View Full Version : Stress and Catechol-O-methyltransferase

10-08-2020, 11:51 AM
Catechol-O-methyltransferase, or COMT, is a gene that encodes for the enzyme that metabolizes catecholamines, including stress hormones like norepinephrine and epinephrine (cortisol) and estrogen. The COMT enzyme may work really well in some people, who are able to metabolize stress hormones and estrogen effectively, but it may be slower in others.

Stress can come from many sources, including the following:

Emotional stress; for example, in family relationships, personal relationships, or work relationships

Physical stress; for example, from overtraining or not sleeping enough

The COMT enzyme functions like a door. The door may be wide or narrow depending on a variety of factors, such as nutritional intake or genetic polymorphisms of the COMT gene that are being expressed. The stress hormones and estrogen have to pass through this COMT door in order to be metabolized, or broken down. If your door is narrow, it may limit the amount of stress hormones and estrogen that can pass through at the same time. If stress is low and estrogen is balanced, it most likely won't be a problem and you may never experience any discernible symptoms.

However, if either of these is higher than normal on a continual basis, as seen with estrogen dominance and/or chronic stress, and if the door is indeed narrow, it may affect metabolism of the other. Chronic stress would increase the demand for COMT door space to be given to cortisol, which means that less estrogen can get through, potentially leading to a high-estrogen scenario independent of estrogen production inside the body. It happens simply because the estrogen is not being metabolized properly.

The reverse is also true. In the presence of higher estrogen, more estrogen is likely to take up space, which may slow the metabolism of stress hormones and contribute to symptoms such as anxiety or sleeping difficulties.

You can support COMT enzyme function and the metabolism of estrogen and stress hormones by taking simple nutrients such as:

Taurine and magnesium

Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, and the various ginsengs.


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If you have any questions or want an list, email RED BIRD at redsxript@ctemplar.com.