Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Does fatty food impact marital stress?

Date:
April 24, 2012
Source:
Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science
Summary:
A diet high in saturated fat might make arguments with your spouse more stressful. That's what researchers are theorizing in their recently launched study of married couples. The study will evaluate the change in couples' blood cholesterol and stress hormone levels following discussions of stressful topics such as finances, relatives, or annoying habits.

Today's busy families often rely on fast food and take-out to keep everyone fed and on schedule. Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center want to know whether those types of food, which are often high in saturated fat, impact the body's reaction to stress.

The recently launched study is for married couples and conducted by the husband and wife team of Ron Glaser, director of The Ohio State University College of Medicine's Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research; and Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, a professor at the same institute. Both have spent more than three decades studying stress and its physical effects.

"In the marital studies we conduct, we're also interested in how close personal relationships can either be protective or make things more difficult," says Kiecolt-Glaser, who is also principal investigator of the study.

The research is designed to help gain an understanding of the physiological differences in the body's responses to a fast-food type meal compared to a healthier meal, and how the discussion of a stressful topic can impact health.

As part of the study, married couples are asked to attend two day-long research sessions together at Ohio State's Clinical Research Center. During each visit, blood samples are taken and the couples eat meals that appear identical. At one visit, the food is high in saturated fat. However, the other meal is low in saturated fat. The couples are asked to discuss a stressful subject in their marriage, such as finances, in-laws, annoying habits, etc. More blood is taken afterward to determine if the stressful discussions influence how the body processes the fat in the food by looking for changes in triglycerides.

"What you're eating may actually interact with your behavior, to make things worse in terms of your physiological response," says Kiecolt-Glaser. "In previous studies, when discussions got a little more heated we saw bigger changes in stress hormones and larger changes in immune response. In this study, we theorize that after the high saturated fat meal, a negative discussion might increase physiological responses more steeply."

Kiecolt-Glaser, Glaser and their team are looking for changes in pro-inflammatory cytokines in the couples' blood samples. These proteins are part of the immune response and start the healing process after an infection, injury or other tissue damage that leads to inflammation. Previous research by Kiecolt-Glaser and Glaser has shown when stress causes cytokines, particularly interleukin-6 (IL-6), to remain elevated in the blood stream too long, they contribute to long-term inflammation which is linked to a number of age-related diseases including diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer. Glaser says stress isn't the only factor that can keep levels of cytokines elevated; fat can too.

"Fat cells around the abdomen, called adipocytes, also make cytokines. So the more fat you have around your waist, the higher levels of these cytokines you have, and the more health risks you have," says Glaser who is also a professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics. "It's really about the processes of how stress affects the body. When we start learning about the processes, then we can try to find ways to modify them."

The study is expected to wrap up in 2014 and is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Ohio State Center for Clinical and Translational Science, a collaboration of scientists and clinicians from seven OSU Health Science Colleges, Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children's Hospital.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science. "Does fatty food impact marital stress?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424095502.htm>.
Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science. (2012, April 24). Does fatty food impact marital stress?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424095502.htm
Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science. "Does fatty food impact marital stress?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424095502.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins