What If You Just Don't Feel Good?
by Mike Brown
There are several problems that manifest themselves in people, on a regular basis, in the twenty-first century. These problems are:
2. Menopause or andropause [ 1 ] problems.
3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or just plain lethargy.
4. For bodybuilders, there is the inability to convert protein into muscle tissue.
All these problems have a common origin: the adrenal glands. Some of these problems originated in childhood. We may be able to overcome many of these problems with a simple food supplement, powdered bovine adrenal gland.
Let’s take a look at a few basic facts and an occasional experiment.
First, let’s consider how many adults were abused as children, who need emotional nourishment as well as actual food for healthy growth.
Scientists have found that the amount of nurturing an animal receives early in life directly relates to the strength of its stress response later. For example, separating baby rats from their mothers causes them to react to stress more strongly when they are adults. The licking that the mother rats do naturally is thought to be key, studies have suggested.
Experiments by Dr. Sternberg and her colleagues on two genetic strains of rats—which were known to have different stress responses—suggest that the early nurturing directly affects the immune system.
"There’s probably some early influence—it may not all be genetic," she said.
At the neuroscience meeting, Dr. Sternberg and her colleagues described studies of the two strains of rats, known as Fischer and Lewis. Fischer rats are known to have a more intense stress response than Lewis rats. The Fischer rats are also less susceptible to arthritis than the Lewis variety. That fits with what’s known about the stress response, because rheumatoid arthritis is a form of inflammation—a byproduct of an overactive immune response, whereas an increased stress response would suppress the immune system.
Dr. Sternberg said scientists had always assumed the difference between the Fischer and Lewis rats was purely genetic. But experiments presented at the meeting suggest that how the rats are raised may play a role.
At least in the lab, Lewis rat mothers seem to be more attentive to their pups. When separated from the babies, the Lewis mothers round them up quicker than the Fischer mothers do. The Lewis rats also carry their pups; the Fischer mothers push them. And Lewis mothers are more likely to stay crouched over their litter.
Dr. Sternberg speculated that the difference in nurturing may contribute to the strength of the stress response that appears later in life, and, in turn, the behavior of the immune system.
Studies in the works now should help scientists determine whether that is true, she said.
Separating rats from their mothers also can affect the survival of brain cells, studies have shown. If scientists take 12-day-old rats away from their mothers for 24 hours—in people, equivalent to isolating a 1-year-old for a month—cells in the brain that are supposed to live die instead. It's possible, said DuPont Merck's Dr. Smith, but not yet proved, that the cell death could contribute to the heightened stress response later in life.
The cell death occurred in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is thought to inhibit the hypothalamus. So a loss of hippocampus cells could make for an overactive hypothalamus, and too much CRH—the same symptom known to show up in rats separated from their mothers.
The biology of stress responses doesn’t vary much from rats to people, Dr. Smith said. But it's hard to know how to apply the results to situations people face every day. Neglecting children’s emotional needs long term elevates their stress response, as studies of Romanian orphans have suggested.
--Sue Goetinck, Science Writer of The Dallas Morning News, CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE: Research revealing more about the many effects of stress in the body, The Dallas Morning News, 11-17-1997, p. 6D.
Second, let’s consider what the adrenal glands actually do for the body.
The adrenal glands are a pair of endocrine (ductless) glands, situated atop the kidneys. Each gland is composed of two distinct areas: the large, outer area (the cortex) and smaller inner area (the medulla). Each area is responsible for the production and secretion (releasing) of several different and very potent biochemicals.
One such adrenal hormone that we are intimately familiar with is adrenaline. It is produced by the medulla, and is responsible for the "fight or flight" response we experience in a suddenly stressful situation. Our heart starts pounding, our breathing gets faster, and our muscles gear up for a burst of activity. Afterwards, there is a period of let-down or exhaustion, where our body recuperates from the effects of such a potent hormonal pounding.
However, in situations of chronic low-level stress such as many of us experience these days, our adrenals may become overtaxed, as they are repeatedly called upon to release small amounts of adrenaline. It is as if we are constantly in a state of fight or flight. We are not consciously aware of this state because the symptoms are not as dramatic as if we were faced with a true emergency. Constant release of adrenaline can lead to adrenal exhaustion. The adrenal glands need time on a regular basis to regenerate. Few women with careers and also taking care of their home and family, rarely, if ever, find time for true relaxation. Exhaustion of the adrenal glands is most likely the primary cause of menopausal suffering in modern day women.
The adrenal glands swell and shrink depending on the demands made on them. For example normal cortisol output from the adrenals is 20mg/day. This can rise to 120mg/day under stress. Prolonged stress leads to their depletion causing the body to put out more androgens, estrogen and testosterone to rebuild tissue. Weak adrenals can be responsible for ovarian cysts, breast disease, miscarriages, bleeding irregularities, hirsutism, amenorrhea, and dysmenorrhea. Flu-like symptoms can also often be due to weak adrenals.
The connection to menopausal problems is clear. As ovarian-produced hormones, namely estrogen, diminish with age, the adrenal glands and fat cells become the primary sources of estrogen production. If the adrenals are already functioning poorly, they will not be able to fulfill this function. The result will be more severe symptoms for the menopausal women, especially hot flashes and sleep disorders.
--Excerpts from The Adrenal Glands, Meno Times, 09-01-1996, pp. 6-7.
If you are a bodybuilder, you have probably heard of androgens.
We may have something better than the synthetic sources. One of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands is cortisol (also called hydrocortisone), which helps control carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism. For example, cortisol increases glucose levels in the blood by stimulating gluconeogenesis in the liver and promotes the formation of glycogen (i.e., a molecule that serves as the storage form of glucose) in the liver. Cortisol also reduces glucose uptake into muscle and adipose tissue, thereby opposing the effects of insulin. Furthermore, in various tissues, cortisol promotes protein and lipid breakdown into products (i.e., amino acids and glycerol, respectively) that can be used for gluconeogenesis.
When there is an insufficient level of cortisol circulating in the bloodstream, it’s known as Adrenal Insufficiency.
Common symptoms of adrenal insufficiency are lethargy, weakness, weight loss and muscle wasting, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration and irritability, possible confusion or even coma. Signs include cardiac arrhythmias due to hypernatraemia and hypokalaemia, hypotension, low blood sugar.
The solution to a lot of these problems may be as simple as taking small doses of powdered adrenal. We don’t have a lot of information on this at the present time, but we do have a couple of observations that we’ve made so far.
A sixty-year-old man took two teaspoons of powdered adrenal on a Thursday night. He noticed extra energy on Friday as he drove three hours away from home to conduct a seminar. He woke up at 7 AM on Saturday and worked on his feet until 1 AM Sunday. He was able to get up Sunday morning and arrived home by 10:30 AM with no ill effects from the grueling weekend schedule.
A thirty-four-year-old man worked on his feet from 2 AM to 6 PM in a machine shop (concrete floor) for an entire week, taking a spoonful of powdered adrenal each day.
These are, of course, not conclusive results nor does the above qualify as any type of scientific test. However, it does indicate that there might be some benefit to this supplement.
Here are what some other sources have to say about adrenal supplementation.
Desiccated adrenal gland is extremely important in the initial phases of adrenal repair since it provides raw materials to support adrenal function. It also contains some important adrenal hormones. Helping to relieve the adrenal glands’ burden allows the following to occur:
- Relief from the symptoms of poorly functioning adrenals much sooner than waiting for the adrenals to become healthy again—a process that can take weeks or months.
Provides rebuilding glandular factors for adrenal function. Particularly helpful from middle age and up when glandular functions naturally subside. Helps restore the endocrine hormonal systems responsible for stress control.
Relieves fatigue caused by the adrenals aging effects. Helps restore hormonal level depletions seen with adrenal exhaustion and the "adrenal fatigue syndrome," by way of its glandular stimulatory effect. Provides the rebuilding factors necessary for glandular repair.
Not to be used in those with blood pressure elevation or hypertension without medical supervision. May produce slight elevations in blood pressure with dosages of two at a time, particularly when taken along with the use of coffee. Recommended for morning administration, unless suffering from considerable fatigue or energy loss.
If you would like to experiment, four ounces (4 oz.) of bovine powdered adrenal gland from Argentina $30.00 postpaid (a limit of 4 ounces a month will be imposed). If it does something for you, let us know.
You can overdose on anything. For example, if you drink a gallon of water a day, you can literally wash all the vitamins and minerals you should be receiving in your food right out of your system.
At one point we didn’t think anyone could overdose on desiccated liver. Apparently we were mistaken. One lady told us that, after two heaping spoonfuls every day for 18 months, she was starting to get acid reflux. Once she cut down to two days on and two days off, she no longer had the problem.
Some glandulars can be downright dangerous. For example, consuming powdered thyroid from an animal source (as opposed to synthetic) can be so inconsistent that the same dosage by weight can vary from ineffective to perilous. A potent batch of bovine thyroid can speed up your heart rate to the point it will feel like your heart is going to jump out of your chest. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you experiment with ANY type of powdered thyroid for bodybuilding purposes. Whether from an animal source or synthetic, the stuff is dangerous. Leave it in the hands of the licensed physicians.
Our recommendation on powdered adrenal is that you take one spoonful, see what it does for you, and then wait a week. Be sure to avoid any dairy product within two hours, before or after, of consuming the powdered adrenal to assure maximum absorption.
In order to insure that no one abuses the powdered adrenal and in an abundance of caution, sales of powdered adrenal will be limited to one 4-ounce package to any individual every 30 days.
In the meantime, we would appreciate your feedback.
The above is for information only. Powdered adrenal is to supplement the diet and not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
[ Footnote 1]:
Last December, our study group, involving investigators from different fields of activity reached a consensus on the issue and we proposed the following definition of andropause:
"A clinical condition characterized by a partial deficiency of androgens in blood and/or a decreased genomic sensitivity to testosterone or its active metabolites in target tissues. This state of hypogonadism leads to a decline of physical energy, an altered state of well-being, a sexual dysfunction and various metabolic alterations. These issues may have deleterious effects on muscle mass, bone density, lipid profile and eventually cognitive functions."
The study group consisted of two endocrinologists, two urologists, and one biochemist, psychologist and sexologist.
--Male menopause, Vol. 34, Medical Post, 02-10-1998, pp Q1-Q8.
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This page was updated on 2 April 2007