Chronic Illness Link Found with Depression that Remains Untreated

Learn how I beat Depression

It is emerging as a result of new research, that one’s mental health is not the only thing affected by depression. In the University of California a new study has been conducted, and a report commissioned which says;

There is a link between depression and chronic illness due to a premature aging of immune cells

Predisposed to Illness

Lead author of the study Owen Wolkowitz M.D who is also a professor of psychiatry at UCSF said, “As if feeling depressed is not bad enough, we are finding that long-term depression may be associated with damage to cells in the body, and this may predispose patients to certain physical diseases.”

It has been determined that’s this premature aging of immune cells predisposes individuals to potential chronic illnesses. He also states that there is a lot more to depression than feeling blue.

Telomeres Our “Life Clock”

Research is showing that if a person is suffering from a major depressive disorder it can result in a shortening of the telomeres, which are sections of DNA attached to the end of chromosomes. This is particularly relevant in the immune cells having the resultant effect of premature aging. Consequently those individuals who are depressed may be at higher risk of suffering from diabetes, dementia, or even stroke. The study was first published in the journal PLoS one.

Premature Death

The reason the telomeres are so important is that they seal off, protecting those chromosomes at the end of the strand. In a way and they are a biological clock which controls the life of the cell. If these are shortened, then naturally a prediction is possible that there will be an early onset of one or many illnesses, leading to consequent premature mortality.

In effect telomeres are at catalogue of our inherent human longevity. The imbalance causes free radicals and antioxidant imbalance. Cumulative exposure of the individual towards biochemical stresses increases the chance of physical disease occurring. Co-author Elissa Epel, Ph.D., an associate professor in the UCSF, notes that, “While this finding itself might seem depressing, there is yet good news: Many lifestyle factors like exercise and aspects of diet have been linked to longer telomeres.”

The study itself

For the study itself, 18 individuals who had been diagnosed with a major depressive disorder were observed. The length of the telomeres in their bodies, were measured against those possessed by 17 healthy persons. In effect, whilst overall there was little difference between the lengths in the two groups, it was found that in nine of the unhealthy subjects there was a major difference in telomere length. This represented about seven years of accelerated aging of the cell.

Negative Environment

The results as noted by the authors conclude that the shortening of our telomeres when we are suffering from severe depression, creates a negative environment in the body where cell death is promoted through heightened exposure to biochemical stressors, and subsequent increased likelihood of falling foul to a physical illness.

Learn how I beat Depression

1 Comment

  1. Michael Winicki
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    One avenue to consider when it comes to depression is a potential candida yeast overgrowth… yes, a fungal problem.

    Candida yeast is a natural fungus that resides in our intestinal tract. Experts believe that too much of it and we start seeing a variety of physical issues like oral thrush, vaginal yeast infections and nail fungus.

    However, many do believe this fungus can contribute to a host of emotional issues also like depression.

    Just something to consider.

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