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What Are Cortisol Pills?

Cortisol pills are intended to block excessive levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Cortisol pills are a weight loss supplement that assist the body in fat loss.
The connection between stress hormones and weight gain is a hypothesis with only a few studies to support it.
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  • Written By: R. Stamm
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
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Cortisol pills are weight-loss supplements that block excessive cortisol levels in users and assist in fat loss and the reduction of stress. They may also assist in the reduction of appetite and building muscle tissue, and users may experience an elevation in mood. It is necessary to note that there is not sufficient evidence to link weight gain with elevated cortisol levels, and the true effectiveness of these pills is unknown. Side effects associated with the use of cortisol pills vary and any symptoms should be reported to a physician.

Hydrocortisone, or cortisol, is a steroidal hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland and is released in response to stress. The hormone is released into the system as part of the fight or flight instinct when an individual experiences physical or emotional stress. It increases the flow of glucose and releases protein and fat from tissues to the circulation system. This process elevates energy levels and physical preparedness to the proposed situation or threat.

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Manufacturers of cortisol pills claim that too much cortisol in the system leads to storage of fat and may cause diabetes, a weakened immune system, and chronic depression, among other problems. A person with high levels of the hormone may have an increased appetite and store more fat. These pills block excessive cortisol production, which enables the user to lose weight, and they also contain an ingredient to help control appetite. Some of the pills contain other beneficial ingredients to the user’s health. Certain pills contain powerful antioxidants and other chemicals that assist in fat oxidation and stop the body from accumulating too much fat.

The connection between stress hormones and weight gain is a hypothesis with only a few studies to support it. There is no solid evidence that blocking cortisol results in weight loss. The United States Federal Trade Commission charged the makers of CortiSlim™ with making unproven claims about the products effectiveness. Subsequently, the product was removed from the shelves, but is still sold over the Internet, and some users have claimed to have success with it.

A high level of cortisol is only one contributing factor to excessive storage of body fat. In most cases, excess calories and not enough exercise are the primary causes. For this reason, manufacturers of cortisol pills recommend a reduced-calorie diet along with physical activities for long-term weight loss. More importantly, there are a number of natural methods to reduce stress without the use of cortisol pills.

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