Adrenal Support Formula
ADRENAL SUPPORT FORMULA COMBINES THESE NUTRIENTS THAT HAVE BEEN WELL RESEARCHED TO SUPPORT HEALTHY ADRENAL FUNCTION.
Making adrenaline requires the amino acid Tyrosine, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. These nutrients plus herbs known to support the adrenals are present in Adrenal Support Formula.
Natural vitamin C appears to attenuate cortisol output in acutely stressful situations. Interestingly, the adrenals secrete vitamin C in response to stress along with cortisol.
Natural vitamin C is more than just ascorbic acid, which most vitamin C supplements are. Natural vitamin C from whole foods includes natural ascorbic acid and all its synergists – Rutin, Bioflavonoids, Factor K, Factor J, Factor P, Tyrosinase, Ascorbinogen, and other components. All of these synergists work together and are necessary for real vitamin C activity to take place.
Flavonoids are a broad class of compounds found in numerous plants. Many flavonoid-rich plants have been shown to have beneficial effects on adaptation to stress and stress response, including camu camu, lemon peel and rose hips.
VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXAL-5-PHOSPHATE)
Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P5P) is the metabolically active co-enzyme of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 nutritional status may have a significant and selective modulatory impact on central production of both serotonin and GABA neurotransmitters, which can positively affect emotional response, pain perception, and anxiety. Vitamin B6 has also been studied for cardiovascular uses as well.
L-tyrosine is an amino acid precursor for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine.
By improving the rate of neurotransmitter synthesis, L-tyrosine stimulates the central nervous system. It appears to function as an adaptogen by relieving physical symptoms of stress, such as mood swings.
Chronically stressed individuals may benefit from supplementing with L-Tyrosine as they may not efficiently convert phenylalanine to L-tyrosine.
SELECT HERBALS AND BOTANICALS
Combined with the basic nutrients, herbal adaptogens help to tailor Adrenal Support Formula to an individual’s needs. The following adaptogenic herbs are included in this formula:
ASHWAGANDHA (WITHANIA SOMNIFERA)
An herb with a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is one of the more relaxing adrenal restoratives. In individuals with lower adrenal output and anxiety or depression, ashwagandha can be helpful. Ashwagandha has been shown in animal studies to raise active thyroid hormone levels, and there is one case report of thyroid toxicosis associated with its use. Overall, the herb appears quite safe. However, in autoimmune thyroid cases, caution should be applied.
RHODIOLA (RHODIOLA ROSEA)
Rhodiola is an adaptogen that has research supporting its use for mental-emotional symptoms. Preliminary studies appear to indicate that beyond acting as an adaptogen, rhodiola may help with depression and anxiety. With lowered adrenal output and mental-emotional symptoms, rhodiola may help improve functioning on multiple levels.
This herb may aid adrenal fatigue by supporting the adrenal glands, which may be why it is effective in fighting fatigue generally. Many immune system supplements contain this herb mixed with vitamins and minerals and other natural herbs that are known to aid the immune system.
Adaptogens are plants, such as the schisandra berry, that help the body respond to stress caused by internal and external forces. Schisandra berry may help the body better adapt to stressors that have a negative impact on the adrenal glands creating fatigue.
THE ADRENALS, YOUR STRESS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM!
The adrenal glands are small walnut-sized glands that are located above the kidneys. These glands produce several key hormones that control almost every function in the body.
The adrenal glands are two glands in one, and each has different functions in the body. The inner adrenal glands make adrenaline. Adrenaline controls body temperature, the bottom number of blood pressure readings, the speed of pulse, the ability to deal with stress, the ability to multitask, memory, sexual function, and many other things.
UNDERSTANDING THE ADRENAL RHYTHM AND ITS IMPORTANCE TO YOUR HEALTH.
The human adrenal glands do not secrete steroid hormones at a constant level throughout the day. When functioning properly, hormones are released in a cycle, with the highest value in the morning and the lowest value at night. This 24-hour cycle is called the circadian rhythm and is depicted below in Figure 1.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN NORMAL ADRENAL RHYTHM STARTS TO CHANGE?
An abnormal adrenal rhythm can influence many functions of the body, some of which are described below:
Abnormal adrenal function can alter the ability of cells to produce energy for the activities of daily life.
People who have a hard time rising in the morning, or who suffer from low energy throughout the day, often have abnormal adrenal rhythms and poor blood sugar regulation.
The maintenance of a stable blood sugar level depends on food choice, lifestyle, adrenal function, and insulin activity. The Adrenal Stress Index™ panel measures stress hormones and insulin to help ferret out the causes of fatigue, cravings, and obesity.
MUSCLE AND JOINT FUNCTION
Abnormal adrenal rhythms are known to compromise tissue healing. Reduced tissue repair and increased tissue breakdown can lead to muscle and joint wasting with chronic pain.
The adrenal rhythm determines how well we build bone. If the night and morning cortisol levels are elevated, our bones do not rebuild well and we are more prone to osteoporosis. Stress is the enemy of the bones. In postmenopausal women, the effect of stress worsens due to female hormone imbalances.
Various immune cells (white blood cells) cycle in and out of the spleen and bone marrow. The immune system trafficking follows the cortisol cycle. If the cycle is disrupted, especially at night, then the immune system is adversely affected.
Short and long-term stress is known to suppress the immune response in the lungs, throat, urinary tract, and intestines. With the reduction in the surface antibody (called secretory IgA), the resistance to infection is reduced and allergic reactions are believed to increase.
The ability to enter REM sleep cycles and experience regenerative sleep is interrupted by high cortisol values at night and in the morning. A chronic lack of REM sleep can reduce a person’s mental vitality and vigor and induce depression.
Human skin regenerates mostly during the night. With higher night cortisol values, less skin regeneration takes place. Therefore a normal cortisol rhythm is essential for optimal skin health.
The level of cortisol at the cell level controls thyroid hormone production. Often, hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue and low body temperature are due to adrenal dysfunction.
GRAIN INTOLERANCE AND STRESS RESPONSE
Approximately 12% to 18% of the U.S. population suffers from a genetic intolerance to grains, such as wheat, rye, or barley contained in cereals, bread, and pasta. A high incidence occurs in people with Celtic, Nordic, non-Caucasian, and Mediterranean ethnicity. The gut becomes inflamed within 30 minutes after consuming grains and this can lead to an adrenal stress response, increased cortisol, and reduced DHEA.
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME (CFS)
A common HPA axis defect in CFS is impaired corticotrophin release. As a result, low cortisol and eventual adrenal atrophy may be observed. Depleted adrenals with flat rhythms are often seen when testing using adrenal function testing. Simultaneous use of several therapies can help improve the debilitating effects of CFS.
Chronic hypoglycemia can impair normal adrenal function by repetitive overstimulation of cortisol production. Recurring exposure to high cortisol will impair insulin activity and invariably lead to insulin resistance and beta-cell exhaustion (diabetes). The ASI™ panel investigates the insulin-cortisol relationship under real-life conditions to allow targeted and meaningful interventions. This panel is useful in the following clinical situations: rapid weight gain and obesity, deranged blood lipids, sugar blues, early diabetes, and associated emotional disturbances.
More than 50 years ago, Dr. W. Jefferies (author of Safe Uses of Cortisol) discovered that patients with environmentally triggered allergies and autoimmune diseases dramatically beneﬁted when given cortisol for other purposes. More recently, German researchers reported that disruption of the adrenal axis and cytokine relationships lead to predisposition and aggravation of autoimmune diseases. The ﬁndings of the ASI™ help identify patients with autoimmune diseases and adrenal problems who can beneﬁt from cortisol supplements.
Several recent publications report a hyperactive HPA axis in depressed patients. Elevated midnight salivary cortisol is now considered one of the best tests in diagnosing endogenous depression. Other anomalies in cortisol rhythm usually accompany the midnight elevation. On the other hand, cortisol elevations and rhythm disruptions throughout the day are typical of attention deﬁcit disorders (ADD).
HOW ARE YOUR ADRENALS FUNCTIONING?
Do you wake up at 6-7 a.m. feeling great, rested, and revived with plenty of energy? You should!
Do you go to sleep easily around 9-10 p.m. and sleep 8-9 uninterrupted hours? You should!
Without, at least, 8 hours of sleep, the adrenal glands cannot recover from the day’s stressors and the body cannot repair!
Do you have sustained energy all day from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep? You should!
THE ADRENAL THYROID CONNECTION
It is very important to understand the connection between the thyroid and the adrenals.
There are millions of people who are diagnosed with thyroid conditions and many of these people also have dysfunctional adrenals. I also see many clients whom we test for adrenal dysfunction that have undiagnosed thyroid issues as well. We have already talked about adrenal fatigue and the cause, so let’s look at how the adrenals play a role in thyroid function.
A DYSFUNCTIONAL THYROID MAY BE SECONDARY TO DYSFUNCTIONAL ADRENALS!
What’s important to understand is that, in most cases, the malfunctioning thyroid gland isn’t the actual cause of the problem. Other areas of the body are usually responsible for the thyroid condition and, while different areas of the body can be affected, in many cases it’s the weakened adrenal glands that lead to the development of the thyroid condition. The reason this is important to understand is because when the adrenal glands are causing the thyroid gland to malfunction if a healthcare professional aims their treatment directly at the thyroid gland and ignores the adrenals, there is absolutely no chance of restoring the patient’s health back to normal.
This is quite obvious, yet it continues to astound me that most endocrinologists and general medical practitioners do the same exact thing when someone comes into their office presenting with thyroid symptoms. They take a case history, perform an exam, and request a simple thyroid blood tests, usually a TSH only. Then assuming the TSH is high or low, prescribe thyroid medication for the rest of the patient’s life (or sometimes RAI for those with hyperthyroidism). Why don’t they evaluate the entire endocrine system, including the adrenal glands? The primary reason is that medical doctors aren’t trained to do so in medical school.
But how can weakened adrenal glands lead to the development of a thyroid condition? The adrenal glands and thyroid work together as a team. When one loses reserves or is stressed, the other picks up the slack. Over time this can cause dysfunction.
So, if you are dealing with hypo or hyperactive thyroid, it would be very beneficial to learn about your adrenals’ functional status.
You just may find the cause of what affects the thyroid and until the adrenal dysfunction is addressed, chances are the thyroid will not improve!
ADRENALIN VERSUS CORTISOL SUPPORT
Dr. Tennant's Adrenal Support Formula is designed to support the lack of adrenalin, whereas Dr. Tennant's Adrenal Desiccated Glandular Formula is designed to support cortisol in the body.
A useful guide to adrenal function appears to be the blood pressure. Systolic appears to be related to adrenal cortex function (cortisol and aldosterone) whereas diastolic appears to be related to adrenalin (tone of peripheral vasculature).
The adrenal cortex makes cortisol (blood sugar and inflammation), aldosterone (how much sodium and thus how much water the kidneys retain), and testosterone. It appears that when the adrenal cortex is stimulated, you get a release of all three of these. Systolic pressure is the pressure when the heart is contracting and is largely influenced by how much fluid volume you have in the system. Thus an increase in aldosterone increases blood pressure above 140 whereas a deficiency of aldosterone would result in systolic blood pressure below 120.
Dr. Tennant's Adrenal Desiccated Glandular Formula contains cortisol, aldosterone, and testosterone, so it is usually helpful when the systolic pressure (without blood pressure medication) is below 120.
The adrenal medulla makes adrenalin. Adrenalin is usually ignored because we don’t have a blood test for it. However, it is very important. It appears that diastolic blood pressure is greatly influenced by adrenalin. Diastolic pressure is the pressure when the heart is at rest. This is largely controlled by the amount of constriction of the peripheral blood vessels. That is controlled by a combination of the effects of adrenalin and nitric oxide. An increase in adrenalin constricts the vessels and tends to raise the diastolic pressure above 90. A lack of adrenalin results in dilation of the peripheral vessels and thus a diastolic pressure below 80.
Confusion exists because the NIH has published that blood pressure should be <110/70. However, most of the doctors on the committee that made that recommendation worked for pharmaceutical companies that sell blood pressure medications. The Cochran Medical Group in the UK does not allow such conflicts of interest. They found that blood pressure should not be treated unless the systolic is above 140 or the diastolic is above 90 and that the fewest heart attacks occurred when the diastolic was 86! Many, if not most, people with blood pressures below 120/80 don’t feel well because their organs aren’t getting adequate oxygen and nutrition and they have poor adrenal function and have trouble dealing with the stresses of life.
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“Cochrane review finds no proved benefit in drug treatment for patients with mild hypertension.” BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5511 (Published 14 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5511