Saturday, January 28, 2012

Adrenal Fatigue | Vitamins, Minerals, Glandulars and Amino Acids that Support Adrenal Function as well as General Health

Yesterday we spoke about the benefits of herbs as a powerful and natural way to support adrenal gland health. 

Today we will take a look at vitamins, minerals, glandular substances (often referred to as glandulars) and amino acids. 

Most diets are low in the essential nutrients required to maintain adrenal health and function.  That's why many individuals and healthcare professionals use supplementation as way to naturally support the adrenals and restore adrenal function and normal energy levels.

Many of these adrenal support products often use a singular nutrient, or better yet, some are complex synergistic formulas combining several beneficial nutrients into one powerful formula. While B vitamins are well known and well documented for their anti-stress properties, there are many other vital nutrients that produce health promoting results for so many people troubled with adrenal fatigue and exhaustion.  Here's a few:

VITAMIN B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
: Vitamin B5 is known as the anti-stress vitamin. Pantothenic acid plays a role in the production of the adrenal hormones and formation of antibodies, aids in vitamin utilization, and helps to convert fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy. It is needed to produce vital steroids and cortisone in the adrenal glands and is an essential element of coenzyme A, which is also thought to play a major role in the body's ability to cope with stress and strengthen the immune system. 

VITAMIN B6 (Pyridoxine): Vitamin B6 must be obtained from the diet, because humans cannot synthesize it. It plays a vital role in the function of approximately 100 enzymes that catalyze essential chemical reactions in the body. These vitamins work together to sustain proper chemical reactions and support the adrenals in providing the necessary energy for our lives.

VITAMIN B12 (Cyanacobalamin): Vitamin B12 is needed to prevent anemia. It aids in cell formation and cellular longevity. This vitamin is also required for proper digestion, absorption of foods, protein synthesis, and metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. The beneficial effects of vitamin B12 on adrenal gland health and adrenal function were well documented in an article in the June 1984 edition of "Reproduction Nutrition Development".  The article discussed an investigation on the effects of vitamin B12-deficiency towards adrenal cortex function. The study showed that an erratic endocrinological control mechanism located in the hypothalamus-pituitary axis led to irregular cycles due to diets insufficient in vitamin B12 and that adrenal function was restored upon supplementation or an increase of B12 in the diet.

VITAMIN C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is required for tissue growth and repair and adrenal gland function. Humans, unlike most animals, cannot make Vitamin C in their bodies and can only store it. We store Vitamin C in a system within the adrenals, called the Ascorbate system, and stress can deplete our store of Vitamin C. In January 2008, Baehr and colleagues commented on their research in a letter to the editor of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," involving vitamin C-deprivation leading to impaired adrenal function can be alleviated by vitamin C supplementation due to its antioxidant effects that restore adrenal enzymatic activity to protect the function of the adrenal cortex against reactive oxygen species.

ASPARTIC ACID: Aspartic Acid gets its reputation as a treatment for chronic fatigue from the crucial role it plays in generating cellular energy. In addition, this amino acid helps transport minerals needed to form healthy RNA and DNA to the cells, and strengthens the immune system by promoting increased production of immunoglobulins and antibodies (immune system proteins). It keeps the mind sharp by increasing concentrations of NADH in the brain, which is thought to boost the production of neurotransmitters and chemicals needed for normal mental functioning.

ZINC: Zinc aids metabolic and energy producing processes performed by the body and promotes a healthy immune system. In simple terms, when the body is under stress ("fight or flight") the body releases larger than normal amounts of zinc and magnesium ("calming minerals") in an effort to calm the stress.  In doing so, the body is depleting its stores of zinc and magnesium, which are required for their energy producing properties.  So, the adrenals glands are called upon to work extra hard to produce even more energy to make up for this energy shortfall.

L-ALANINE: L-Alanine is one of the most important amino acids released by muscle, functioning as a major energy source through the synthesis of glucose from glycogen stored in the liver. L-Alanine is also an inhibitory or calming neurotransmitter in brain.

FOLIC ACID: Folic acid is considered a brain food. It is needed for energy production and the formation of red blood cells. Folic acid levels in the body can be depleted by alcoholism, low dietary intake, or poor absorption.

ADRENAL SUBSTANCE: The protein derived from this adrenal gland substance, containing some important adrenal hormones, helps to rebuild and repair the adrenal glands.

PITUITARY SUBSTANCE: The protein derived from this pituitary substance, containing some important pituitary hormones, helps to build and repair the adrenal glands, through the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.