A new study conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine has revealed that stress, when experienced in short bursts, is beneficial for the body's immune system.
Researchers conducted the study in mice by briefly confining them in ventilated, Plexiglass enclosures and took blood samples over the next couple of hours to detect the level of stress hormones and also to check the presence of disease-fighting agents of the immune system.
The researchers found that the stressful situation released three key stress hormones, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and the rat version of cortisol, which then brought out immune cells from the spleen and bone marrow to the skin. The study has been published in the Journal of Psychoneuroendocrinology.
"The immune system on its own doesn't know that a lion may be about to chase the person or that the person is undergoing surgery. But the brain does. We believe the brain, through the release of stress hormones, is preparing the immune system to deal with those challenges", lead researcher Firdaus Dhabhar said.