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.
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Refer to label instructions
Used under a doctor’s supervision, adrenal cortext extract may relieve nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy.
In a preliminary study done in the 1930s, eight women suffering from nausea and vomiting during the first trimester (13 weeks) of pregnancy received large amounts of oral adrenal cortex extract. In most cases, vomiting stopped after three to four days.1 In a follow-up study, women with nausea and vomiting of pregnancy received adrenal cortex extract, usually by injection at first, followed by oral administration. More than 85% of the women were completely relieved of the problem or showed definite improvement.2 Since no safety data exist for use during pregnancy, adrenal extract should not be used in these situations unless supervised by a doctor.
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.
Adrenal extracts are available in capsules or tablets. Adrenal extracts prepared for injection were commonly used at one time, but currently are unavailable.
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.
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.
Last Review: 07-08-2014
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The information presented in Aisle7 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 June 2015.
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