The C-Factor Zone


Everyone experiences stress regardless of the cause. Death of a loved one is the biggest stressor. Other common stressors include breaking-up with a significant other, or dealing with a new life experience. So what happens to the body during these times? I’ll give basic points and further explain in the future:

Key terms:
Stressor – something that causes stress.
Stress – According to Dr. Hans Selye, " the nonspecific response of the body to any demand, whether it is caused by, or results in, pleasant or unpleasant conditions."
Eustress – positive stress e.g. exercise.
Distress – hardship or difficult experience.
Hormones released during stress: Cortisol, Aldosterone, Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADH) – minimizes water/fluid loss in the body, Thyroxine, Triiodothyronine. **I will explain these at a later time**
(M.Brown, A., 2008)

Brief history and physiology

Dr. Hans Selye is synonymous to the study of stress. There are numerous definitions for stress, but Dr. Selye defined stress as “the nonspecific response of the body to any demand, whether it is caused by, or results in, pleasant or unpleasant conditions.”
Dr. Selye named three stages of the General Adaptation Syndrome (what occurs when a person deals with stress).
1-Alarm (You know this as the “fight or flight” response. It is also acute, and this is when you acknowledge a threat or challenge to environmental balance.)
2-Resistance (Your body is fighting the threat or challenge, but it may get tired.)
3-Exhaustion (Your body knows it is fighting the threat/challenge too long. Perhaps of minimum of 2-3 weeks of a threat places your body in this stage. Your immune system goes down.)

Through these stages, the body changes its levels of hormone distribution (International Center For Nutritional Research, 2008).

Next time I’ll further explain these principles, the link between stress and cancer, and potential remedies to stress including your diet.

*A. M.Brown, Ph.D. (2008). Perspectives in Exercise Nutrition - Class Notes. Retrieved from A. M.Brown, Ph.D, Perpectives in Exercise Nutrition, California State University East Bay.
*International Center for Nutritional Research, Incorporated (1996-2008). “The Nature of Stress by Hans Selye.”

Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.
Heart Attacks/Strokes: Homocysteine
We all hear Cholesterol leads to heart attacks and strokes. BUT, the media exploded the topic WAY too much. Perhaps too much to block out other factors for a heart attack/stroke.

Homocysteine is one of the major causes of a heart attack/stroke, yet not everyone has heard about it. It’s scary that not every medical doctor knows about this, but acknowledging it is very valuable.
This is an extremely important topic, so keep looking over this page and take notes. It may take a while to sink in, but grab the main points. This page is only a piece of the big picture, and there's more to come in the future.

I’m sure everyone knows a victim to a heart attack/stroke. I hold this topic close as I lost my father to a stroke. Awareness is the key……………………….

Key Terms
Amino Acids – building blocks of proteins.
Methionine – an amino acid.
Homocysteine (pronounced: “Homo-sis-teen”) – You can consider this a by-product of the amino acid Methionine.

Main Points
-Normal Homocysteine levels are 7 micromole/L. If the number doubles…….instant heart attack.
-Mood is related to the process of Homocysteine. Notice how I mention about the supplement S.A.M.E. in the diagram below. When using B-vitamins, your mood should elevate while keeping Homocysteine levels normal.
-Homocysteine damages your arteries and creates artery clots.

Homocysteine Pathway Diagram (for visual learners like myself): **note that other things happen in this process, but I don’t want to throw anyone off from the basics**
Starting with the Amino Acid: METHIONINE ------>
            -------> S-ADENOSYL METHIONINE (S.A.M.E.: as in the mood-enhancing supplement) ------>
                  ------>S-ADENOSYL HOMOCYSTEINE (pronounced “Homo-sis-teen”) ------>
                         ------>HOMOCYSTEINE ****Vitamins B6 and B12 lower Homocysteine levels and change Homocysteine back to Methionine.****

Brief History Points
-First discovered in the 1930’s by Dr. Oswald Avery.
-Dr. Kilmer McCully was a pathology researcher who did further studies. Further studies were in the 1960’s.
-Dr. McCully studied two boys that died of a heart attack (seriously). He found a lack of B-vitamin levels in them, and he also found the hearts of the boys looked like a heart of an elderly person.
-Dr. McCully presented this to other researchers; however, one of his colleagues shot the idea down because they wanted to cash in on Cholesterol-lowering drugs a.k.a. Statins. McCully was threatened.

*A. M.Brown, Ph.D. (2008). Clinical Exercise Physiology - Class Notes. Retrieved from A. M.Brown, Ph.D, Clinical Exercise Physiology, California State University East Bay.