asthma ... About 10% of the general population suffers from exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, but among some fields of competitive winter sports the prevalence can be up to 50% ... The pooled estimate of vitamin C effect indicated a 48% reduction in the FEV1 decline caused by exercise" - See vitamin C at Amazon.com.

More Evidence Links BPA to Childhood Obesity - WebMD, 6/12/13 - "researchers measured BPA levels in the urine of more than 1,300 children in China and compared those levels to their body weights ... also asked the kids about other things that may influence body weight, such as how often they ate junk food, fruits and vegetables, how much exercise they got, whether their parents were overweight and how long they played video games, on average, each day ... After taking all those factors into account, the investigators found that girls aged 9 to 12 who had higher-than-average levels of BPA in their urine were about twice as likely to be obese as those with lower-than-average levels. The researchers didn't see the same association for boys or for older girls ... One explanation for the results may be that girls who are entering puberty are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals"

Only 1 in 20 people wash their hands long enough - today.com, 6/12/13 - "only five percent of people wash their hands the recommended amount of time, averaging only six seconds. Half of hand washers don’t even use soap"

Vitamin D Deficiency Associated With GI and Ear Infections - Medscape, 6/12/13 - "measured plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in a random sample of 475 children (mean +/- standard deviation age: 8.9 +/- 1.6 years) and followed them for an academic year ... VDD was associated with increased rates of diarrhea with vomiting (adjusted incidence rate ratio: 2.05; 95% confidence interval: 1.19, 3.53) and earache/discharge with fever (adjusted incidence rate ratio: 2.36; 95% confidence interval: 1.26, 4.44). VDD was not significantly related to cough with fever" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Hands-free talking and texting are unsafe for drivers, study shows - Science Daily, 6/12/13 - "There is a looming public safety crisis ahead with the future proliferation of these in-vehicle technologies," said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. "It's time to consider limiting new and potentially dangerous mental distractions built into cars, particularly with the common public misperception that hands-free means risk-free."

Half of Survivors of Traumatic Events Experiencing Nightmares and Insomnia - firstwordpharma.com, 6/6/13 - "Stressful events were defined as exposure to natural disasters; involvement in an accident or fire; experiencing combat or work in a war zone; experiencing physical or sexual assault; witnessing physical or sexual assault; observing a threat or injury to a family member; witnessing a death due to violence; and witnessing a sudden, unexpected death ... 43.7% of respondents to this survey complained of sleep disturbances" - This article was in my docguide.com feed.

Abstracts from this week's Doctor's Guide Nutrition/Dietetics plus abstracts from my RSS feeds (Click here for the journals, the PubMed ones at the top):

Effects of walnuts on endothelial function in overweight adults with visceral obesity: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial - J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Dec;31(6):415-23 - "Forty-six overweight adults (average age, 57.4 years; 28 women, 18 men) with elevated waist circumference and 1 or more additional signs of metabolic syndrome were randomly assigned to two 8-week sequences of walnut-enriched ad libitum diet and ad libitum diet without walnuts, which were separated by a 4-week washout period ... Daily ingestion of 56 g of walnuts improves endothelial function in overweight adults with visceral adiposity. The addition of walnuts to the diet does not lead to weight gain"

Magnesium intake decreases Type 2 diabetes risk through the improvement of insulin resistance and inflammation: the Hisayama Study - Diabet Med. 2013 Jun 12 - "A total of 1999 subjects without diabetes aged 40-79 years who underwent a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test were followed up prospectively for a mean of 15.6 years ... The age- and sex-adjusted incidence of Type 2 diabetes significantly decreased with increasing magnesium intake quartile levels (≤ 148.5, 148.6-171.5, 171.6-195.5 and ≥ 195.6 mg/day, P for trend = 0.01). In multivariate analyses, after adjusting for comprehensive risk factors and other dietary factors, the hazard ratio of Type 2 diabetes was 0.67 (95% CI 0.49-0.92; P = 0.01) in the third quartile and 0.63 (95% CI 0.44-0.90; P = 0.01) in the highest quartile compared with the first quartile" - See magnesium supplements at Amazon.com.

Urine melatonin levels are inversely associated with sarcopenia in postmenopausal women - Menopause. 2013 Jun 10 - "Seventy-eight Korean postmenopausal women participated ... Our study shows an inverse association between urine melatonin and sarcopenia, suggesting that melatonin may have a protective role in the pathophysiology of sarcopenia" - See melatonin at Amazon.com.

Effects of low-fat or full-fat fermented and non-fermented dairy foods on selected cardiovascular biomarkers in overweight adults - Br J Nutr. 2013 Jun 12:1-8 - "In a randomised cross-over study, twelve overweight/obese subjects consumed during two 3-week periods two full-fat dairy diets containing either yogurt plus cheese (fermented) or butter, cream and ice cream (non-fermented) or a low-fat milk plus yogurt diet, with the latter being consumed between and at the end of the full-fat dairy dietary periods ... In conclusion, short-term diets containing low-fat dairy products did not lead to a more favourable biomarker profile associated with CVD risk compared with the full-fat dairy products, suggesting that full-fat fermented dairy products may be the more favourable" - Note: See the yogurt recipe at the top of my yogurt page.  It's made with 50% full fat milk powder and 50% non-fat milk powder.

A cohort study of metformin exposure and survival in patients with stage I-III colorectal cancer - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Jun 10 - "Adult stage I-III colorectal cancer patients diagnosed 2001-2006 were identified from the National Cancer Registry Ireland. Use of metformin and other anti-diabetic medications was determined from a linked national prescription claims database ... High intensity exclusive metformin use was associated with a significant reduction in colorectal cancer-specific mortality (HR 0.44" - See metformin at IAS.

Coffee consumption delays the hepatitis and suppresses the inflammation related gene expression in the Long-Evans Cinnamon rat - Clin Nutr. 2013 May 17 - "Large-scale epidemiological studies have shown that drinking more than two cups of coffee per day reduces the risks of hepatitis and liver cancer ... Coffee administration for 25 weeks delayed the occurrence of hepatitis by two weeks, significantly improved survival, reduced the expression of inflammatory cytokines, and reduced the incidence of small pre-neoplastic liver foci in LEC rats ... This study showed the efficacy of coffee in the prevention of hepatitis and liver carcinogenesis in the LEC model"

Tongkat Ali as a Potential Herbal Supplement for Physically Active Male and Female Seniors-A Pilot Study - Phytother Res. 2013 Jun 11 - "Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia; TA) is known to increase testosterone levels and alleviate aging males' symptoms. This study aimed at investigating TA as an ergogenic supplement for elderly people. Thirteen physically active male and 12 physically active female seniors (57-72 years) were supplemented with 400-mg TA extract daily for 5 weeks ... Treatment resulted in significant increases in total and free testosterone concentrations and muscular force in men and women. The increase in free testosterone in women is thought to be due to the significant decline in sex hormone-binding globulin concentrations" - See Tongkat Ali products at iHerb.

Physical activity and other lifestyle factors in relation to the prevalence of colorectal adenoma: a colonoscopy-based study in asymptomatic Koreans - Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Jun 11 - "1,526 asymptomatic subjects who underwent a colonoscopy were enrolled. Lifestyle factors such as physical activity and smoking data were obtained using a questionnaire ... higher levels of physical activity were associated with a significantly decreased risk of colorectal adenomas (OR = 0.56, 95 % CI 0.40-0.79). This inverse association was stronger for the risk of high-risk adenomas (OR = 0.39, 95 % CI 0.21-0.73) than for low-risk adenomas (OR = 0.62, 95 % CI 0.43-0.89). The negative relation of physical activity was significant for distal colon adenomas (OR = 0.54, 95 % CI 0.30-0.95) and the adenomas with multiple locations (OR = 0.39, 95 % CI 0.21-0.72)"

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Health Focus (Cortisol):

Related Topics:

Alternative News:

  • Fish oil supplementation reduces cortisol basal levels and perceived stress: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial in abstinent alcoholics - Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Feb 6 - "Behavioral distress and dysfunctions of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis play a central role in alcohol abuse. Omega-3 fatty acids are proposed as having antistress, regulatory effects on HPA responsiveness ... doubleblind, placebo-controlled trial was performed in male alcoholics undergoing residential rehabilitation program, to evaluate the effects of 3-week supplementation with fish-oil providing eicosapentaenoic (60 mg/day) and docosahexaenoic acid (252 mg/day) on perceived stress/anxiety and HPA activity, assessed by measuring saliva basal cortisol levels at various daytimes ... In conclusion, an elevated omega-3 intake may reduce distress symptoms and basal cortisol secretion in abstinent alcoholics, thus providing a valid subsidiary measure to increase the efficacy of rehabilitation programs in ethanol addicts" - Note:  I'm wondering why they chose such a low dose.  That's not even the amount of omega-3 in the average capsule on one good fish oil capsule.  See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Oxytocin, Social Sharing and Recovery from Trauma - Science Daily, 12/18/12 - "'social sharing of emotions' (SSE) ... SSE, like the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) -- known variously as 'the hug hormone', 'the moral molecule' and 'the natural love drug' -- has a calming and bonding function in humans. So a team of researchers decided to examine whether it followed that administering oxytocin might ease this therapeutic and powerful 'social sharing of emotions' ... What they found was that OT did not make people more talkative -- the word counts in the letters were the same -- but it did increase the participants' willingness to share the specific component that is responsible for the therapeutic effects of social sharing: emotions. As the researchers note, "the findings are the more remarkable because they were obtained among men, who may be less inclined than women to express their emotions." ... there may be further implications for human health, related to OT's antagonistic effect on the stress hormone cortisol" - See Oxytocin Factor or Oxy Pro (Oxytocin) Nasal Spray at International Anti-aging Systems.
  • Nutrient in eggs and meat may influence gene expression from infancy to adulthood - Science Daily, 9/20/12 - "Consuming greater amounts of choline -- a nutrient found in eggs and meat -- during pregnancy may lower an infant's vulnerability to stress-related illnesses, such as mental health disturbances, and chronic conditions, like hypertension, later in life ... More choline in the mother's diet led to a more stable HPA axis and consequently less cortisol in the fetus ... Pressman joined a team led by Marie Caudill, Ph.D., R.D., professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell, in studying 26 pregnant women in their third trimester who were assigned to take 480 mg of choline per day, an amount slightly above the standard recommendation of 450 mg per day, or about double that amount, 930 mg per day. The choline was derived from the diet and from supplements and was consumed up until delivery" - See citicholine at Amazon.com.
  • Ginseng May Banish Cancer Fatigue, New Study Finds - ABC News, 6/4/12 - "Some studies have shown that ginseng decreases inflammation and the stress hormone cortisol, both of which may be contributing factors to cancer-related fatigue" - See ginseng at Amazon.com.
  • Rhodiola rosea: Nature’s anti-depressant - Fox News, 3/7/12 - "Many studies support what even the ancient Chinese emperors knew - that Rhodiola rosea gives a terrific lift to body and mind. In one study of people with stress-related fatigue conducted in Sweden, the Rhodiola exerted an anti-fatigue effect, increased mental performance, decreased the stress hormone cortisol in the blood, and reduced stress overall ... In another study reported in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Rhodiola rosea caused improvement in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Yet another study of depressed people in Armenia showed significant improvement in overall mood as a result of taking Rhodiola rosea extract" - See Rhodiola rosea at Amazon.com.
  • Resveratrol prevents dexamethasone-induced expression of the muscle atrophy-related ubiquitin ligases atrogin-1 and MuRF1 in cultured myotubes through a SIRT1-dependent mechanism - Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Dec 7 - "Results suggest that resveratrol can prevent glucocorticoid-induced muscle wasting and that this effect is at least in part SIRT1-dependent" - Note:  I think what they are saying is that resveratrol may help prevent muscle loss due to high cortisol.  Stress increases cortisol.  Exercise may be partially defeating as far as muscle tone in that it increases cortisol.  That's just my theory.  See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 supplements show benefits against anxiety: Human data - Nutra USA, 9/14/11 - "the Ohio State researchers recruited 68 medical students to participate in their parallel group, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. The med students were given either placebo capsules or omega-3 capsules containing 2085 mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and 348 mg DHA (docosahexanoic acid) ... Results showed a 14% reduction in levels of the production of pro-inflammatory interleukin 6 (IL-6), as well as a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms in the omega-3 group, compared to the placebo group ... Proinflammatory cytokines promote secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), a primary gateway to hormonal stress responses; CRH also stimulates the amygdala, a key brain region for fear and anxiety. Accordingly, alterations in inflammation could also influence anxiety" - [Abstract] - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.  Note:  CRH increases cortisol.  See:
  • Grapefruit juice and liquorice increase cortisol availability in patients with Addison's disease - Eur J Endocrinol. 2011 Sep 6 - "Compared to the ordinary treatment, the median AUC for serum cortisol increased with liquorice (53783 vs. 50882, p<0.05) and GFJ (60661 vs. 50882, p<0.05). Cortisol levels in serum were also elevated 2.6h after tablet ingestion (liquorice 223 vs. 186 nmol/L, p<0.05; GFJ 337 vs. 186 nmol/L, p<0.01). Liquorice increased the median urinary cortisol/cortisone-ratio (0.43 vs 0.21, p<0.00001), whereas GFJ increased the (aTHF+THF)/THE-ratio (0.55 vs 0.43, p<0.05)" - Note:  From my readings, most have too much cortisol already.  I've read where licorice increases it.  Licorice and grapefruit juice sounds like an unlikely combination but people might want to be aware of it.
  • Preventive Action of Panax ginseng Roots in Hypercortisolism-induced Impairment of Hippocampal Neurons in Male C57BL/6N Mice - Phytother Res. 2011 Aug;25(8):1242-5 - "An increasing number of people suffering from hypercortisolism are at risk of developing hippocampus impairment and mental disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the water extract of Panax ginseng roots (GWE) could prevent hypercortisolism-induced adverse consequences. Hypercortisolism was experimentally induced by repeated corticosterone injection in male mice. Treatment with corticosterone alone resulted in a significant decrease in hippocampus neurofilament light chain (NF-L) protein expression and induced depression-like behavior. Serum corticosterone was significantly increased in the corticosterone-treated mice. Treatment with GWE (800 and 400 mg/kg) during corticosterone treatment reduced or partially antagonized the effects induced by corticosterone toward the normal values of the controls; however, it failed to normalize increased corticosterone levels in corticosterone-treated mice. Overall, ginseng conclusively exhibited a protective action against hypercortisolism-induced impairment of hippocampal neurons" - See ginseng at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin A Decreases Pre-receptor Amplification of Glucocorticoids in Obesity: Study on the Effect of Vitamin A on 11beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 Activity in Liver and Visceral Fat of WNIN/Ob Obese Rats - Nutr J. 2011 Jun 23;10(1):70 - "11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1) catalyzes the conversion of inactive glucocorticoids to active glucocorticoids and its inhibition ameliorates obesity and metabolic syndrome. So far, no studies have reported the effect of dietary vitamin A on 11beta-HSD1 activity in visceral fat and liver under normal and obese conditions. Here, we studied the effect of chronic feeding of vitamin A-enriched diet (129mg/kg diet) on 11beta-HSD1 activity in liver and visceral fat of WNIN/Ob lean and obese rats ... Control groups received stock diet containing 2.6mg vitamin A/kg diet, where as experimental groups received diet containing 129mg vitamin A/Kg diet for 20 weeks ... Vitamin A supplementation significantly decreased body weight, visceral fat mass and 11beta-HSD1 activity in visceral fat of WNIN/Ob obese rats. Hepatic 11beta-HSD1 activity and gene expression were significantly reduced by vitamin A supplementation in both the phenotypes. CCAAT/enhancer binding protein alpha(C/EBPalpha), the main transcription factor essential for the expression of 11beta-HSD1, decreased in liver by vitamin A fed-obese rats, but not in lean rats. Liver X receptor alpha (LXR alpha), a nuclear transcription factor which is known to downregulate 11beta-HSD1 gene expression was significantly increased by vitamin A supplementation in both the phenotypes" - Note:  See my 11beta-HSD1 page.  11beta-HSD1 goes hand in hand with cortisol.
  • Fish Oil Lowers Cortisol and Body Fat Levels - Vital Choice, 12/13/10 - "Black tea is shown to rapidly normalize cortisol levels after stress ... Fish oil has also been found to improve body composition in preliminary clinical studies … an outcome attributed to various physiological effects of omega-3s ... In tests performed at the end of the six-week study, members of the fish oil group showed significantly lower cortisol levels" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation ( Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects - Br J Nutr. 2010 Oct 26:1-9 - "In the preclinical study, rats were daily administered PF for 2 weeks and subsequently tested in the conditioned defensive burying test, a screening model for anti-anxiety agents. In the clinical trial, volunteers participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised parallel group study with PF administered for 30 d and assessed with the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-90), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Perceived Stress Scale, the Coping Checklist (CCL) and 24 h urinary free cortisol (UFC). Daily subchronic administration of PF significantly reduced anxiety-like behaviour in rats (P < 0.05) and alleviated psychological distress in volunteers, as measured particularly by the HSCL-90 scale (global severity index, P < 0.05; somatisation, P < 0.05; depression, P < 0.05; and anger-hostility, P < 0.05), the HADS (HADS global score, P < 0.05; and HADS-anxiety, P < 0.06), and by the CCL (problem solving, P < 0.05) and the UFC level (P < 0.05). L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum R0175 taken in combination display anxiolytic-like activity in rats and beneficial psychological effects in healthy human volunteers" - Note, in case you missed it, it's saying that it also reduced cortisol. See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Dietary fatty acid composition alters 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 gene expression in rat retroperitoneal white adipose tissue - Lipids Health Dis. 2010 Oct 8;9(1):111 - "The enzyme 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1) amplifies intracellular glucocorticoid action by converting inactive glucocorticoids to their active forms in vivo. Adipose-specific overexpression of 11beta-HSD1 induces metabolic syndrome in mice, whereas 11beta-HSD1 null mice are resistant to it. Dietary trans and saturated fatty acids (TFAs and SFAs) are involved in the development of metabolic syndrome, whereas polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) offer protection against this. Here, we report the effects of chronic feeding of different diets containing vanaspati (TFA rich), palm oil (SFA rich) and sunflower oil (PUFA rich) at 10%level on 11beta-HSD1 gene expression in rat retroperitoneal adipose tissue. 11beta-HSD1 gene expression was significantly higher in TFA rich diet-fed rats compared to SFA rich diet-fed rats, which in turn was significantly higher than PUFA rich diet-fed rats. Similar trend was observed in the expression of CCAAT-enhancer binding protein-alpha (C/EBP-alpha), the main transcription factor required for the expression of 11beta-HSD1. We propose that TFAs and SFAs increase local amplification of glucocorticoid action in adipose tissue by upregulating 11beta-HSD1 by altering C/EBP--gene expression. The increased levels of glucocorticoids in adipose tissue may lead to development of obesity and insulin resistance, thereby increasing the risk of developing metabolic syndrome" - Note:  11beta-HSD1 goes hand in hand with cortisol.
  • Emodin, a natural product, selectively inhibits 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 and ameliorates metabolic disorder in diet-induced obese mice - Br J Pharmacol. 2010 Sep;161(1):113-26 - "11beta-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1) is an attractive therapeutic target of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Emodin, a natural product and active ingredient of various Chinese herbs, has been demonstrated to possess multiple biological activities ... Emodin is a potent and selective 11beta-HSD1 inhibitor with the IC(50) of 186 and 86 nM for human and mouse 11beta-HSD1, respectively. Single oral administration of emodin inhibited 11beta-HSD1 activity of liver and fat significantly in mice. Emodin reversed prednisone-induced insulin resistance in mice, whereas it did not affect dexamethasone-induced insulin resistance, which confirmed its inhibitory effect on 11beta-HSD1 in vivo. In DIO mice, oral administration of emodin improved insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism, and lowered blood glucose and hepatic PEPCK, and glucose-6-phosphatase mRNA. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS This study demonstrated a new role for emodin as a potent and selective inhibitor of 11beta-HSD1 and its beneficial effects on metabolic disorders in DIO mice. This highlights the potential value of analogues of emodin as a new class of compounds for the treatment of metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes" - Note:  (11beta-HSD1) goes hand in hand with cortisol.  It seems like what came first, the chicken or the egg.  I googled emodin and didn't see any reliable places that sold it.  One article said that it was in some resveratrol products and that the emodin was what caused the stomach problems.
  • Oral treatment with L-lysine and L-arginine reduces anxiety and basal cortisol levels in healthy humans - Biomed Res. 2007 Apr;28(2):85-90 - "the treatment with L-lysine and L-arginine decreased the basal levels of salivary cortisol and chromogranin-A (a salivary marker of the sympatho-adrenal system) in male subjects"
  • Black Tea Soothes Away Stress - Science Daily, 10/4/06 - "the study participants – who drank a black tea concoction four times a day for six weeks – were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood after a stressful event, compared with a control group who drank the fake or placebo tea for the same period of time"
  • Cortisol, Stress, and Health - Life Extension Magazine, 12/05 - "Supplements to reduce high cortisol levels secondary to stress ... Vitamin C: 1000-3000 mg/day ... Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids):1-4 gm/day ... Phosphatidylserine: 300-800 mg/day ... Rhodiola rosea: 100-200 mg/day, standardized extract ... Ginseng: 100-300 mg/day, standardized extract ... Ginkgo biloba: 100-200 mg/day, standardized extract ... DHEA: 25-50 mg/day (any hormone supplementation should be monitored by your physician)"
  • Can You Slim Down with Cortisol Blockers? - Dr. Weil, 10/7/04
  • A botanical to beat 'stress-eaters' - Nutra USA, 4/15/04 - "Relora appears to promote weight maintenance and decrease stress arousal as demonstrated by decreased evening cortisol and decreased systolic blood pressure" - See iHerb Relora products.
  • Is Stress Making You Fat? - Dr. Weil, 1/16/04 - "In addition to the link to weight gain, elevated cortisol levels can have adverse effects on the immune system, memory, and sugar metabolism ... women with a high waist-to-hip ratio, whether they were overweight or slim, secreted more cortisol under stress and also reported more stress in their daily lives than women with low waist-to-hip ratios ... caffeine can elevate levels of cortisol"
  • Alterations in Stress Cortisol Reactivity in Depressed Preschoolers Relative to Psychiatric and No-Disorder Comparison Groups - Archives of General Psychiatry, 12/03 - "the first investigation of HPA axis reactivity in very young children with a clinical depressive syndrome ... Depressed preschoolers displayed a pattern of increasing cortisol levels throughout the assessment in response to both separation and frustration stressors"
  • Low-Dose DHEA Increases Androgen, Estrogen Levels in Menopause - Medscape, 12/12/03 - "Cortisol F plasma levels progressively decreased throughout the study. Both groups also experienced significantly reduced LH and FSH plasma levels"
  • Stress-Busting Help Comes From Hormone - WebMD, 8/2/04 - "The people who reported fewer symptoms and who performed best at their military tasks had "significantly higher" levels of the hormone DHEA-S compared with cortisol" [Abstract] - See iHerb DHEA products.
  • Exercise Boosts Physical/Mental Health in Diabetics, Breast Cancer Patients, Healthy Males - Doctor's Guide, 6/22/01 - "Researchers found minimal decreases in glucose levels when exercise occurred in the morning, afternoon or evening hours, but found dramatic decreases when subjects exercised at night. Increases in levels of the hormones cortisol and thyrotropin were greater in the evening and night."
  • It is Never Too Late to Regenerate Your Brain - Life Extension Magazine, 6/01 - "Lower your stress, lower your cortisol levels and it is likely that your brain can regenerate its powers to learn and remember"
  • Enhancing Cognitive Function - Life Extension Magazine, 5/00
  • Depression Protocol - Life Extension Foundation
  • Muscle Breakdown: Is Cortisol Leading You Down the Catabolic Pathway? - Rehan Jalali/thinkmuscle.com
  • Stress: The Hidden Factor For Weight Gain - Nutrition Science News, 4/01 - "Under stress, the body excretes corticotrophin-releasing hormone and adrenalin. This reaction stimulates the release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex. In turn, cortisol, a glucocorticoid, stimulates glucose release into the bloodstream, which, during periods of chronic stress, creates an excessive release of insulin. Insulin, which is part of the endocrine system, is a fat-storage hormone that overrides the stress signal from adrenalin to burn fat. The excess release of insulin gives the body the message to store fat in the abdomen"
  • Clinical Trial Update: STGI Announces Anticort's FDA Phase I/II is Moving Forward - Business Wire, 7/28/99 (same article as above dead link)
  • Sports Science - An Answer To Intense Training - Health & Nutrition Breakthroughs, 7/98 - "The research team found that, compared to placebo, the plasma cortisol response to exercise was about 16 percent lower for the 400 mg dose of PS and 30 percent lower for the 800 mg dose."
  • Anti-Cortisols May Offer New Hope For Retinitis Pigmentosa - Doctor's Guide, 11/17/97 - "According to Sapse, RP can be treated initially with a cocktail of anti-cortisol nutritional compounds including vitamin A, zinc, ginkgo biloba and acetyl-L-carnitine . . ."
  • Findings Show Cortisol's Major Role in AIDS and Other Diseases - Doctor's Guide, 6/21/96 - "Anticort, (to lower cortisol) a high dose form of stabilized procaine HCL, is being successfully tested in pilot clinical studies in Brazil and the U.S., in HIV+ and AIDS populations ... Researchers have already started to explore the therapeutic benefits of such an approach through the use of anti-cortisol drugs, such as RU-486, DHEA, Ketaconazole, Anticort and Tianeptine"
  • Effect of 5-hydroxytryptophan on serum cortisol levels in major affective disorders. II. Relation to suicide, psychosis, and depressive symptoms - Arch Gen Psychiatry 1984 Apr;41(4):379-87 - "Serum cortisol levels were significantly higher after administration of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), 200 mg orally"
  • Study 20 - The Hypericum Homepage - "Both serum-cortisol and serum-prolactin were lowered significantly after three weeks of treatment with hypericum extract in male rats."

Other News:

  • Oncology Pipeline | Pasireotide (SOM230) - A Multigland Somatostatin Analogue | Novartis Oncology
  • Mortality and Morbidity in Cushing's Syndrome in New Zealand - Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2011 May 24 - "36 patients died during follow-up compared with 8.8 expected deaths (SMR 4.1, 95%CI 2.9-5.6) ... CS is associated with both high mortality and a high prevalence of co-morbidities, even when biochemical cure rates are between 80-90"
  • Older age memory loss tied to stress hormone receptor in brain - Science Daily, 4/6/11 - "one receptor was activated by low levels of cortisol, which helped memory. However, once levels of this stress hormone were too high they spilled over onto a second receptor. This activates brain processes that contribute to memory impairment ... high levels of the stress hormone in aged mice made them less able to remember how to navigate a maze. The memory recall problem was reversed when the receptor linked to poor memory was blocked ... lowering the levels of these stress hormones will prevent them from activating a receptor in the brain that is bad for memory ... The researchers are currently investigating a new chemical compound which blocks an enzyme -- 11beta-HSD1 -- that is involved in producing stress hormones within cells"
  • High blood cortisol levels significantly increases death rate in patients with acute coronary syndrome - Science Daily, 5/27/10 - "1036 patients with acute coronary syndrome were studied for an average period of 7.7 years. There were no significant differences in the serum cortisol levels between patients with and without acute coronary syndrome. However, the patients with ACS and high cortisol levels had a significantly elevated number of deaths when compared to the patients with ACS and the lowest cortisol levels. 758 total deaths were reported during the follow-up period. The ACS patients with the highest cortisol levels (i.e. the highest 25% serum cortisol) were significantly more likely to die from fatal cardiovascular events than those with the lowest cortisol levels (the lowest 25% serum cortisol). (The hazard ratio for highest versus lowest quartile of SCC was 1.89"
  • The relationship of serum and salivary cortisol levels to male sexual dysfunction as measured by the International Index of Erectile Function - Int J Impot Res. 2009 May 7 - "testosterone (T) and cortisol (F) ... (Total-T, Free-T, Bioavailable-T, Total-F and Bioavailable-F) and salivary hormones (Saliva-T and Saliva-F) ... International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) ... Free-T and Bioavailable-T showed significant inverse correlations with age (P<0.01). In the group not taking antidepressants, the levels of Bioavailable-F and Saliva-F showed significant inverse correlations with a portion of the IIEF score (P<0.05). However, reductions in Bioavailable-T and Saliva-T showed no association with the IIEF score. In the group taking antidepressants, these hormone levels showed no correlation with IIEF"
  • Effects of phosphatidylserine supplementation on exercising humans - Sports Med. 2006;36(8):657-69 - "S-PtdSer 800 mg/day reduced the cortisol response to overtraining during weight training while improving feeling of well-being and decreasing perceived muscle soreness"
  • Associations of salivary cortisol with cognitive function in the Baltimore memory study - Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007 Jul;64(7):810-8 - "Higher levels of pretest and mean cortisol as well as the area under the curve of cortisol over the study visit were associated with worse performance (P < .05) in 6 domains (language, processing speed, eye-hand coordination, executive functioning, verbal memory and learning, and visual memory). For instance, an interquartile range increase in the area under the curve was equivalent to a decrease in the language score expected from an increase in 5.6 (95% confidence interval, 4.2-7.1) years of age"
  • Chronic Exposure To Stress Hormone Causes Anxious Behavior In Mice - Science Daily, 4/17/06 - "Scientists already knew that many people with depression have high levels of cortisol, a human stress hormone, but it wasn't clear whether that was a cause or effect. Now it appears likely that long-term exposure to cortisol actually contributes to the symptoms of depression"
  • Pharmacologic management of Cushing syndrome : new targets for therapy - Treat Endocrinol. 2005;4(2):87-94 - "Compounds with neuromodulatory properties have been effective in only a limited number of cases of hypothalamic-pituitary-dependent Cushing disease, the most common form of Cushing syndrome. These agents include serotonin antagonists (cyproheptadine, ketanserin, ritanserin), dopamine agonists (bromocriptine, cabergoline), GABA agonists (valproic acid [sodium valproate]), and somatostatin analogs (octreotide). Interesting new avenues at the pituitary level involve the potential use of thiazolidinedione compounds, such as rosiglitazone, and of retinoic acid, which are ligands of different nuclear hormone receptors involved in hypothalamic-pituitary regulation"
  • Diabetes Drugs May Help Cushing's Syndrome - Reuters Wire, 11/07/2002 - "Cushing's syndrome results from high levels of the hormone cortisol, and can cause fat accumulation in the upper body and face, and thinning of the arms and legs. Patients can experience high blood pressure and high blood sugar, along with depression, fatigue, irritability and weakened bones ... a protein called PPAR-gamma, which is found on pituitary gland tumor cells, appears to be linked to overproduction of ACTH ... researchers injected mice with ACTH-secreting pituitary tumor cells and then treated them with commonly used diabetes drugs, rosiglitazone (Avandia) and troglitazone, or an inactive placebo ... There was an 85% reduction in ACTH and a corresponding 96% reduction in their cortisol-like hormone"
  • Mirtazapine Regulates Stress Hormones, Improves Sleep In Depressed Patients - Doctor's Guide, 8/8/01 - "Mirtazipine might be the best option for depressed patients with sleep disturbance and irregularities in stress hormone function ... Depression is often accompanied by sleep disturbance -- subjective and objective -- as well as [hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal] HPA-axis dysregulation ... Mirtazapine is a treatment that [profoundly affects] the HPA-axis within hours and promotes sleep within days ... They tested the 24-hour urinary free cortisol (UFC) levels of 16 healthy men and 20 men and women with major depression ... mirtazipne significantly reduced UFC concentrations, which is often elevated in depressed patients"
  • Cortisol - Keeping a Dangerous Hormone in Check - Life Extension Magazine, 7/04 - "daily cortisol production increased by 54% from a group of 21- to 30-year-old men to a group of men over 70 ... Phosphatidylserine, DHEA, and ginkgo biloba all have been shown to reduce the amount of cortisol produced during stressful events, and these stress fighters can help retard the negative consequences of this hormone" - See iHerb phosphatidylserine products.
  • The Role of Cortisol and Depression: Exploring New Opportunities for Treatments - Psychiatric Times, 5/04 - "Although glucocorticoid production is essential for survival, overproduction is associated with a significant disruption of cellular functioning, which, in turn, leads to widespread physiological dysfunction ... Cortisol, a glucocorticoid released from the adrenal cortex, is the end product of the HPA axis ... The physiological function of DHEA and its sulphated metabolite (DHEA-S) is unclear, but these circulating corticosteroids have been shown to possess antiglucocorticoid properties, and high cortisol/DHEA ratios are reported to be associated with persistent depression"
  • Why Are So Many Women Depressed? - Scientific America Women's Health: A Life Long Guide, Summer 1998 (see the subtopic "Stress and Cortisol") - "It is unclear whether depression is a cause or a consequence of elevated cortisol levels, but the two are undoubtedly related."
  • Wilson's Reverse T3 Dominance Syndrome - knoxintegrativemed.com - "However, when a person experiences prolonged stress, the adrenal glands respond by manufacturing a large amount of cortisol. Cortisol inhibits the conversion of T4 to T3 and favors the conversion of T4 to RT3. If stress is prolonged, a condition called Reverse T3 Dominance occurs and persists even after the stress passes and cortisol levels fall. Apparently, RT3 itself acts like cortisol and blocks the conversion of T4 to T3"
  • Wilson's Syndrome - providentmedical.com - "We know that elevated amounts of cortisol, the major stress hormone, can block 5 prime deiodinase, keeping T4 from being converted to T3.  This results in most of the T4 being converted into reverse T3, which then needs the available 5 prime deiodinase to be converted into T2."
  • Low-Dose DHEA Increases Androgen, Estrogen Levels in Menopause - Medscape, 12/12/03 - "Cortisol F plasma levels progressively decreased throughout the study." - See iHerb DHEA products.
  • A diet fortified with L-lysine and L-arginine reduces plasma cortisol and blocks anxiogenic response to transportation in pigs - Nutr Neurosci. 2003 Oct;6(5):283-9
  • Fish oil prevents the adrenal activation elicited by mental stress in healthy men - Diabetes Metab. 2003 Jun;29(3):289-295 - "In control conditions, mental stress significantly increased heart rate, mean blood pressure, and energy expenditure. It increased plasma epinephrine from 60.9 +/- 6.2 to 89.3 +/- 16.1 pg/ml (p<0.05), plasma cortisol from 291 +/- 32 to 372 +/- 37 micromol/l ... After 3 weeks of a diet supplemented with n-3 fatty acids, the stimulation by mental stress of plasma epinephrine, cortisol, energy expenditure, and plasma non esterified fatty acids concentrations, were all significantly blunted ... Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids inhibits the adrenal activation elicited by a mental stress" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Disappointing Data Confound Claims For DHEA Effectiveness [against Alzheimer's] - Psychiatric News, 6/6/03 - "DHEA has been reported to reduce cortisol, the so-called "stress hormone," which in response to stress is released in large quantities that have been linked to neuronal stress and damage" -  Does anyone detect bias in that title?  I don't know if DHEA helps Alzheimer's or not but I feel the title should have been something like "Alzheimer's Shows Trend Toward Improvement with DHEA at 3 Months".  Their attitude seems to be that nothing works except what we write prescriptions for.  The way I understand it, Alzheimer's usually gets worse, not better and cholinesterase inhibitors slow the disease, they don't reverse it and three months is a short time to determine if it is working.  For example, see the following  in the same issue of Clinical Psychiatry News.  See iHerb DHEA products. - Ben
  • Light Sleeper, Heavy Gainer - HealthDay, 2/14/03 - "Sleep deprivation can increase production of cortisol, a stress hormone that stimulates the appetite"
  • Stress, Cortisol and Health - Supplement Watch Newsletter, 10/02 - "several lines of evidence have converged to solidify the concept that stress makes us fat (because of cortisol), thins our bones (because of cortisol), shrinks our brains (because of cortisol), suppresses our immune system (because of cortisol), saps our energy levels (because of cortisol), and kills our sex drive (because of cortisol) ... Take a daily multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement - because calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and B-complex vitamins are needed for a proper stress response ... Chief among the supplements with documented cortisol-controlling effects are Phosphatidylserine, Beta-sitosterol, Magnolia bark, Theanine, Epimedium, Ashwagandha and Passionflower"
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) The Essential Brain Nutrient - Life Extension Magazine, 9/02 - "Among its list of functions, phosphatidylserine stimulates the release of dopamine (a mood regulator that also control physical sensations, and movement), increases the production of acetylcholine (necessary for learning and memory), enhances brain glucose metabolism (the fuel used for brain activity), reduces cortisol levels (a stress hormone), and boosts the activity of nerve growth factor (NGF), which oversees the health of cholinergic neurons"
  • A Supplement to Prevent Alzheimer’s - Dr. Weil, 8/20/02 - "In theory, PS works by strengthening cell membranes thus protecting them and their contents from damage, particularly from the stress hormone cortisol"
  • Testosterone Deficiency & Depression, Does DHEA Raise the Levels of Bioavailable Testosterone in Men? - Life Extension Magazine, 8/02 - "We know that as cortisol rises, testosterone levels tend to drop"
  • Hypercortisolemia Cited in Link Between Depression and Cardiovascular Disorders - Doctor's Guide, 4/9/02 - "Depressed patients who are also hypercortisolemic appear to have resistance to insulin and increased visceral fat, possibly accounting for a link between major depression and cardiovascular disorders"
  • Physical and Psychological Effects of Stress - MedicineNet.com, 2/02 - "Under excessive stress, we tend to produce cortisol, the classic anti-stress hormone produced by our body, perhaps to conserve energy. However the side-effect here is sexual dysfunction and infertility as cortisol also inhibits production of the hormones essential for sexual"
  • Errant Enzyme Causes Big Bellies - WebMD, 12/11/01 - "They looked at an enzyme called 11-beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1. This enzyme is able to increase the level of cortisol in fat cells without raising the level of cortisol in the blood"
  • Single enzyme to blame for potbellies: study - MSNBC, 12/6/01 - "What they found was that a single enzyme in fat cells that raises levels of cortisol — the “fight or flight” stress hormone — triggers fat accumulation around the belly and its associated ill effects ... The researchers were drawn to the role of cortisol because patients with a rare illness known as Cushing syndrome — who have too much of the steroid hormone in their blood — develop severe obesity concentrated around their middles and become diabetic ... Since overweight people without Cushing syndrome typically don’t have too much cortisol in their bloodstreams, Flier hypothesized that they may be producing high cortisol levels solely in their fat cells — possibly because the enzyme HSD-1, which makes cortisol from an inactive molecule, is overactive ... The level of cortisol in their stomach fat tissue was 15 percent to 30 percent higher than in their non-engineered counterparts" - Note: The way I read this article, the final culprit is still the cortisol and there are ways to reduce cortisol now.
  • Retinoic acid prevents experimental Cushing syndrome - J Clin Invest, October 2001, Volume 108, Number 8, 1123-1131 - "This glucocorticoid excess produces abnormal fat deposition, adrenal hyperplasia, thinning of the skin, hypertension, and psychological disturbances"
  • Sleep Deprivation May Trigger Insulin Resistance - Clinical Psychiatry News, 10/01 - "sleep deprivation leads to the release of tumor necrosis factor-, which triggers cortisol release, and that, in turn, causes insulin resistance"
  • Researchers Explore New Meds for Mood Disorders - Clinical Psychiatry News, 10/01 - "Another approach being developed for patients with high levels of circulating cortisol involves the abortion pill mifepristone ... The findings, to be published this month in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, suggest that a rapid antidepressant response (approximately 7 days) may occur in some patients"
  • Researchers Hopeful Antidepressant Augmentation Will Improve Remission - Clinical Psychiatry News, 9/01 - "In psychotic depression, a corticosteroid antagonist looks most promising. Mifepristone, which is used to induce abortions but was originally designed as treatment for Cushing's disease, has achieved rapid reversal of symptoms in some 30 psychotically depressed patients, ostensibly by blocking cortisol receptors. The drug is now being investigated in a large double-blind trial, he said"
  • Two studies implying that cortisol is the cause, not the result of depression:
  • Hair Cortisol Reveals Stress, Predicts CVD in Seniors - Medscape, 4/23/13 - "We found a 2.7-times increased risk of cardiovascular disease in our participants in the highest hair cortisol quartile compared to participants in the lowest quartile"
  • Cortisone can increase risk of acute pancreatitis - Science Daily, 2/25/13 - "people treated with cortisone in tablet form ran a 70 per cent higher risk of developing acute pancreatitis"
  • Medical Treatment of Cushing's Disease - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jan 23 - "Medical therapy for CD can be classified into pituitary-directed, adrenal-blocking, and glucocorticoid receptor-antagonizing drugs. Recent studies demonstrate that somatostatin receptor subtype 5 (sst(5)) and dopamine receptor subtype 2 (D(2)) are frequently (co-)expressed by corticotroph adenomas. Pituitary-directed therapy with pasireotide and cabergoline, targeting sst(5) and D(2), respectively, is successful in approximately 25-30% of patients. Adrenal-blocking drugs can be effective by inhibiting steroidogenic enzyme activity. Finally, the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist mifepristone induces clinical and metabolic improvement in the majority of patients. Each drug can have important side effects that may impair long-term treatment. Generally, patients with moderate to severe hypercortisolism need combination therapy to normalize cortisol production"
  • Exercise Can Slow Onset of Alzheimer's Memory Loss: Scientists Identify Link - Science Daily, 1/25/13 - "the stress hormone CRF -- or corticotrophin-releasing factor -- may have a protective effect on the brain from the memory changes brought on by Alzheimer's disease ... CRF is most associated with producing stress and is found in high levels in people experiencing some forms of anxiety and depressive diseases. Normal levels of CRF, however, are beneficial to the brain, keeping the mental faculties sharp and aiding the survival of nerve cells. Unsurprisingly then, studies have shown that people with Alzheimer's disease have a reduced level of CRF ... interrupting the hormone from binding on to the CRFR1 receptor blocked the improvement of memory normally promoted by exercise. However, in mice with Alzheimer's a repeated regime of moderate exercise restored the normal function of the CRF system allowing its memory enhancing effects. The results are in line with the idea that regular exercise is a means of improving one's ability to deal with everyday stress in addition to keeping mental abilities keen"
    • Corticotropin-releasing hormone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), originally named corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)"

  • FDA Approves Pasireotide for Cushing's Disease - Medscape, 12/17/12 - "the US Food and Drug Administration has approved pasireotide diaspartate injection for the treatment of patients with Cushing's disease for whom surgery has been unsuccessful or who are not surgical candidates ... Pasireotide is administered twice daily ... a year-long double-blind phase 3 trial in which 162 patients were randomly assigned to receive either 600 or 900 μg subcutaneously delivered pasireotide twice daily ... Twelve (15%) participants in the lower-dose group and 21 (26%) of the higher-dosage group met the trial's primary endpoint (free urinary cortisol levels at or below the upper limit of normal with no dose increase at month 6) ... Although those success rates were relatively low, nearly 60% of 103 patients for whom urinary free cortisol levels were available at baseline and at 6 months had cortisol reductions of at least 50% ... nearly three quarters of the study participants experienced hyperglycemia-related adverse events, leading to 6% leaving the study and 46% requiring a new glucose-lowering medication"
  • Bodybuilding myth debunked: Growth-promoting hormones don't stimulate strength - Science Daily, 6/14/12 - "anabolic hormones -- long thought to be essential for building a muscular frame -- do not influence muscle protein synthesis, the process that leads to bigger muscles ... In the first study, researchers examined the responses of both male and female participants to intense leg exercise. Despite a 45-fold difference in testosterone increase, men and women were able to make new muscle protein at exactly the same rate ... In the second study ... The men experienced gains in muscle mass that ranged from virtually nothing to more than 12 pounds, yet their levels of testosterone and growth hormone after exercise showed no relationship to muscle growth or strength gain ... Surprisingly, the researchers noted that cortisol -- considered to have the opposite effect of anabolic hormones because it reduces protein synthesis and breaks down tissue -- was related to the gain in muscle mass" - Note:  That may be true about cortisol but looking at it another way, cortisol could be an indicator of how much you're working out.
  • Prevalence and associated factors of subclinical hypercortisolism in patients with resistant hypertension - J Hypertens. 2012 Mar 7 - "Patients with resistant hypertension had a relatively high prevalence of subclinical hypercortisolism, and its presence is associated with several markers of worse cardiovascular prognosis"
  • Cushing's Drug Benefits Some, but Has New Adverse Effects - Medscape, 3/7/12 - "Pasireotide normalized cortisol levels in 20% of patients with Cushing's disease who participated in a year-long phase 3 trial ... However, the drug also led to hyperglycemia-related adverse events in almost three quarters of the participants ... The median percentage change from baseline at 6 months was −47.9% (95% CI, −74.1% to −40.7%) in the low-dose group, and −47.9− (95% CI, −66.9% to −35.5%) in the 900-μg group. The median percentage change at 12 months in the low-dose group was −67.6% (95% CI, −72.7% to −42.4%) and −62.4% (95% CI, −78.7% to −38.5%) in the high-dose group"
  • A unique on-off switch for hormone production - Science Daily, 2/23/12
  • Does depression contribute to the aging process? - Science Daily, 2/21/12 - "telomere length was shorter in the depressed patients, which confirmed prior findings. Importantly, they also discovered that shorter telomere length was associated with a low cortisol state in both the depressed and healthy groups ... stress plays an important role in depression, as telomere length was especially shortened in patients exhibiting an overly sensitive HPA axis. This HPA axis response is something which has been linked to chronic stress and with poor ability to cope with stress" - Note:  I'm not sure if that's correct because depressed people usually have high cortisol, not low cortisol.  I read somewhere that PTSD was associated with low cortisol.
  • New Treatment for Cushing's Disease - Medscape, 1/23/12 - "Pasireotide is a somatostatin analogue that attaches to somatostatin receptors in the pituitary and block the release of adrenocorticotrophin. In clinical trials, pasireotide was shown to reduce the levels of cortisol in the urine by at least 50% in 41% of patients treated with a 900-μg dose, and in 34% of patients treated with a 600-μg dose"
  • Depression and chronic stress accelerates aging - Science Daily, 11/9/11 - "The telomere is the outermost part of the chromosome. With increasing age, telomeres shorten, and studies have shown that oxidative stress and inflammation accelerates this shortening. On this basis it has been suggested that telomere length is a measure of biological aging, and telomere length has subsequently been linked to age-related diseases, unhealthy lifestyle, and longevity. The research team shows that shorter telomere length is associated with both recurrent depression and cortisol levels indicative of exposure to chronic stress"
  • Stress hormones may increase cardiovascular risks for shift workers - Science Daily, 10/3/11 - "working in shifts leads to changes in long-term cortisol levels, suggesting that the stress hormone cortisol might be one of the factors contributing to the increased cardiovascular risks of shift workers ... In this study, researchers collected hair samples from 33 shift workers and 89 day workers"
  • Overexpression of hepatic 5α-reductase and 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 in visceral adipose tissue is associated with hyperinsulinemia in morbidly obese patients - Metabolism. 2011 Jun 23 - "11-β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) converts cortisone to cortisol, mainly in the liver and visceral adipose tissue (VAT), and has been implicated in several metabolic disorders. The absence of systemic hypercortisolism in central obesity could be due to increased inactivation of cortisol to its tetrahydrometabolites by the hepatic enzymes 5α- and 5β-reductases ... Forty-one patients were recruited (age, 41.8 +/- 10.6 years; body mass index, 42.1 +/- 6.6 kg/m(2); 71% women). The expression of hepatic 5α- and 5β-reductases was positively correlated (r = +0.53, P = .004), and their expression levels were correlated with hepatic 11β-HSD1 expression (r = +0.61, P < .001 for 5α-reductase and r = +0.50, P < .001 for 5β-reductase). Hepatic 5α-reductase was associated with insulin (r = +0.34, P = .015). Visceral adipose tissue 11β-HSD1 expression was associated with glucose (r = +0.37, P = .025) and insulin (r = +0.54, P = .002). Our results showed that 5α-reductase and VAT 11β-HSD1 expressions were associated with insulinemia. These findings suggest that overexpression of 5α-reductase, through a higher inactivation of cortisol in the liver, could have a protective role in preserving hepatic sensitivity to insulin. The overexpression of liver reductases in obesity could be an adaptive response to an increase in cortisol production by the liver and visceral 11β-HSD1 to avoid systemic hypercortisolism"
  • New method to measure cortisol could lead to better understanding of development of common diseases - Science Daily, 5/2/11 - "Currently the standard method to measure cortisol levels is to take a blood or saliva sample. However, since cortisol is released in a circadian rhythm and with pulses throughout the day, levels can fluctuate considerably, meaning it is difficult to estimate an individual's long-term exposure to cortisol through blood and saliva tests alone ... hair cortisol levels correlated positively with waist to hip ratio (r=0.425, p=0.003) and waist circumference (r=0.392, p=0.007), meaning people with higher exposure to cortisol showed higher abdominal obesity ... measuring the amount of cortisol in hair can potentially be used to monitor a person's long-term exposure to cortisol"
  • Caffeinated Coffee Does Not Acutely Affect Energy Intake, Appetite, or Inflammation but Prevents Serum Cortisol Concentrations from Falling in Healthy Men - J Nutr. 2011 Feb 23 - "Our aim in this crossover study was to investigate the acute effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption on appetite feelings, energy intake, and appetite-, inflammation-, stress-, and glucose metabolism-related markers. Sixteen healthy men (age range, 21-39 y; BMI range, 19.7-28.6 kg/m(2)) received in a random order on 3 separate occasions a standard breakfast snack with 200 mL of either caffeinated coffee (3 mg caffeine/kg body weight), decaffeinated coffee, or water (control). Before intervention (-15 min) and at standard time points following breakfast consumption (0, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 min), participants recorded their appetite feelings and we collected blood samples for measurements of circulating glucose, insulin, cortisol, and appetite- and inflammation-related markers. At 180 min, participants consumed a meal ad libitum. The appetite-related ratings, the appetite plasma hormonal responses as well as the plasma glucose, serum insulin, and plasma and serum inflammatory marker responses did not show an overall intervention effect or a time x intervention interaction. Ad libitum energy intake did not differ among the 3 interventions. However, a significant intervention effect (P = 0.04) and a time x intervention interaction (P-interaction = 0.02) were found for serum cortisol; cortisol concentrations were significantly higher following the caffeinated coffee intervention, compared to control, at 60 min and thereafter. In conclusion, the usually consumed amount of caffeinated coffee does not have short-term effects on appetite, energy intake, glucose metabolism, and inflammatory markers, but it increases circulating cortisol concentrations in healthy men"
  • Association of Diurnal Patterns in Salivary Cortisol with All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality: Findings from the Whitehall II Study - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Feb 23 - "We assessed all-cause, cardiovascular, and noncardiovascular death. Results: There were 139 deaths, 32 of which were deaths due to cardiovascular disease, during a mean follow-up period of 6.1 yr. Flatter slopes in cortisol decline across the day were associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio for 1 sd reduction in slope steepness 1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.09-1.55). This excess mortality risk was mainly driven by an increased risk of cardiovascular deaths (hazard ratio = 1.87; 95% confidence interval = 1.32-2.64). The association with cardiovascular deaths was independent of a wide range of covariates measured at the time of cortisol assessment. There was no association between morning cortisol, the cortisol awakening response, and mortality outcomes. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate, for the first time, the relationship between a flatter slope in cortisol levels across the day and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in a nonclinical population"
  • Simple spit and blood tests might detect burnout before it happens - Science Daily, 2/21/11 - "In addition to professional and personal suffering, burnout puts distressed workers at further risk of physical and psychological problems if ignored ... We hypothesized that healthy workers with chronic stress and with mild burnout symptoms would have worse physiological dysregulations and lower cortisol levels -- a profile consistent with burnout ... Cortisol is a stress hormone involved in our bodies stress response and naturally as part of our body's daily rhythm. Cortisol levels are often high in people suffering from depression, while it tends to be low in cases of burnout. Too much cortisol can be as bad as too little when it comes to both mental and physical health ... Critically, people with burnout are often treated with anti-depressant medications that lower cortisol levels. If cortisol is already lower than it should be, this course of treatment could represent a therapeutic mistake. "The use of an allostatic load index gives researchers and clinicians a window to see how chronic stress is straining the person"
  • Cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, their ratio and hypertension: evidence of associations in male veterans from the Vietnam Experience Study - J Hum Hypertens. 2011 Feb 10 - "Cortisol and the cortisol:DHEAS ratio were positively associated with hypertension (P<0.001), whereas DHEAS was negatively associated; the latter relationship was attenuated to non-significance (P=0.06) in models that adjusted for age, sociodemographics, place of service, health behaviours and BMI. The present analyses provide confirmation of a positive association between cortisol and the cortisol:DHEAS ratio and population hypertension"
  • Behavioral problems linked to cortisol levels: Study finds intervention needed as soon as behavioral problems appear - Science Daily, 2/9/11 - "Some youngsters with behavioral problems have abnormally high levels of cortisol, while others with identical problems have abnormally low levels ... Cortisol levels were abnormally high around the time problem behaviours began, but abnormally low when they had been present for a long time ... Problem behaviours were classified as either "internalizing" (depression and anxiety) or "externalizing" (aggression, attentional problems) ... Youngsters who developed depression-like symptoms or anxiety problems in adolescence had high levels of cortisol. However, those who developed symptoms earlier had abnormally low cortisol levels. The conclusion? Cortisol levels go up when individuals are first stressed by depression or anxiety, but then decline again if they experience stress for an extended period"
  • Why Women Feel Colder Than Men - CBS Chicago, 2/8/11 - "Women conserve more heat around their core organs, which means less heat circulates throughout the rest of their body ... It can often lead to a tug-of-war over the thermostat. That fight can get worse at night, when our bodies produce less cortisol ... cortisol is a very powerful hormone. It’s your fight hormone. So it keeps you warm, gets your adrenaline roaring and helps with body warming"
  • Persistent organic pollutants affect the stress hormone cortisol - Science Daily, 12/28/10 - "persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as PCB and mixtures of different POPs, affect the way the adrenal cortex functions and thereby the synthesis of the stress hormone cortisol ... altered cortisol balance during early life may lead to a predisposition to develop several diseases in adulthood, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases"
  • Promising drug candidate reverses age-related memory loss in mice - Science Daily, 10/12/10 - "Such memory loss has been linked with high levels of 'stress' steroid hormones known as glucocorticoids which have a deleterious effect on the part of the brain that helps us to remember. An enzyme called 11beta-HSD1 is involved in making these hormones and has been shown to be more active in the brain during aging ... We found that life-long partial deficiency of 11beta-HSD1 prevented memory decline with aging. But we were very surprised to find that the blocking compound works quickly over a few days to improve memory in old mice suggesting it might be a good treatment for the already elderly ... We previously showed that carbenoxolone, an old drug that blocks multiple enzymes including 11beta-HSD1, improves memory in healthy elderly men and in patients with type 2 diabetes after just a month of treatment, so we are optimistic that our new compounds will be effective in humans. The next step is to conduct further studies with our preclinical candidate to prove that the compound is safe to take into clinical trials, hopefully within a year"
  • High stress hormone levels linked to increased cardiovascular mortality - Science Daily, 9/9/10 - "urinary cortisol did not increase the risk of non-cardiovascular mortality but did increase cardiovascular mortality risk. The third of the subjects with the highest urinary cortisol had a five-fold increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease"
  • Chronic drinking increases levels of stress hormones, leading to neurotoxicity - Science Daily, 9/7/10 - "Both drinking and withdrawal from chronic drinking can raise circulating glucocorticoid levels, known as cortisol in humans and corticosterone in rodents. Prolonged and high concentrations of glucocorticoids can have damaging effects on neuronal function and cognition"
  • Hair provides proof of the link between chronic stress and heart attack - Science Daily, 9/3/10 - "Cortisol is considered to be a stress hormone. Its secretion is increased during times of stress. Traditionally it's been measured in serum, urine and saliva, but that only shows stress at the time of measurement, not over longer periods of time. Cortisol is also captured in the hair shaft"
  • Urinary Cortisol and Six-Year Risk of All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Aug 25 - "During a mean follow-up of 5.7 (SD = 1.2) yr, 183 persons died, of whom 41 died from cardiovascular disease. After adjustment for sociodemographics, health indicators, and baseline cardiovascular disease, urinary cortisol did not increase the risk of noncardiovascular mortality, but it did increase cardiovascular mortality risk. Persons in the highest tertile of urinary cortisol had a five times increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease (hazard ratio = 5.00; 95% confidence interval = 2.02-12.37). This effect was found to be consistent across persons with and without cardiovascular disease at baseline"
  • Marriage and committed romance reduce stress-related hormone production - Science Daily, 8/17/10 - "We found that unpaired individuals of both sexes had higher cortisol levels than married individuals"
  • Cabergoline monotherapy in the long-term treatment of Cushing's disease - Eur J Endocrinol. 2010 Aug 11 - "Within 3-6 months, complete response was achieved in 11 patients (36.6%) and partial response in 4 (13.3%). After longer term therapy, 9 patients (30%) remain with a complete response after a mean of 37 months (range from 12-60 months) with a mean dose of 2.1 mg/wk of cabergoline. Two patients escaped after 2 and 5 years of complete response, but one transiently renormalized UFC after an increase in cabergoline dosage. No long-term response was maintained in 4 initial partial responders. Conclusions: Cabergoline monotherapy can provide an effective long-term medical therapy for selected patients with CD, but requires close follow-up for dose adjustments"
  • Link between depression, abdominal obesity confirmed by new study - Science Daily, 6/9/10 - "cortisol, a stress hormone, is related to depression and abdominal obesity. "So, there is reason to suspect that people who are depressed would have higher levels of abdominal obesity versus other parts of the body because of elevated cortisol,""
  • Stress hormone, depression trigger obesity in girls, study finds - Science Daily, 2/23/10
  • Stress peptide and receptor may have role in diabetes - Science Daily, 1/23/10
  • Partial restoration of GH responsiveness to ghrelin in Cushing's disease after 6 months of ketoconazole treatment: comparison with GHRP-6 and GHRH - Eur J Endocrinol. 2009 Aug 20
  • Stress Raises Belly Fat, Heart Risks - WebMD, 8/6/09 - "Even compared to other monkeys with the same body mass index and weight, CT scans showed that the stressed monkeys had a great deal more belly fat. And when the researchers looked at the animals' arteries, they found plaque clogging the arteries of the stressed monkeys ... it's not how much fat you have, but where it is located ... Over time, high cortisol levels cause belly fat to accumulate. It also makes individual fat cells get larger ... When you have lots more fat in visceral fat cells and all the characteristics of the metabolic syndrome, each of these things promotes atherosclerosis"
  • Symptoms Of Depression In Obese Children Linked To Elevated Cortisol - Science Daily, 6/11/09 - "There is evidence in adults that abnormal regulation of cortisol plays a role in both obesity and depression ... Cortisol levels in the saliva in the afternoon and evening correlated positively with symptoms of depression ... The more depressive symptoms that subjects reported, the higher the cortisol levels at those times"
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