NYU Researchers Identify Stress-Hormone Differences Among Gay Men

Increased stigma and discrimination can affect circadian HPA-axis functioning.

Cortisol is a life sustaining adrenal hormone essential to maintaining the natural balance of the body. It is often referred to as “the stress hormone,” as cortisol influences, regulates, and modulates many of the changes that occur in the body in response to stress.

Diurnal cortisol studies measure the level of cortisol in the body at various times during the day to examine possible adrenal imbalances. The majority of these diurnal cortisol studies have been conducted among white heterosexuals, with very little research examining HPA-axis functioning between different minorities. However, individuals who identify as both sexual and racial minorities may experience increased stigma and discrimination that can affect this HPA-axis functioning.

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Too much food to tempt us in too many places (some quite surprising)

Eat too much over Thanksgiving? Holiday tables can certainly strain with overabundance. Now that the holiday is over, we can go back to living without tempting food directly and unavoidably in our faces. Right?

Well, the answer may depend on where you live.

Certainly, the amount and type of food available at home matters, as well as the calories found away from home—say at school or at work. But it is the space in between home and other destinations that people often think less about. And it turns out there is a lot of tempting food there.

I do research on food sources around where people live, work, and learn. Through my work, I have come to appreciate that food sources are much more numerous, diverse, and unexpected than most people realize—even other researchers in the field.

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