Incorporating 5 Essentials™
- Get a chiropractic adjustment. Repeated activation of the stress response causes your body to secret more cortisolto try to return to a normal state.(5) Correcting alignment problems may help you better manage stress levels by removing the interference caused by chronic stress, which helps to reduce the release of cortisol.(6)
Avoid high-sugar foods including sugary drinks, sauces, and desserts. Frequent and excess sugar intake can elevate cortisol levels.(7) Stevia may be used as a sweetener, if necessary.
Increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water, wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats, walnuts, flaxseeds, and hemp and chia seeds, which are anti-inflammatory.(8) Try to consume more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6 fatty acids found in many vegetable oils. Aim for a 3:1 ratio.(8)
Drink low-caffeine green tea and chamomile tea. Green tea contains an amino acid called theanine that can lower stress levels; chamomile has reduced the release of stress-induced cortisol from the adrenals.(10,11)
Eat more veggies, especially onion, chicory, garlic, asparagus, and broccoli, which are high in fiber and promote the growth of the beneficial gut bacteria that help regulate cortisol levels.(12,13)
Increase your intake of B vitamins, especially B6, from foods like, nuts, grass-fed beef, and cold-water, wild-caught fish.(14) All B vitamins are essential for your metabolism and brain function.(14) Vitamin B6 is necessary for the synthesis of dopamine and serotonin, both of which help to calm the body and boost mood.(14)
Consume more trace minerals, specifically magnesium and potassium. Magnesium helps your body respond to stress and has been shown to work with potassium to turn-off the stress response.(15,16)
Learn strategies to manage stress, such as deep breathing, meditation, or keeping a stress diary so you can copebetter.(17) Chronic stress initiates the “fight-or-flight” stress response and release of cortisol.(18) You must learn tomanage everyday stress in order to regulate cortisol levels.
Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.(19) Sleep is needed to regulate normal adrenal function and reset your body’shormone balance.(20)
Oxygen & Exercise
Exercise consistently. Studies show that low intensity exercise, such as walking, jogging, and power yoga, for about30 minutes, helps decrease cortisol levels.(21)
Please consult with your healthcare practitioner before starting any exercise program.
Avoid smoking and alcohol. Smoking and drinking alcohol increase cortisol levels.(22,23) Alcohol metabolism strains theliver, which also removes cortisol from the body.(24)
Minimize exposure to environmental toxins, like mercury (in many fish), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (inpesticides), and BPA (in food cans), which disrupt the pituitary gland, adrenal function, and can elevate cortisol levels.(25) Go organic and chemical-free, whenever possible.
Talk to your healthcare practitioner about including these and/or any other supplements in your dietary practices.
Cortisol Balance Supplement Recommendations
B-Complex with Delayed Release
Instructions for Use
1 or 2 capsules before dinner and/or bedtime
3 capsules per day with meals
1 capsule daily without food
Multivitamin (Men's or Women's)
Vitamin D3 + Probiotics
B-Complex with Delayed Release
Instructions for Use
1 capsule twice daily with food
1 capsule daily with food
1 capsule daily
2 softgels - 1 -2 times daily with food
4 capsules daily with food
Never modify any medications or other medical advice without your healthcare practitioner’s support.
*For optimal results, we recommend you perform a metabolic analysis profile test, which tests for key biomarkers that identify nutritional deficiencies, toxicities, bacterial overgrowth, and drug effects. Talk with your MaxLiving Chiropractor about the Metabolix Program to get tested and be able to obtain a more customized health plan.
1. Chronic stress puts your health at risk. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037. Published March 19, 2019. Accessed May 3, 2019.
2. Hannibal KE, Bishop MD. Chronic stress, cortisol dysfunction, and pain: a psychoneuroendocrine rationale for stress management in pain rehabilitation. Phys Ther. 2014;94(12):1816-25. doi:10.2522/ptj.20130597
3. Santos-Longhurst A. High Cortisol Symptoms: What Do They Mean? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cortisol-symptoms. Updated August 31, 2018. Accessed May 3, 2019.
4. Lundberg U. Stress hormones in health and illness: The roles of work and gender. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2005;30(10):1017-21.
5. Moyer AE, Rodin J, Grilo CM, Cummings N, Larson LM, Rebuffé-Scrive M. Stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution in women. Obes Res. 1994;2(3):255-62.
6. Hardy K, Pollard H. The organisation of the stress response, and its relevance to chiropractors: a commentary. Chiropr Osteopat. 2006;14:25. doi:10.1186/1746-1340-14-25
7. Iranmanesh A, Lawson D, Dunn B, Veldhuis JD. Glucose ingestion selectively amplifies ACTH and cortisol secretory-burst mass and enhances their joint synchrony in healthy men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(9):2882–2888.
8. Wall R, Ross P, Fitzgerald GF, Stanton, C. Fatty acids from fish: the anti-inflammatory potential of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Nutr Rev. 2010;68(5):280–89.
9. Cohen S, Janicki-Deverts D, Doyle WJ, et al. Chronic stress, glucocorticoid receptor resistance, inflammation, and disease risk. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109(16):5995–5999.
10. Unno K, Noda S, Kawasaki Y, et al. Reduced Stress and Improved Sleep Quality Caused by Green Tea Are Associated with a Reduced Caffeine Content. Nutrients. 2017;9(7):777. doi: 10.3390/nu9070777
11. Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Rep. 2010;3(6):895–901.
12. Sabater-Molina M, Larqué E, Torrella F, Zamora S. Dietary fructooligosaccharides and potential benefits on health. J Physiol Biochem. 2009 Sep;65(3):315-28.
13. Schmidt K, Cowen PJ, Harmer CJ, Tzortzis G, Errington S, Burnet PW. Prebiotic intake reduces the waking cortisol response and alters emotional bias in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014;232(10):1793–1801.
14. Kennedy DO. B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review. Nutrients. 2016;8(68). doi:10.3390/nu8020068.
15. Hingerty D. The role of magnesium in adrenal insufficiency. Biochem J. 1957;66(3):429–431.
16. Hall JE, Guyton AC. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016.
17. Davis M, Eshelman ER, McKay M. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook. 6th ed. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc; 2008.
18. Romero ML, Butler LK. Endocrinology of Stress. Int J Comp Psychol. 2007;20(2). https://escholarship.org/uc/item/87d2k2xz. Accessed May 17, 2019.
19. Hirshkowitz M, Whiton K, Albert S, et al. National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary. ScienceDirect. 2015;1(1):40-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2014.12.010
20. Krieger DT, Gewirtz GP. Recovery of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Function, Growth Hormone Responsiveness and Sleep EEG Pattern in a Patient Following Removal of an Adrenal Cortical Adenoma. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1974;38(6)1075-82.
21. Hill EE, Zack E, Battaglini C, et al. Exercise and circulating cortisol levels: the intensity threshold effect. J Endocrinol Invest. 2008;31(7):587-91.
22. Badrick E, Kirschbaum C, Kumari M. The Relationship between Smoking Status and Cortisol Secretion. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007;92(3):819-24.
23. Badrick E, Bobak M, Britton A, Kirschbaum C, Marmot M, Kumari M. The relationship between alcohol consumption and cortisol secretion in an aging cohort. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93(3):750–757.
24. Netter FH. The Ciba Collection of Medical Illustrations: Volume 4 – Endocrine System and Selected Metabolic Diseases. New York, NY: CIBA Pharmaceutical Company; 1965.
25. Xinqiang Zhu X, Kusaka Y, Sato K, Zhang Q. The Endocrine Disruptive Effects of Mercury. Environ Health Prev Med. 2000;4(4):174-83.
This content is for information purposes only. Any statement or recommendation in this publication does not take the place of medical advice nor is meant to replace the guidance of your licensed healthcare practitioner. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. MaxLiving information is and products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or provide medical advice. Decisions to use supplements to support your specific needs should be considered in partnership with your licensed healthcare practitioner.