The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Neutropeptide Y Generation for Healthier Stress Response

Neuropeptide Y

Yesterday's article, Extending The Envelope - Military and Civilian, told some of my career work to improve and strengthen human ability. Today, a study from Fort Bragg on Green Berets.

A study of soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, found that Special Forces soldiers produced more of a molecule called Neuropeptide Y in their blood than regular soldiers. Neuropeptide Y is generated by the body to calm the brain in times of extreme stress.

The Special Forces soldiers mobilized more neuropeptide Y than ordinary soldiers, and were able to sustain it for longer periods. It was concluded that higher levels make them more resilient to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than the average soldier. Neuropeptide Y returned to normal levels within 24 hours in the Special Forces subjects, but dipped below normal in the control subjects of regular soldiers.

Army Special Forces personnel are also known as Green Berets. It is not known whether the Green Berets' better ability to generate the peptide and endure trauma was something they came in with, which made them more likely to pursue becoming a Green Beret, or had been acquired or enhanced through training. The researchers said, "If we could bottle this, or if we could train people to mobilize their own neuropeptide Y, that would be primary prevention for PTSD - a very exciting approach."

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.