A new study has revealed that women are significantly more sensitive to a key stress hormone than men
Do you find yourself taking a deep breath and counting to ten several times a day, while the men in your life seem to be permanently carefree? Well, biological factors may be to blame.
A new study has revealed that women are more sensitive to the key stress hormone, corticotroinreleasing factor (CRF), which helps control the body’s reaction to stress.
Research found that, whilst women are extremely affected by even small amounts of CRF, men are relatively immune to even large amounts of the hormone.
Scientists injected rats with CRF and found that the hormone bound more tightly to brain cell proteins in female rats, making them more sensitive to its effects.
The male rats, however, were able to reduce the levels of protein, stopping the hormone from binding and therefore reducing its effects on the brain.
‘Researchers already know that CRF regulation is disrupted in stress-related psychiatric disorders, so this research may be relevant to the underlying human biology,’ says Dr Rita Valentino, of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
‘This may help to explain why women are twice as vulnerable as men to stress-related disorders.’
The research may help in producing more effective treatment for stress-related illnesses in women.