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Diet And Stress: How Do What We Eat And Drink Affect Our Stress Level?

1229 words - 5 pages

Eating habits influence people’s body functions, as different chemicals and components in different foods and drinks can produce various biological reactions. A common diet is consuming vitamins and proteins on a daily basis; and usually, people would intake alcohol as a “self-prescription” when they are under pressure. All these components have major impacts on the human stress levels. Stress usually happens when people are confronting stressors, such as catastrophes, daily hassles, and blah . Adequate stress can benefit people by providing them sufficient energy to respond quickly to and survive from stressful stimuli. However, too much stress can sabotage people’s life in various ways. Short-term stress like nausea and speeding heart rate before a presentation, tension during a fight with others might impair brain cells and cause damage to learning and memory, while chronic stress will make people experience irritation, anger, and fatigue for no reasons, and aggravate people’s existing diseases. The human body only functions when it remains in a homeostasis. This article will discuss vitamins, proteins, and alcohol’s influence on human stress levels, analyze the process of their effects respectively, and conclude that humans should consume sufficient vitamins and proteins and avoid alcohol abuse to maintain an adequate stress level.
Studies have shown the correlations between vitamins and stress levels in animals. Ayo et al. (2006) found that Vitamin C diminished stress indicators in vivo (as cited in Montalvo, Díaz, Galdames, Andrés, & Larraín, 2011, p. 3495). Gupta et al. (2005) and Larrain et al. (2008) suggested that “vitamin E supplementation or injection may reduce cortisol concentration in serum or plasma of cattle” (as cited in Montalvo, et al., 2011, p. 3495). Apparently, vitamins, especially vitamin C and vitamin E, could result in stress level changes of animals. Since humans are categorized under mammals biologically, evidences of vitamins’ influence on the other mammals can indicate their influence on humans. From their study in vitro, the researchers found that “in cattle, vitamin E and other antioxidants might have an effect in reducing cortisol in plasma by modulating the activity of tissues” (Montalvo, et al., 2011, p. 3496) and might act as modulators of stress response in vivo (p. 3497). The process of the vitamins’ influences on stress levels is complicated. One of the main stress hormones is epinephrine, which provides energy for body movements and helps people maintain a regular stress level when stressors strike. It is determined by glycogen phosphorylase whose activation is facilitated by cortisol. According to Montalvo, et al.’s study, vitamin C and E can reduce the concentration of cortisol in plasma (Montalvo, et al., 2011, p. 3496), which limits the release of epinephrine, which will eventually regulate the human stress levels in tense events. In other word, epinephrine helps the human body to stay calm when...

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