Thursday, September 1, 2016

HPA and Alcohol

Excess levels of the stress hormone cortisol, a product of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in response to stressors, have been shown to be detrimental to health and have been are linked with hypertension, impairment of immune function, and alteration in metabolism. Cortisol, a marker of HPA axis activity, can be measured in urine, blood, or saliva. Previous studies have demonstrated that cortisol secretion is associated with smoking behavior. Recently Ellena Badrick, M.Sc., Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College, London, and colleagues studied how alcohol impacts the HPA. Reportedly this is the first study of alcohol consumption and diurnal cortisol secretion in a naturalistic community population. Male participants Men reported a higher frequency of drinking, consumed more alcohol per week, and had higher BP and mean cortisol production over the day than females. Greater proportions of females were in the lowest social position groups, suffered from depression and had sleep problems.The study concluded that

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