Tuesday, December 17, 2013

High Levels of Maternal Care Yield Life-Long Benefits Against Stress Vulnerability

Can the way a mother cares for her offspring influence vulnerability to stress of those offspring during their adult years? If the results of recent research into the effects a mother rat has on her progeny when she exhibits high levels of maternal care has application to humans, the answer is yes.

In a study led by Tallie Baram, MD, PhD, University of California at Irvine, intense maternal care of rat pups resulted in brain chemistry and gene expression changes yielding lowered vulnerability to stress events by those pups. Those beneficial changes continued throughout the adult life of the experimental cohort of rat pups compared to the control group cohort in the study.

Study Findings:

Dr. Baram, quoted in the December 12, 2013 edition of, "Science Daily", comments:

"The findings show a direct casual effect of sensory input from the mother on the function of stress handling throughout life, and pinpoint the molecular changes involved. They also show plasticity of the wiring on the infant brain."

Applications to Us:

In humans, there is abundant research showing that children raised in a loving and supportive two-parent family are on average happier, healthier, and emotionally better adjusted compared to children raised in single parent families.

One possible contributor to this disparity could be that time and energy are often in short supply in single parent families. Single parents often experience higher levels of stress due to financial and other pressures compared to two-parent families.

What's the lesson? When we take charge of our own stress and give children as much love and attention as we can, we're giving a gift that truly keeps on giving throughout our children's lives.

Click HERE to read the "Science Daily" report on Dr. Baram's research.


Stephen Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC
www.EFT-MD.com | www.EasyStressCures.com
804-677-6772

Important Note: This and all other postings to this blog are for informational purposes only. This and all other posts are not intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise recommend any treatment for any medical or psychological condition. Anyone using any of the information contained in this or any other posting on this website does so at his or her own risk. You are urged to seek competent medical consultations with appropriate licensed medical professionals for any and all medical or physical conditions.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Meditation and Inflammatory Genes Expression

Earlier this year an international team of researchers from the United States, France and Spain conducted research to determine what effects mindfulness meditation has on inflammation, circadian, and chromatin modulatory genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).

What does all that mean? Simply stated, the purpose of this research was to identify the effects mindfulness meditation has on specific families of genes.

Study Approach:

Researchers divided study participants into two groups: Nineteen experienced meditators were compared to a control group of 21 people. The experienced meditators spent eight-hours in meditative behaviors while the control group spent the same amount of time in leisure non-meditative activity in the same environment.

Researchers found decreased expression of a family of pro-inflammatory genes in meditators compared to control group members.

Bottom Line for Health:

While this is obviously a small study, these findings are in line with a growing body of research showing meditative practices can have demonstrated beneficial effects on gene expression. Likewise, in other studies stress has been shown to negatively influence physical and emotional health.

While meditators in this study were experienced mindfulness practitioners, there is an abundance of research to support the health benefits of other regularly applied meditative practices as well.

Study summary: Click HERE

Stephen Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC
www.EFT-MD.comwww.EasyStressCures.com
804-677-6772

Important Note: This and all other postings to this blog are for informational purposes only. This and all other posts are not intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise recommend any treatment for any medical or psychological condition. Anyone using any of the information contained in this or any other posting on this website does so at his or her own risk. You are urged to seek competent medical consultations with appropriate licensed medical professionals for any and all medical or physical conditions.