Some exciting news for millions of Americans who suffer from stress due to the high pressure lifestyle we’ve learned to be accustomed to.
Researchers might be one step closer to developing a “stress vaccine” that could prevent PTSD syndromes and reduce stressful reactions.
The “vaccine” was developed from a bacteriumnaturally found in soil. This bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae (M. vaccae) has been shown to reduce inflammation associated with the body’s stress response.
The vaccine works off the idea of “old friends,”a scientific theorythat humans developed alongside organisms that used to help prevent things like allergies or autoimmune disorders.
“The idea is that as humans have moved away from farms and an agricultural or hunter-gatherer existence into cities, we have lost contact with organisms that served to regulate our immune system and suppress inappropriate inflammation,” neuroendocrinologist Christopher Lowry, one of the researchers of the study,told CU Boulder Today. “That has put us at higher risk for inflammatory disease and stress-related psychiatric disorders.”
So far, the “vaccine” has only been tested on mice. The mice showed that when immune cells receive the lipid (a fatty acid) from this bacteria, they turn off the inflammation response. This lipid could become the center of drug development that could prevent stress reactions.