It was a few decades ago when a popular article came out about a naturally occurring
steroid hormone that our body produces that opened a new wave of bodybuilding
supplements. The game changed from just overloading with protein to preventing the
absorption, or ridding the body of, cortisol.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released in response to stress and a low level of blood glucocorticoids . In response it not only suppresses the immune system, but also decreases muscle and bone formation.
This discovery showed that the more bodybuilders worked out and stressed their muscles, the more they were actually working against themselves since the cortisol would be “eating away” at their muscles.
Symptoms of too much cortisol include:
- weight gain, particularly around the abdomen and face
- thin and fragile skin that is slow to heal
- for women, facial hair and irregular menstrual periods.
The problem was there were very little known natural ways to prevent cortisol from taking
its natural course of action on the body. In response, a few synthetic supplements were
made and even more dangerous steroids to counter-act the effects of cortisol. As many of us know, it is very difficult to offset the effects of nature with unnatural synthetics.
A few years back a very little known herb called Cissus Quadrangularis was found that not only promotes strong bone, tendon, and ligament growth, but also inhibits the absorption of cortisol. Cissus is completely safe, and natural. Today it is now extremely popular in the bodybuilding world since it is not harmful and is in no way illegal.
Another added benefit to inhibiting the absorption of cortisol is the reduction of stress in
general. Cortisol is released in higher dosages when we are put in higher stressful
situations. Similar to the “fight-or- flight” theory, cortisol attempts to counter-act our body’s affects to the stress but shutting down our immune system for a while and allowing our bodies to recoup. The Cortisol then becomes a toxin in our system that needs to be released out.
Cortisol, or cortisone, is more commonly known by the shots people receive to cope with
pain. Little is known about the naturally occurring cortisol our bodies produce on a daily
basis and the harm it can do if our bodies are under stressful conditions every day.
An important note to leave you with is that our cortisol levels are highest first thing in the
morning. If you are taking an herbal supplement such as Cissus Quadrangularis Extract, you should take it in the morning.
A great Cissus q. supplement to take is Cissus Pro 1000 from Keter Wellness.