Document Detail

Comfort food is comforting to those most stressed: evidence of the chronic stress response network in high stress women.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21906885     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Chronically stressed rodents who are allowed to eat calorie-dense "comfort" food develop greater mesenteric fat, which in turn dampens hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity. We tested whether similar relations exist in humans, at least cross-sectionally. Fifty-nine healthy premenopausal women were exposed to a standard laboratory stressor to examine HPA response to acute stress and underwent diurnal saliva sampling for basal cortisol and response to dexamethasone administration. Based on perceived stress scores, women were divided into extreme quartiles of low versus high stress categories. We found as hypothesized that the high stress group had significantly greater BMI and sagittal diameter, and reported greater emotional eating. In response to acute lab stressor, the high stress group showed a blunted cortisol response, lower diurnal cortisol levels, and greater suppression in response to dexamethasone. These cross-sectional findings support the animal model, which suggests that long-term adaptation to chronic stress in the face of dense calories result in greater visceral fat accumulation (via ingestion of calorie-dense food), which in turn modulates HPA axis response, resulting in lower cortisol levels.
A Janet Tomiyama; Mary F Dallman; Elissa S Epel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Controlled Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-09-08
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychoneuroendocrinology     Volume:  36     ISSN:  1873-3360     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychoneuroendocrinology     Publication Date:  2011 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-10-21     Completed Date:  2012-03-05     Revised Date:  2013-07-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7612148     Medline TA:  Psychoneuroendocrinology     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1513-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Departments of Psychology and Nutrition, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8020, United States.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Psychological / physiology*
Body Mass Index
Caregivers / psychology
Chronic Disease
Depression / psychology
Eating / psychology*
Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiology
Middle Aged
Nerve Net / physiology*
Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiology
Severity of Illness Index
Stress, Psychological / physiopathology,  prevention & control*,  psychology*
Grant Support
K08 MH064110/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; K08 MH64110-01A1/MH/NIMH NIH HHS

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