Stress – the source of much dis-ease and disease in the human body, mind, and spirit. Take a look at the following.

The Biochemical Burden of Stress

Decreases nutrient absorption – primarily due to decreased oxygenation and gastrointestinal blood flow; decreased enzymatic production in stomach, pancreas, and liver; decreased bile flow from gall bladder.

Increases nutrient excretion – urinary loss of calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium, selenium, and various microminerals.

Increases nutrient deficiencies – particularly Vitamin C, Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and selenium.

Increases blood cholesterol – stress by itself will raise LDL levels.

Increases serum triglycerides – instantly increases during stress response.

Increases blood platelet aggregation – a major risk factor in heart disease.

Increases salt retention – can lead to high blood pressure.

Increases cortisol – associated with weight gain, abdominal obesity, and inability to lose weight or build muscle. Excessive output prematurely ages the body.

Decreases gut flora populations – healthy intestinal bacteria are destroyed by stress. This can lead to immune problems, skin disorders, nutrient deficiencies, and digestive distress.

Decreases oxygen supply – influences all aspects of metabolism.

Decreases thermic efficiency – your ability to burn calories is diminished.

Increases hydrochloric acid production – increases probability of ulcers.

Decreases growth hormone – a key hormone in growing, healing, and rebuilding body tissues. Helps to burn fat and build muscle.

Decreases salivary secretions – decreased digestion of starches and decreased oral immune factors.

Decreases thyroid hormone – can lead to a decrease in metabolic activity throughout the body.

Increases swallowing rate – a fast swallowing rate is a likely factor in digestive upset.

Decreases gastric emptying time – can lead to diarrhea and larger food particles prematurely entering small intestines, a probably factor in food allergies, sensitivities, and various disease conditions.

Increases gastric emptying time – can lead to constipation. Also a risk factor in diseases of the colon.

Increases food sensitivities and allergies – plenty of anecdotal evidence, most likely due to decreased immunity and leaky gut.

Increases erratic function of LES – lower esophageal sphincter opens inappropriately, causing gastric reflux (also known as heartburn).

Increases insulin resistance – chronic low-level stress may cause target cells to become unresponsive to insulin, a factor in diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, and aging.

Decreases eicosanoids – this important class of master hormones includes prostaglandins, thromboxanes, leukotrienes. Influences energy level and numerous metabolic functions.

Increases risk of osteoporosis – bone density has been shown to decrease in stressed and depressed women. Stress increases urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium, and boron.

Increases oxidative stress – prematurely ages the body. A precursor to numerous diseases.

Decreases muscle mass – means more flab and a slower metabolism.

Decreases sex hormones – can mean lower sex drive, low energy, decreased muscle mass.

Increases inflammation – the basis of many significant ailments, including brain and heart disease.

Decreases mitochondria – these are the energy powerhouses of the cell. When the shear number of these tiny cellular organelles are diminished, we literally produce less energy. Can lead to chronic fatigue.

Decreases kidney function – means toxicity, electrolyte imbalance, water retention, heart disease.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. He is an expert in the field of Nutrition and Erectile Dysfunction. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to