Study finds psychological stress accelerates aging
Core tip: We all think that stress will make people get older, but this “old” often refers to “looking less spiritual and lively than before”, only staying on the length of the appearance.
But recently, the world’s major media have reported a recent study in the United States. In this study, scientists pointed out that psychological stress can really make people age faster, and it can reach more than ten years old.
According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by researcher Elisha Epel of the University of California, San Francisco has observed the effects of psychological stress on cells.
To explain the relationship between stress and cells, we must start with the “molecular clock” of human cells.
The end of each chromosome is covered by a piece of DNA called telomeres. Its role is to protect the chromosome and improve the stability of the gene.
When the initial cell divides, these telomeres become shorter, and the telomeres of daughter cells that are temporarily divided will be slightly shorter than the telomeres of the parent cell.
In young people, telomerase will transform this process, reconstructing telomeres in cells.
But in older people, after cell division, telomeres will shrink greatly, and eventually cell replication will end completely, which means that human life will end here.
Because the length of telomeres determines the number of times that DNA replicates and divides cells, it can be used to calculate the duration of life, so it is called the “molecular clock”.
To investigate the effects of psychological stress on cellular aging, Epel and colleagues looked at chromosomal telomeres in white blood cells of 58 mothers.
Among these mothers, two-thirds have children with chronic diseases and are more psychologically stressed.
The children of other mothers are healthy, so their psychological stress is relatively small.
In the two stresses (high stress and low stress), the reset chromosome status was not much different.
However, women with the most psychological stress in the junior group have the shortest telomeres.
More importantly, in these people, the effect of stress on cells is obvious, which is equivalent to accelerating cell aging of 9-17 years.
Regarding the discovery, Epel said it was not surprising.
“If we feel stressed, we should take it seriously because it can affect the cells in our body.
“In the study, Epel also found that for the mothers who have been caring for the sickest children for the longest time, no matter how much pressure they feel, their telomeres will be shorter.
“The longer they take care of their patients, the impact on their own health is the same.”
Epel concluded that they will conduct more in-depth research at this stage to confirm the relationship between psychological stress and cellular aging.
She said that although the study has not yet covered people’s lives, social altitudes, and the environment in which they live, “whether or not you are taking care of patients, psychological stress will give a red light to health.”
Everyone will face various pressures, but we must learn to relax and try to save the lost “life”.