High Cortisol Levels – The Good, Bad, And Down-right Ugly Effects

HIGH CORTISOL LEVELS – The Good, Bad, And Down-right Ugly Effects

Cortisol, known as the “fight or flight hormone”, has the amazing ability to set of a plethora of changes in the body if it is too high or too low. Also known as “The Stress Hormone”, this chemical can be difficult to keep in balance – luckily nature has an app for that!

Tunnel Vision, Migraines, Sleep Deprivation, Acid Reflux Disease, Hostility, Hunger, Arthritis, Decreased Immune System, Decreased Metabolism, Depression, Hypertension, Chronic Fatigue - the effects of high cortisol levels.

Given the day-to-day pressures of modern existence, no one is immune to stress. Unexpected bills, job loss, health problems, traffic jams and other daily challenges can create emotional stress, our bodies’ are also subjected to physical and biochemical stresses too. We have to deal with environmental and household chemicals, chemicals in our food, loss of sleep and other factors that interfere with our optimal wellness. All this can overwhelm the body’s ability to cope, resulting in insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, depression and even physical illness. Luckily, nature has provided us with herbal remedies – which science has made easier for us to consume – that can help the body and mind cope.

Adaptogens, like AOR Ortho Adapt can help you feel calmer and perform better when dealing with life’s day-to-day challenges. Adaptogens can also help the body normalize its function when faced with strenuous physical activity, loss of sleep and other physical or biochemical forms of stress.

What are Adaptogens? and Are Adaptogens good for you?

Adaptogens are a class of herb or herbs, that meet a specific set of criteria. These herbs offer a range of health benefits and have been used effectively in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.

In order for a herb to be classed as an Adaptogen, they must meet three criteria:

  • Adaptogens are nontoxic, which means they can be safely taken over extended periods of time.
  • An adaptogen produces a nonspecific biological response that improves the body’s ability to resist multiple forms of stress, including physical, chemical and biological stressors.
  • Adaptogens have a normalizing influence, meaning that whatever direction the stressors are throwing the body out of balance, adaptogens help to bring the system back into balance. (Homeostasis)


Tunnel Vision, Migraines, Sleep Deprivation, Acid Reflux Disease, Hostility, Hunger, Arthritis, Decreased Immune System, Decreased Metabolism, Depression, Hypertension, Chronic Fatigue - the effects of high cortisol levels.


What Are the Benefits of Adaptogens?

  • Normalizing Immune Function
  • Improving Athletic Performance
  • Enhancing Mood and Mental Performance
  • Protecting Cardiovascular Health
  • Balancing Blood Sugar
  • Enhancing Energy
  • Balancing Reproductive Hormones

While high levels of cortisol can be very problematic, low levels aren’t good either. Cortisol is absolutely essential for everyday energy and functioning of the body. It counteracts stress and increases energy by burning fat for fuel.

AOR Ortho Adapt is carefully comprised of multiple adaptogens, vitamins and nutrients. These include Pantethine (an active coenzyme form of vitamin B5), Vitamin C, Rhodiola, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Siberian “ginseng” (Eleutherococcus senticosus), and adrenal glandulars, providing support for the adrenal glands.


Pantethine is used for lowering cholesterol, preventing inflammation, boosting the activity of the immune system, treating an inherited condition called cystinosis, treating gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, and improving athletic performance. It is also used for improving energy, lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke, improving adrenal function, protecting against mental and physical stress, and preventing allergy symptoms in people who are allergic to formaldehyde.

Vitamin C

You need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It helps the body make collagen, an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is needed for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth.


Rhodiola is used for increasing energy, stamina, strength and mental capacity; and as a so-called “adaptogen” to help the body adapt to and resist physical, chemical, and environmental stress. It is also used for improving athletic performance, shortening recovery time after long workouts, improving sexual function; for depression; and for heart disorders such as irregular heartbeat and high cholesterol.


Benefits Brain Health. Emotional, physical, and chemical stress can all have damaging effects to the brain and nervous system. Recent research has proven ashwagandha is more than a stress reliever, it also protects the brain from degeneration and improves symptoms of Alzheimer’s, depression, and anxiety.


Licorice is taken by mouth for various digestive system complaints including stomach ulcers, heartburn, colic, and ongoing inflammation of the lining of the stomach (chronic gastritis). Some people take licorice by mouth for sore throat, bronchitis, cough, and infections caused by bacteria or viruses.

Siberian Ginseng

Siberian ginseng is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels such as high blood pressure, low blood pressure, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), and rheumatic heart disease. It is also used for kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, flu, colds, chronic bronchitis, and tuberculosis. It is also used for treating the side effects of cancer chemotherapy.

Adrenal Glandulars

Like most glandular extracts, adrenal glandular is often from either bovine (cow), or porcine (pig) sources. These extracts contain all of the nutritional fundamentals, cofactors, and hormones present in the organ. This can be considered a complete nutritional supplement for adrenal gland support. Because of its high concentration of hormones, it is not recommended that adrenal glandular be used for extended periods of time, but instead that it be used acutely to boost the adrenal glands in times of great stress.

Tunnel Vision, Migraines, Sleep Deprivation, Acid Reflux Disease, Hostility, Hunger, Arthritis, Decreased Immune System, Decreased Metabolism, Depression, Hypertension, Chronic Fatigue - the effects of high cortisol levels.

Other ways to de-stress and in turn, reduce the cortisol levels in your body include:

  1. Laugh it up. Laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries, and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.
  2. Meditation. This practice of inward-focused thought and deep breathing has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Meditation’s close relatives, yoga and prayer, can also relax the mind and body.
  3. Keep Active. Every time you are physically active, whether you take a walk or play tennis, your body releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins. Exercising not only melts away stress, it also protects against heart disease by lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your heart muscle, and helping you maintain a healthy weight.
  4. Unplug. It’s impossible to escape stress when it follows you everywhere. Turn off the screen. Avoid emails and TV news. Take time each day — even if it’s for just 10 or 15 minutes — to escape from the digital world and into nature.
  5. Find ways to take the edge off. Simple things, like a warm bath, listening to music, or spending time on a favorite hobby, can give you a much-needed break from the stressors in your life.

If you found this article interesting and are looking at supplementing your wellness journey, you may be interested in our current AOR promotions which can be found here. For further reading on stress, we have a great article here.


Product Picks:



AOR Ortho Adapt


AOR Ortho Adapt


AOR Advanced B-Complex


AOR Advanced B-Complex

Customer Reviews:

Good OTC Review by David

Working well as part of my stress/anxiety relief stack

Great for Everything Review by Jason

Very good product. i don’t miss a day without at least 1 capsule, combined with multivitamins.

Great for menopause Review by Cher

This was recommended to me by my naturopath doctor to help alleviate stress problems during menopause. It calms me, helps me function better and get a more restful sleep. It could take a few weeks to actually start to feel the effects but well worth it.

Helped with adrenal fatigue Review by Nicole

I was diagnosed with severe adrenal exhaustion about a year ago, and Ortho Adapt has been a big part of my recovery. I definitely notice more energy, without the highs and lows/jitters of caffeine, and a big difference between days where I do take it and days where I don’t. Can cause an upset stomach for the first week or so while your body adjusts, I’d recommend ramping up to the full dose over a coupe weeks to avoid indigestion.

Excellent Quality Review by Joy

Everyone I know that tries this vitamin B complex readily notices a difference from their past brands. One person told me they noticed that as soon as they were not taking AOR’s B complex supplement their anxiety levels would resurface. Another told me their energy levels were back up while taking this supplement and noticed a difference when they ran out of the supplement. Highly recommend!