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) |


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Video Produced by Kyle Allred



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#COVID19 #SARSCoV2 #MentalHealth


  1. Please leave a comment with any questions or stress/anxiety-relieving strategies you've found helpful over the past year.

    See ALL Dr. Seheult's videos at his website

  2. As the coronavirus pandemic rapidly sweeps across the world, it is inducing a considerable degree of fear, worry and concern in the population at large and among certain groups in particular, such as older adults, care providers and people with underlying health conditions.

  3. wow ! amazeballs! that saved me hours of research and reading , makes me almost guilty of being spoonfed!

  4. I am honestly afraid to watch this, afraid it will cause me MORE anxiety about all of this crap. Only 36% of people in my state are vaccinated. I have bipolar and have been beyond anxious for well over a year now. I have great fear about what this is/has been doing to my immune system. Anxiety about anxiety. Sucks. Thank you so much for your videos. I have watched a few others and they are excellent.

  5. Hmmm. I was a triathlete, and had covid, and this is really touching home for me. People get really sick during the taper before a race, an this really makes a lot of sense.

  6. At last, majoring in sports sciences payed me back🙂 my thesis was on Flow State and psycho-motor affects 😊

  7. Thanks Doc. This is such valuable information.
    I have shared this video on our whatsapp mental health awareness platform.

  8. This was a most interesting and informative show. Thank you so much. I always try not to stress over stuff for long. My mom taught me not to worry, it's a waste of energy. I have since learned so much from your podcasts. Thank you. Although I probably should start some moderate exercise. I used to but have become quite lax over the winter. Your advice always makes perfect sense. Keep reporting on your new findings. Thank you again.

  9. This channel has the awsommest content for medical science. I don't have words to thank you enough sir ❤️

  10. Wow! Extremely helpful scientific information. Thank you Dr. Roger. You are a God-given to me being a biotech/neuro/psycho research enthusiast. This can help research more information about out innate & adaptive immunity.

    ❤ More love, respect and prayer from your subscriber from the Philippines 🇵🇭

  11. I find it so hard to understand why the body would reward you when you work out "just the right amount" vs when you dont work out at all or work out hard. I've always heard working out heavy and hard in short bursts was best but this whole lecture kinda disproves that in terms of mental health and immune response.

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