It could be interfering with the bacteria that live inside you.
Because stress can wreak havoc on the trillions of bacteria that work inside our digestive system, according to a study from Ohio State University.
But exactly how stress makes changes in these bacteria still isn’t quite clear, researchers say.
“Since graduate school, I’ve been interested in how stress affects the bacteria naturally in our bodies,’ explained Michael Bailey PhD, an assistant professor of dentistry and member of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University.
“Even though we’ve known that stress changes these bacteria, we didn’t really understand what that meant or if there was any sort of biological function associated with effects on these bacteria.”
The new study appears in the current issue of the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.
There are probably 100 trillion bacteria in the average human, 90 percent of which live mainly in the intestine. They easily outnumber human cells 10-to-one in each person.
Referring to their experiments in the lab, Baily adds, “We know now that if we knock the population of bacteria down with antibiotics, we don’t have the same innate immune response,” “That showed that the bacteria are involved in the ability of stress to prime the innate immune system.”