Balancing Metabolic and Psychological Stress Optimizes Healthy Aging


Balancing Metabolic and Psychological Stress Optimizes Healthy Aging

Controlling cortisol and insulin levels are essential strategies in the quest for healthy aging. These hormones cause an increase in metabolic stress, which leads to abdominal weight gain, chronic inflammation, and telomere shortening. Metabolic aging can be partially offset by an increase in DHEA and testosterone, coupled with a decrease in cortisol and insulin. Exercise has been shown to increase DHEA, while also decreasing cortisol and insulin levels. Low hormone levels can be aided by supplementation as well.

Certain personality types experience an exaggerated stress response with higher than usual cortisol and insulin levels. It is theorized that individuals with anxiety or low self-esteem, who fear being evaluated by others and suppress negative feelings like anger, are prime candidates for premature aging. Progesterone may be helpful in controlling anxiety, as it has a calming effect on the nervous system.

A study of 36 menopausal women found an association between pessimism and an increase in Interleukin-6, an inflammatory substance, as well as shorter white blood cell telomere length. Both are believed to be markers of premature aging.

I will be launching a new signature supplement series based on clinical research and 20 years of experience in treating hormones. The line will include evidence-based nutrients that will address inflammation and blood sugar/cortisol regulation. Very excited!


* “Psychological and Metabolic Stress: A Recipe for Accelerated Cellular Aging?” by Elissa S. Epel; Hormones; 2009; 8(1):7-22.

* “Pessimism Correlates with Leukocyte Telomere Shortness and Elevated Interleukin-6 in Post-Menopausal Women” by A. O’Donovan, J. Lin, F.S. Dhabhar, et al; Brain Behav Immun; 2009 May; 23(4):446-449.