BioCeuticals Article

Stress Impacts Men's physical and Mental Health

Stress Impacts Men's physical and Mental Health
Date: 2013-10-03
Author: - Editor
Access: Public

Men's Health

Stress Impacts Men’s Physical and Mental Health

The Stress and Wellbeing Survey 2012, conducted by the Australian Psychological Society, found that young adults experienced significantly higher levels of stress and lower levels of wellbeing compared to older adults. 

One in five participants felt that their current stress had a strong to very strong impact on both their physical and mental health.1 


The human body is effectively designed to deal with stress through a biochemical cascade, involving the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. When stress is repeated or prolonged, and outweighs a person’s ability to cope, detrimental effects on the body can occur including symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, impaired gastrointestinal function, weakened immune system and fatigue.2 

Chronic stress is also associated with a greater risk of depression, cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, autoimmune diseases, upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and impaired wound healing.3,4

Cognitive Performance

Cognitive function can be influenced by internal and external factors. The area of the brain that governs cognitive processes (the prefrontal cortex) is impaired by stress, which can affect memory5 and potentially impair cognitive performance.

Micronutrient status may also affect cognitive function and may be a factor in age-related cognitive impairment.6,7

Herbal and nutritional support for cognition and stress

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)

The traditional uses of rhodiola include supporting the nervous system, improving depressive mood, enhancing physical performance, improving cognitive function and supporting healthy sleep.8,9 

Categorised as an adaptogen, studies have shown that rhodiola exhibits adaptogenic activity, increasing the body’s ability to respond and cope with mental, emotional and physical stressors. The antifatigue effects of rhodiola improve cognition and reduce burnout in patients with fatigue syndrome.10 Rhodiola also improves mood and reduces anxiety through neuroendocrine modulation including inhibition of cortisol and monoamine oxidase.11

Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)

Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends schisandra for restoring Qi (life force/energy) and to tone the kidneys, liver and lungs.12 

Schisandra is regarded as an adaptogen, increasing the body’s natural resistance to physical, emotional and mental stressors. Schisandra may improve regulation of physiological processes, with animal studies indicating a potent antioxidant and hepatoprotective effect.13,14

B Vitamins

The B group vitamins play an integral role in numerous metabolic processes in the body including production of cellular energy, detoxification, homocysteine metabolism, hormone production and neurotransmitter synthesis.12 In regards to stress and cognition, B vitamins may reduce homocysteine levels, high levels of which may affect cognitive function.15 Vitamin B5 is also essential for adrenal cortex function and steroid hormone synthesis.12


Magnesium is an important mineral for the relaxation of the body’s muscles and may be used for symptoms of stress, anxiety and increased tension.12 Stress and anxiety have been shown to increase urinary excretion of magnesium and result in magnesium depletion, thus increasing the magnesium requirements of the body.16,17 



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