Wondering what supplements are beneficial for adrenal fatigue?
This post covers a few helpful ones
Supplements For Adrenal Fatigue
Vitamin C is one of the main vitamins hosted by the adrenals. When we are under stress we utilise vitamin C at a much faster rate.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals by donating an electron to unstable molecules. It’s also important in collagen formation to help form the matrix of which bones and teeth are established and wounds healed, along with providing structure to our artery walls.
Vitamin C also aids in the conversion of amino acids into neurotransmitters and in the creation of healthy hormones. All of our cells need the aid of vitamin C. When suffering adenal health issues, it’s one of the most important nutrients to increase as it supports the adrenals as it participates in all the functions mentioned above and helps to reduce cortisol levels too. (1)
Recommended dosage is 1,000-2,000mg/day (1), divide it into 2-3 doses over the day to help saturate and support cells (2)
Lowering Cortisol – Phosphatidyl Serine
The supplement known as phosphatidyl serine helps to bring down cortisol in the body.
Phosphatidyl serine is a phospholipid found on the inner part of cell membranes forming part of the cell structure and is important in the maintenance of cell function.
Phosphatidyl serine is best known for helping to improve brain function, sharpening metal focus and improving memory, because it is a natural component of the brain.
Dr James Wilson (3) recommends it for reducing cortisol and this is because it may help to balance the hypothalamus – adrenal chain, known as the HPA (hyperthalamic pituitary axis). The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls the balance of adrenal and hormone function, sending messages via the pituatary gland to other endocrine glands such as the thyroid, adrenals, and ovaries/gonads. Phosphatidyl serine acts a a buffer in the over production of cortisol under stress. (1)
Phosphatidyl serine can be found in foods but as you can see from the list below it’s found in uncommon foods that aren’t on most people’s menus all that much.
Phosphatidyl serine is going to be a good supplement to take for those who have difficulty sleeping in particular, because you need to balance those coritsol highs during the night when you need to sleep.
Recommended dosage is 500mg twice a day. (2)
Want to buy Phosphatidyl serine?
Phosphatidyl Serine – Australia,
Phosphatidyl Serine – US
Fish oil in particular has been shown to reduce coritsol spikes and blunt epinephrine spikes. EPA & DHA have also been shown to lower norepinephrine. (1)
Omega 3s are also one of the highest researched supplements when it comes to reducing inflammation. Getting hold of inflammation is important because the stress response heightens inflammatory processes in the body. And under normal circumstances cortisol acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory but in cases of adrenal fatigue this process is dysfunctional, meaning we need to combat this effectively with clean diet and an increase in Omega 3s.
Cod liver oil is exceptionally good source of EPA & DHA, but if you’re like me and get reflux from fish oils there are alternatives. The alphalinoleic acid in flaxseed or walnut oil will convert to EPA & DHA, so I take 2-3 flaxseed oil capsules after every meal.
Omgea 3 Sources
Alphalinoleic acid – converts to EPA & DHA
EPA & DHA
Pantothenic Acid – Vitamin B5
Pantothenic acid is involved in over 100 processes involved with synthesis of lipids, neurotransmitters, haemoglobin and most importantly here, the synthesis of steroid hormones including adreno-corticosteroids. Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, cramps, depression and irritability and as you can see these relate alot to adrenal fatigue.
Although you could take B5 alone, I find it’s better to take a B complex for overall support of energy production. B vitamins are essential coenzymes in many of the bodies functional processes. A coenzyme is needed by other enzymes, minerals and so forth to produce a reaction in the body. Without them these reactions do not occur so they are very important.
Recomended dosage is to take 500mg of pantothenic acid a day. (3)
Or follow the recommendations on the bottle for B complex vitamins
A vitamin B complex is well known for helping stress and with adrenal fatigue it is no different. Here’s an interesting table I found to demonstrate the benefits.
Image Source: Reference 2. Page 132.
One I often call the miracle mineral because it’s needed for over 300 enzymatic functions in the body. It’s well known for it’s relaxing capacity, muscles, mind, and whole body. You can read a whole artice I wrote about magnesium over here, which includes info on the type of supplement to look for.
Recommended dosage is 500mg/day magnesium. (2)
Hope you find this helpful
Nutritionist & Health Coach
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1. Head KA, Kelly GS. Nutrients and botanicals for the treatment of stress: Adrenal fatigue, neurotransmitter imbalance, anxiety, and restless sleep. Alternative Medicine Review. 2009;14(2):114-140.
2. Ghen MJ, Moore CB. Implications of adrenal insufficiency. – Google Scholar search.
3. Dr James Wilson author of ‘Adrenal Fatigue. The 21st century stress syndrome’.
4. Whitney E, Rolfes SR, Crowe T, Cameron-Smith D, Walsh A. Understanding Nutrition: Australian and New Zealand edition. South Melbourne. Cengage Learning. 2011.
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