General, Research, Technology

Can stress prolong life

It is generally accepted that stress is extremely dangerous.a condition that must be fought with. It is worth noting that everything is a little more complicated. Stress is essentially an adaptive reaction that allows us to mobilize the forces of our body in a dangerous (stressful) situation. Of course, if you constantly experience stress, then our internal reserves will simply be depleted and then health problems will begin. As in most cases, if we are talking about stress, balance is important. But can stress be so useful as to prolong life? Researchers at the University of Michigan are sure yes.

Can stress be helpful?

What is the use of stress

According to the Science Daily portal, a group of scientistsfrom the USA found that stress experienced at an early age increases subsequent resistance to stress in old age, which does not thereby reduce its negative effect on the body. In this study, experts focused on the fact that too many free radicals accumulate in cells during stressful reactions. Free radicals are elements that damage DNA and other internal structures of cells, which causes their modification and is considered one of the causes of aging at the cellular level.

See also: Can deep sleep relieve stress?

But our body is not stupid and it has methods forfight against free radicals. However, when cells produce more oxidizing agents and free radicals than the amount they can handle, then the harmful effect begins. Studying a roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegans, Ursula Jacob and Daphne Bazopulu found that worms that produced more free radicals due to stress at a young age lived longer than worms that did not experience stressful situations.

Researchers have long wondered whatdetermines the variability of life expectancy. One part is genetics: if your parents live long, then you have a good chance to live longer. But the other part, as it is believed, is the environment surrounding you. But it is not so. - say the scientists.

Having sorted thousands of roundworm larvae,scientists began to grow them, dividing into several groups according to the level of stress. From those who lived in “greenhouse conditions” to individuals who were constantly subjected to various “tests”. The authors revealed the most important difference between them - the concentration of histone modifier. This compound is sensitive to free radicals that occur during stress, and its level, laid at the larval stage, lasts for life. And it protects the body from stress. The more it is, the more stable the body. What do you think: is stress useful? Write about it in our chat in Telegram.

If life expectancy were determinedsolely by genes and the environment, we would expect that genetically identical organisms grown under the same conditions will die at about the same time, but this does not happen at all. Some worms live only three days, while others last 20 days. Then the question arises: what, in addition to genetics and the environment, is the reason for such a big difference in life expectancy?

When the researchers exposed the entire populationyoung worms exposed to stress factors, the average life expectancy of the entire population has increased significantly. Of course, the data of this study cannot be completely “passed on” to people and additional research is needed in this area (which scientists plan to do). However, it has long been suggested that stress has a positive effect on life expectancy. And it seems that the hypothesis is the first confirmation.