Non-Profit Trusted Source of Non-Commercial Health Information
The Original Voice of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, Preventative, and Regenerative Medicine
logo logo
Depression

A Touch of the Blues May Promote Inflammation

20 years, 8 months ago

9224  0
Posted on Nov 10, 2003, 11 p.m. By Bill Freeman

New research suggests that a mild touch of the blues can adversely affect the immune system and promote inflammation. Dr Ronald Glaser of Ohio State University and colleagues studied 119 seniors with an average age of 71 years. All participants answered questions about symptoms of depression and gave blood samples before and after being given a flu shot.

New research suggests that a mild touch of the blues can adversely affect the immune system and promote inflammation. Dr Ronald Glaser of Ohio State University and colleagues studied 119 seniors with an average age of 71 years. All participants answered questions about symptoms of depression and gave blood samples before and after being given a flu shot. The blood samples were analyzed to determine IL-6 (interleukin 6) levels. Results showed that participants with more symptoms of depression - but who were not necessarily clinically depressed - had higher IL-6 levels both before and after their flu shot. Furthermore, IL-6 levels in people with more symptoms of depression increased significantly in the weeks following their flu shot, however IL-6 levels did not notably increase in those with few symptoms. IL-6 promotes inflammation and has been linked to a number of age-related diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Therefore, having elevated levels of the protein in the blood is not a desirable situation. Glasner says that there are several things people can do to try and lower their IL-6 levels, these include: getting plenty of sleep, taking regular exercise, losing weight, and stopping smoking. Pharmaceutical intervention is also available in the form of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory cox-2 inhibitors.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003;60:1009-1014.

WorldHealth Videos