You suspected it and science is backing it up: Stress really can exacerbate your weight problems. A new study has linked metabolic and anxiety-related disorders, showing that both share biological mechanisms which may explain why one often leads to the other.

Some anxiety-induced microRNA are not only capable of suppressing inflammation, but can also increase metabolic syndrome-related processes. According to the researchers, the expression level of these anxiety-induced microRNA is different in diverse tissues and cells, depending on heredity and exposure to stressful situations, Medical Xpress reported. The researchers hope the newly revealed link may offer new opportunities for the diagnosis and treatment of both metabolic and anxiety-related conditions.

"The discovery has a diagnostic value and practical implications, because the activity of microRNAs can be manipulated by DNA-based drugs," explained lead researcher, Hermona Soreq, Medical Xpress reported. "It also offers an opportunity to reclassify 'healthy' and 'unhealthy' anxiety and metabolic-prone states, and inform putative strategies to treat these disorders."

The research was conducted by a team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is now published online in the journal Trends in Molecular Medicine. Past research has already shown the connection between the body and mind, for example, such as certain life events can actually change your genes. The new study has now outlined how the mind and emotions can affect obesity.

According to Medline Plus, metabolic diseases result from abnormal chemical reactions in your body, and include conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, are conditions characterized by a chronic feeling of fear or worry. Some examples of anxiety disorders include obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Source:Meydan C, Shenhar-Tsarfaty S, Soreq H. MicroRNA Regulators of Anxiety and Metabolic Disorders. Trends in Molecular Medicine . 2016

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