Stress and COVID 19: Improving The Immune System, Anxiety, and Depression

Professor Seheult, MD details fascinating research and links between stress, anxiety, depression, and our immune systems including:
How do Olympic athletes optimize health in preparation for competition?
How do stress, anxiety, and depression impact our immunity at the cellular level?
What are the implications of this for COVID-19?

(This video was recorded on March 8, 2021)

Roger Seheult, MD is the co-founder and lead professor at
He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine and an Associate Professor at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine.


00:00 Overview of topics covered by Dr. Seheult
00:36 Impact of COVID-19 on mental health for patients and healthcare workers
02:22 Data on anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic
03:35 Criteria used to measure and diagnose depression
04:33 Connections between depression, anxiety, and the immune system
06:52 Research on how stress, fear, and anxiety affect immune system function and physiology
17:00 Discovery of “inflammasomes,” their role in the immune system, and how exercise helps
21:12 Exercise to boost the immune system
22:55 Why exercise intensity matters: moderate versus heavy exertion
29:35 How elite athletes keep their immune systems robust
36:10 Obesity and increased risk of infections and inflammation
37:57 Post-exercise carbohydrates and inflammation reduction
39:15 Polyphenols from fruits and vegetables have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidative and immune cell signaling effects
40:35 Study on exercise reducing depression and inflammation in university students
46:09 When not to exercise during COVID-19 pandemic
47:08 Studies and recommendations on cardiopulmonary considerations for student-athletes
50:23 Summary of topics covered, and can saunas have the same positive immune benefits as moderate exercise?


Top E.R. Doctor Who Treated Virus Patients Dies by Suicide (NYT) |

Association of Home Quarantine and Mental Health Among Teenagers in Wuhan, China, During the COVID-19 Pandemic (JAMA) |

Chronic stress, glucocorticoid receptor resistance, inflammation, and disease risk (PNAS) |

Synergistic effects of psychological and immune stressors on inflammatory cytokine and sickness responses in humans (Science Direct) |

Anxiety about coronavirus can increase the risk of infection — but exercise can help (The Conversation) |

NLRP3 inflammasome-driven pathways in depression: Clinical and preclinical findings (Science Direct) |

The inflammasome: Pathways linking psychological stress, depression, and systemic illnesses (Brain, Behavior, and Immunity) |

The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system (Science Direct) |

Exercise reduces depression and inflammation but intensity matters (Science Direct) |

Cardiopulmonary Considerations for High School Student-Athletes During the COVID-19 Pandemic: NFHS-AMSSM Guidance Statement (SAGE) |


Visit us for videos on over 60 medical topics and CME / CEs for medical professionals.

All coronavirus updates are available at (including more discussion on COVID stress, anxiety, mental health awareness, and depression).


MedCram offers group discounts for students and a variety of medical programs, hospitals, and other institutions. Contact us at if you are interested.


Media Contact:
Media contact info:

Video Produced by Kyle Allred



MedCram medical videos are for medical education and exam preparation, and NOT intended to replace recommendations from your doctor.
#COVID19 #SARSCoV2 #MentalHealth