Anatomy and function
Anatomically, the adrenal glands are located atop the kidneys, one on each side. They are surrounded by fat tissue and renal fascia. In humans, the adrenal glands are found at the level of the 12th thoracic vertebra. Each adrenal gland is separated into two distinct structures, the adrenal cortex and medulla, both of which produce hormones. The cortex mainly produces cortisol, aldosterone, and androgens, while the medulla chiefly produces epinephrine and norepinephrine. The average combined weight of the adrenal glands in an adult is 7 to 10 grams.
The adrenal cortex is devoted to the synthesis of corticosteroid hormones from cholesterol. Some cells belong to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and are the source of cortisol and corticosterone synthesis. Under normal unstressed conditions, the human adrenal glands produce the equivalent of 35–40 mg of cortisone acetate per day. Other cortical cells produce androgens such as testosterone, while some regulate water and electrolyte concentrations by secreting aldosterone. In contrast to the direct innervation of the medulla, the cortex is regulated by neuroendocrine hormones secreted by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, as well as by the renin-angiotensin system.
The adrenal cortex comprises three zones, or layers. This anatomic zonation can be appreciated at the microscopic level, where each zone can be recognized and distinguished from one another based on structural and anatomic characteristics. The adrenal cortex exhibits functional zonation as well: by virtue of the characteristic enzymes present in each zone, the zones produce and secrete distinct hormones.
- Zona glomerulosa (outer) The outermost layer, the zona glomerulosa is the main site for production of mineralocorticoids, mainly aldosterone, which is largely responsible for the long-term regulation of blood pressure.
- Zona fasciculata Situated between the glomerulosa and reticularis, the zona fasciculata is responsible for producing glucocorticoids, chiefly cortisol in humans. The zona fasciculata secretes a basal level of cortisol but can also produce bursts of the hormone in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary.
- Zona reticularis The inner most cortical layer, the zona reticularis produces androgens, mainly dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA sulfate (DHEA-S) in humans.
The adrenal medulla is the core of the adrenal gland, and is surrounded by the adrenal cortex. The chromaffin cells of the medulla, named for their characteristic brown staining with chromic acid salts, are the body’s main source of the circulating catecholamines adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine). Derived from the amino acid tyrosine, these water-soluble hormones are major hormones underlying the fight-or-flight response.
To carry out its part of this response, the adrenal medulla receives input from the sympathetic nervous system through preganglionic fibers originating in the thoracic spinal cord from T5–T11. Because it is innervated by preganglionic nerve fibers, the adrenal medulla can be considered as a specialized sympathetic ganglion. Unlike other sympathetic ganglia, however, the adrenal medulla lacks distinct synapses and releases its secretions directly into the blood.
Cortisol also promotes epinephrine synthesis in the medulla. Produced in the cortex, cortisol reaches the adrenal medulla and at high levels, the hormone can promote the upregulation of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT), thereby increasing epinephrine synthesis and secretion.
Since Adrenal Burnout creates fatigue, what is it that reverses the fatigue?
If you want to alleviate the fatigue associated with Adrenal Fatigue, you’ll need to correctly feed the adrenals what they need to function best. The Cortex Portion of the Adrenals is only mildly involved in giving you energy. The Medulla portion of the Adrenal is majorly involved in giving you energy.
Most Adrenal Supplementation focuses on giving you things that feed the Cortex; such as Pregnenolone, DHEA, Adrenal Cortical Extract, Whole Adrenal Gland, Panothenic Acid and Ascorbic Acid. However these do not directly support the production of the primary energy molecule of the Adrenals. I have taken these products for years and noticed little improvement in my energy.
Another category of supplementation to support adrenal function and energy production is herbs. Herbs often recommended for the adrenals are Ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Licorice and Rhodiola. While all these herbs are considered supportive of adrenal health, my personal experience is they are stimulants. If you have a very weak adrenal energy producing system then stimulation will lead to depletion. Every time I take these herbal products I get fatigued very quickly as they deplete my adrenal energy.
Finally the portion of the Adrenals that dominates how much energy you have on a day-to-day basis is the Medulla. From the medulla you produce epinephrine and norepinephrine, these are the two primary energy producing hormones/neurotransmitters produced by your adrenal glands. The key building block molecule that the Medulla uses to convert into epinephrine and norepinephrine is phenylalanine. Actually it is Tyrosine, but phenylalanine converts into tyrosine. I mention phenylalanine as the building block because it works better than tyrosine. Why? Because if you give your body tyrosine it converts it too fast into the epinephrine and norepinephrine, if you give it phenylalanine it takes more time and it gives you a longer supply; since this is purely and amino acid it is a nutrient and non-stimulating. Therefore it does not lead to depletion.
Therefore if you want effective increases in energy and productivity you need to supplement with Free Form Amino Acids with an emphasis on Phenylalanine. For amino acids to work most effectively you need a few things in place. One is a complete formula that comprises the 10 essential and 6 more non essential amino acids. By supplying a balanced blend you’ll insure that your body does not convert a lot of the one amino acid phenylalanine into glucose. Also by supplying a full spectrum of amino acids you will activate your pancreas to produce glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that converts glycogen into a slow burning sugar. This slow burning sugar supply is vital for an even supply of glucose to your brain all day long. The best amino acid supplement we work with to support this is Super Sports. Super Sports supplies the 3 amino acids needed for muscle repair, they are called leucine, Isoleucine and Valine also known as branched chain amino acids. By taking Super Sports you’ll be supporting the increased in overall tissue repair, energy, fat loss, normal blood sugar throughout the entire day and dramatic increases in strength. This product is awesome.
In addition to a complete amino acid formula you should be taking a full spectrum trace mineral supplement in its elemental form, NOT the salt minerals like “Concentrace or Sea Water”. The salt version of trace minerals appear to work well only as electrolyetes and do not appear to be able to support the creation of metabolic enzymes needed for converting the amino acids into hormones or neurotransmitters. So the product, which does appear to be doing this, is Mineral Magic. Mineral Magic has long track record of success with everyone who uses it and in virtually all age groups. People report gray hair reversing 40% of the time and increases in energy 99% of the time. People have also reported they lost their craving for coffee, chocolate and decreased their appetite while taking Mineral Magic. This is due to the fact that when the brain and body gets their trace mineral needs met, then the body begins to crave only what is good for it. The reduced appetite is due to getting fed trace minerals at the cellular level. When this happens the quantity of food craved will reduce to only what is needed.
Next you’ll need a good B-Complex. I have two recommendations one is Barley Max Berry or Mint which supplies all the B vitamins plus all other vitamins except vitamin D. Barley Max Berry or Mint is Barley Grass and Alfalfa grass juice powder that has blood building properties and is alkalizing. Second option for a great source of B-Vitamins is Megafood Balanced B Complex. This is food derived and B complex my choice for a more concentrated B vitamin supplement. Food derived nutrients are in quantities and ratios that nature has determined are best for animal health. Humans are animals and therefore to support a balanced biochemisty, food derived nutrients is our best choice. Megafood B Complex supports your body’s energy production and your brain production of neurotransmitters. B vitamins are water soluble and pass out of the body daily as a result. So to daily support your mental clarity, a calm nervous system and your overall energy you may find Megafood B Complex to be the choice for you.
Lastly, supporting the body with an additional supply of phenylalanine in combination with other brain nutrients can result in phenomenal improvements in both physical and mental energy. By using Choline, DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol bitartrate), Pyroglutamic Acid, L-Phenylalanine, Ginkgo (24% ginkgoflavonglycosides), Vinpocetine, Huperzine-A (Huperzia serrata extract), you can potentially increase your brain function by a marked degree. The formula, which contains these potent synergistic products, is called Extension IQ (no longer needed with other products in this protocol used) . When I take this product I can stay up longer and get much more mental work done in a days time. Yet I sleep better than I normally do when I take it, so it does not interrupt sleep. In fact I’m confident it improves quality sleep due to improved adrenal function.
Some other added benefits of Extension IQ (no longer needed with other products in this protocol used) are nutrients that support and increase Acetylcholine a potent memory neurotransmitter. Vinpocetine an extract of the periwinkle plant is reported to have cerebral blood-flow enhancing and neuroprotective effects, and is used as a drug in Eastern Europe for the treatment of cerebrovascular disorders and age-related memory impairment. Vinpocetine is widely marketed as a supplement for vasodilatation and as a memory enhancer. In other words, Vinpocetine may help support brain functions such as concentration and memory by activating cerebral metabolism. Vinpocetine has been identified as a potent anti-inflammatory agent that might have a potential role in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.Ginkgo is reported to improve cognitive functioning of the brain. Huperzine inhibits the breakdown of the memory neurotransmitter Acetylcholine and therefore may be an outstanding aid to people with memory loss. Huperzine A is also a NMDA receptor antagonist, which protects the brain against glutamate-induced damage, and it appears to increase nerve growth factor levels in rats.
There you have it; a potent recipe for feeding your Adrenal Medulla and resurrecting your physical and mental energy without creating consequent fatigue afterwards. To date this is the most effective adrenal support nutritional package I’ve yet used. It significantly improves my energy, patience, focus, memory and hours of productivity.
You can order each of the products by clicking on the highlighted in blue name of the products in the body of the newsletter or by clicking on the links below.
Super Sports: 3 for 200 lbs or less or 5 caps if 250lbs or more. taken on empty stomach first thing in the morning; can be taken with Mineral Magic and Barley Max Berry or Mint.
Mineral Magic: ½ tsp taken at same time as Barley Max Berry or Mint.
Barley Max: 2 tsp on empty stomach in morning, optimally 45 minutes before food.
Balanced B Complex: 1tablet 2 times per day.
To order by phone call 888-988-3325 or visit: www.sgn80.com
Super Health to Each of You,
Stephen Heuer, BS Nutripath