I have a couple of clients who are determined to use the product CortiSlim. They both are making good progress based on their exercise programs and recently determining their metabolic type, but are determined to use this product. They both work in very stressful environments and therefore believe their difficulty in losing body fat is related to this. I have personally prescribed some stress reducing techniques and have given them information to try and discourage them from using this product but am running out of ideas. Any information that you can give in regards to this product would be greatly appreciated.
This is a great question that brings up some very important points...
- Cortisol is a hormone that is released into the blood during times of high stress. From an evolutionary standpoint, cortisol was needed in times of danger - such as running from a saber-toothed tiger - in order to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and activate the "fight or flight" response to either defend or run, or both! Today, our saber-toothed tiger has been replaced by traffic jams, divorce, professional pressures, and processed foods; yet our body interprets it all the same as it did with the tiger... STRESS.
- Circadian rhythms are natural physiological cycles of about 24 hours (following the sun over the course of a day), that continue even without external cues.(2) The diagram below shows an example of this with cortisol. In the case of a healthy person, cortisol naturally begins to spike at around 8-9 am, to begin the day with energy, and then begins to fade leveling off around 6pm (BLUE line). However, many people today who stay up late, eat poorly, and are exposed to many other prolonged personal/professional stresses have abnormally (read: unhealthy), elevated and disrupted circadian cortisol rhythm/cycles which do not allow for enough time each night for the mental and physical repair hormones such as growth hormone and melatonin to do their jobs (RED line). When this occurs, eventually over time adrenal fatigue is the result, and with it, a host of seemingly unrelated problems which depending on biochemical individuality may include: osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, PMS, and many other chronic degenerative disease states.
- However, because of today's high stress environments, cortisol has gotten a bad reputation; the fact is, it is very essential to human health. If it wasn't, God wouldn't have put it in our bodies. Included among cortisol's many important functions are the regulation and control of inflammation, as well as regulation of immune system function via the production of Secretory Immunoglobulin A (sIgA), which is the body's first immune defense against invaders that would make us sick. This sIgA is in the thin mucous linings of our body (i.e. GI tract, respiratory system, sinuses, throat, mouth, vaginal tract, and urogenital system). When the body suffers from adrenal fatigue, the above listed functions are compromised, and health wanes.(1)
- CortiSlim is a product which claims to shunt or block cortisol production from the adrenal glands. This is done with the goal of losing weight as cortisol is an "activating" hormone with powerful blood sugar mobilizing affects which can indeed contribute to fatty deposits. However, as with all drugs, "Taking medications merely shuts off the broken pathway, allowing you to continue ignoring the cause. Meanwhile the disease-causing deficiencies and toxicities remain undiscovered and uncorrected, eventually triggering new and seemingly unrelated symptoms." (4) What I'm suggesting, specifically in this case is this: If one takes CortiSlim and cortisol production is blocked, yet the stressor/stimulus that caused the cortisol to be released in excess in the first place remains, your body STILL must deal with that stressor/stimulus! Furthermore, CortiSlim's suggested intake times are early morning, and around mid day. This would certainly not aid in restoring optimal circadian cortisol cycles (as depicted below), which should be the primary goal for wellness. This is not to say that nutritional supplements are not necessary. In fact quite the contrary is true in many cases. However, taking specific supplements with the intent of rebalancing the body's systems should be the goal, and should be done only after thorough metabolic assessments and under the supervision of a skilled and qualified expert. Suggesting that everyone with stress in their life should start to use the same product is an absurd notion as it ignores the phenomenon of biochemical individuality, not to mention individual perceptions of life!
- Interestingly, when contacted directly, CortiSlim would NOT reveal exactly what the ingredients were in their product, which experts have found suspicious. The "proprietary blends" listed on the bottle are the company's way of saying "we're not going to tell you." Any reputable company tells you what is going on without trying to hide things.(3)
- The interactions that take place in the hormonal system are vastly complex and should not be ignorantly tampered with, as the long term side-effects may be very harmful. A great example of this is to ask any former bodybuilder (an honest one), who was ever unlucky enough to get "hooked" on using a potent thermogenic for months - or even years on end - how it affected their health. If she/he's honest, they'll tell you that it's still a problem even months/years later! There is an old saying, "Perceivably fit, but UNhealthy." What this refers to is the aesthetically driven concept of great looks at the sacrifice of great health (i.e. looks great on the outside, yet is a "metabolic nightmare" on the inside!) An example of this is a former competitive bodybuilder I'm currently working with. He competed on stage at about 2-3% bodyfat and never "looked" better in his life. You would have never believed just by looking at him that under that skin and muscle he was hiding a raging fungal infection of the GI tract, chronic musculoskeletal inflammation, severe adrenal fatigue, and depression (to name a few). Rebalancing the body's systems via great nutrition, water intake, and plenty of rest, love and fun, should always be the top priority and come first.
Noah Hittner, BS, CHEK-NLC Level II, PES, RTS, CPT
Founder - "FOUR HEALTH" Nutrition, Fitness, & Lifestyle Coaching
- BioHealth Diagnostics. Foundational Health Program - Three Pillars of Foundational Health. Audiocassette. 2001.
- Chek, P. (2004). How to Eat, Move & Be Healthy!
- Kalish, Dr. Dan. Personal Email Communication. 19 July 2004. (www.drkalish.com)
- Rogers, S. (2002). Detoxify Or Die.