Stress has become increasingly common in the world fast, hectic today, affecting the health and well-being of millions of people and costing the economy of the United States billions of dollars because of rising health care costs and lost productivity. In fact, because stress is so pervasive in people’s lives, stress reduction has become the number one problem of lifestyle and health for consumers, according to the journal of food technology. Stress is the body’s response to emotional or physical threats, real or Imagined that cause to become unbalanced. Sources of stress can range from relatively benign like keeping up with daily responsibilities to acute causes, such as loss of a job, divorce or financial problems.
No matter the cause, the body responds to stress in a similar fashion. This stress response, also known as the “fight or flight”, is a series of physiological changes that prepare the body to confront a stressor or escape from it, and then bring a return to homeostasis or equilibrium. In the short term, the stress response can be an asset, enhancing a person’s ability to address the changing circumstances of life. But if a person is subject to repeated stress over a long period, the body gradually loses its ability to cope, resulting in breakdown of vital functions and a decline in health and well-being. It is estimated that chronic stress is responsible for cause or complicate over 90% of the diseases that affect the body. Because chronic stress has become so rampant today, consumers are always looking for more nutritional products that reduce symptoms related to stress and improving mood.
When the body is stressed, it disrupted normal homeostasis in the body which causes a series of physiological reactions on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA). In response to a stressor, neuroendocrine cells of the hypothalamus (a part of the brain) releasing corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH travels to the nearby pituitary gland and stimulates to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH in turn, travels through the blood until it reaches the adrenal glands that sit on top of each kidney. ACTH stimulates the release of hormone in the blood Catecholamines such as epinephrine, corticosteroid hormones like cortisol. These adrenal hormones are responsible for the production of vastissma symptoms that prepare the body for intense physical and mental activity associated with the reply “fight or flight”. Adrenalin acts mainly in response to short-term stress whereas cortisol produces symptoms associated with stress both short-term and chronic.
Supplements containing ashwagandha derivatives have a unique ability to relieve symptoms of chronic stress and bring back the body in its natural balance. This was confirmed in a double-blind, placebocontrolled clinical trial in which human subjects taking a dietary supplement containing Ashwagandha to recommended dosage had a 69.9% reduction in overall measure of stress-related symptoms. These subjects also experienced significant reductions in individual stress symptoms including anxiety, insomnia, irritability, inability to concentrate, fatigue, sweating, headache and muscular pains and heart palpitations. In contrast, the placebo group saw no significant change in any of these symptoms for the duration of the study.