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Stress Accelerates Aging

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Sep 30, 2008

Mind-Body-Spirit News

There is a direct link between prolonged stress and a weaker immune system, resulting in higher susceptibility to illness and disease, according to a study conducted by researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The study showed that cortisol, released when the “fight or flight” response is stimulated, wears down the immune system if it remains in the bloodstream for long periods of time.

Cortisol weakens the immune system through its impact on telomerase, an enzyme within immune cells that keeps them young. When telomerase is not produced, the lifespan of individual immune cells is shortened and the number of times they can reproduce declines.The study was published in the May issue of Brain, Behavior and Immunity (2008, 22; 600–605).

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at