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supplements to lower cortisol and reduce stress


6 Supplements to Regulate Cortisol & Reduce Stress

April is National Stress Awareness Month, so let's talk about the number one hormone involved in stress: cortisol!

Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. It helps your body deal with stressful situations, as your brain triggers its release through the sympathetic nervous system — the “fight or flight” system — in response to many different kinds of stress.

Cortisol is very useful to help us in times of short-term danger, but when cortisol levels are elevated for too long, it can lead to many chronic health issues like anxiety, insomnia, infertility, fatigue, depression, weight gain, impaired cognitive function, digestive issues, cardiovascular problems, and weakened immune function. 

If you're feeling stressed, you're certainly not alone. The American Institute of Stress reported that chronic stress is commonplace at work, with 94% of workers reporting feeling stress at work. 

Fortunately, several supplements have been shown in research to help lower cortisol levels to reduce stress. 

What is cortisol?

Cortisol, often referred to as the "stress hormone," is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Its primary function is to mobilize energy reserves to help the body respond to perceived threats. 

It’s synthesized by cholesterol and can affect nearly every organ system in the body. Besides stress, it’s also involved in regulating several important functions, including:

  • Immune function
  • Metabolism
  • Inflammation
  • Blood sugar control
  • Memory formation
  • Salt and water balance
  • Heart function

Signs of high cortisol

Identifying signs of high cortisol levels is essential for early intervention. Common symptoms include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain (particularly around the abdomen)
  • High blood pressure
  • Missing periods
  • Brain fog or impaired cognitive function
  • Frequent infections
  • Sugar cravings
  • Increased appetite

What raises cortisol levels?

Several factors can increase cortisol levels- even some that you may have thought were "healthy"!

Common factors that increase cortisol levels are:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Trauma/unprocessed emotions
  • Excessive caffeine consumption
  • Deficiency in certain nutrients like B vitamins and magnesium
  • Intermittent Fasting can raise cortisol levels in women especially
  • Over-exercising: Yes, exercise is good for you, but too much (like HIIT workouts every day) can create excess cortisol levels

Supplements to reduce cortisol

There are several supplements that can help regulate cortisol levels, stop the "fight or flight" response, and lower stress levels. 


When under stress, our body burns through minerals like magnesium, potassium, and sodium more quickly. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with higher stress levelsSupplementing with magnesium, specifically Magnesium L-Threonate, can help replenish magnesium levels.

But what's so special about magnesium? Magnesium is a superstar for stress because it regulates cortisol levels by modulating the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the body's central stress response system. 

This study found that participants who took magnesium and vitamin B6 supplements for 8 weeks experienced improved anxiety and depression scores.

Mood Magnesium was formulated with the three most proven types of magnesium for stress and improved sleep (Magnesium L-Threonate, Magnesium Malate, and Magnesium Glycinate). Plus, it is formulated as a delicious yuzu-flavored powder for optimal absorption.


GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has calming effects on the brain. It calms the "fight or flight" response by inhibiting excitatory neurotransmitters like cortisol and adrenaline, to promote relaxation. 

In one clinical trial, researchers used EEG to measure participants’ brain waves after taking either GABA or a placebo. Just one hour after taking GABA, they saw a significant increase in alpha waves, which caused feelings of calm and relaxation.

Mood Chews contain 130mg of GABA to help calm your mind and lower stress levels!


An amino acid found in green tea, L-theanine promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness. It increases levels of neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin, which can help lower cortisol levels and induce a sense of calm.

A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study found that supplementation with L-Theanine for 4 weeks lead to improved sleep scores, and decreased stress-related symptoms.

Mood Chews also contain 90mg of L-Theanine to create a peaceful focus without drowsiness or jitters!


Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, affect physiological and perceived reactions to mental stress by crossing the blood-brain barrier and directly influencing the brain and central nervous system cells.

This study found that daily supplementation with EPA and DHA helped the body resist the damaging effects of stress compared to a placebo group. The supplements contributed to what the researchers called stress resilience: a reduction of harm during and after stress. They observed positive changes like lower production of the stress hormone cortisol and increased production of “protective” compounds that typically decrease during stressful times.

Mood Omegas contain sustainably-sourced DHA and EPA to help lower cortisol levels, improve neuronal signaling & mental clarity, and lower inflammation.

B vitamins

B vitamins, especially B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) and B12 (cabalamin), are essential for adrenal gland function and cortisol regulation.

B vitamins also serve as cofactors for enzymes involved in energy metabolism and neurotransmitter synthesis. By optimizing energy metabolism and neurotransmitter balance, B vitamins help balance the stress response and may reduce the need for excessive cortisol release during times of stress. 

Mood B Complete is formulated with methylated essential B vitamins, along with other cofactors like Zinc, Vitamin D, and chromium to support absorption and neurotransmitter function.


The gut and brain are closely linked, and there is increasing evidence to suggest that the gut microbiome can have an impact on emotional and mental well-being.

The probiotic strain lactobacillus plantarum has been shown to alter the body’s stress response by reducing cortisol levels. 

One of the effects of persistent stress and high cortisol is the depletion of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. 

Gut microbes have the ability to produce and regulate these neurotransmitters, which can influence how we think and feel.

Taking a high-quality, specialized such as Mood Biotics may be one way to help reduce the effects of stress and support emotional well-being.

Other ways to naturally balance cortisol

In addition to supplements, several natural approaches can help regulate cortisol levels and manage stress:

  • Practice stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, and tai chi.
  • Spend time with loved ones, which helps release oxytocin and lower cortisol levels
  • Get regular exercise, which can help lower cortisol levels and improve mood.
  • Prioritize adequate sleep and establish a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Maintain a balanced diet rich in whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, while minimizing intake of processed foods and refined sugars.
  • Limit caffeine consumption, especially in the afternoon and evening.
  • Spend time outdoors and engage in activities that bring joy and relaxation.

The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness. Please check with your healthcare provider before adding new supplements to your routine.