Professor Angela Clow, Emeritus Professor and member of the Centre for Resilience, was featured in an article published by Yahoo! News UK about how stress can “turn off the immune system”, leading to a risk of infection.
Professor Clow warned that long-term stress could increase the risk of infections as the continuous release of the stress hormone Cortisol is thought to “turn off” the body’s ability to fight bacteria and viruses.
Professor Clow said: “Cortisol has a powerful effect on the immune system. It inhibits ‘night-time immunity’, which is when immune cells gobble up bacteria and even ward off cancer progression.
“Cortisol is not immovable. It’s remarkably malleable. Of all the interventions, physical activity is the most potent. Cortisol generates an energy drive and exercise uses it up.”