LivingPleasure relieves stress

Pleasure relieves stress

placer-chocolate A study from the University of Cincinnati (USA) reveals that pleasant activities, such as sex or food, reduce stress by inhibiting the anxiety response in our brain . The effect lasts up to seven days, according to the authors in the latest issue of the journal PNAS .

In their experiments, researcher Yvonne Ulrich-Lai and her colleagues from the Stress Neurobiology Laboratory gave a group of rats a solution of sugar water for two weeks, then studied their physiological response and behavior in stressful situations. . Compared to rodents that had not eaten sugar, they had a slowed heart rate and a lower level of stress hormones in their blood. The same effects appeared when the water was sweetened with saccharin . "It is the pleasant properties of palatable foods, not the calories, that reduce stress," says Ulrich-Lai.

The scientists also recorded the activity of a brain structure, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which responds in stressful situations. And they found that the brain of rats exposed to pleasant activities, such as consuming sweet drinks or practicing sex, responded less intensely to stress than that of their companions.

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