Also indexed as: Protomorphogen (Adrenal), Suprarenal Extract
Adrenal extracts are derived from the adrenal glands of bovine (beef) sources. Commercially available adrenal extracts are made using the whole gland (whole or total adrenal extracts) or just the cortex or outer portion of the gland (adrenal cortex extracts). The adrenal glands are a pair of small glands that lie just above the kidneys.
Adrenal extracts are available in capsules or tablets. Adrenal extracts prepared for injection were commonly used at one time, but currently are unavailable.
Adrenal extract has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
|Science Ratings||Health Concerns|
and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.
As adrenal extract is not an essential nutrient, no nutritional deficiency state exists. However, some people have suboptimal adrenal function or frank adrenal insufficiency. The diagnosis of adrenal problems should be made by a physician.
The amount of adrenal extract taken will depend upon the quality and potency of the product. Follow the recommendations given on the product label or those given by your healthcare provider.
Stomach irritation and/or nausea is a common side effect, especially with higher potency products. Other possible side effects include a general stimulatory effect that may manifest as anxiety, irritability, and/or insomnia. Since no safety data exist for use during pregnancy or breast-feeding, adrenal extract should not be used in these situations unless supervised by a doctor.
Consumption of excessive amounts may produce signs and symptoms of corticosteroid excess similar to those experienced with the drug prednisone. However, serious side effects are not likely to result from taking a large amount of an adrenal extract for a short period of time or from excessive intake on a single occasion, but rather from long-term use of high amounts. With prednisone (a synthetic cortisone-like drug) at lower doses (less than 10 mg per day), the most notable side effects are usually increased appetite, weight gain, retention of salt and water, and increased susceptibility to infection.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with adrenal extract.
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The information presented in Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires September 2008.