Natural Health Remedies & Dietary Supplements | Natural Health Blog

Date: 01/08/2008    Written by: Jon Barron

Bad Attitude Leads to Depleted Antioxidants


Here's yet another reason to forgive and forget: A recent study out of the University of Minnesota concluded that hostility depletes certain antioxidants linked to heart health. The study followed 3579 ornery people between the ages of 18 and 30, and found that seven years later, they had significantly lower levels of antioxidant carotenoids than they did at the outset. Research director Dr. Tetsuya Ohira and his team point out that angry people tend to smoke, drink, and eat badly, and that these lifestyle factors might account for the results.

The report doesn't indicate whether the subjects maintained their persnickety ways throughout the years of the study, nor if the degree of antioxidant depletion corresponded to the level of hostility. In other words, will you deplete the same amounts of antioxidants if you throw just one temper tantrum a month, versus if you stay steamed-up for months at a time? Does your hostility need to manifest in a colorful display of knife throwing, or does mere smoldering resentment do the trick? Although the report does not address the issue, I would guess that long-term, low-level anger is more devastating to your antioxidant levels than if you throw lively tantrums since a tantrum, at least, provides some form of release. The body was designed to handle occasional bursts of stress -- but not 24/7 stress.

In fact, hostility creates a particularly venomous variety of stress -- if you've ever felt angry or resentful, you know how your heart pounds and your head reels. And stress does ugly things to the body, including increasing free radical production by well over 100 percent. When free radicals flood your system, they burn up the available antioxidants; and when the balance shifts in favor of free radicals, you can end up with altered DNA, cellular damage, and a host of major diseases.

And so, if you're annoyed at the boss who treats you like a pound-dog, or resentful of the neighbor who plastered her lawn with signs endorsing a candidate you hate, you'd better start taking high-quality antioxidant supplements. Because while you're busy creating a battle plan to get back at your boss, you can bet that your very own free radicals are staging a battle against you that can ruin your health. It might not seem fair, but like it or not, hostility works against your health in real, measurable, DNA-altering ways. In fact, one study shows that hostile people are nine times more likely to have free radical induced coronary calcification than their mellow peers. Think about that the next time your blood starts to boil.


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    Submitted by Peter A. Hunter on
    January 21, 2008 - 4:10pm

    Dear Jon,
    When our 19-year-old was just a toddler, he would from
    time to time, for no obvious reason or provocation, appear
    to generate deliberately a feeling of rage, with a hostile
    expression, intense breathing and--as he learned to speak
    --articulating his outrage by saying, ""Don't even...!"" No
    additional information, just an attitude that looked as if
    he might be trying to train himself in outrage as a tool in
    dealing with his world.
    Though that behavior was outgrown, I suspect that what
    replaced it may very well be a habitual hostility, carefully
    kept out of sight when clearly unprofitable, but still the
    source of trouble to all aspects of his health. Probably the
    systemic difficulty which seems the greatest trial to him is a
    slowly-healing mantle of acne across his shoulders and
    down his back. Both a dermatologist and an experienced
    orthopedist who is trained in homeopathy are treating him,
    but I feel he could cooperate better in his therapy.
    I was struck by your blog and its potential for waking our
    son to this possible clue about a serious obstacle in his
    development which has somehow become attached to him
    like an energy-draining parasite. He's a smart kid, and
    since a word unto the wise is sufficient, I believe reading
    the blog really may offer him a fresh and helpful perspect-
    ive on what he can do to make his life better. I very much
    hope that's what he wants to do with his life.
    Thank you for this very clear warning about a dangerous
    psychological habit and the unsuspected damage it can
    impose on the body.
    With sincere gratitude,
    Peter Hunter

    Submitted by ZekeO on
    January 30, 2008 - 10:33pm

    This is so true,
    there was a study a number of years ago between the relation between arthritis and unforgiveness.
    Such things are so hard to prove that any reliable information on the subject is dependent upon the honesty of the people involved.

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