NERD ALERT: if you’re stressed, you need to know about this...
The supplement you should know: ASHWAGANDHA
Evidence is pretty conclusive that high levels of the stress hormone Cortisol over any period of time is not good for you and especially not good for a healthy conception (click here to learn more).
Question is - what can you do about it?
Now, first and foremost you should consider addressing the root causes as to why your stress levels may high. That has to be the first port of call. However, there are also ways to help your body deal with the physiological effects of stress better. Ashwagandha is something to consider.
Question is: what does it do, how does it do it and most crucially does it work?
A paper published in 2012 suggested some interesting findings...
This study was double-blind (which means neither the participants or the experimenters know who is receiving the treatment), randomized, placebo-controlled. The participants were given Ashwagandha root extract and the aim was to see if it had any tangible effect on stress and in particular Cortisol levels in the blood.
Well. It seems to work:
‘The serum cortisol levels were substantially reduced (P=0.0006) in the Ashwagandha group, relative to the placebo group’
Now, here’s what else you need to know….
There have been thousands of trials around Ashwagandha (it has been used for thousands of years), however, not as many on humans directly. This study is one and whilst no study is perfect, and we always need more information, it did have some interesting findings.
Most interestingly is the impact that Ashwagandha appears to have on Cortisol in the blood (in this case Serum Cortisol levels).
How does it do this?
The study talks about what is actually present within Ashwagandha which appears to be multifaceted in its abilities (impacting neurological, immune, endocrine and reproductive functions within the body). The key elements within it are ‘withanolides, sitoindosides and other alkaloids that are pharmacologically and medicinally important. These chemicals protect cells from oxidative damage and disease.’
Sitoindoside in particularly are known anti-stress agents (studied in rats showed significant reduction of incidence of stress-induced gastric ulcers).
Both the groups studied had similar levels of cortisol to start with. However, by the end of the study these levels looked considerably different. After 60 days a near 30% reduction was shown in the treatment group.
First and foremost - it is NOT advised if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is important. Secondly, as always you have to carefully read the instructions on the packaging and consult your doctor if you have any health complications before taking any supplement. Always start small and listen to how your body reacts.
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.