April 20, 2024
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how to reduce cortisol supplements

Cortisol is a hormone that rises with stress, but chronically high levels cause inflammation and interfere with sleep, immune function, digestion and metabolic processing. It also leads to weight gain and depression.

Many herbal remedies can lower cortisol naturally. These include ashwagandha, which excels at stress reduction and decreases cortisol more than many other supplements.

1. Phenylephrine

Phenylephrine is a decongestant that can be found in many over-the-counter cold medications. It works by narrowing blood vessels, which helps to reduce congestion and swelling. It is important to read the label and only use a product that contains this medication. Taking too much can cause high blood pressure, fast heart rate, breathing difficulty, dizziness, seizures or hallucinations. It is also important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription. Do not take phenylephrine if you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as selegiline (Eldepryl) or phenelzine (Nardil) within the past 2 weeks.

This drug interacts with several medications, including antidepressants, narcotic pain relievers and barbiturates. It may also decrease the effectiveness of some antidepressants, such as clomipramine (Aplenzin) and amitriptyline (Elavil). It can increase the effects of tricyclic antidepressants such as doxepin (Zofran) and imipramine (Tofranil). Phenylephrine is in a class of drugs called 1-hydroxy-4-unsubstituted benzenoids.

Using this medication while pregnant can lead to miscarriage or low birth weight. Because it can make blood vessels smaller and constrict, it is thought to reduce the flow of oxygen through the placenta to the baby. Miscarriage can occur in any pregnancy and is a serious medical condition that should be treated promptly. Taking this medication can also reduce the amount of milk produced, so it is important to talk to your doctor if you plan to breast-feed while you are taking this medication.

This medication should be taken as needed, but if it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed one and continue your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

2. L-Tryptophan

L-tryptophan is an amino acid, a protein building block. It’s found in plant and animal proteins. Your body can’t make it, so you need to get it from your diet. Your body changes tryptophan into a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin helps transmit signals between nerve cells and narrows (constricts) blood vessels. L-tryptophan is used to treat sleep problems, such as insomnia and sleep apnea. It’s also used to treat depression, anxiety, facial pain, a severe form of premenstrual syndrome called premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and to help people quit smoking and to improve athletic performance.

Studies show that consuming more tryptophan-rich foods may reduce your risk of depression and improve sleep quality. However, it’s important to note that more research is needed before these benefits can be confirmed.

When dietary supplements are taken in large doses, they can cause serious side effects. In 1989, tryptophan supplements were linked to eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS), a serious condition that causes muscle pain and an elevated peripheral eosinophil count. EMS has also been associated with brain and liver toxicity, and it’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms of this condition.

Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that supports inhibitory neurotransmission and increases levels of GABA in the brain, which decreases cortisol excretion during the night and promotes a healthy sleep cycle. It also protects against neuronal cell damage caused by stress and environmental toxins. This supplement is available in many health food stores and is recommended by several alternative medicine practitioners. However, it is not regulated by the FDA and should be used under the supervision of a doctor or healthcare professional.

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is a do-it-all mineral that plays an important role in many different bodily functions, from muscle contraction to healthy bones. “I find that people are healthier if they have more magnesium in their diets from foods or supplements,” says Wagner. “It’s also one of the best natural remedies for insomnia.” If you are suffering from muscle twitching, cramping and trouble falling asleep at night it could be due to low levels of this nutrient. Magnesium can help lower cortisol, ease muscle tension and promote a deeper sleep cycle which is essential for good health and fitness.

Stress, especially emotional stress, drains the body of magnesium. Eating a poor diet low in magnesium, digestive upset, medications and various health conditions all deplete magnesium stores. Increasing your intake of magnesium through eating more whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy greens and dark chocolate can improve your magnesium status.

A recent randomized trial found that magnesium supplementation significantly reduced urinary cortisol and cortisone metabolites, as well as lowering the ratios reflecting enzymatic activity of 11b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases and A-ring reductases. The trial participants reported a better ability to fall and stay asleep at night, less fatigue and fewer gastrointestinal complaints than the placebo group.

Regular magnesium supplementation might also reduce inflammation in the body, helping to prevent metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes. A cross-sectional analysis of the Framingham Heart Study found that those in the highest quartile of magnesium intake had a 32% lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome than those in the lowest quartile (11, 12). Magnesium might also reduce vascular calcification, which is linked to coronary artery disease. A meta-analysis of ten studies found that individuals in the highest quartile of magnesium intake were 58% less likely to have vascular calcification than those in the lowest quartile (2, 13). The bottom line is that sufficient magnesium helps improve and stabilize cortisol levels while helping to improve sleep, calm the response to stress, hike DHEA, and aids weight loss efforts by decreasing blood sugar cravings.

4. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a plant that reduces cortisol and acts as an adaptogen to support the body’s stress response. It helps the body resist physical, chemical and biological stressors. It also has a calming effect on the brain and can help you sleep better at night for a more restful experience of life.

The steroidal compounds in the herb are believed to modulate higher neuroendocrine centres that control cortisol, such as the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, similar to how exogenous steroids do. Ashwagandha has also been shown to protect against the oxidative damage caused by high levels of stress.

This is because the herb contains antioxidants, which protect against oxidative damage to mitochondria. The plant is said to balance hormones in the body and help with mental clarity and memory, which can lead to increased focus and energy. It has also been shown to decrease irritability, anxiety and depression and improve mood overall.

Ashwagandha can be found in supplements, including powders and capsules. It is recommended to consult with a doctor before taking any new supplement, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, immunocompromised or are having surgery soon. This is because it may interact with certain medications.

In addition to reducing stress, ashwagandha can also increase muscle mass and strength. A study that paired ashwagandha with resistance training showed significant increases in upper and lower body strength. It also helped to increase the body’s natural ability to resist aging. This is because the adaptogen helps boost the immune system, which can cause a decrease in cortisol and inflammation.

5. Phosphatidylserine

Although the adrenal glands produce cortisol to help the body manage stress, high levels of the hormone can actually be a problem. Chronically elevated cortisol can cause a number of health issues such as a suppression of the immune system, increased inflammation, loss of lean muscle, and weight gain. Luckily, there are many natural supplements and herbs that have been proven to reduce the level of cortisol in the body. Some of these include Ashwagandha, which is a powerful adaptogen herb that supports a resilient response to stress, and phosphatidylserine, an essential nutrient that helps regulate cortisol.

Phosphatidylserine is a powerful neuroprotective molecule that has been shown to improve cognitive functions in people with Alzheimer’s disease. It enhances the ease with which electrical impulses travel between brain cells, and improves memory, rates of learning, alertness, and attention. This makes phosphatidylserine an excellent supplement for students and anyone who needs to think clearly and quickly.

Moreover, phosphatidylserine can help in the treatment of stress-related disorders like anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. A study found that phosphatidylserine significantly reduced the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in participants. The study also found that phosphatidylserine decreased adrenocorticotropin-releasing hormone (ACTH) and prolactin in the bloodstream of the participants.

To naturally lower the level of cortisol in the bloodstream, try to practice some stress management strategies like relaxing exercises, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. You should also avoid stimulants like caffeine and sugar because they can lead to an increase in the production of cortisol. However, if you are still experiencing symptoms of elevated cortisol, you can take some of the above mentioned supplements and herbs to help balance the hormone.

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