Cortisol: The Complete guide on Cortisol Lowering Herbs and Supplements
If you’re kind of person who usually checks out articles to increase testosterone levels, you might frequently come across advises lowering cortisol level in your body. You would’ve considered this cortisol to be an unnecessary element in your body that should be avoided at all cost for the ‘welfare’ of your testosterone. Don’t rush and flush out all your cortisol just yet. Here is a quick glance about cortisol before you get into the supplements for lowering its levels.
Cortisol, popularly known as ‘Stress Hormone”, is a hormone released by the adrenal gland which is mostly released in times of stress. It plays a significant role in the functioning of your body.
However, the level of cortisol should always be in equilibrium. Maintaining the right cortisol balance is crucial for human health. You can expect health problems if your adrenal gland releases too much or too little cortisol.
What Is Cortisol?
The pituitary gland at the base of the brain regulates the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands. The pituitary gland sends out a signal to the adrenal glands to produce just the required quantity of cortisol at the time of stressful events, exercise or when you wake up in the morning.
Cortisol acts on many different parts of the body and is vital for a variety of required functions of daily life. It helps your body respond to stress or danger. Cortisol also increases your body’s metabolism of glucose and control the blood pressure as well. It does that by breaking down amino acids from muscles into glucose to be used as fuel by your cells.
Cortisol is considered necessary for the “fight or flight” response which is a healthy and natural way of apprehending threats. Historically, this is what enabled our hunter-gatherer ancestors to escape the clutches of predators and attack prey for food.
What Are The Effects Of High Cortisol?
Several scientific studies have shown that a high amount of cortisol and the ensuing stress severely affects the testosterone levels of the male body.
In a study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, the saliva and blood samples of seventy-two male fire-fighters were assessed for a year. It was found out that as cortisol levels increased, testosterone levels decreased proportionately.
Another study which was published in Psychosomatic Medicine showed that gonadal function might be disturbed in men in case of stress-related depression.
A study involving military survival training also proved that testosterone of the subjects was significantly reduced when cortisol was elevated.
Cortisol Lowering Herbs and Supplements
You can control your cortisol levels through different methods. Minimizing mental and physical stress is one way to maintain cortisol from boosting up. Getting enough sleep and hydrating yourself are other methods to keep your cortisol level low.
But, in case you are looking for supplements and herbs that can lower cortisol, then consider the following ones-
Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid complex that is present in almost all the cells of the human body. It functions primarily as a signaling molecule between cell membranes. It also protects the interior of cells from oxidative damage. As phosphatidylserine can reduce oxidative stress, it can improve athletic performance as well.
European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a study that proves that chronic oral administration of phosphatidylserine may counteract stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in man, i.e., secretion of cortisol.
Another study published in 2008 also suggests that that PS is an effective supplement for combating exercise-induced stress and preventing the physiological deterioration that can accompany too much exercise. It further states that PS supplementation promotes a desired hormonal status for athletes by blunting increases in cortisol levels.
You can try Phosphatidyl Serine by Now Foods. It contains 150mg of Phosphatidylserine along with vitamin C and Calcium.
L – Theanine
Theanine is an amino acid that functions to calm your body. It is present in everyday tea, and that is why drinking tea would normally reduce stress. In addition to helping reduce chronic stress, theanine can also protect your brain from the harmful effects of cortisol.
Moreover, scientific studies support the anti-stress abilities of L-theanine.
Theanine is said to carry out function by boosting alpha brain wave activity. You can either consume tea to get enough theanine or take its supplement such as the one provided by Double Wood Supplements.
Withania Somnifera, commonly known as Ashwagandha, is a herb of Indian origin which is popular for its therapeutic qualities for men’s health. Ashwagandha can reduce stress, anxiety and of course cortisol. A study published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine proves that treatment with ashwagandha resulted in a decrease in stress, improved the level of anti-oxidants and improved overall semen quality in a significant number of individuals.
Another randomized study using a standardized water extract of the ashwagandha roots called “KSM-66”, noted a significant 27% reduction in serum cortisol levels, along with the self-reported reduction of anxiety and mental stress.
There are many brands that provide ashwagandha extracts in the market.
You can try Organic Ashwagandha by NaturaLife Labs which has ashwagandha root extracts in capsule form.
Zinc And Magnesium
A study published in Biological Trace Element Research proves that zinc can inhibit adrenal cortisol secretion in humans.
Magnesium can also reduce cortisol levels in the human body according to a study published in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine.
There are many zinc and magnesium supplements out there. But in case if you are wondering, you can try Double Strength Zinc Picolinate by Thorne Research for zinc. And as for magnesium, you might prefer Magnesium Glycinate by Zhou Nutrition. Both products mentioned above have fairly positive user reviews on Amazon.
Vitamin B, C, And D
Vitamins are known for controlling cortisol levels in the human body. There were many studies carried out regarding this idea.
This study which appeared in the Journal of Sports, Science, and Medicine shows that cortisol levels were negatively correlated to the intake of vitamin B.
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance published a study suggesting that vitamin C supplementation can decrease postexercise cortisol in individuals performing exercises similar to that of a marathon in hot conditions.
Another study published in the year 2005 found that vitamin D along with calcium could reduce cortisol levels in humans.
When it comes to multivitamins, there is no product more popular and effective than One A Day Men’s Health Formula Multivitamin. It contains vitamins A, B6, C, D, E, and K.
In this day and age, it is perfectly normal for a person to undergo immense stress and depression. We are challenged with many financial and psychological issues. Changing your lifestyle and getting a grip on your mind could do wonders.
You can avoid supplements to lower cortisol levels if you are able to follow a strict routine of yoga and other stress controlling therapies.
However, if you find yourself busy in your difficult profession, the above-mentioned supplements will help you reduce cortisol in your body.