adrenal supplements - how do you know if you need them?


New member
Apr 11, 2006
My sister asked this question and I thought I'd ask your opinion

She wants to know, how you know if you need adrenal support? and, if you take supplements for your adrenal glands and you don't need them, will it harm you?

My sister & husband are under a lot of stress - they bought a property, took over a business, and have had extensive remodeling done. Money is tight and just starting out with a business is stressful. They are both in their upper 20's. I know she is concerned about their health - they have a good diet. I don't know how much supplementing they do.

What would be a good basic supplement to take to avoid going down due to too much stress?


Beloved Mentor
Apr 8, 2006
adrenals only for stress?

I don't know why we would limit it to adrenal support. The adrenals do respond to stress by secreting hormones like epinephrine and corticosteroids, but the "bad" effect of stress is the effect of these hormones on the rest of the body.

Epinephrine is from an amino acid, tyrosine/phenylalanine, with addition of OH ion. The hydroxylation needs vitamin C for the reaction. I read somewhere that the highest concentration of vitamin C in the body is in the adrenals. So for epinephrine, we would need protein (as source of the needed amino acids) and vitamin C. Protein is one nutrient that really relieves stress in dogs 8), clearly demonstrated in the highest stressed dogs: sled dogs of arctic regions.

Corticosteroids are made from the cholesterol molecule. We usually don't need any of this because the body can make it from glucose. Though really low cholesterol diets have been associated with suicidal tendencies (can't deal with the stress?) so better start eating eggs as well. :wink: It would provide a good source of protein, too.

Now for the "bad" effects of these hormones, particularly corticosteroids. Vitamin A is observed to counter the immunosuppressive effects of corticosteroids. Phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) and phosphatidylserine have shown reduction of the protein breakdown from corticosteroids brought about by stress (read this in muscle mags). Since an effect of corticosteroids is protein breakdown to supply needed glucose for possible fight-or-flight, then it would be good to have protein, too, if not glucose (carbs). Of course, utilization of these would require the B-complex, alpha lipoic acid, and oxygen.

In all, we're always under stress. It's just how much our body can respond.

For non-nutritional approaches to dealing with stress:

1. Exercise -- uses up or vents the effects of the stress hormones. We don't fight-or-flee, which is what the hormones were made for, and so we must fight-or-flee artificially with exercise.

2. Breathing -- calms the mind and thus limits adrenal hormone secretion.

3. Mental technics -- meditation, breathing as mentioned

4. EFT: -- meridian based system to balance body energy. If you haven't done so, download the free manuals and study this easy and quick procedure.



New member
Apr 18, 2006

Hi Sharon,
Gerry gave you some great info. I would add that if you want to know if there really is a problem, go to and look at the "Metabolic Scorecard". It covers thyroid as well, since the two often go down together. I hope they do not have this problem,as it can be hard to resolve, given the crazy pace of modern life.

The Pantotheine form of vitamin B5 can be helpful in large doses (125 mgs. daily) for a month or so, but make sure you take B Complex also, so you don't end up with an imbalance. Some swear by organ supplements, like bovine adrenal extract, or herbs like Ginseng, but these cannot be used in a person with high blood pressure, so be careful. I would advise complete blood testing for all hormone levels before supplementing with anything like DHEA (which was the thing that helped me most), since you can really cause problems if you don't really need it.

Having had severe adrenal fatigue due to Lyme Disease, I can tell you the symptoms of a serious adrenal problem are quite noticeable, and from my research, there is a genetic tendency involved as well. Some people can handle stressor after stressor after stressor and still bounce back, while others burn out. Lyme Disease can cause adrenals to shrink to half of normal size. As my holistic doctor once told me, you are only as strong as your weakest organ system, and he says my adrenals are my weakest link.

Some of my symptoms are: easy startle reflex with very slow recovery time, loss of hair on legs, middle of the night insomnia, no dynamic stress response (freeze in response to a crisis, and can't handle changes, even good ones), irritability, low frustration tolerance, overwhelmed by stimulation (noise, traffic, lots of paperwork, being rushed, and even by too much conversation!), sudden complete loss of energy (can't walk up stairs or a hill, short of breath, feel like I have cement shoes on).


Mitamins team

New member
Jan 30, 2007
Oh. i hope they will out of stress

The idea of stress in relation to human health is often described as an unpleasant mental or emotional experience, as when people say they are “stressed out.” This expression relates primarily to the idea of prolonged or sudden and intense stress, which can have unpleasant effects on the body, impairing the ability to function, and even harming health. However, the biological concept of stress is much more broadly defined as any challenge (physical or psychological) that requires an organism to adapt in a healthy manner. In other words, responses to stress can sometimes be of benefit when the organism is strengthened by the experience.

The following nutritional components may be beneficial. The Vitamin B Complex 50 is made up of several vitamins that work well together to support nervous system health and the immune system, and may counteract fatigue. Calcium and Magnesium can relieve muscle tension and are important in cardiac processes. Siberian Ginseng is traditionally used as a general health tonic and is though to help the body adapt to changes in environment. L-Tyrosine is an amino acid used by the body to produce certain adrenal stress hormones and chemical messengers in the nervous system. Deficiencies of Omega - 3 Fatty Acids may contribute to symptoms associated with unhealthy responses to stress. A Complete Multivitamin Mix is especially important during time of stress, because stress may lead to extra loss of antioxidants and essential nutrients.