Stress is a common occurrence in today’s faced-paced society. In fact, to be stressed is often considered to be part of “the new normal.” Stress is an expected human response to challenging or dangerous situations (1). A small amount of stress can lead to increased alertness, energy and productivity. For example, an athlete who is pressured to win a race gets a rush of adrenaline while playing; allowing him/her to perform to a higher standard.
However, repeated or prolonged exposure to a stressor leading to stress can have detrimental physical and mental effects on the body. This long term or constant exposure to stress may prevent the person’s body or mind from functioning normally (2).
How stress can affect a person or cause illness is not straightforward. Stress can be more detrimental to one person than it is to another, depending on the individual’s ability to adapt to the stressor (3).
Sources of stress in our daily lives
Increasing demands and pressures from both home and the workplace are common causes of stress. Personal finances, family, and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle are among the top reasons Australian adults say they are stressed (4).
Stress relief can be practiced through deep breathing techniques, meditation, or other relaxation techniques. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can also aid in a healthy stress-relieving routine.
Among the nutrients that can support our bodies as they deal with daily stressors is calcium. Yes, calcium and stress do in fact share a link. Calcium can be consumed through calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese, and yoghurt. It can also be found in less commonly known sources such as firm tofu, fish, vegetables, and nuts (6). In circumstances where you are not able to get enough calcium from food alone, it can be helpful to consider supplementation alongside a healthy diet.
The connection between calcium and stress
Calcium plays a vital role in muscle contraction, especially the regulation of heart muscle contractions (5). Keeping your heart healthy is essential, especially as stress may increase the chance of heart conditions (7).
Calcium also helps in neutralising the stress hormone cortisol, in the same way an antacid can help neutralise stomach acid (8). Calcium helps neutralise the pH balance of cortisol, bringing our bodies back to a more neutral state. However, when the body does not get enough calcium from food, it takes calcium from the deposits in our teeth and bones to neutralise cortisol. This may lead to weaker bones down the line.
Calcium also plays a role in supporting one’s immune system response (9). This is important because persistent stress may contribute to higher-than-average levels of cortisol, which may hinder our anti-inflammatory response, resulting in more infections. Stress also reduces the body's lymphocytes, or immunity cells (10).
You can beat stress with simple, straightforward lifestyle changes and a healthy diet. You may even opt for calcium supplements to support your goal of overcoming stress.
Try out a monthly vitamin subscription with Vitable today and put together your own pack of personalised supplements. We offer premium vitamin packs in Australia, which even comes with a vitamin delivery service that sends your personal packs right to your doorstep.
Find out more about other supplements that can help you with energy:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/stress. Accessed on October 23, 2021.
- National Institute of Mental Health. 5 Things You Should Know About Stress. National Institute of Health. Published on https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress. Accessed on October 23, 2021.
- Mohd. Razali Salleh. Life Event, Stress and Illness. Malays J Med Sci. Pulished October 15, 2008 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/. Accessed on October 23, 2021
- Australian Psychological Society. Stress and Wellbeing in Australia Survey. Australian Psychological Society. Published 2014 on http://www.psychology.org.au/. Accessed on October 23, 2021.
- Braun, L., and Cohen,Marc. Herbs & Natural Supplements An Evidence-based guide Volume 2. 4th ed. Published 2015. Accessed on October 23, 2021.
- HealthDirect. Calcium. HealthDirect. Last reviewed December 2019 https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/calcium. Accessed on October 25, 2021.
- University of Rochester Medical Center. Stress Can Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease. University of Rochester Medical Center. Published n.d. on https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=2171. Accessed on October 25, 2021.
- Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan. Stress and Osteoporosis. https://www.oamichigan.com/stress-and-osteoporosis/. Accessed October 25, 2021.
- S. Grinstein. Calcium homeostasis and the activation of calcium channels in cells of the immune system. Published on Jan 1989 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1807782/. Accessed on October 25 2021.
- University of Maryland Medical System. How Does Stress Affect the Immune System? University of Maryland Medical System. Published n.d. On https://health.umms.org/2020/11/10/stress-immune-system/. Accessed on October 25 2021.