The study found something so much more important than they originally hoped for
More than a quarter century later, researchers at Duke University are thrilled with the outcome of their study that started in 1986.
This after the study took an about turn a dozen years ago.
While looking for general emotional affects on heart health, researchers started to notice the huge impact emotions relating to stress
had on your heart.
One of the most fascinating aspects of their study came about when they took hair samples of their participants. This because the stress
hormone cortisol shows up in your hair and is a reflection of the average amount of stress you’d been dealing with for the last two or three months.
When they compared these hair samples to heart attack incidence, there was a clear correlation. Participants with higher level of cortisol in their hair were more likely to have a heart attack.
Researchers wanted to find out more!
So they added the genetic aspect of the research. They wanted to know why:
1. Some people are more susceptible to stress? And
2. The risk of heart attack increased because of it?
First, they began looking for specific genes that cause stress hormones like cortisol and serotonin to increase.
They looked at specific DNA sequences relating to cortisol and serotonin. And found that the participants who reacted more to stressful situations had one single nucleotide difference in their serotonin receptor DNA code
This small change literally caused them to have a second serotonin receptor in their brain!
Now your serotonin receptor reacts when you’re in stressful situations. It tells your adrenal glands to make cortisol so you’re ready for a fight or flight response. So having two means there’s double the signal and twice as much cortisol.
And the scariest part is…
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One in ten people have the gene that causes them to react more to stress
Of the 6,100 people in the study, just over one in ten had the change in gene. And because of the increase in cortisol levels in their body during stress, their risk of heart disease
was 38% higher than those without the gene change.
And all because of what stress does to your arteries!
While testing your genetic serotonin code may not be possible right now, you can see how essential it is to really get a handle on your stress levels.
Focus on taking control of stress to lower your risk of heart attack
Every time you feel like you’re going into a stressful situation, focus on keeping your stress levels under control.
There are easy and natural ways to do it! Simply practice breathing techniques
, deep breathing and meditation to ease stress and relax your mind.
No matter what your genetics dictate, you can
control your stress. Find a method that suits you to control your stress levels and lower your risk of heart attack – starting today!