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Bones give you the power to survive stress full moments
Stress full encounters………………
We all experience them, sometimes, multiple times a day. According to biology textbooks, the acute stress response body chemistry, is driven by two chemicals, released from the adrenal glands :
Adrenaline and cortisol.
They the STRESS hormones !
The role of adrenaline
His effects are felt, instantaneously….
Your heart races, your palms sweat, your eyes are as wide as sauces.
Blood sugar levels spike……….
Adrenaline give you options :
- STAY and FIGHT, or
- Run like HELL aka FLIGHT
Both, processes are pretty energy intensive ……………
The role of cortisol
To meet these ENORMOUS energy requirements, cortisol emerges, from the adrenal gland, to give you the resources to GET YOU THROUGH, the crisis and restore, as semblance of order.
Among his actions :
He ties up insulin and jams, up the immune system.
Both actions, maximize the availability of sugar for the brain.
Cortisol is POWERFUL, but not Greece lightening…..
In fact, truth be told, he really doesn’t “fit”, the bill, as a player in the ACUTE stress response. You see, the way that he works, is transcriptional i.e. he directs, which genes are turned on and off.
These gene switches, take hours to IMPLEMENT.
Plus, adrenal glands aren’t NECESSARY – you can still have an acute stress response, without one !
An inconsistency of note
Suspecting there was more to the story, a team of researchers based out of the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, decided to take, another look, at the ACUTE STRESS RESPONSE.
Who else, might be involved in ensuring QUICK GET AWAYS ?
Dem bones ?
After all PROTECTING, is part of their job description.
They protect the organs, allow animals to move and thus escape danger and one of the principle ways, an animal hears DANGER, is through the vibrating of BONES, inside the ear drum.
The team followed their hunch……………….
And in the process, they have re-written the text books.
It turns out, both when mice, and men, are stressed……………
Bones RUN the stress response
Through osteocalcin release.
Osteocalcin is released by osteoblasts i.e. the cells responsible for building bone.
Levels surge, within minutes of a STRESS FULL event and the ostoecalcin, surge, occurs BEFORE, the release of cortisol.
And has NOTHING to do with adrenaline.
In fact, it is unrelated, to the normal osteocalcin signalling……
It’s a brain scream for help
The release is triggered by a pulse of glutamate, arriving in the bones, via the brain’s fear centre, the amydala. Osteoblasts, pick up the signal and do their best to help the troubled brain, by dumping osteocalcin, into the circulation.
So what does it do ?
Osteocalcin gives the sympathetic system, THE ADVANTAGE.
Under normal circumstances, the two arms of the autonomic nervous system jostle each other, to see WHO DOMINATES.
When things are calm…………
The parasympathetic arm, dominates.
Ensuring the body, is able to get on with important business.
Like FEEDING and BREEDING.
In STRESS FULL moments, the sympathetic system, TAKES OVER.
Facilitating FIGHTING and FLIGHTING
Bones help makes this happen and, as an added bonus, they also give muscles, a sugar boost, helping them to take up sugar, via the Gprc6a receptor, so they’re properly fueled, during the crisis.
No bones about it, bone help make BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY !
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