Akesio's Newsletter #2

Let's fix stress together!

Dear all,

🤗 Welcome to Akesio’s Newsletter #2! You’ll learn about how to improve your potential for ‘feeling good’ and how to tackle stress more efficiently.

❗️Please keep in mind that this is not a medical advice by any means; if you have any health concerns, you should talk to your healthcare professional.

☂️ Given the coronavirus (Covid-19) spread and its health risks, stay calm and don’t stress, but protect yourself and the others as follows:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • always wash your hands when you get home or to work

  • use hand sanitising gel if soap and water are not available

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards

  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

For more info, check with the World Health Organisation, NHS for UK residents, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and your country of residence’s public health organisations.

💞Now let’s learn a few things about how we can boost our feel good moments! And if you like what you read, please share - together, we’re stronger!

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Exercise intensity influences brain functioning in different ways

We already know that variety is good when it comes to exercise. But this recentstudy has more interesting details about how exercise intensity affects our brain functioning, using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging that gives insights on brain connectivity and plasticity:

  • low-intensity exercise- stimulates brain networks involved in cognition control and attention

  • high-intensity exercise activates networks mainly involved in emotion processing and decreases functional connectivity of networks involved in fatigue/motor function.

After both exercises intensities, behavioural data showed a significant increase in positive mood.

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Psychological stress goes deep - literally- It can affect our mitochondria

Our mitochondria is a fascinating organelle (component of cell with a specific job) that you might have heard of. They are the powerhouse of your cells, producing energy (adenosine triphosphate or ATP) from the food you eat. But there’s more.

Mitochondria also have other important functions in the cell, like communication/signaling―they “sense, integrate, and signal information about their environment”, having a role in degradation and recycling of cellular components, inflammation, hormone synthesis (steroids, hormones), etc.

Intriguingly, several studies have shown in the past years that chronic psychological stress leads to mitochondrial changes at the structural and functional levels ― a concept that scientists call mitochondrial allostatic load (MAL). In turn, these changes may induce widespread health effects like increased inflammation leading to disease risk or cellular DNA damage leading to accelerated aging.

Research points to mitochondria as “transducers” of psychological stress effects on physical health, “a potential intersection point between psychosocial experiences and biological stress responses”.

Mitochondrial vulnerability to stress may be influenced by a wide range of factors, including behaviour, genes, and diet.

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Thanks for reading and remember: Let’s fix stress together! Contact us if you want to share your experience about mental wellbeing or if there is any topic of particular interest for you that you would like to read about.

And don’t forget, wash your hands, stay updated about the spread of Covid-19, and keep calm!

Love your health,

Lavinia ️

Doctor & Founder | Akesio

lavinia@akesio.com

To learn more:

Misiewicz S. et al. Multi-omics analysis identifies mitochondrial pathways associated with anxiety-related behaviour. PLoS Genet. 15(9) 2019 Sep

McGregor KM et al. Effects of a 12-week aerobic spin intervention on resting state networks in previously sedentary older adults. Front Psychol. 9:2376, 2018

Picard M., McEwen B.S. Psychological Stress and Mitochondria: A Systematic Review. Psychosom Med 80 (2), 141-153, Feb/Mar 2018

Picard M., McEwen B.S. et al. An energetic view of stress: Focus on mitochondria. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 49, 72-85, 2018.

Schmit A. et al. Modulation of distinct intrinsic resting state brain networks by acute exercise bouts of differing intensity. Brain Plasticity, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 39-55, 2019