May 31, 2011 in Health and Fitness (E)
[prMac.com] Hannover, Germany - Stress and the stress hormone cortisol blocks effects of testosterone. A new psychology research triggered by The University of Texas at Austin claims that elevated levels of cortisol plays a crucial role in blocking testosterone's influence on competition and domination. Apparently this is the first research for highlighting two hormones testosterone and cortisol to control dominance.
Investigators showed that heightened cortisol, a hormone known to be released in the body in response to threat, enables the body to escape danger and not respond to any influence that testosterone is having on behavior. It was pointed out that hormonal axes work against each other to regulate dominant and competitive behaviors. Hormonal axes are believed to be complex feedback networks present between hormones and certain brain areas that govern testosterone levels and cortisol.
It makes good adaptive sense that testosterone's behavioral influence during an emergency situation gets blocked because engaging in behaviors that are encouraged by testosterone, such as mating, competition and aggression, during an imminent survival situation could be fatal. On the other hand, fight or flight behaviors encouraged by cortisol become more likely during an emergency situation when cortisol levels are high. Thus, it makes sense that the hormonal axes that regulate testosterone levels and cortisol levels are antagonistic."
While conducting the investigation, scientists measured hormone levels of saliva samples accumulated by 57 subjects. Volunteers had to participant in a one-on-one competition and were given the opportunity to compete again after winning or losing. All those who lost revealed high testosterone and low cortisol, and requested a rematch to recapture their lost status. On the other hand, all the participants who won displayed high testosterone and high cortisol but denied to compete again. Subjects declining a rematch showed an extreme reduction in testosterone after defeat, so probably that's why they were unwilling to compete again.
The findings may help scientists understand physiological effects of stress and the role they play in erectile disfunction and fertility problems.
Chronically increased cortisol levels are believed to restrict testosterone production in men further causing impotence and loss of libido. Similar levels of cortisol are assumed to produce severe fertility problems and an abnormal menstrual cycle in women.
Such effects can be reversed when stress levels are decreased.
Higher and more prolonged levels of (catabolic) cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with acute or chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as: Impaired cognitive performance, suppressed thyroid function, blood sugar imbalances, decreased bone density, decrease in muscle tissue, skeletal muscle wasting, higher blood pressure, lowered immunity and inflammatory responses and slowed wound healing.
The cortisol awakening response is an increase of about 50% in cortisol levels occurring after awakening in the morning. Shortly after awakening, a sharp 38% to 75% (average 50%) increase occurs in the blood level of cortisol.
To keep cortisol levels healthy and under control, Clinical Neurologist Dr. Hans Joerg Stuerenburg, M.D., Ph.D. developed and patented an innovative adaptive stress free alarm clock, "The Gentle Alarm".
Compared to conventional alarm clocks, the intelligent "Gentle Alarm" for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch leads to a gentle and stress free wake up.
Sudden, abrupt waking in the morning as with loud, conventional alarm clocks and the associated release of stress hormones from the adrenal gland can be avoided by using this novel and intelligent self adapting, personal sleep cycle alarm clock.
Stuerenburg sees health benefits of this intelligent innovation in weight loss, stress reduction, increase of skeletal muscle mass, pain reduction, enhanced male virility, improvement of cognitive performance, improvement of fatigue, chronic fatigue and better general health and physical fitness.
The Gentle Alarm is easy to use. In order to be woken up smoothly, sleepers will be guided from the deep sleep phase or dream phase into the light sleep phase by gentle sounds.
Unlike the hitherto existing sleep cycle alarm clocks Gentle Alarm does not require additional implement such as wristband motion sensors, sound sensors or movement sensors. Users simply set their desired wake up time. After waking up, they merely slide a finger across the screen to stop the alarm. Everything else is taken care of by the patented and intelligent system.
The "Gentle Alarm" - app works by waking users up during their normally occurring periods of light sleep so that instead of rude awakenings associated with cortisol and stress hormone release they experience mornings where they feel they were biologically woken up by their own bodies as opposed to mechanically through intrusive sound or motion.
When you couple these facts with the app's smooth interface and user friendly lay out, it comes as no surprise that the "Gentle Alarm" was ranked among the ten best alarm clocks in the entire world. In November 2010 "The Independent", London, UK, one of the four largest British quality newspapers named "Gentle Alarm" (patent pending) for iPhone and iPod touch one of "The ten best alarm clocks" and the best alarm clock - app worldwide. "The Independent" mentioned: "Best alarm clock for stress heads. The Gentle Alarm app for iPhone and iPod touch. This app monitors your natural sleep patterns and produces a personalised waking programme which stirs you from your slumber at the least stressful point of your sleep cycle".
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later
* 0.6 MB
Pricing and Availability:
The Gentle Alarm 2.1.0 is $3.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Healthcare & Fitness category.
Craft mobile is an agile team specialized on the implementation of iPhone applications. Craft mobile was initiated in 2009 and is a project of Craft AG, Freiburg (established Aug. 2000). Dr. Hans Joerg Stuerenburg (M.D., Ph.D.) is Specialist in Neurology and Head of the Neurological Department, Klinik Niedersachsen, Medical Center, Bad Nenndorf, Germany. Copyright (C) 2011 Craft AG, Freiburg. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.