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Chapter 2: How Your Mind Talks with Your Body

Mortgage worries, stress-resistant Nazis and a few trillion microbes

Cortisol -- the "stress hormone"

"During World War Two rumors abounded that the Nazis were developing a miracle cure for stress so that their pilots could zoom around in their Messerschmitts with no regard to speed and altitude. The Germans were, supposedly, importing tons of bovine adrenal glands from Argentina and extracting some “mysterious humor” out of them. By then it was known to science that cows devoid of the glands died of even minimal stress, so the argument that the extract would make pilots stress-resistant seemed plausible. With hopes for outstanding military gains, the American government invested tons of money into the research on the mysterious humor, giving it the third priority after penicillin and antimalarials......" [excerpt from Growing Young]

Cortisol researcher: Edward Kendall


HPA: The stress axis - watch a video:


One of the world’s scariest haunted houses, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky

Location of amygdala in the brain

Source: Life Science Databases

research chalet in Wytham Woods

by Ian Paterson

Following Aura Raulo around Wytham Woods, checking mouse burrows

  • Can anti-inflammatory drugs help depression?

  • What may cause voodoo deaths?

  • How do gut microbes talk with your brain?

  • Why can poop transplants prolong life (for some people)?

  • Can placebo work even if you know it's placebo?

  • Answers to these questions (and much more!) in the book

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