Living in a fast-paced world of deadlines and demands can be stressful, but too much stress can take its toll on the body. If this occurs over a long period of time, it can lead to chronic stress and an elevated cortisol level. When we experience stressful situations, our adrenal glands release hormones, including cortisol, to help us cope. Regarding reducing the effects of chronic stress, supplements can play an essential role in helping to lower cortisol levels. Long-term exposure to high cortisol levels can lead to serious health complications, so finding ways to lower cortisol effectively is important. If you are feeling constantly stressed, it could be time to look for ways to lower your cortisol levels. In this article, we’ll discuss how to lower cortisol levels with supplements and improve overall health.
Understanding Cortisol and Its Effects
The adrenal cortex primarily produces cortisol, and the circadian rhythm of the body regulates its release. The production of cortisol follows a daily cycle. It peaks in the morning around 8 am and then decreases throughout the day until it reaches its lowest point at midnight before beginning again shortly after that. Normal cortisol levels vary from person to person and tend to be higher in the morning so that we can awake in the morning and lower at night so that we can sleep.
Cortisol plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis. It has multiple effects on the body, ranging from mental health and cognitive function to physical health. The body’s natural release of cortisol is triggered by physical or psychological stressors such as extreme temperatures, injury, pain, food allergies, infection or job, financial, and relationship stress. In addition, certain foods such as coffee and caffeinated drinks can also stimulate cortisol production. Psychological stress is the most common and main factor that can cause cortisol levels to rise.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that plays an important role in the body’s metabolism and can affect our health if levels become too high. Fortunately, several supplements are available to help lower cortisol levels and reduce stress. Certain medical conditions, such as Cushing’s syndrome or tumors on the pituitary gland, can also cause an increase in cortisol production so it is important that you be evaluated by a doctor to determine the cause of your elevated cortisol levels. In both cases, any type of physical or emotional stress that puts additional strain on the body may raise cortisol further.
Cortisol plays an important role in our bodies, and understanding its effects can have many health benefits. It helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes proper metabolism, the immune, nervous, cardiovascular system, and the brain, and assists with memory formation. Cortisol also works to reduce inflammation in the body. It affects the brain by increasing alertness and energy, as well as impacting memory formation and learning. In normal amounts, cortisol can be beneficial for many aspects of health; however, when too much cortisol is released, it has a negative effect on the body. Too much cortisol has been linked to issues such as high blood pressure, insomnia, insulin resistance, weakened immune system function, weight gain, and mood disturbances. Cortisol can raise blood pressure levels, leading to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, it weakens the immune system by impeding the production of white blood cells necessary for fighting infection. Cortisol may also interfere with sleep quality, contributing to fatigue during waking hours.
Cortisol plays a role in the body’s stress response or “fight-or-flight” response to help protect us from harm. It is produced mainly by the adrenal glands, with assistance from the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. The production of cortisol is regulated by a complex system known as the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. This axis starts in the brain, where signals from the hypothalamus stimulate the production of cortisol, an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). This hormone then travels through the bloodstream to reach the adrenal glands, where it triggers them to produce cortisol. If you think about it, it makes sense that the HPA axis regulates cortisol levels.
During the “fight-or-flight” response, the body preparing for danger increases its heart rate, mental alertness, and energy to muscles in the event that we need to escape or fight off an attack. Cortisol increases blood sugar levels to provide energy to muscles needed to fight or run away. Dysregulation of cortisol production caused by chronic stress can have a wide range of physiological effects. Such effects include an increased risk of depression and anxiety and other physical symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, trouble sleeping, decreased immunity due to a weakened immune system, headaches, and digestive issues. Studies have shown that sustained high cortisol levels can lead to increased oxidative stress, which can contribute to heart disease and brain fog and negatively impact brain health, causing such cognitive symptoms as difficulty concentrating and memory problems. Furthermore, elevated cortisol levels are associated with lower performance on tests measuring executive functioning skills such as attention span and problem-solving ability. Additionally, high cortisol levels are associated with slower reaction times which could lead to impaired motor coordination and balance control. As far as metabolism goes, cortisol can cause weight gain and diabetes due to its role in regulating glucose levels in the bloodstream and
Supplements that Help Reduce Cortisol Production
1. Phosphatidyl Serine Lowers
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a lipid molecule found in both animals and plants, and it may have beneficial applications for lowering cortisol levels. Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone, and its production can be reduced using PS supplementation. It works by modulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), which helps to regulate cortisol production.
The mechanism of action of PS involves blocking the receptors in the HPA axis, which react to cortisol. This prevents these receptors from becoming activated, reducing their ability to trigger cortisol release. Additionally, PS also has an effect on neurotransmitter activity throughout the body that further reduces cortisol production. When taken as a supplement, research studies have shown that this process results in lower overall cortisol levels in the body over time. It is believed that PS works by modulating the activity of enzymes involved in cortisol production, suppressing the release of cortisol into circulation. Additionally, studies have shown that phosphatidylserine supplementation can improve sleep quality, which also helps to reduce cortisol levels – better sleep quality leads to lower levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, throughout the day.
Studies have indicated that phosphatidylserine helps to reduce cortisol by improving the sensitivity of our hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which controls our body’s response to stress. Chronic stress can result in dysregulation of the HPA axis, i.e., the HPA axis becomes insensitive to cortisol levels. This dysregulation leads to the continuous production of cortisol even when it is not needed. The adrenals essentially get stuck in high gear because there is no feedback from the HPA axis telling it to turn off production.
2. Vitamin C Lowers Cortisol
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for human health, but it is especially important for the proper functioning of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are responsible for regulating many hormones in the body and providing us with energy throughout the day. Without sufficient vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, these crucial functions can become impaired and cause significant problems. Vitamin C also helps boost immunity, aids in digestion, promotes healthy skin, and improves brain function. Adequate amounts of vitamin C help to keep cortisol levels balanced, which helps regulate stress response in the body and supports healthy blood pressure levels. It also aids in metabolism by helping to convert proteins into neurotransmitters like epinephrine and norepinephrine. Additionally, vitamin C plays a role in hormone production as it helps synthesize hormones such as glucocorticoids like cortisol that our bodies need to stay healthy.
Vitamin C can help lower cortisol levels due to its ability to support enzymes in the adrenals. Enzymes within the adrenal glands help regulate cortisol levels, and it appears that vitamin C helps modulate these enzymes. Studies have shown that vitamin C supplementation can decrease cortisol concentrations by inhibiting an enzyme called 11beta-HSD1. This enzyme helps determine how much active cortisol is available in cells, so inhibiting it leads to the decreased overall activity of this important hormone. Additionally, vitamin C may increase the activity of the enzyme 11beta-HSD2, which further lowers active concentrations of cortisol in cells. By supporting these enzymes, vitamin C supports the healthy functioning of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which regulates cortisol production. Vitamin C also helps reduce oxidative stress caused by high cortisol levels, which can cause further damage if left unchecked. Additionally, it has been found that vitamin C supports healthy immune function, which can help relieve stress on the body and subsequently lower cortisol levels.
By supporting these enzymes, vitamin C supports the healthy functioning of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis that regulates cortisol production. Vitamin C also helps reduce oxidative stress caused by high cortisol levels, which can cause further damage if left unchecked. Additionally, it has been found that vitamin C supports a healthy immune function that can help relieve stress on the body and subsequently lower cortisol levels.
Studies have shown that when people are given large doses of vitamin C, their cortisol production slows significantly. This means that taking vitamin C supplements can help individuals manage their stress hormones and prevent them from becoming too high during times of stress or intense activity.
Taking 500-1000mg daily is recommended for those looking to regulate their cortisol levels naturally with vitamin C supplements.
3. B Vitamin Lowers Cortisol
Vitamin B is an essential component of a healthy diet and is necessary for many bodily functions. It plays a vital role in cortisol production, which is the hormone responsible for regulating stress levels. To understand why vitamin B is so important for this process, it’s necessary to understand the mechanism of action behind its role.
Vitamin B helps with cortisol synthesis because it’s involved in a biochemical pathway that allows enzymes to break down amino acids into glucose. This glucose then serves as an energy source to fuel all the metabolic processes involved in cortisol production, including cellular respiration and protein synthesis. Without sufficient amounts of Vitamin B, these processes can’t occur efficiently enough to sustain healthy cortisol levels in the body.
Vitamin B is a complex of eight essential vitamins that provide numerous health benefits. One of the most important benefits of vitamin B is its ability to lower cortisol levels.
Studies have shown that B vitamins are important in regulating stress hormones, including cortisol. Vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce the production of cortisol in response to stressful situations, therefore helping to keep it at normal levels and prevent it from becoming too high. Additionally, vitamin B12 helps to reduce the amount of cortisol produced during times of physical or emotional stress.
A number of B vitamins, including B5, B6, and B12, have been found to lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone associated with stress response, and high levels in the body can lead to various physical and mental health issues. A recent study by researchers from the University of California has revealed that these three specific B vitamins may effectively reduce cortisol production in the body.
The study included 30 participants who were given either a placebo or different dosages of each vitamin over a period of several weeks. At the end of the trial period, it was found that those taking higher dosages of all three vitamins had significantly lower cortisol levels than those who took placebos or only one or two types of vitamin b.
Fortunately, research shows that supplementing with vitamin B can help reduce cortisol and bring levels back into balance. Vitamin B helps reduce physiological arousal caused by stressors, allowing it to more effectively manage cortisol production during times of anxiety or fear. Additionally, some forms of vitamin B have also been found to help increase serotonin production in the brain, which further helps reduce feelings of stress or depression often associated with elevated cortisol levels.
4. Fish oil and Omega 3 fatty acids Lower Cortisol
Fish oil and omega-3s are essential supplements for people looking to lower their cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that has been linked to stress and anxiety, so understanding how it works can be beneficial in managing these conditions. Many studies have shown that taking fish oil or omega-3s can reduce the amount of cortisol in the body, making them an effective tool for reducing stress and improving overall health.
Omega 3 fatty acids are known to increase dopamine production, which helps reduce inflammation throughout the body. This decrease in inflammation can help lower cortisol levels, allowing your body to relax more effectively when it encounters stressful situations. In addition, fish oil has also been found to improve sleep quality as well as cognitive performance, further helping manage stressors that could potentially raise cortisol levels.
5. Magnesium Lowers Cortisol
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays many roles in our bodies, including supporting the body’s production of cortisol.
The exact mechanisms behind magnesium’s impact on reducing cortisol remain unclear; however, there are several possible explanations. It could be that magnesium helps regulate blood sugar by controlling insulin levels, which can help reduce cortisol production and secretion. Other research suggests that magnesium helps inhibit certain stress-induced enzymes responsible for producing cortisol in response to stressors like loud noises or tight deadlines. Lastly, it’s thought that the mineral may activate GABA receptors to calm down the nervous system and reduce anxiety-related hormones like cortisol.
6. Rhodiola Rosea Lowers Cortisol
Adaptogenic herbs, such as Rhodiola Rosea and ashwagandha, are believed to effectively reduce cortisol levels in the body. Adaptogenic herbs have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to help people manage stress and promote balance within the body. Rhodiola Rosea has been studied extensively for its ability to reduce cortisol levels. It is believed that Rhodiola can help regulate hormones and boost energy while also helping with mental clarity and focus.
Rhodiola Rosea is an herbal supplement used in traditional medicine for centuries to address several health concerns. In recent years, studies have found that it can effectively reduce cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol, otherwise known as the “stress hormone,” can hurt physical and mental health if left unchecked. Rhodiola Rosea works by helping to regulate hormones within the body and reducing stress-induced inflammation, which helps reduce cortisol levels.
Research has also found that Rhodiola Rosea may help improve mood, increase energy levels, and even protect against some of the negative effects associated with stress-induced fatigue. The supplement works by decreasing dopamine receptors while increasing serotonin concentrations in the brain – this helps lower overall stress levels and, therefore, cortisol secretion throughout the day.
7. Ashwagandha Lowers Cortisol Levels
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb used in India for centuries to treat various ailments. Recently, it has become increasingly popular as an herbal remedy for reducing high cortisol levels. ashwagandha has also been studied for its effects on cortisol reduction; it helps reduce anxiety while promoting overall relaxation. Ashwagandha, an ancient herb used in Ayurvedic medicine, has been known to help reduce stress and anxiety. More recently, research has revealed that it can also be beneficial in reducing cortisol levels. Fortunately, ashwagandha may help lower cortisol levels naturally without adverse side effects.
Several studies have been conducted on the effect of ashwagandha on cortisol levels, and all have shown positive results.
Studies have shown that ashwagandha modulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which controls the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. It does this by reducing inflammation and stimulating GABA receptors in the brain which helps to counterbalance stress hormones like cortisol.
8. Schizandra Lower Cortisol Levels
Schizandra is an ancient Chinese herb with many purported health benefits, including the ability to lower cortisol levels.
Studies suggest that schizandra has multiple mechanisms of action when it comes to lowering cortisol. The herb is believed to act as an adaptogen, helping the body resist physical and mental stress and reducing anxiety-induced responses like increased cortisol production. Additionally, evidence suggests that schizandra may have antioxidant properties that help inhibit the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands in response to oxidative stressors. Rhodiola Rosea
9. L-Theanine Lowers Cortisol Levels
For example, L-theanine is thought to reduce the number of stress hormones like cortisol that are released into the bloodstream during moments of stress or anxiety. L-theanine is an amino acid commonly found in green tea leaves, and it has been gaining attention for its ability to reduce cortisol levels. Studies have shown that l-theanine can help lower stress hormones like cortisol and promote relaxation. As such, it is becoming increasingly popular as a way to manage the effects of stress on both physical and mental health.
Understanding the mechanism of action behind l-theanine’s anti-stress properties is key to understanding how it works. This amino acid has been found to interact with neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin and dopamine, which are known for their calming effects on the body. In addition, l-theanine increases alpha brainwave activity which helps promote relaxation even further.
10. Amino Acids Lower Cortisol
Amino acids are essential in producing hormones and neurotransmitters in our bodies. One way to reduce cortisol levels is by using amino acid supplements.
Studies have demonstrated that taking certain amino acids can help reduce cortisol levels in the body. Research has shown that increasing the intake of tryptophan and tyrosine can also be beneficial for lowering cortisol levels over time. Taking these amino acids can help promote feelings of relaxation and calmness while providing long-term benefits for healthy hormone balance and improved mental well-being.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps produce serotonin which has calming effects on anxiety and stress levels. Increasing serotonin helps balance out hormones like cortisol, so it does not become too high or too low. Tyrosine is another amino acid with similar properties; it serves as a precursor for dopamine and epinephrine, which can also help lower cortisol levels.
Benefits of Lowering Cortisol with Supplements
Lowering cortisol levels through supplementation can have a host of beneficial effects on physical and mental health. Several research studies have shown that reducing cortisol levels through supplementation can lead to increased feelings of well-being, improve cognition function and mood, enhance sleep, and reduce anxiety and fatigue.
Natural Ways to Lower Cortisol
The good news is that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important ways to keep your cortisol levels in balance. Making specific lifestyle changes can help you manage and lower your cortisol levels.
Exercise is an effective way to burn off excess cortisol and improve mental and physical health. Aim for 30 minutes of activity at least three times a week, whether running, biking, or just going for a walk around the block. Eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables can also regulate hormones, as well as provide essential vitamins and minerals that support overall wellness. Reducing sugar intake can also help reduce cortisol levels because sugar triggers stress hormones which increase blood sugar levels making it harder to regulate hormones such as cortisol.
Stress is a normal and unavoidable part of life, but too much can take its toll on the body. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce cortisol levels with stress management. The first step is practicing mindfulness techniques such as tai chi, meditation, and yoga. Both activities help to slow down your thinking process and put the focus back on the present moment, so you’re not worrying about future events. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises can help. Individual and group therapy are also effective ways of dealing with stressful situations by discussing your thoughts and feelings with a professional. Forming a good supportive friend network can also help. Finally, ensure you get adequate downtime and sleep each night; this helps keep your mind sharp when faced with stressful tasks or scenarios throughout the day.
In conclusion, understanding how to lower cortisol with supplements and lifestyle changes can be an effective and natural way to reduce stress. With the right combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids, you can reduce your cortisol levels and return to feeling like yourself again. Remember that it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional before adding any supplements to your routine to ensure you’re taking the right ones for you.