Adrenal Energy Formula

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ADRENAL ENERGY FORMULA

Adrenal Energy Formula
120 vegetarian capsules
Item Catalog Number: 01630

When properly supported, the mechanism known as homeostasis enables the body to maintain its normal balance during stress, helping us to remain energized and focused.

Increasingly overwhelmed by stress, however, our bodies seldom get a chance to restore our natural equilibrium.

The result is that an estimated 75%–90% of visits to primary care physicians are now related to the effects of stress.15

Even more alarming is a recently published study16 linking stress with shorter telomeres (the caps on the ends of chromosomes), which is associated with accelerated aging!

Stress disrupts multiple biochemical pathways, including cortisol production, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, pro-inflammatory enzyme production and neurotransmitter production. A pre-clinical study has shown that stress also inhibits neural plasticity (the growth of new connections between neurons in the brain)!17

Fortunately, Life Extension® has created a state-of-the-art formulation of botanical adaptogens, shown to modulate a broad range of factors to help relieve the effects of stress.

Adrenal Energy Formula combines four known stress-modulating extracts—Holy Basil, Cordyceps, Bacopa, and Ashwagandha—each scientifically validated to support homeostasis, even on the most stressful days.

Each of these extracts modulates a different set of stress related changes in the body’s chemistry.18-30 Combined, they may complement each other to provide complete adaptogenic stress defense!

For those who are seeking protection from the effects of stress, Adrenal Energy Formula™ is a broad-spectrum, potent, and safe formulation for maintaining healthy energy and vitality!

Supplement Facts
Serving Size 2 vegetarian capsules
Servings Per Container 60
Amount Per Serving

OciBest® Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) extract 10:1 (whole plant) [std. to 2.5% triterpene acids (15 mg)] 600 mg Proprietary Blend: 516 mg
Sensoril® Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract 5:1 (root and leaves) [std. to 8% withanolide glycoside conjugates and 32% oligosaccharides]
Cordyceps (Paecilomyces hepiali) extract 8:1 (mycelia) [std. to 7% cordycepic acid] BaCognize® Ultra (Bacopa monnieri) extract 25:1 (whole herb) [std. to 25% bacopa glycosides]


Other ingredients: vegetable cellulose (capsule), microcrystalline cellulose, maltodextrin, ascorbyl palmitate, silica.
BACOGNIZE® ULTRA is a registered trademark of Verdure Sciences, Inc.
OciBest® is a registered trademark of Natural Remedies Private Limited.
Sensoril® is protected under US Patent Nos. 6,153,198 and 6,713,092 and is a registered trademark of Natreon, Inc.

Dosage and Use
Take two (2) capsules twice daily with or without food, or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.

Warnings
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN
DO NOT EXCEED RECOMMENDED DOSE
Do not purchase if outer seal is broken or damaged.
When using nutritional supplements, please consult with your physician if you are undergoing treatment for a medical condition or if you are pregnant or lactating.
To report a serious adverse event or obtain product information, contact 1-866-280-2852.

 

 

 

Detaljer

Basilikum er en ettårig plante som normalt blir 20-50 cm høy. Planten har en opprett, firkantet stengel med mange sidegreiner. Bladene sitter parvis oppover stengelen. De er stilkete, bredt ovale og med en spiss. Bladene er vanligvis lyst grønne, men purpurfargete kultivarer finnes. Blomstene, som kommer på ettersommeren, er hvite og sitter i lange, grisne spir.

UTBREDELSE
Basilikum hører naturlig hjemme i India, Midt-Østen og på noen øyer i Stillehavet. Planten dyrkes over store deler av verden der det er varmt eller temperert klima. I middelhavsområdet har basilikum vært dyrket i tusenvis av år. Til Vest-Europa kom ikke urten før i det 16. århundre, og europeiske nybyggere hadde den med til Amerika og Australia.

URTENS EGENSKAPER OG VIRKNING
En svært aromatisk urt, som i tillegg til å brukes i matlagingen også har medisinske egenskaper (gjelder både urten og den eteriske oljen som utvinnes fra den). Basilikum er varmende, krampeløsende, urindrivende, slimløsende, svettedrivende, appetittvekkende, fordøyelsesregulerende, magestyrkende, luftdrivende, avføringsregulerende, blodrensende, melkedrivende, menstruasjonsfremkallende, febersenkende, smertestillende, avgiftende, antiseptisk, bakteriehemmende og insektavvisende. Den kan også bidra til å drive ut innvollsorm. Urten har en beroligende, nervestyrkende og antidepressiv virkning, og regnes som generelt styrkende. Basilikum har ry for å være afrodisierende.

URTEN KAN BRUKES VED FØLGENDE HELSEPLAGER / SYKDOMMER
Dårlig fordøyelse, magekramper, kolikk, magekatarr, tarmkatarr, tarmgass, forstoppelse, kvalme, oppkast, vorter, akner, sår, utslett, hudinfeksjoner, ringorm, kløe, feber knyttet til forkjølelse og influensa, hoste, kikhoste, sår hals, dårlig ånde, leddbetennelser, revmatisme, urinveisplager, hodepine, migrene, depresjoner, nervøsespenninger, søvnløshet, slangebitt og insektstikk.

Bacopa monniera er en urt fra India som har vært tradisjonelt brukt til behandling av mentale sykdomer, epilepsi inkludert. Urten kan være til hjelp for å styrke hukommelsen, øke hjernens funksjon og konsentrasjonsevne og redusere effekter av stress.
Denne teksten er hentet og brukt med tillatelse fra Urtekilden - www.rolv.no

Bacopa inneholder substanser kalt bacosider, som er virker fremmende på hukommelse og mentale funksjoner relatert til hukommelse. Dette skjer ved å øke signaloverføringer av nerveimpulser i hjernen. Bacosider virker også ved å reparere skader på utslitte neuroner (hjerneceller). Bacopa er samtidig et adaptogen, det vil si at den forebygger stress og sykdom.

Cordyceps Sinensis Fordeler
Mye brukt i tradisjonell kinesisk medisin for mer enn 1000 år, er Cordyceps sinensis en parasittisk sopp som vokser på larvene av sommerfugllarver. Vegetabilske del av soppen, som vanligvis finnes i høyder mellom 11 500 og 15 400 fot, modner på sensommeren. Kinesiske urtekyndige ren og tørr sopp for bruk i medisinske anvendelser. Også kjent som caterpillar sopp eller sopp for både dets opprinnelse og wormlike utseende, har urten vist lovende anti-aldring, anti-kreft og immunbeskyttende egenskaper i en rekke foreløpige medisinske forskningsstudier.

Anti-kreft egenskaper

Et team av japanske forskere gjennomført en dyrestudie for å finne ut hvilken effekt, om noen, et vann ekstrakt av Cordyceps sinensis hadde på spredningen av kreftceller. Miltene av laboratorie mus ble injisert med musemelanomceller, hvoretter forskere administreres de samme mus med varierende mengder av en vann-ekstrakt av Cordyceps inn i kroppens hulrom. Den soppekstrakt inhiberte signifikant spredning av kreftceller i leveren hos behandlede mus, og deres forlenget overlevelsestid på en doseavhengig måte. I en artikkel publisert i september 2010 utgaven av "Anticancer Research," Forskerne sier de Cordyceps extract demonstrert potent anti-metastatisk handling. De nevnte denne effekten kan føres delvis til ekstraktet s inhibering av hepatocytt-vekstfaktor, som vanligvis akselererer tumor invasivitet av musemelanomceller.

Anti-aging Properties

Forskere ved University of California, Los Angeles, utforsket effekten av Cordyceps sinensis tilskudd på trening ytelse av eldre forsøkspersoner. Forskerteamet satt sammen en studie gruppe med 20 friske forsøkspersoner i alderen 50 og 75. I løpet av 12-ukers studie, fag fikk kapsler med enten 333 milligram Cordyceps sinensis eller placebo tre ganger om dagen. Ved avslutningen av studien, fant forskerne at de som mottar de Cordyceps kapsler viste signifikant bedre trening ytelse sammenlignet med de som får placebo. I en artikkel i mai 2010 utgaven av "Journal of Alternative og Complementary Medicine," Forskerne sier deres funn tyder på at Cordyceps tilskudd kan bidra til velvære hos friske eldre personer.

Anti-diabetiske Properties

Farmakologiske forskere ved Egypts Zigazag universitetet studerte antidiabetiske effekter av Cordyceps sinensis og aminosyren taurin, både enkeltvis og i kombinasjon. Testpersonene for deres dyrestudie ble laboratorierotter, hvor en modell av diabetes ble opprettet ved injeksjon av streptozotocin. Som rapporterer sine funn i mars-april 2012 utgaven av "Food and Chemical Toxicology," Forskerne sier at Cordyceps alene betydelig økt serum insulin, high-density-lipoprotein kolesterol, total antioksidantkapasitetsnivåer, betacellefunksjon prosent og bukspyttkjertel-redusert glutation ( GSH) innhold. Enkeltvis og i kombinasjon, Cordyceps og taurin bedre enn glibenklamid, en mye foreskrevet anti-diabetiker narkotika, redusere insulinresistens og øker antioksidant kapasitet. Reseptbelagte stoffet viste sterkere hypoglykemiske effekter, imidlertid.

Bekjemper Transplant Arteriosklerose

En formidabel barriere for langsiktig suksess for organtransplantasjon er utvikling av åreforkalkning i blodårene som er involvert i transplantasjon. Kinesiske forskere ved Wenzhou Medical College gjennomført en dyrestudie for å finne ut hvordan behandling med Cordyceps sinensis ville påvirke laboratorierotter som hadde fått aorta transplantasjoner. I en rapport om sin studie i juni 2012 utgaven av "Journal of Surgical Research," sa forskerne at dyr behandlet med Cordyceps viste signifikant mindre arteriosklerotisk utvikling enn de som var ubehandlet.

Ashwagandha bruksområder og fordeler

Ofte referert til som indisk Ginseng er ashwagandha tradisjonelt brukt i Ayurveda medisin innfødte til India. Ordet ayurveda oversettes til fullstendig kunnskap for lang levetid og er praktisert globalt som en anerkjent form for alternativ medisin. I ayurvedisk praksis, har ashwagandha en rekke bruksområder og fordeler som har ført fire japanske og syv amerikanske bedrifter å søke patent på formuleringer som inneholder ashwagandha ekstrakter som en av de viktigste aktive ingrediensene.

Ashwagandha bruksområder og fordelerViktige forbindelser og bivirkninger

Det første noen skulle gjøre når de vurderer å ta en ny formulering, naturlig eller ikke, er å forstå hva de viktigste forbindelsene er. Ashwagandha består hovedsakelig av steroide laktoner og alkaloider, hvorav withanine er det viktigste virkestoffet. Men det er minst 10 andre alkaloider i røttene og flere steroide lactones som er nedfelt i bladene. Det har faktisk ikke vært rapportert bivirkninger, selv i kliniske studier målt mot en placebo hvor resultatene var like. Men gjorde en publisert rapport sier at ashwagandha kan ha negative effekter på skjoldbruskkjertelen. Husk at var en rapport, men hvis en person har problemer med hans eller hennes skjoldbruskkjertelen, ville det være klokt å snakke med en lege før du tar noen kosttilskudd med ashwagandha for første gang.

Helsefremmende fordelene til ashwagandha

I vestlig medisin, er ashwagandha faktisk brukt som noe som kalles komplementær alternativ medisin eller CAM som det ofte referert til. Den brukes som et tillegg til moderne medisin, oftest ved naturopathic og helhetlig utøvere. Det er så mange bruksområder for ashwagandha at det ville være nesten umulig å liste dem alle. Likevel, noen av de vanligste bruksområdene er:

Tidlig aldring
Kronisk tretthet
Svakhet
Senilitet
Forstoppelse
Revmatisme
Nevrodegenerative sykdommer / lidelser
Forstoppelse
Det har også funnet at ashwagandha er effektive i behandling av impotens, seponering, arthritic smerte og angst. I tillegg er det for tiden studier i gang som prøver å avgjøre hvorvidt, og i hvilken grad, er ashwagandha i behandling:

Parkinsons sykdom
Psykisk sykdom (dvs. Bipolar Disorder)
Tuberkulose
Diabetes
Lettelser bivirkninger av cellegift
Selv om det kalles indisk ginseng, synes det som ashwagandha ikke fremmer økt energi så mye som det stimulerer mental skarphet. Mange studier er ennå ikke utført i USA så vel som i Europa, men denne urten er mye brukt i land i hele EU, mest spesielt Tyskland. Nå nylig har studier vist at ashwagandha også har anti-kreftfremkallende egenskaper mot noen former for svulster, men dette kan tilskrives dens antioksidant virkning.

Hvordan er ashwagandha tatt?

Tradisjonelt har ashwagandha tatt i pulverform som er lagt for å varme melk og sukker. Noen mennesker legger kanel, ingefær eller muskat å forbedre smaken. Gjennom årene, indere høstet røttene og enten brukt dem i matlaging eller gjennomsyret bladene i te. Det er foreslått at det tas for en til tre måneder enten morgen eller kveld (eller begge). Mens det er fortsatt mulig å kjøpe hele urten, rot og alt, mest Vesten synes det er for bitter i smaken. På grunn av dette, er ashwagandha formulert i et supplement i kapselform som kan finnes i de fleste gode helsekostbutikker. Når tatt i supplement form dosen er mellom ett og tre korn to ganger daglig.

Ashwagandha vs Ginseng

Det er ikke helt klart hvorfor ashwagandha kalles ginseng som det har absolutt ingenting til felles fra en botanisk synspunkt. Urten har ikke de samme stimulerende egenskaper og må ikke forveksles med ginseng. Mens kinesisk ginseng kan ha uønskede bivirkninger av å holde deg våken om natten, er ashwagandha avslappende og beroligende på nervene. Den eneste likheten, som nevnt ovenfor, er det faktum at det gjør fremme mental skarphet. Også fremmer ashwagandha økt antall spermier i sæd, men er ikke en seksuell stimulant som er ginseng. Det er faktisk flere forskjeller enn det er fellestrekk, som gir ytterligere grunn til forvirring om hvorfor det er ofte forbundet med ginseng.

Som når du tar noen nye supplement for første gang, er det alltid foreslått at du snakker med din egen lege eller behandler før supplere med et nytt produkt. Selv om det har vært noen rapporter om alvorlige bivirkninger, kan det være kontraindisert da tatt med sederende legemidler. De fleste tåler det godt, men det er fortsatt anbefalt å diskutere noe nytt med din egen lege. Brukes alene eller som et supplement til moderne medisin, er ashwagandha en av disse moderne mirakler som har vært i bruk i århundrer andre steder i verden.

New Reason to Avoid Stress

By Michael Downey

New Reason to Avoid STRESS

Scientists have made an alarming discovery—higher stress levels can causeaccelerated shortening of telomeres.1-5

In a recently published study, researchers found that depression-related stress results in the significant shortening of telomeres—the caps at the ends of chromosomes—an indication of accelerated aging!1

The publication of this study emphasizes the importance of minimizing the impact of internal and environmental stress on the body. An estimated 75-90% of visits to primary care physicians are now related to the effects of stress,and this new study documents how lethal stress can be to our well-being and longevity.

Telomeres, Stress, and Aging

Telomeres are protective DNA molecules. Often compared to the plastic caps on the ends of shoelaces, telomeres are found on the ends of coiled pieces of DNA known as chromosomes. They keep the chromosome material from deteriorating, or fusing with other chromosomes.

Every time chromosomes divide, the telomeres at the ends shorten.7 As telomeres are increasingly consumed, they can be replenished by an enzyme called telomerase reverse transcriptase.

The eventual shortening of telomeres is correlated with cellular senescence—and aging.8

Ultimately, the telomeres become so depleted that the cell can no longer divide (known as the Hayflick limit), and that cell dies (apoptosis).9

Scientists have discovered that the multiple biochemical pathways of chronic stress dampen telomerase and accelerate telomere-shortening.1-5 The most recent study found that the telomeres of patients with depression-related stress were over 5% shorter than the telomeres of those who had not been diagnosed with depression.1

Stress and Homeostasis

Stress and Homeostasis

Described as “our leading health problem,” sustained negative stress is now acknowledged as a key driver behind many of today’s health complaints, both psychological and physical.6

Because the term “stress” has long been incorrectly used, it lost its medical meaning. People often use the term to describe any situation they don’t like. For this reason, neuroscientists have recently clarified the term to mean:

 

Conditions where an environmental demand exceeds the natural regulatory capacity of an organism, in particular situations that include unpredictability and uncontrollability.”10

 

Chronic negative stress triggers a number of critical changes throughout the body that act along multiple biochemical pathways, including the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems.

As long as stress levels are low, the effects of stressors are modulated by homeostasis, the body’s ability to maintain harmonious equilibrium by constantly readjusting its physiological processes. Cells and tissues exist in a constantly changing environment, but homeostasis keeps steering internal biochemical and bioelectrical levels back to their near-optimum points.

However, when stress is severe, chronic, or multi-layered, numerous biochemical changes overwhelm the body’s homeostatic mechanism (“environmental demand exceeds the natural regulatory capacity”). Studies have found that these harmful effects can persist long after a stressful situation has been normalized.11,12 As a result, key biochemical levels can remain for too long at suboptimal levels.2 This is called homeostatic imbalance.

Some of the many disease states associated with stress-induced homeostatic imbalance include obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, gastric ulcer, cancer, gastrointestinal complaints, skin issues, neurological disorders, sexual dysfunction, psychological problems, suppressed immunity—and reduced telomerase and shortened telomeres and, as a result, accelerated cellular and tissue aging.1-5

Scientists have long known that homeostasis can be supported through the use of natural extracts calledadaptogens. But to be effective against the onslaught of chronic stress, these pro-homeostatic botanical extracts would need to be combined so that their various mechanisms of action would complement each other to modulate the multiple pathways of stress.

Based on research from a variety of disciplines, researchers have discovered how extracts such as Holy Basil,BacopaCordyceps, and Ashwagandha may protect against a broad range of chronic stress effects.

Full appreciation of the enormity of this finding requires an understanding of the multiple pathways through which stress disrupts homeostasis.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: PROTECTION FROM THE DAMAGING EFFECTS OF STRESS
  • Protection from the Damaging Effects of Stress
    A recently published study1 has confirmed the alarming discovery2-5 that stress can result in the shortening of telomeres— an indicator of accelerated aging!7
  • Scientists have now pinpointed four extracts that powerfully modulate the multiple pathways of stress. Holy Basil, Bacopa, Cordyceps, and Ashwagandha each work to restore homeostasis and inhibit stress damage.
  • Controlled human studies have now shown that the stress defense provided by these four potent adaptogens translates into experientialimprovements in mental and physical health.
  • The effects of stress have a significant impact on everyday health matters with an estimated 75-90% of visits to primary care physicians now related to the effects of stress.

The Multiple Pathways of Stress

Job pressure is recognized as the leading source of stress,13 but whatever the stressor, the cascade of physiological responses is the same.

First, within seconds of the stressful event, various chemicals—neurotransmitters and hormones such as cortisolare released into the bloodstream. They launch the initial fight-or-flight, stress-adaptation responses in which blood glucose rises, blood vessels constrict, the heart races, and blood is diverted away from the digestive system. These responses originate at the cellular level and within every key body system, including the neuroendocrine system, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the immune system, and the primary (endogenous) antioxidant enzyme system.

Second, within minutes of the stressful event—and possibly lasting for several hours, weeks, or longer—specific biochemical pathways are activated within these systems, disrupting the body’s natural homeostasis. If the body cannot restore equilibrium quickly, permanent damage occurs. The end result is a vast spectrum of chronic diseases.1-5

The biochemical effects of stress can be complicated and diverse, but basically, they contribute to the development of or create imbalance in the following:2,14-18

  1. Cortisol (steroid hormone)
  2. Neurotransmitters (noradrenalindopamineserotoninacetylcholineGABA)
  3. Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation
  4. Glucose (blood sugar)
  5. Primary antioxidant activity (e.g., superoxide dismutasecatalase)
  6. Immune activity
  7. Amyloid (linked to 20 serious diseases including Alzheimer’s)
  8. Inflammation (e.g., cyclooxygenase, or COX enzyme)
  9. Gastric ulcerations
  10. Lipid peroxidation (e.g., hepatic)
  11. Plasma creatine kinase (enzyme)
  12. ATP (adenosine triphosphate)
  13. Cognition and memory function
  14. Sexual response and function

Scientists are finding that stress-induced imbalances in levels of cortisol and other stress-affected substances may be seriously damaging important areas of the brain.

THE EFFECT OF STRESS ON YOUR BRAIN
The Effect of Stress on Your Brain
  • Stress is critical for survival. It focuses our attention, heightens our senses, raises our blood pressure and heart rate, and in general prepares us for the fight-or-flight response that can save our lives. At the same time, it shuts down systems not immediately important for short-term survival, such as digestion, or reproduction.

    But prolonged, frequent or extreme stress can have devastating effects on the body and brain.

  • Higher cortisol levels have been detected in Alzheimer’s disease patients and have been linked to memory and cognitive impairments.55
  • Exposure to chronic stress can cause the atrophy of hippocampal dendrites, followed by the apoptotic (programmed) death of neurons.55
  • Stress activates the inflammatory response in the brain. An increase in pro-inflammatory factors, such as cytokines IL-1 and IL-6, can alter synaptic plasticity, affect cognitive skills, and damage memory. In fact, elevated levels of these cytokines have been associated with Alzheimer’s.55
  • Chronic stress was shown to accelerate the impairment of cognitive functions.55
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been characterized as a disease in which there is accelerated aging, including the aging of both the memory and body.56
  • In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the right side of the hippocampus area of the brain was found to be 8% smaller in PTSD patients.56
  • Chronically high cortisol levels are linked to brain damage.57
  • Stress inhibits neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons) in the hippocampus.57
  • Chronic stress has been associated with reduced size or atrophy of the hippocampus, possibly due to increased levels of cortisol.57
Chronic Stress and Adrenal Hormone Output

Inhibiting Stress Pathways

Adaptogens are a pharmacological group of compounds that metabolically support the ability of an organism to respond appropriately to stress, preserve structure and function from the damaging effects of stress, and hasten recovery of homeostasis. The rebalancing effects of adaptogens involve a complex interplay of physiological mechanisms. Adaptogen’s main activity is the increase of a heat shock protein known as Hsp70 that plays a key function in cell survival and apoptosis (programmed cell death).19 Different adaptogens modulate different levels along the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Some mediate cortisol, nitric oxide, or molecular chaperons.19

When combined adaptogens work together to modulate the multiple pathways of stress, the multiple benefits include improved mental and physical performance, reduced incidence of chronic disease, and increased longevity.2,19

Scientists investigated numerous extracts—some used for thousands of years to treat various stress-related symptoms.

This research led to four potent adaptogens that can provide a united defense against the multiple cellular pathways of chronic stress:

Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

Holy Basil

Holy Basil
(Ocimum tenuiflorum)

Also known as tulsi, Holy Basil has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years. Studies have shown that it modulates the effects of a variety of stress responses, as well as decreases cholesterol and increases endurance.20-25

Researchers have found that Holy Basil helps maintain internal equilibrium by normalizing specific, stress-induced, homeostatic imbalances in the areas of:

  • Blood sugar25,26
  • Antioxidant activity26,27
  • Inflammation28
  • Gastric ulceration23
  • Cholesterol levels and lipid peroxidation27,29
  • Plasma creatine kinase (enzyme)30

Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri)

Bacopa

Bacopa
(Bacopa monnieri)

This aquatic plant, also known as water hyssop, is found in tropical and subtropical regions, and has been used for several thousand years, especially in India, as a rejuvenating herb. Research on Bacopa monnieri has indicated that it has an adaptogenic effect on systems related to cognition, motivation, sensory, and motor function.31-35 It has also shown to provide a significant decrease in stress-related anxiety, mental fatigue, and memory loss.33

Recently, scientists have found that Bacopa modulates particular, stress-triggered disruptions in homeostasis:

  • Cortisol36
  • Neurotransmitters36
  • Antioxidant activity37
  • Amyloid37
  • Lipid peroxidation37
  • Cognition and memory38

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)

Cordyceps

Cordyceps
(Cordyceps sinensis)

Use of Cordyceps, which is a remarkably versatile medicinal mushroom, dates back almost two centuries. However, Cordyceps really grabbed Western attention in 1993 after its use was suggested to be the secret behind the setting of a series of long-distance records by Chinese female runners within a very short period of time. Research has since established it as a therapy for the accelerated strengthening and revitalization of the body after exhaustion or lengthy illness.39-41

Studies show that Cordyceps normalizes stress-induced homeostatic imbalances in the following areas:

  • Blood sugar41,42
  • Antioxidant activity43,44
  • Immune activity39,45
  • Inflammation39
  • Lipid peroxidation43
  • ATP (adenosine triphosphate)46
  • Sexual function43
  • HPA axis activity43

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha
(Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng or Withania somnifera, is considered the foremost adaptogen in Ayurvedic medicine. Studies have shown that it helps the body to recover from the energy loss and mood-altering effects of stress.47-50

Scientists have found that Ashwagandha modulates stress-induced changes to homeostasis in the areas of:

  • Neurotransmitters (affecting depression and anxiety)51
  • Cortisol52
  • HPA axis activity14
  • Lipid peroxidation52
  • Blood sugar14
  • Antioxidant activity52
  • Inflammation14
  • Gastric ulceration20

Inhibiting the Effects of Stress in Humans

As we have seen, each of these four botanical extracts have been individually studied for their modulatory effects on stress in humans. The scientists who conducted these studies set out to determine whether these adaptogens could not only modulate multiple biochemical pathways of stress but also provide experiential improvements in mental and physical health. Across all studies, subjects were given standardized doses of the botanical, then evaluated for a range of indicators of health and wellbeing, looking for measurable improvements in vitality and performance. The results of these studies set the standard for clinical dosages.

Holy Basil

To test the ability of Holy Basil to modulate homeostatic imbalance, scientists arranged a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which 71 humans took 1,200 mg a day of Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), and 79 others took a placebo. For both groups, various cognitive and energy-related symptoms of stress were measured using a standard analysis (RMANOVA) at 0, 2, 4, and 6 weeks.

Scores were determined to be substantially improved for all stress related symptoms measured, including forgetfulness, sexual problems of recent origin, frequent feeling of exhaustion, and frequent sleep problems of recent origin. Also, the overall stress-management scores were found to have improved by an additional 39% for the Holy Basil group over the placebo group—and this improvement was observed in just 6 weeks!53

Bacopa

Scientists set up a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study for which they enlisted 20 healthy older adults age 60-75, each of which were given a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract in a 300 mg oral dosage once per day. (This is equivalent to 132 mg daily of a more concentrated Bacopa extract.) Focus, attention, learning, memory, mood, and overall intelligence—all of which can be negatively impacted by stress—were assessed using a battery of standardized tests.

After 4 months, several key indicators of cognitive function improved significantly from baseline measurements—including a 23% improvement in focus and attention, a 24% improvement in aspects of learning and memory, a15% improvement in performance measures of intelligence, and a 30% improvement in mood, particularly depression. One of the most compelling findings in this study was the trend to do better on tests of attention, processing speed and working memory, which could be considered the “front end” of cognitive processing. In other words, good performance in key cognitive domains requires adequate attention and processing speed—which Bacopa is shown to support.54

Cordyceps

The day-to-day experience of the effects of chronic stress can include reduced libido. To evaluate the capacity ofCordyceps sinensis to protect against loss of libido, scientists enlisted 189 men and women with decreased sex drive for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The test group took Cordyceps (strain Cs-4) in dosages of3 grams daily. (This translates to 375 mg of commercially prepared product, because it is formulated as an 8:1extract.)

Among the test group, over 66% experienced improvement in sex drive—in just 40 days.39 It is important to note that Cordyceps Cs-4 did not simply support continued sex drive in healthy participants; it reversed previously assessed libido loss.

Ashwagandha

Scientists analyzed the stress-attenuating effects of Withania somnifera in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study of 98 chronically stressed, adult men and women. Subjects were randomly assigned to the placebo group, or to one of three Ashwagandha dosage groups: 125 mg once a day125 mg twice a day, or 250 mg twice a day. Stress levels were assessed at the beginning of the study, and again at 60 days of treatment, using a modified Hamilton anxiety (mHAM-A) scale. Also, certain biochemical and clinical values were measured, such as cortisol or blood pressure levels.

(A reduced score on the mHAM-A scale indicates fewer symptoms of: fatigue, flushing, perspiration, loss of appetite, headache, muscle pain, feelings of impending doom, palpitations, dry mouth, sleeplessness, forgetfulness, irritability, or inability to concentrate.)

After 60 days, the group taking the least Ashwagandha—125 mg daily—had significantly reduced mHAM-A anxiety scores. This arm of the study also showed significantly decreased serum C-reactive protein (a measure of inflammation), pulse rate, and blood pressure, as well as balanced levels of serum cortisol.14

After the same 60-day period, the higher-dose Ashwagandha groups also showed greater, dose-dependent responses in these same anxiety and biochemical parameters. But the researchers found that, additionally, the higher-dose subjects showed significantly reduced mean fasting glucose, serum lipid profiles, and cardiac risk ratios.14

It is particularly significant that all of the participants in this study had previously been diagnosed as chronically stressed.

No adverse effects were found for any of the four botanicals used in the studies. The various study findings confirm that these four adaptogenic extracts offer—at a basic biochemical level—substantial homeostatic protection against the multiple pathways of stress.

STRESS-INDUCED HOMEOSTATIC IMBALANCE
Stress-Induced Homeostatic Imbalance
  • Homeostasis is the ability and tendency of a body to maintain harmonious equilibrium by constantly readjusting its physiological processes. Cells and tissues exist in a constantly changing environment—homeostasis steers internal biochemical levels back to near-optimum points.
  • Physical and emotional stress triggers a cascade of biochemical changes, causing homeostatic imbalance.
  • This interruption in homeostasis helps us prepare for dangerous external situations.
  • These changes are supposed to be moderate, infrequent, and short-term.
  • Ordinarily, after a stressor has passed, our system adjusts—raising and lowering different biochemical levels—returning the body to homeostasis.
  • In today’s world, our feedback mechanisms become overwhelmed by the extent, duration, intensity, frequency, or multiple layering of stress.
  • This produces an excessive or prolonged homeostatic imbalance.
  • Studies have even found that these harmful effects can persist long after a stressful situation has been normalized.11,12
  • The result can be a multitude of physical and mental diseases, including permanent organ damage, DNA effects, and the physical changes associated with aging.
  • Fortunately, extracts including Holy Basil, Bacopa, Cordyceps, and Ashwagandha have been shown to support the full range of homeostatic pathways.

Summary

In an alarming development, scientists have discovered that higher stress levels can result in the accelerated shortening of telomeres—an indicator of accelerated aging.

The good news is a formulation comprised of four broadly-acting adaptogenic extracts—Holy Basil, Bacopa, Cordyceps, and Ashwagandha—has been developed that may work to modulate multiple stress pathways. Scientists have shown in controlled human studies—including patients who were chronically stressed—that these pro-homeostatic extracts result in experiential improvements in mental and physical health.

Holy Basil, for instance, improved stress management scores by 39% more than placebo—in just 6 weeks. Bacopa improved mood scores, particularly depression, by 30%.54

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at1-866-864-3027.

References

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2. Epel ES. Psychological and metabolic stress: A recipe for accelerated cellular aging? Hormones. 2009;8(1):7-22.

3. Houben JMJ, Mercken EM, Ketelslegers HB. Telomere shortening in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.Respiratory Medicine. 2009;103:230-6.

4. Watfa G, Dragonas C, Brosche T, et al. Study of telomere length and different markers of oxidative stress in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Jour Nutr Health & Aging. 2011;15(4):227-81.

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6. Available at: http://www.stress.org/americas.htm. Accessed Feb. 4, 2012.

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11. Opstad K. Circadian rhythm of hormones is extinguished during prolonged physical stress, sleep and energy deficiency in young men. Eur J Endocrinol. 1994;131:56-66.

12. Esterling BA, Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Bodnar JC, Glaser R. Chronic stress, social support, and persistent alterations in the natural killer cell response tocytokines in older adults. Health Psychol. 1994;13:291-8.

13. Available at: http://www.stress.org/job.htm. Accessed Feb. 5, 2012.

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15. Kang J-E, Cirrito JR, Dong H, Csernansky JG, Holtzman DM. Acute stress increases interstitial fluid amyloid-beta via corticotropin-releasing factor and neuronal activity. PNAS. 2007;104(25):10673-8.

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17. Sapolsky R. Why zebras don’t get ulcers: An updated guide to stress, stress-related diseases, and coping. New York: Henry Holt and Co.; 2004.

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22. Sen P, Maiti PC, Puri S, et al. Mechanism of anti-stress activity of Ocimum sanctum Linn, eugenol and Tinospora malabarica in experimental animals. Indian J Exp Biol. 1992;30:592-6.

23. Singh S, Majumdar DK. Evaluation of the gastric anti-ulcer activity of fixed oil of Ocimum sanctum (holy basil). J Ethnopharmacol. 1999;65(1):13-9.

24. Sembulingam K, Sembulingam P, Namasivayam A. Effect of Ocimum sanctum Linn on noise induced changes in plasma corticosterone level. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1997;41(2):139-43.

25. Rai V, Iyer U, Mani UV. Effect of tulasi (Ocimum sanctum) leaf powder supplementation on blood sugar levels, serum lipids and tissue lipids in diabetic rats. Plant Foods for Human Nutr. 1997;50:9-16.

26. Sethi J, Sood S, Seth S, Talwar A. Evaluation of hypoglycemic and antioxidant effect of Ocimum sanctumInd J Clin Biochem. 2004;19(2):152-5.

27. Subramanian M, Chintalwar GJ, Chattopadhyay S. Antioxidant and radioprotective properties of an Ocimum sanctum polysaccharide. Redox Rep. 2005;10(5):257-64.

28. Singh S, Nair V, Jain S, Gupta YK. Evaluation of antiinflammatory activity of plant lipids containing alpha-linolenic acid. Ind Jour Exp Biol. 2008;46(6):453-6.

29. Suanarunsawat T, Boonnak T, Na Ayutthaya WD, Thirawarapan S. Anti-hyperlipidemic and cardioprotective effects of Ocimum sanctum L. fixed oil in rats fed a high fat diet. J Basic Clin Phys Pharmacol. 2010;21(4):387-400.

30. Gupta P, Yadav DK, Siripurapu KB, Palit G, Maurya R. Constituents of Ocimum sanctum with antistress activity. J Nat Prod. 2007 Sep;70(9):1410-6.

31. Singh HK, Rastogi RP, Srimal RC, et al. Effect of bacosides A and B on avoidance responses in rats. Phytother Res. 1988;2(2):70-5.

32. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Effect of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi) extract on avoidance response in rat. J Ethnopharmacol. 1982;5:205-14.

33. Singh RH, Singh L. Studies on the anti-anxiety effects of the medhya rasayana drug, Brahmi (Bacopa monnieraWettst.) part I. J Res Ayur Siddha. 1960;1(1):133-48.

34. Rao GM, Karanth KS. Neuropharmacological activity of Herpestis monnieraFitoterapia. 1992;63(5):399-404.

35. Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, et al. The chronic effects of an extract on Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001;156(4):481-4.

36. Sheikh N, Ahmad A, Siripurapu KB, Kuchibhotla VK, Singh S, Palit G. Effect of Bacopa monniera on stress induced changes in plasma corticosterone and brain monoamines in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 May 22;111(3):671-6.

37. Dhanasekaran M, Tharakan B, Holcomb LA, Hitt AR, Young KA, Manyam BV. Neuroprotective mechanisms of Ayurvedic antidementia botanical Bacopa monnieraPhytother. Res. 2007;21:965-9.

38. Raghav S, Singh H, Dalal PK, Srivastava JS, Asthana OP. Randomized controlled trial of standardized Bacopa monniera extract in age-associated memory impairment. Ind J Psych. 2006;48(4):238-42.

39. Zhu JS, Halpern GM, Jones K. The scientific rediscovery of an ancient Chinese herbal medicine: Cordyceps sinensisPart II. J Altern Complement Med. 1998;4(4):429-57.

40. Dai G, Bao T, Xu C, et al. CordyMax Cs-4 improves steady-state bioenergy status in mouse liver. J Altern Complement Med. 2001;7(3):231-40.

41. Kiho T, Ookubo K, Usui S, et al. Structural features and hypoglycemic activity of a polysaccharide (CS-F10) from the cultured mycelium of Cordyceps sinensisBiol Pharm Bull. 1999;22(9):966-70.

42. Kiho T, Hui J, Yamane A, Ukai S. Polysaccharides in fungi. XXXII. Hypoglycemic activity and chemical properties of a polysaccharide from the cultural mycelium of Cordyceps sinensisBiol. Pharm. Bull. 1993 Dec;16(12):1291-3.

43. Zhu JS, Halpern GM, Jones K. The scientific rediscovery of an ancient Chinese herbal medicine: Cordyceps sinensis. Part I. J Altern Complement Med. 1998;4(3):289-303.

44. Li SP, Li P, Dong TT, et al. Anti-oxidation activity of different types of natural Cordyceps sinensis and cultured Cordyceps mycelia. Phytomedicine. 2001 May;8(3):207-12.

45. Khan MA, Tania M, Zhang D, Chen H. Cordyceps mushroom: A potent anticancer nutraceutical. Open Nutra Jour. 2010 May;3:179-83.

46. Manabe N, Sugimoto M, Azuma Y. Effects of the mycelial extract of cultured Cordyceps sinensis on in vivo hepatic energy metabolism in the mouse. Jpn J Pharmacol. 1996;70:85-8.

47. Grandhi A, Mujumdar AM, Patwardhan BA. Comparative pharmacological investigation of ashwagandha and ginseng. J Ethnopharmacol. 1994;44:131-5.

48. Mishra LC, Singh BB, Dagenais S. Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha): a review. Altern Med Rev. 2000;5(4):334-46.

49. Schliebs R, Liebmann A, Bhattacharya SK, et al. Systemic administration of defined extracts from Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng) and shilajit differentially affects cholinergic but not glutamatergic and gabaergic markers in rat brain. Neurochem Int. 1997;30:181-90.

50. Archana R, Namasivayam A. Antistressor effect of Withania somniferaJ Ethnopharmacol. 1999;64:91-3.

51. Gupta GL, Rana AC. Protective effect of Withania somnifera Dunal root extract against protracted social isolation induced behavior in rats. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007;51:345-53.

52. Dhuley JN. Effect of ashwagandha on lipid peroxidation in stress-induced animals. J Ethnopharmacol. 1998;60:173-8.

53. Saxena RC, Singh R, Kumar P, et al. Efficacy of an extract of Ocimum tenuiflorum (OciBest) in the management of general stress: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:894509. Epub 2011 Oct 3.

54. Unpublished study conducted at the University of Montana; data provided by vendor.

55. Beer SF, Bircham PM, Bloom SR, et al. The effect of a 72-h fast on plasma levels of pituitary, adrenal, thyroid, pancreatic and gastrointestinal hormones in healthy men and women. J Endocrinol. 1989;120:337.

56. Riccia S, Fusob A, Ippolitic F, Businaroc R. Stress-induced cytokines and neuronal dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. J Alz Dis. 2012; 28:11-24.

57. Bremner JD. Does stress damage the brain? Understanding trauma-related disorders from a mind-body perspective. In: Directions in Psychiatry. 2004; 15(24)167-76.

Reducing the Risks of High Cortisol

By Jan Whiticomb

By Jan Whiticomb

Reducing the Risks of High Cortisol

Cortisol is a hormone that, when released in excess, can create a host of pathological conditions in the body.

When we are under stress or have an infection, cortisol raises our blood pressure and blood sugar. These changes help us survive short periods of stress, but they hurt us when they continue for years.

The problems associated with chronically elevated cortisol levels include:

  • Suppressed immunity
  • Hypertension
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Insulin resistance
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
  • Fat deposits on the face, neck, and belly
  • Reduced libido
  • Bone loss1

Cortisol is a “stress hormone” that is responsible for many of the long-term health consequences suffered by those who encounter frequent stressful situations.

In this article, you will discover data about a natural remedy that reduces harmful cortisol levels. The benefits include improved sleep quality, immunity, stress response, and organ function.

The Dangers of Cortisol

Our bodies have a built-in mechanism for protecting us from the effects of acute, immediate stress (say, an attack by a wild animal). That effect, often called the “stress response,” involves production of several hormones in the adrenal gland. Following the immediate “adrenaline rush” that helps us escape the danger, we experience a massive release of cortisol, often referred to as the “stress hormone.”

Short-term bursts of cortisol are necessary to help us recover from the effects of stress. They boost blood sugar levels, providing immediate energy. They bolster immune responses in the short-term. They pull calcium from our bones, making it available to muscles for immediate action. They reduce our response to pain, keeping us focused on survival. And they enhance short-term memory, enabling us to evade similar threats in the near future.

Reducing the Risks of High Cortisol

Short, intermittent bursts of cortisol helped our ancestors survive in the wilderness and still come to our aid today. But unlike our ancestors, we face chronically stressful situations such as job loss and financial insecurity. Additionally, there are new biological stressors such as obesity and environmental toxins. This chronic stressmeans that we experience chronic cortisol elevation—where levels of the stress hormone never get a chance to return to normal. This produces a major problem that threatens our health and longevity.

The effects of chronic overexposure to cortisol can be devastating. Prolonged cortisol elevations result in sustained elevations of blood sugar, substantial loss of calcium from bones, depression of important immune responses, high blood pressure, loss of muscle mass, increased fat accumulation, and even loss of cognitive function.

If you’ve ever seen someone on chronic steroid therapy, say, for protection against transplant rejection, you’ve seen the destructive effects of cortisol: such people develop a classic “moon face,” the result of excess fat and fluid accumulations. They develop a stooped posture, the result of calcium losses from bones. They often succumb to infections, the result of excessive immune suppression. Less obviously, but still of concern, they often develop dangerous hypertension requiring medication, and they can develop a range of cognitive dysfunctions as well.

So how can we preserve the beneficial effects of short-term cortisol elevations in response to acute, dangerous stress, while tamping down the dangerous effects of chronic, long-term cortisol elevations? That’s where adaptogens such as rhodiola become important.

The reason that the Soviet scientists were so interested in rhodiola was that they recognized its value in situations where long-term stress was an issue. They saw that rhodiola’s adaptogenic powers could balance the impairments produced by chronic stress without interfering with the valuable short-term stress response. Modern science is further validating rhodiola’s ability to mitigate the impact of chronic cortisol elevations.

A large, phase III placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in Sweden in 2009, studying participants aged 20-55 years with a diagnosis of stress-related fatigue.2 Subjects taking the rhodiola extract had significantly lower cortisol responses to chronic stress than did the placebo recipients—and as a result they had lower scores on scales of burnout and improved performance on cognitive testing.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: RHODIOLA: AN INCREASINGLY POPULAR ADAPTOGEN
Enhanced Longevity
  • Rhodiola is a known adaptogen—a plant-based compound that improves resistance to stress.
  • It exerts system-wide protective and restorative effects, increasing longevity and healthy life span in experimental models.
  • It has been shown to favorably modulate the stress response, restore vital organ function, and boost immunity.
  • It also combats aging cognitive function, minimizing depression, and anxiety.
  • Rhodiola enhances muscle performance, increases endurance, prevents muscle damage, and improves blood circulation.

A placebo-controlled Chinese study in 2009 also revealed protective effects of rhodiola on stress-induced cortisol levels in otherwise healthy individuals.3 In this case, subjects who received rhodiola experienced no change in their cortisol levels, while levels rose sharply among placebo recipients when both groups were exposed to chronic stress in the form of endurance exercise. Rhodiola also increased the efficiency with which subjects used oxygen, potentially reducing additional stress from oxygen radicals.

Advanced laboratory studies have now demonstrated that rhodiola achieves its cortisol-lowering, stress-fighting effects through several different mechanisms. Rhodiola directly interacts with the brain-adrenal gland system to reduce cortisol production while enhancing stress-resistance proteins.4 It upregulates “stress-sensor” proteins that reduce the production and impact of cortisol, resulting in enhanced mental and physical performance and even longevity.5 And multiple studies have demonstrated the complete lack of side effects from rhodiola supplementation.2,4

Modulating the Stress Response

Modulating the Stress Response

Unlike any other compound, adaptogens condition your body to respond favorably to stress at the physiological level through a unique mechanism.

Adaptogens deliver minute shocks of mild stress that condition your physiology to respond to more major stresses in a favorable way. Interestingly, this is similar to the vaccine theory of innoculating the body with a small but harmless amount of a virus to help the body fend off a major attack.6

Rhodiola reduces fatigue and restores normal mental and physiological functioning, even in stressed humans categorized as having “burnout.”6,7 Studies of highly stressed individuals—doctors working overnight shifts, students studying for major exams—all demonstrate improvements in fatigue level, neuro-motor performance, and perceptive and cognitive function, even when tested under ongoing stressful conditions.8-10

A study of young to middle-aged women with significant impairment from living in psychologically stressful environments demonstrated improved scores on attention, speed, and accuracy during stressful cognitive tasks.11Those effects were evident just two hours after a single dose of rhodiola combined with Siberian ginseng andSchisandra chinensis. No serious side effects were reported in this or any other study of rhodiola.4

RHODIOLA RESEARCH CONDUCTED IN RUSSIA

Scarcely heard of in this country, rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb that first gained prominence when used by Russian cosmonauts to improve their endurance, concentration, and strength during space missions. During the Cold War, the Russians began to scientifically study the use of adaptogenic herbs for their elite athletes and military.

Their goal was to identify a natural product that created a

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