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Home FEATURED Benefits Of Cortisol Modulating Adaptogenic Supplements

Benefits Of Cortisol Modulating Adaptogenic Supplements

by Lee D'Amato
adaptogenic supplements

Excess systemic cortisol is disadvantageous for your health and longevity. In this article, we discuss the dangers of too high a level of cortisol, some natural organic ingredients which may serve to optimize (through modulation) cortisol levels, and we make recommendations for several of the best cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements available. While these supplements have not been proven to directly reduce systemic cortisol or to actually “block” its production, their ingredients, particularly the adaptogens, might serve the purpose of modulating cortisol through inducing a safer, healthier state of decreased stress when stress is endogenously or exogenously unwarranted and unnecessary.

Cortisol is a hormone produced naturally by the adrenal glands. Like many other hormones, it serves a regulatory purpose. Although best known for its role in regulating the human stress response, cortisol is also responsible for controlling your metabolism, fighting against inflammation, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, and managing blood pressure. Cortisol affects almost every organ system in your body and impacts many biological functions.

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However, risk factors like infrequent exercise, a high-stress lifestyle, and traumatic events may cause a dangerous increase in cortisol levels, leading to a condition called hypercortisolism.  Hypercortisolism may have serious effects, and it increases your likelihood of developing mental illness, heart disease, digestive issues, and sleep disorders. Cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements may serve to modulate the amount of cortisol released in your body; the effect is to keep you less stressed and to reduce vulnerability to stress-related illnesses. Here’s a look at the dangers of elevated cortisol, as well as the ways in which these adaptogen-packed supplements might be able to help you address this all-too-common problem.

Cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements may help you remain less stressed

Cortisol is sometimes called the “stress hormone” because of the role it plays in regulating stress. This is likely an evolutionary vestige that allowed early humans to escape predators, but chronic stress can also cause an elevated cortisol response. That’s where the right supplements may come into play. A 2012 study tested the effects of ashwagandha supplementation on stress in adults. The group taking ashwagandha, a cortisol modulating adaptogenic substance, was found to have lower cortisol levels than the placebo group, and also tested lower on stress assessments. By adding cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements to your regimen, you may be better able to keep your stress to a minimum, which bodes well for your systemic cortisol.

Cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements may help you lose weight

Food can be a comfort in times of high stress. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements (which reduce stress) can help you lose weight by reducing those stress-induced cravings. Studies have shown that high cortisol levels are an effective predictor of stress eating. When testing two groups of individuals by exposing them to stress, those with higher cortisol reported higher caloric intake, even compared to those who underwent stress sessions but had lower cortisol levels. By taking the right supplements, you may be able to reduce the likelihood of stress eating.

The woman measured her waist with an inch of tape.

Cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements may help you get better rest

Like most biological functions, our sleep cycles are regulated by hormones, and a hormonal imbalance can disrupt a good night’s sleep. Cortisol release coordinates with your sleep schedule; the body should release less cortisol before bedtime, but high cortisol levels can keep you wired long after you’ve turned out the lights. Research suggests that cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements may be an effective way to help balance your hormones and improve your sleep.

Cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements may help balance your other hormones

The varied processes of the human body all have the same goal: to maintain equilibrium. Too much of one kind of hormone can decrease the available amounts of others, leading to all kinds of negative health consequences. Low testosterone can result in diminished muscle mass, decreased sex drive, and general fatigue, while low estrogen can cause mood shifts, hot flashes, irregular menstrual cycles, and frequent UTIs. Preliminary studies have demonstrated that adaptogenic supplements might raise available levels of testosterone. By keeping your body in balance with cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements, you may minimize the consequences of too-low available levels of other hormones.

Woman during Menstrual Cycle

What to look for in cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements

There are many varieties of cortisol modulating supplements available, so to help you make an informed decision, here’s a brief comparison of three unique brands. Also, bear in mind that while none of these supplements actually can “block” cortisol (despite the way in which some of these products might be named for marketing purposes), the adaptogens contained in them may help modulate and ultimately help optimize the cyclical production of cortisol through a reduction of systemic stress.

Vitals Cortisol Blocker blend comes highly recommended and makes some big promises. It claims to reduce anxiety and insomnia while boosting your immune system and helping you lose weight. However, it only has two principal ingredients: ashwagandha and black pepper, and a very high price point of $59.90 for only a month’s supply. Ashwagandha is a potent adaptogen, but black pepper is not (although it is an aid to increased bioavailability), and both of these ingredients are easily found in more affordable preparations. Vitals only comes in capsule form, and most capsules tend to be digested by stomach acids or filtered out by the kidneys, leading to somewhat limited bioavailability despite the aid of the black pepper fruit extract.

Roman Stress Relief is a slightly more affordable brand at only $39 per month. It also has a more complete formula, including ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, and phosphatidylserine – all purportedly effective. However, this blend is limited in its consumer applicability: it’s formulated specifically for men, so that others might not get the full spectrum of its benefits. Like Vitals, this supplement only comes in capsule form, so that it, too, has limited bioavailability.

Rebalance Health Stress Management System has a stunningly complete formula with a whopping 23 active ingredients, including several adaptogenic components. Among them are ashwagandha, bacopa monnieri, L-theanine, and tryptophan, all reputed to be relaxation-inducing compounds. Unlike Roman Stress Relief, Rebalance Health offers specialized blends for men and women. Instead of capsules, Rebalance Health’s Stress Management comes in a dosing system of three daily orally-dissolved lozenges: one for morning, one for evening, and one to be taken right before bedtime.

Each lozenge is specifically formulated to address stress mitigation and cortisol modulation for its appropriate time of day. Through this administration of several lozenges daily, your body not only begins to absorb the nutrients long before stomach acid has a chance to dissolve them, but it is continuously receiving adaptogenic and other key ingredients throughout the entire span of the day in keeping with the rhythm of the natural ebb and flow of various hormones.

Adaptogenic Supplements chemical formulae.

According to Rebalance Health’s President and CEO, Justin Hai, “We made the ethical decision and consequently the financial investment to ensure our products have product specific scientific studies to be able to prove ingredient efficacy.” Due to its complete formula, variety of options, pricing, and high bioavailability, Rebalance Health’s product is, by far and away, the best option of the three for those in search of a cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplement.

The possible potential of cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements

Cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements might help you to relieve stress, lose weight, get better rest, and balance your hormones, so you feel at your best all the time. Despite the many benefits of cortisol modulating adaptogenic supplements, we must appreciate that the science around them is relatively new. More research is necessary in order to confirm the true extent and actual mechanism of their health benefits.

Further Reading For Additional Reference:

Cleveland Clinic: How to Reduce Cortisol and Turn Down the Dial on Stress

Premier Health: Beware High Levels of Cortisol, the Stress Hormone

Medical News Today: How to remove cortisol from the body naturally

Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.

Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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