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2013 September

Immune system responsible for stress-related anxiety, says study

1st September 2013

New research has identified how cells of the immune system are responsible for feelings of anxiety in an individual who is exposed to stress.

When individuals are exposed to stressful environments, the ways in which different people react will vary hugely. However, a common response is that of feelings of anxiety - and scientists believe they have identified exactly why that is.

New research from Ohio State University has revealed that when individuals are subjected to stress, immune system cells called monocytes are recruited to the brain as a natural reaction. However, this brings about inflammation in certain regions which are associated with mood - such as the prefrontal cortex, amygdala and hippocampus - thereby causing a person to feel anxious.

This is perhaps not surprising due to the way in which monocytes work elsewhere as part of the immune response. When an area of the body is subjected to trauma, monocytes are directed to the site as part of the healing process, where they can also cause inflammation.

The interesting aspect of this research is the discovery that it is this same biological pathway which is causing people to become anxious when they are exposed to stress - and yet it does not damage the brain tissue.

Further studies proved that the monocytes involved in this reaction had not originated in the brain, but had come from bone marrow.

Published in The Journal of Neuroscience, the research is important as it may lead scientists and medical practitioners to use the knowledge to develop new and more effective ways of treating patients experiencing problems with stress-related anxiety.

"There are different moving parts from the central and peripheral components, and what's novel is them coming together to influence behaviour," commented senior co-author of the study Jonathan Godbout, associate professor of neuroscience at the institution.

Individuals who perhaps feel they may not deal with stressful or anxiety-inducing environments as well as they might like to may find they benefit from taking a supplement to boost their mental clarity and energy, as well as to elevate their mood and ease depressive episodes.

A supplement such as KBG Algae available from Really Healthy could help people to achieve this, while also providing a source of fatty and nucleic acids, beta-carotene and high quality protein. It is also a rich vegetarian source for vitamin B12.

What's more, KBG Algae contains the unique ingredient Phenylethylamine (PEA), which other supplements may not. As a natural endogenous neuromodulator, PEA has been proven to stimulate concentration, improve mental energy, elevate mood and alleviate depression.

Evidencing its potential worth is the fact that the wild greenfood is also currently one of the fastest growing supplements on the health food market and one of the few that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier.

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