Adaptogens for Adrenal Fatigue

November 5, 2012

teacup and teapotby Jody Smith

Adrenal fatigue may respond favorably to the use of adaptogenic herbs. An adaptogenic herb helps the body to normalize after times of stress. It decreases hormone secretions when levels are too high, and increases hormones when levels are too low. Many athletes like adaptogens because the herbs enable their bodies to recover faster from an intense workout or competition.

Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine have made use of adaptogenic herbs for centuries. A few of these herbs, like ginseng and echinacea, have become known to the general public.  But there are plenty of other adaptogenic herbs to choose from. They can be used in many forms, for instance in capsules, tinctures, powders, drunk in tea or mixed with foods, in a compound with other herbs or standing alone.

So what are some of these adaptogens? Here’s a little information on a few of the more commonly used herbs.

Siberian ginseng or eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) has been used for centuries in China and Russia to adapt to stress, especially physical stress. Eleuthero has been found to sharpen mental alertness and cognitive function, as well as to enhance immunity, increase strength and undergird endurance. Its active ingredients are eleutherosides.

Korean or Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) eases mental and physical exhaustion. It strengthens immunity and helps the body adapt to stress. Insomniacs should not take it after midafternoon.

Eleuthero and Panax ginseng have some similarities in their effects. However there are also significant differences. Eleuthero is more often recommended for patients suffering from stress effects as well as chronic or recurring infections. Panax ginseng is liable to be used by people aged 40 and older, as a general health enhancer.

Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng (Withania somnifera) takes care of sleep problems caused by stress. It increases testerone and DHEA-S levels. Ashwaganda has been used for hundreds of years in Ayurvedic medicine for stress relief. It contains phytosterols and alkaloids. Its main active compound appears to be the alkaloid withanolide.

Ashwagandha and Panax ginseng can complement each other in adrenal support. Ashwagandha shores up endurance, libido and strength while Panax ginseng supports thyroid and adrenal function.

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra and G. uralensis) offers multiple benefits along with its adrenal support. It has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It can also help with digestive, respiratory and urinary infections and irritations. It assists in the healing of ulcers, and may correct female hormone imbalances. Licorice contains triterpenoid saponins which affect the cortisol/cortisone balance in the body. Licorice’s main active ingredient is glycyrrhizin.

Licorice often gives swift improvement. But be aware that licorice root is contraindicated for cases of edema, electrolyte imbalance or hypertension. Using this herb for longer than two weeks at a time may cause sodium or water retention, or it may result in excretion of too much potassium. It is generally safe when used in moderation.

Rehmannia glutinosa has effects similar to licorice, working as a tonic and as adrenal support. It can enhance immune function and overall wellbeing, particularly in the case of autoimmune conditions. Rehmannia also supports adrenals that have suffered due to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Astragalus membranaceus relieves fatigue and can be used as a tonic while it also lends itself to adrenal support. Its bioactive components are polysaccharide fractions, isoflavonoids, saponins, triterpenoids, and gaba-aminobutryic acid. Blood glucose, blood pressure and blood flow may be affected by these components. They may have an effect on glucose, growth hormone levels and the body’s water balance as well.

Astragalus is often used with rehmannia and eleuthero, among other herbs. A combo of astragalus, eleuthero and echinacea may be a pick-me-up for overall health as well as an aid in overcoming recurring respiratory infections.

Gingko biloba enhances blood flow, improving peripheral circulation and offers antioxidant defense, even as it also affects the body’s ability to adapt to stress levels.

Rhodiola rosea is used to reduce effects of mental and physical stress. It lifts the mood, and increases libido and mental sharpness. It reduces fatigue and anxiety, enhances cognitive function and endurance. It has been favorably tested for fatigue and stress management. Mental abilities have improved and depression has decreased. Rhodiola controls cortisol, stress-activated protein kinases and nitric oxide as well as other leading players of the body’s stress response.

These are only a few of the adaptogens available. The list of them is long, and the possible impact on health is wide and varied.

Choosing an adaptogen that will work for you isn’t always straightforward. Some may bring noticeable improvement, some may appear to do nothing. Others may make you feel worse. A particular adaptogen may be beneficial at one point in recovery and do nothing for you at another stage. One that made you feel sicker at an earlier time may relieve symptoms later on. Always start out with small doses, and let your body be your guide.

Sources:

Adaptogenic Herbs in Adrenal Fatigue: A Lowdown

Herbal Primer Using The Healing Herbs

Herbal Options for Managing Adrenal Fatigue

19 comments

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Sallysblooms November 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I take Astragalus daily. The Rhodiola Rosea is in one supplement I take also.

AFCFS November 5, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I tried various types of the ginseng. Made me nervous, anxious, seemed to cause teeth grinding and messed with my sleep. I had gotten the root from a Chinese herbalist and chewed on it. Overall, would say that my experience with it was like having all the negative effects of an amphetamine in a nasty tasting root. Gingko Bilbao did nothing noticeable for me.

wdb November 6, 2012 at 4:05 am

Just for a little balance,

By Steven Novella, clinical neurologist, assistant professor and Director of General Neurology at Yale University School of Medicine. Link

There is yet another dubious diagnosis coming into vogue – adrenal fatigue. This is an entirely made up syndrome invented by naturopath and chiropractor James Wilson. His website begins with the classic solicitation:

Are You Experiencing Adrenal Fatigue?*

* Tired for no reason?
* Having trouble getting up in the morning?
* Need coffee, colas, salty or sweet snacks to keep going?
* Feeling run down and stressed?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue.*

That’s right – even if you answered “yes” to just one of those questions, which means that you are an average adult, then you may have this fake syndrome. This is beyond satire.

Wilson, of course, has a book to sell and is happy to sell you supplements to treat your “adrenal fatigue.” All of this makes adrenal fatigue seem more like a business model than a genuine medical diagnosis.

There isn’t really a controversy over adrenal fatigue – there is no scientific reason to think it exists. There is a fake controversy over the fake disease, with a number of dubious practitioners who want to sell supplements and products to treat this common “syndrome” – Wilson claims that 80% of people have adrenal fatigue at one point in their life. That’s great for the bottom line.

The adrenal glands are small glands that sit atop the kidneys (hence the name – ad renals). They produce cortisol, adrenaline, and other hormones that regulate body metabolism. Adrenal insufficiency is a real disease that can be diagnosed and treated.

Wilson now claims that adrenal fatigue is not as severe as adrenal insufficiency, but can result from chronic stress, and the chronic slightly low levels of adrenal function lead to the symptoms. This is a common strategy for making up fake diseases, and is very clever because sometimes knowing where to draw the line between healthy and unhealthy is a legitimate medical controversy. So it’s easy to take a real problem and then claim that a milder chronic version of it is also a real disease.

For examples, doctors debate over where exactly to draw the line between normal blood pressure and hypertension. Osteoporosis (lack of calcium in the bones causes them to become brittle) is a real and concerning medical problem mostly affecting the elderly and women more than men. But now there is the notion that osteopenia – a decrease in calcium in the bones but not enough to be osteopororis – is a milder or even preliminary version of osteoporosis and should be treated to prevent progression to the more serious form. This idea is legitimately controversial.

Probably the best way to resolve these questions is to perform clinical studies to see who benefits from treatment. That is a concrete question you can resolve with specific research – at what point do the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks and expense?

There are also, of course, other syndromes which are not legitimately controversial and seem, in my opinion, to have been made up just to carve out a marketing niche. Just as with adrenal fatigue, there is a claim by another Wilson (Dr. E. Denis Wilson) for low functioning thyroid (which he humbly named Wilson’s Syndrome). The symptoms?

Wilson said that the syndrome’s manifestations included fatigue, headaches, PMS, hair loss, irritability, fluid retention, depression, decreased memory, low sex drive, unhealthy nails, easy weight gain, and about 60 other symptoms.

So if you have fatigue, irritability, depression, and poor concentration do you have Wilson’s syndrome or adrenal fatigue? Or are you just a busy 40-something with kids, too little sleep, and too little exercise?

How do we know if a proposed syndrome is real? Well, first we need to have a discrete clinical entity. There has to be something specific about one or more symptoms or the combination of symptoms. There is no reason to suspect that a list of very common non-specific symptoms is a discrete clinical entity (and there is every reason to think that it isn’t). Or we can have a specific biomarker – some lab test or study that shows an abnormal result and also demonstrates validity – that is predicts something (such as response to a specific treatment). Fake syndromes like adrenal fatigue do not have any such biomarkers, but they do have dubious ones.

Lab tests are often abused to give false legitimacy to dubious diagnoses. Such dubious tests are designed to generate false positives, while more legitimate tests are dismissed with hand waving explanations about how they are not the right kind of test. If you want to diagnosis mercury toxicity, then do a bogus provoked mercury test and compare the results to normal values developed for non-provoked tests. That way you are almost certain to get a false positive. Or you can use standard tests developed for Lyme disease (like the Western blot) and just ignore the CDC diagnostic criteria, lower the bar all the way so that if any antigens are positive you call the test positive (sensitivity and specificity be damned).

Or, as in the case of adrenal fatigue, you can use a highly variable test, like a saliva test for cortisol, and keep testing until you get the result you like. More specific tests, like a blood test, or a stimulated cortisol, are dismissed because they measure cortisol in the blood and not the tissue (OK, what does that mean in terms of actual specificity and sensitivity?). Also, cortisol levels rise and fall, so you really need to do a timed test (8AM is typical) or multiple tests. Bottom line – the saliva test for cortisol is perfect for generating false positives and so is the favorite of adrenal fatigue advocates.

I would review the literature on adrenal fatigue, but there is nothing to review. Wilson and others have only anecdotes to offer as evidence. These anecdotes typically take the form of – “I was tired and depressed, but my doctor could not find anything wrong with me. Then after getting diagnosed with adrenal fatigue I began exercising, improved my diet, worked on stress relief, and took Dr. Quack’s magic elixir, and after a year the magic elixir made me feel better.”

This is what I call the “part of this nutritious breakfast” fallacy – make some positive healthy lifestyle changes, and/or get a real treatment, along with a fake treatment, then credit the fake treatment in the end when you feel better.

Real diseases and syndromes and real treatments have a body of scientific literature that they are built upon. Fake diagnoses that a dubious practitioner pulled out of their nether regions do not. What they do have are conspiracy theories about Big Pharma, stories about how doctors are all greedy, stupid, or just cannot see past their own noses, and anecdotes about how wonderful their treatments are. The pattern is clear, but unfortunately it is also timeless. There never seems to be a shortage of people willing to buy it.

Of course, mainstream medicine has its failings and foibles, but that is not a reason to accept any particular dubious claims. That’s just another logical fallacy used to distract people from the scientific facts.

Adrenal fatigue has all the markings of a fake diagnosis used to exploit those dealing with common symptoms of life. Some of these people may have a real underlying disease, and can get distracted from pursuing a proper diagnosis by the offer of a simple fake one. Many people need lifestyle adjustments, and that is where they should focus their efforts – not on magic supplements to treat nonexistent syndromes.

Ema November 6, 2012 at 8:42 am
wdb

Just for a little balance,

Adrenal fatigue has all the markings of a fake diagnosis used to exploit those dealing with common symptoms of life. Some of these people may have a real underlying disease, and can get distracted from pursuing a proper diagnosis by the offer of a simple fake one. Many people need lifestyle adjustments, and that is where they should focus their efforts – not on magic supplements to treat nonexistent syndromes.

[/quote]
It surely shouldn't be so difficult to see that there is a middle ground somewhere between "adrenal fatigue" and "adrenals are perfectly healthy". And that middle ground just happens to lie in the brain – specifically the HPA axis.

It's just as ridiculous to deny that endocrine issues, particularly with the adrenals, don't play a part in the symptoms many people experience as a part of ME/CFS as it is to persist in calling it "adrenal fatigue". More modern research has shown that the adrenals do not actually "fatigue" but react to a specific set of excitatory or inhibitory impulses from the brain. If these signals are off, so will the endocrine responses. This does not mean that there are not endocrine problems though, because there are. Ignoring them does not make them go away. In fact, it may make them worse because the endocrine system is also tightly tied to the immune system.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here! It's time to accept that for many ME/CFS is a neuro/ENDOCRINE/immune illness. Let's open our minds to explore how treating all those systems as a part of a whole might actually make people feel better rather than nitpicking over definitions. Not everyone who believes in endocrine problems outside of the limited ones described by endocrinologists is a shyster out to separate you from your money.

As far as the adaptogens, they may be useful for some with very mild symptoms. But most "adrenal" formulas contain so many ingredients in some "proprietary" formula that it is impossible to know what is doing what. Some ingredients may actually act in contradictory ways to other ingredients (ie ginseng which is usually stimulating and holy basil which generally lowers cortisol). It is important to research thoroughly (hopefully in concert with a medical professional that has studied herbal medicine as well) to know which adaptogen may be most suitable. A few sentences on the Internet is not going to help one make an informed decision in my opinion. It takes more time than that!

Adaptogens could certainly have a role, especially for those with high or swinging cortisol levels as shown on a salivary cortisol test, but for those with low cortisol, it will usually not be enough to create meaningful change by itself. Insufficient cortisol can become a medical emergency and should be treated as such.

HowToEscape? November 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm

None of the supplements that I know of is tested by an entity not controlled by the supplement mfr for assurance of what's actually in it. They could have more, less, or none of the advertised ingredient. I use SAM-e, but have to take it on faith that it contains the amount and type of stuff marked on the package. If I had a choice I'd get the same stuff from a source that has inspectors, licenses and lawyers to worry about.

All of these items are exempt from FDA regulation, so one can source them from anywhere and add/subtract most anything to the ingredients.

highwaykind November 7, 2012 at 3:15 am

Everywhere online it says that you shouldn't take ginseng for prolonged periods, apparently 2 weeks on 2 weeks of for a few weeks is the 'max', and using it for longer than 3 months at a time is advised against.

Seems like something you should add in an article like this.

You can buy the Red Korean Ginseng as 'tea' (tiny granules that will dissolve in hot water).
Tastes pretty good with a little sugar.
The Red Korean Ginseng Paste is much 'stronger' and takes some getting used to taste-wise.

laura November 9, 2012 at 11:49 am
HowToEscape?

None of the supplements that I know of is tested by an entity not controlled by the supplement mfr for assurance of what's actually in it. They could have more, less, or none of the advertised ingredient. I use SAM-e, but have to take it on faith that it contains the amount and type of stuff marked on the package. If I had a choice I'd get the same stuff from a source that has inspectors, licenses and lawyers to worry about.

All of these items are exempt from FDA regulation, so one can source them from anywhere and add/subtract most anything to the ingredients.

Consumerlab.com is an independent organization that tests supplements for content and contamination, and they gather together the latest research on each supplement they test.

Sallysblooms November 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

The best brands are very reliable.

HowToEscape? November 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm
laura
HowToEscape?

None of the supplements that I know of is tested by an entity not controlled by the supplement mfr for assurance of what's actually in it. They could have more, less, or none of the advertised ingredient. I use SAM-e, but have to take it on faith that it contains the amount and type of stuff marked on the package. If I had a choice I'd get the same stuff from a source that has inspectors, licenses and lawyers to worry about.

All of these items are exempt from FDA regulation, so one can source them from anywhere and add/subtract most anything to the ingredients.

Consumerlab.com is an independent organization that tests supplements for content and contamination, and they gather together the latest research on each supplement they test.

Who pays for their testing?

"Whose bread I eat, whose song I sing"

satoshikasumi November 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Why limit the list of adaptogens only to exotic-sounding herbs? Some very common and popular substances also support the body's response to stress and improve exercise performance.

The most obvious of these are quality teas and coffees, some of the highest sources of antioxidants in the modern diet. "Exercise physiologists have studied caffeine’s effects in nearly every iteration: Does it help sprinters? Marathon runners? Cyclists? Rowers? Swimmers? Athletes whose sports involve stopping and starting like tennis players? The answers are yes and yes and yes and yes." http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/health/nutrition/26best.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
CFS patients are sensitive to medications may have trouble tolerating energy drinks and concentrated forms of caffeine, but relatively weaker sources of the drug that are high in antioxidants can be very useful.

Coenzyme Q10 has been found in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to benefit Gulf War Syndrome, an environmental illness that is probably a subgroup of ME/CFS. http://cdmrp.army.mil/gwirp/highlights.shtml#1_12

Creatine, used by bodybuilders, could also potentially help ME/CFS, by improving the functioning of the anaerobic metabolism, which is the part of the exercise response that is less impaired in ME/CFS.

satoshikasumi November 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Creatine relates to physical and mental fatigue. http://www.livestrong.com/article/470792-creatine-tiredness/

heapsreal November 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm

It surely shouldn't be so difficult to see that there is a middle ground somewhere between "adrenal fatigue" and "adrenals are perfectly healthy". And that middle ground just happens to lie in the brain – specifically the HPA axis.

It's just as ridiculous to deny that endocrine issues, particularly with the adrenals, don't play a part in the symptoms many people experience as a part of ME/CFS as it is to persist in calling it "adrenal fatigue". More modern research has shown that the adrenals do not actually "fatigue" but react to a specific set of excitatory or inhibitory impulses from the brain. If these signals are off, so will the endocrine responses. This does not mean that there are not endocrine problems though, because there are. Ignoring them does not make them go away. In fact, it may make them worse because the endocrine system is also tightly tied to the immune system.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here! It's time to accept that for many ME/CFS is a neuro/ENDOCRINE/immune illness. Let's open our minds to explore how treating all those systems as a part of a whole might actually make people feel better rather than nitpicking over definitions. Not everyone who believes in endocrine problems outside of the limited ones described by endocrinologists is a shyster out to separate you from your money.

As far as the adaptogens, they may be useful for some with very mild symptoms. But most "adrenal" formulas contain so many ingredients in some "proprietary" formula that it is impossible to know what is doing what. Some ingredients may actually act in contradictory ways to other ingredients (ie ginseng which is usually stimulating and holy basil which generally lowers cortisol). It is important to research thoroughly (hopefully in concert with a medical professional that has studied herbal medicine as well) to know which adaptogen may be most suitable. A few sentences on the Internet is not going to help one make an informed decision in my opinion. It takes more time than that!

Adaptogens could certainly have a role, especially for those with high or swinging cortisol levels as shown on a salivary cortisol test, but for those with low cortisol, it will usually not be enough to create meaningful change by itself. Insufficient cortisol can become a medical emergency and should be treated as such.[/quote]

Doctors dont recognise anything when its breaking down only when its broken. Just because a 30 y/o can have the dhea levels just within the normal range which is equal to most 70 y/o, why should they treat this as its within the normal range. Just because this 30 y/o feels like crap, what he is experiencing doesnt mean anything, doctors should only go by the broad lab ranges that incoporate the sick, elderly as well as healthy people. Maybe if they moved to a different state where the lab ranges are different this 30 y/o might be then in the low range and can get treatment, maybe the latest SNRI. Herbs and vitamins just make your urine expensive just like fruit and veges. Oh salivary 4 times a day cortisol test isnt accurate, that 1 morning cortisol blood test is enough to know that your cortisol levels at 9pm at night are ok, anyway that same SNRI will fix this issue. If u still feel like crap then u just need to exercise more. Thanks doc your the best.:thumbsup:

laura November 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm
HowToEscape?
laura
HowToEscape?

None of the supplements that I know of is tested by an entity not controlled by the supplement mfr for assurance of what's actually in it. They could have more, less, or none of the advertised ingredient. I use SAM-e, but have to take it on faith that it contains the amount and type of stuff marked on the package. If I had a choice I'd get the same stuff from a source that has inspectors, licenses and lawyers to worry about.

All of these items are exempt from FDA regulation, so one can source them from anywhere and add/subtract most anything to the ingredients.

Consumerlab.com is an independent organization that tests supplements for content and contamination, and they gather together the latest research on each supplement they test.

Who pays for their testing?

"Whose bread I eat, whose song I sing"

This is what ConsumerLab.com puts on their website regarding income:

OWNERSHIP, AFFILIATIONS, AND SOURCES OF REVENUE:
ConsumerLab.com, LLC is a privately held company based in New York. It is not affiliated with manufacturers of health and nutrition products. Revenues are derived primarily from sales of online subscriptions. Revenues are also derived from sales of books, survey reports, advertisements on its Web site, Voluntary Certification Program fees, and license fees from the re-publication of its proprietary information and authorized use of the CL Seal of Approval.

barbc56 November 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm

OWNERSHIP, AFFILIATIONS, AND SOURCES OF REVENUE:
ConsumerLab.com, LLC is a privately held company based in New York. It is not affiliated with manufacturers of health and nutrition products. Revenues are derived primarily from sales of online subscriptions. Revenues are also derived from sales of books, survey reports, advertisements on its Web site, Voluntary Certification Program fees, and license fees from the re-publication of its proprietary information and authorized use of the CL Seal of Approval.

The above are red flags for a less than stellar lab and the highlighted portions show a conflict of interest which would make me suspect of lab references as well as quality of service.

I am not quite sure what the last sentence means.

Barb C.:>)

ETA

ConsumerLab.com has come under much scrutiny for deceptive practices. From a senate hearing:

Conclusion
Nearly eleven years of product reviews by ConsumerLab.com have shown consistent problems with a
significant percentage of dietary supplements, particularly herbal supplements. However, in nearly every
supplement category that we test, we do find products that meet high quality standards, showing that this
is achievable. If we want our supplements to be the best and safest in the world, we will need better
guidance from government establishing rigorous standards and test methods, greater enforcement of
current regulations, and more self-regulation from the industry.
In my written testimony, you will find additional statistics, information, and references.

http://aging.senate.gov/events/hr221tc.pdf

From the Federal Trade Commission

ConsumerLab.com, LLC ("ConsumerLab) and its Product Review and Voluntary Certification
programs for testing dietary supplements and similar consumer products ("Test Programs").
Council for Responsible Nutrition alleges that ConsumerLab's "entire business model represents
an egregious form of consumer fraud and deception," and asserts, among other things, that
* "[Clompanies are pressured . . . into paying a fee" for testing under the
Voluntary Certification program to avoid potential negative consequences
of having their products tested under the Product Review program; and
that
* ConsumerLab's Test Programs and its reporting of test results "are likely
to mislead consumers into believing that ConsumerLab is operating in the
public interest and cannot be influenced by any outside party.":

laura November 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Subscriptions do not constitute conflict of interest, this is the same as people subscribing to Consumer Reports Magazine. I'm not sure sale of books or survey reports are either. Somehow they have to fund their operation.

Advertising on their website could be a conflict of interest. The only advertising they have is a page listing websites where to purchase supplements. They test some products from each websites/manufacturer listed, but not all.

ConsumerLab.com states:
"Many visitors to our website are looking for retailers from which they can purchase quality products. Retailers found to be reputable by CL that sell products that have passed CL testing may advertise on the CL website through one or both of the programs described below. Not all products sold by these vendors have necessarily passed CL testing. We receive no revenue from purchases."

As far as I know, ConsumerLab.com is one of (or the?) the only labs out there that is testing supplements from a broad range of manufacturers on a regular basis. From what I can tell, they don't test the same manufacturers each time. I do know that they send out a yearly survey to subscribers, I imagine that might impact which brands they choose to test. For me, I like the information they provide.

barbc56 November 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm

As far as I know, ConsumerLab.com is one of (or the?) the only labs out there that is testing supplements from a broad range of manufacturers on a regular basis.

This is why they have been in so much trouble.
What they say on their website as any website that sells something is not necessarily accurate.

laura November 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm
barbc56

As far as I know, ConsumerLab.com is one of (or the?) the only labs out there that is testing supplements from a broad range of manufacturers on a regular basis.

This is why they have been in so much trouble.
What they say on their website as any website that sells something is not necessarily accurate.

They may not be perfect, but I still personally believe that they provide helpful information. I can't say I could think of an alternative that would be better, only the possible conflicts of interest/etc. would be behind closed doors and so we wouldn't know about them.

Regarding your previous post from the Federal Trade Commission, I am not so sure companies are "pressured" into paying for their voluntary certification program. If they are worried that their supplements are not contamination free, or are worried that the pills don't contain the stated amounts, then they should up their quality control. Then they would have nothing to fear from a random testing of their product. I wonder how much of this is a turf war, the FTC doesn't like people moving in on their territory, and neither does the FDA. They act like a private company cannot behave in good faith towards its customers.

And maybe I am misunderstanding, but the quote from the letter to the senate, it seems ConsumerLab was being used as an expert source to discuss the current quality of supplements in the market today (as it relates to seniors).

In any case, for me, their information is better than being completely blind when I make my supplement purchases.

barbc56 November 15, 2012 at 3:53 am

You are right about the first quote. I misread it. Consumerlab.com checks supplements. However, as the second quote shows there's been a lot of controversy in the way they test their products as well as the information they give and their funding sources.

Here is a free database from Kaiser.

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database gives you the tools to:

  • find safety and effectiveness updates for each product and ingredient
  • check for interactions between natural products and other medications
  • look for herbs and supplements with a "seal of approval"
  • see whether a natural product is accepted to treat your condition

https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health/care/!ut/p/c5/dYxbcoMgAADP0hMAJmb0E6stIYpRQnT4cax2bKiKnfrk9DUH6O7vzgIJdvtyfjTl-NB92YIcyFPxRnnseQjD2I5teI7sd5eemAXxEWS78tnAf8AQUCCbVn_stwweC6GcRV94twh1Txhv5kugYrON1PCRelMozq3wi1IFeggjm66iSJo-WNmtstjtFaFcGKZywfz7wuoUMhIgRDiqSWpFJt1qIw7MTX6kl5GOTgL7zkpDrn95dUiNQNH2ba5G6BlVzuAQTMbsa5KAEd19gqFzr52DX_4AJJPq7g!!/dl3/d3/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/

Barb C.:>)

Plum November 15, 2012 at 10:53 am

I have had adrenal fatigue for 2 and 1/2 years now. I have found that my body was so sensitive to ANY supplement including adaptogens and glandulars that they just made my problems worse. Hands down, the best 'treatment' for me has been an organic, paleo diet where I eat a wide range of veges every day. Nothing else has worked more than that!

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