Depression can be hard enough to cope with so the fact also help you age faster is not good news. Now research is pointing the finger yet again at stress as having a primary impact on many of our functions, and we know that it s a major factor in hormonal balance, particularly for symptoms such as hot flushes. Now it seems that stress also has an impact on how we age.
You know if you are suffering form depression because you see the results, but there is one effect you don’t see which is how it leads to a shortening of telomere length. These are the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes and are indicators of aging, as they naturally shorten over time. A new study published in Biological Psychiatry has found that telomeres are also highly susceptible to stress and depression, both of which have repeatedly been linked with premature telomere shortening.
Scientists studied the human stress response that is regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, or HPA axis, which controls the body’s levels of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. It is known that this axis generally does not function normally in those suffering from depression and stress-related illnesses so they studied the relationships between telomere length, stress, and depression.
They measured telomere length in two groups: those with major depressive disorder and a control group of non-depressed individuals..
They found that telomere length was shorter in the depressed patients and that shorter telomere length was associated with a low cortisol state in both the depressed and non-depressed groups. This meant that the depressed patients were aging faster than the control group.
Conclusion? That stress plays an important role in depression, and that the more you can control your stress the better off you will be. This could be where bioidentical natural progesterone has an important role to play, as it not only helps balance hormones but calms anxiety and helps elevate mood – key factors in managing depression.