In today’s Metabolic Minute® we’re discussing adaptogens. Although many people take these supplements, few people truly understand what happens in the body when you take them and how they can help you manage and counteract the negative effects of chronic stress.
How does chronic stress effect your body, and your brain?
When your body goes through excessive stress over time it’s called allostatic load. What happens is that your brain starts to change its signals, both as it relates to neurochemicals and neurotransmitters. These changes affect your mood, behavior, focus, concentration, as well as your ability to get a restful night’s sleep and the hormones that get signaled throughout your body. Testosterone for example is down regulated during times of high and prolonged stress. Chronic stress also alters the effect of thyroid hormone on its receptors as well as the production of thyroid hormone.
Why take adaptogens and which ones do you recommend?
When you take an adaptogen it affects the brain. In addition to that it can have downstream effects on other organs and tissues. Here are some of our go-to adaptogens and their benefits:
This is fantastic for improving memory, concentration, and focus as well as getting dopamine and norepinephrine back up. At the same time, it also helps to lower your heart rate. Rhodiola actually works both centrally on the brain and also in the periphery on the nervous system which will improve efficiency of your heart rate under metabolic duress.
Helps improve your cortisol to testosterone ratios because it limits the effect of stress on the brain and gets the gonadotropin releasing hormone firing again so that you can start to make more testosterone.
Another fantastic herb that’s an adaptogen that works on the cortisol to free testosterone ratio.
Great way to improve oxygenation of your tissues. It helps with your sex hormone receptor zones in the brain. In addition to that, it has great nephro-protective or kidney-protective effects because of its improvement of redox potential or otherwise improving oxidation reduction reactions.
So the next time you reach for an adaptogen, don’t just think you’re protecting your adrenals. You now know the global effect they have on your whole body and metabolic systems.a
Metabolic TRIADS® to Pay Attention to:
Triad 1: Energy (Adrenal – Thyroid – Pancreas) encompasses the relationship between three important hormones: cortisol, insulin, and thyroid, which reflect the state of stress, glucose balance, and metabolism. In their most basic function, each is responsible for energy production. When Triad 1 is balanced, a person feels vital and healthy, but when unbalanced, a person feels fatigued and has a higher propensity for being overweight or obese.
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