One of the effects of stress is an increased output in cortisol, an adrenal hormone. Excess production of cortisol has been linked with increased fat deposition and loss of muscle mass. This is because cortisol stimulates the production of glucose (blood sugar) from proteins at the same time it increases synthesis of fat, particularly in the abdominal area. Cortisol also causes an increased craving for carbohydrates, especially sweets.
Stress management, therefore, is very important to weight loss. Learning to slow down, breathe deeply and make time for relaxing, pleasurable experiences (such as a good massage, hot bath or a pleasant walk in nature) will greatly enhance any weight loss program. Fortunately, there are also herbs and supplements that can help reduce the output of stress hormones and reduce the effects of stress in the body.
Nature’s Cortisol is a formula containing herbs and nutrients that help manage cortisol output. It can help reduce stress, control blood sugar levels and lose weight when combined with good eating, exercise, stress management and other weight-management strategies.
Nature’s Cortisol isn’t just for weight loss, however. It can also be used to counteract the effects of excessive stress.
Here are what the ingredients in this blend do.
Magnolia Bark (Magnolia officinalis) Extract
Magnolia bark has been used in Chinese medicine for many centuries. It contains magnolol and homokiol, two antioxidants that are 300-1000 more potent than vitamin E. This gives protective effects for the cardiovascular system. Magnolia is anti-inflammatory and helps prevent the build-up of arterial plaque. Alkaloids in magnolia bark relax skeletal muscles, increasing relaxation. It also helps reduce anxiety and feelings of stress. Magnolia bark may also stimulate GABA(A) receptor sites, thereby calming nervous system activity.
Phellodendron (Phellodendron amurense) Extract
This plant has also been used in Chinese medicine. It has a positive benefit on the cardiovascular system with antioxidant effects. It also decreases blood pressure, increases coronary blood flow and has stress reducing properties.
The combination of magnolia bark extract and phellodendron extract has been shown to help control mild anxiety and to reduce elevated cortisol and DHEA levels associated with stress. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, it was shown that the combined extracts of these two herbs could help moderate the tendency of those who eat in response to stress.
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
An Indian herb used in Ayurvedic medicine, Holy Basil is classified as an expectorant and demulcent. It also has some antimicrobial activity, including antibacterial, antifungal, and anthelmintic (antiparasitic activity against worms) properties. Holy basil also has antioxidant and antidepressant activity. Studies have shown that the leaf of Holy Basil can help balance blood sugar levels and decrease the effects of stress by normalizing levels of corticosteroid hormones like cortisol.
Banaba Extract (Lagerstroemia speciosa)
This herb comes from the Philippines where it has been used in the treatment of diabetes. A constituent called corosolic acid helps balance blood sugar levels and activates the transport of glucose into the cells, making it useful for overcoming insulin resistance. This suggests the plant may be helpful for obesity and type II diabetes.
Green Tea Extract (Camellia sinensis)
Green tea has powerful antioxidants that protect cells against DNA damage and lipid peroxidation. It may be helpful for preventing cancer, lowering cholesterol and protecting against heart disease. The extract in Nature’s Cortisol is decaffeinated.
An amino acid mainly found in green tea, L-theanine may induce relaxation in humans, possibly through its effects on serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters. This makes it useful for calming anxiety without causing drowsiness or impairing motor skills.
Because DHEA and cortisol share a common biopathway for synthesis, increased cortisol due to stress can reduce DHEA levels. Conversely, administration of DHEA can reduce cortisol levels. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study using DHEA over a six month period showed that administering DHEA could reduce fat stores in the body. It also increased insulin sensitivity.
A trace element required for glucose metabolism, GTF chromium facilitates binding of insulin to insulin receptors. It has been shown that supplements can improve blood glucose, insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides profiles in diabetics.
Another trace element, vanadium has insulin-like properties that help to improve insulin sensitivity.
There is some evidence that suggests calcium supplements may help weight loss.
One capsule with meals, three times daily. Nature’s Cortisol helps when cortisol is too high, but in situations where people are suffering from adrenal fatigue, it may not be helpful for weight loss. In these cases Adrenal Support is a better choice.
The Comprehensive Guide to Nature’s Sunshine Products by Tree of Light