The adrenal glands, also known as the "stress glands", are a pair of vital organs about the size of a walnut that are nestled on top of each kidney. They provide life-giving hormones such as adrenalin, cortisol, estrogen and testosterone. New studies are showing natural vitamins and minerals that can help support adrenal health.
Too much or too little of the adrenal hormones can result in adrenal fatigue, tiredness, muscle tension, irritability, poor focus, insomnia, depression, arthritis or blood sugar imbalances. Research studies are discovering that the B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium have the ability to support adrenal function and reduce the symptoms of stress.
Vitamin B-5, also known as pantothenic acid, is used by the adrenal glands as a key component to manufacture its hormones. A deficiency of B-5 can result in impaired adrenal function. In a study from a Russian medical journal, the researchers examined the effects of vitamin B-5 and found that one single dose had a significant effect on the adrenals by increasing hormone production and gland functioning.
Because all the B vitamins work together as a team, it's important to take a supplement that contains them all in a complex to avoid creating deficiencies in any of those not taken. Foods high in B complex vitamins include nuts, seeds, eggs, berries, meat, organ meat, fish, poultry, whole grains and leafy vegetables.
The adrenal glands are "endocrine glands" – meaning those that produce hormones and put them directly into the bloodstream to be transported to target organs a distance away. From the journal "Endocrine Research" comes a review of vitamin C and its effects on adrenal function.
The researchers note that the highest amounts of vitamin C in the body are found in the adrenals and the vitamin is used to make all of adrenal hormones. When one is faced with stress, vitamin C is quickly used up to make cortisol.
A review of cell culture studies and other research, the researchers concluded that vitamin C deficiency creates lowered adrenal hormones, an inability to keep them stored, and impaired adrenal cell health. Vitamin C is another crucible one to take for adrenal health.
From the journal "Medical Hypotheses" comes an article called "Rapid Recovery from Major Depression Using Magnesium Treatment". The writer notes that magnesium deficiency can be caused by eating processed foods, by the action of the stress hormones, and from consuming an improper ratio of calcium to magnesium in the diet. Case histories are mentioned that show recovery from major depression in less than seven days by using 125 mg. to 300 mg. of magnesium with each meal and at bedtime.
General Adrenal Health Tips
Some good general tips for supporting the adrenals would be to reduce sugars, fast foods, caffeine and fried foods in the diet. Focus on salads, vegetables and healthy proteins like fish, turkey and grass-fed beef. Include oils like olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil, walnuts and avocados. Get some time outside in the sun each day and do some walking or other moderate exercise daily.