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Travis Anderson, Laurie Wideman, Flavio A. Cadegiani, and Claudio E. Kater

Cortisol is the predominant circulating glucocorticoid in humans. In response to stressful stimuli, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal neuroendocrine axis (HPA axis) will be stimulated and, subsequently, the circulating concentration of this steroid hormone will increase. As a pleiotropic hormone

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Mitch D. VanBruggen, Anthony C. Hackney, Robert G. McMurray, and Kristin S. Ondrak


The effect of exercise intensity on the tracking of serum and salivary cortisol responses was examined in 12 endurance-trained males (maximal oxygen uptake [VO2max] = 58.2 ± 6.4 mL/kg/min).


Subjects rested for 30 min (control) and exercised on a cycle ergometer for 30 min at 40% (low), 60% (moderate), and 80% (high intensity) of VO2max on separate days. Serum and saliva samples were collected pretrial, immediately posttrial, and 30 min into the recovery period from each trial.


Cortisol responses increased significantly for both serum (40.4%; P = .001) and saliva (170.6%; P = .007) only in response to high-intensity exercise. Peak saliva cortisol occurred at 30 min of recovery, whereas peak serum was at the immediate posttrial sampling time point. The association between serum and saliva cortisol across all trials was examined using concordance correlation (R c) analysis, which accounts for repeated measures. The overall correlation between serum and saliva cortisol levels in all matched samples was significant (R c = 0.728; P = .001). The scatter plot revealed that salivary cortisol responses tracked closely to those of serum at lower concentrations, but not as well at higher concentrations.


Findings suggest salivary measurements of cortisol closely mirror those in the serum and that peak salivary concentrations do not occur until at least 30 min into the recovery from intense exercise.

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Edmund O. Acevedo and Aaron L. Slusher

The relationship between stress and disease, in particular cardiovascular disease, has long been recognized, whereas the study of the physiological mechanisms that explain this link has only more recently received attention. The acute response to stress is generally thought to be a critically important adaptation designed to activate the system in preparation to cope with the stressor. However, prolonged stimulation of the system (acute and chronic) can lead to deleterious adaptations including the release of inflammatory cytokines (small proteins important in cell signaling) that play a critical role in the development of atherosclerosis. Scientists have therefore used a breadth of protocols and methods to identify the complexity of our fight-or-flight response and demonstrate the synergy between perception, the stress response, physical activity, and health. In addition, the critical assessment of cellular health, the gut microbiome, and genetic polymorphisms have further advanced our understanding of additional therapeutic targets against CVD.

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Travis Anderson, Amy R. Lane, and Anthony C. Hackney

indicator of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis) activity 6 and is termed the cortisol awakening response (CAR). Specifically, CAR typically represents a 50% to 75% increase in cortisol concentrations, 7 peaking at approximately 30 to 45 minutes after waking. 8 CAR is a manifestation of HPA

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Otávio Amaral de Andrade Leão, Thaynã Ramos Flores, Gregore Iven Mielke, Inácio Crochemore-Silva, Andréa Dâmaso Bertoldi, Marlos Rodrigues Domingues, Joseph Murray, Rafaela Costa Martins, Luciana Tovo-Rodrigues, Isabel O. de Oliveira, and Pedro Curi Hallal

released by the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. 3 In early childhood, stress can be triggered by diverse traumatic experiences and can also lead to poor development and difficulties in interaction with other children as well as being associated with obesity. 3 – 5 Stress response can be acute

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Matthew Springham, Robert U. Newton, Anthony J. Strudwick, and Mark Waldron

the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, under ANS control. Psychological or physiological stress stimulates corticotropin-releasing hormone secretion from the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. This, in turn, stimulates the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone from the anterior

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Ella McLoughlin, Rachel Arnold, Paul Freeman, James E. Turner, Gareth A. Roberts, David Fletcher, George M. Slavich, and Lee J. Moore

to acute stressors by activating the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, which releases cortisol from the adrenal cortex ( Chrousos, 2009 ). An optimal response occurs when these physiological systems are activated and then deactivated quickly, returning the body to a relaxed state ( Turner et

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Len De Nys, Esther F. Ofosu, Gemma C. Ryde, Jenni Connelly, and Anna C. Whittaker

, which is essentially defined as maintaining wellness throughout older age ( Aronson, 2020 ). In aging, hormonal balances and endocrine pathways become increasingly challenged ( van den Beld et al., 2018 ). There is evidence for age-related alterations to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis

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Bruno Marrier, Alexandre Durguerian, Julien Robineau, Mounir Chennaoui, Fabien Sauvet, Aurélie Servonnet, Julien Piscione, Bertrand Mathieu, Alexis Peeters, Mathieu Lacome, Jean-Benoit Morin, and Yann Le Meur

testosterone levels prior to physical activity, also called “hormonal priming,” is considered to facilitate neuromuscular performance. 5 , 10 Sport competition is also considered as psychologically and physically challenging. The hypothalamopituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathoadrenomedullary system

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Jonathon Weakley, Shona L. Halson, and Iñigo Mujika

. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-148-18 9. Cadegiani FA , Kater CE . Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis functioning in overtraining syndrome: findings from endocrine and metabolic responses on overtraining syndrome (EROS)—EROS-HPA Axis . Sports Med—Open . 2017 ; 3 ( 1 ): 1 – 11 . 10. Cadegiani