Ashwagandha Helps You Adapt to Stress—Which is Critical for Your Heart

08/26/2020 | 3 min. read

Dr. Stephen Sinatra

Dr. Stephen Sinatra

There’s no question that all of us experience stress. Stressors—whether money worries, running late to appointments, or dealing with difficult people—are a fact of life. But did you know those stressors aren’t just affecting your mind and mood, but your entire body, including your heart?

This is something I’ve witnessed throughout my career. Stress is one of the biggest, yet often overlooked heart risk factors. Left unchecked, it can have a significant impact on your blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow, and more.

We can’t eliminate stress, that’s impossible. But what we can do is help you adapt to stress by supporting your body’s internal “stress feedback loop.” That’s where ashwagandha comes in—as a powerful “adaptogen.”  But first, here’s what happens inside your body when you’re stressed.

Stress Is Managed by Your Internal “Stress Feedback Loop”

When you’re confronted with a stressful situation—let’s say you’re late for a critical appointment—your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis goes into action. That’s your body’s “stress feedback loop.”

The hypothalamus (the tiny control center in your brain) releases the hormone CRH, which travels to your pituitary gland. There, it stimulates the release of another hormone ACTH, which moves to your adrenal glands. Once there, it fuels the release of cortisol—otherwise known as the “stress hormone.”

Cortisol’s job is to raise your blood sugar levels, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing—putting you in “fight or flight” mode so you’re ready to respond to danger. If you had to fight off an imminent threat, like someone attacking you—you’re ready. Then, when the danger’s over, your body quickly returns to normal.

While this type of occasional stress response doesn’t concern me, persistent stress is a different story. In today’s world where people are exposed to multiple, prolonged stressors—whether from work, money issues, or the 24-hour news cycle—the HPA axis can become overworked and won’t operate as efficiently as it should.  Plus, continuously elevated levels of cortisol can have far-reaching effects on your heart and overall health.

Ashwagandha Helps Your Body Adapt to Stress

Ashwagandha extract (Withania somnifera) is part of a special class of herbs called adaptogens that boost your body’s ability to resist everyday stress. Adaptogens have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic tradition to help the body adapt to stress while enhancing mood.

Adaptogenic herbs work by helping to stabilize and support the body so it works more efficiently and effectively—reducing the impact of stress on your body. That’s why I take it myself and highly recommend it.

After doing quite a bit of research on the different forms of ashwagandha, one of the absolute best I’ve found is Sensoril®—which addresses both the emotional and physical effects of stress. I like the fact that it contains both the leaves and roots of the ashwagandha plant.

Plus, Sensoril contains standardized amounts of ashwagandha’s three most important stress-supporting compounds: withanolide glycosides, withaferin A, and oligosaccharides. In fact, it’s the only one I found that contains more than 10% withanolide glycosides, 35% oligosaccharides, and as much as .5% withafterin A.

Sensoril has been shown in clinical studies to help balance levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Plus, research has found it can reduce feelings of anxiousness and fatigue, improve sleep quality and physical mobility, and boost mood and concentration when you’re under stress. So, it’s not just giving you silent benefits—but ones you can feel as well!

For all of those reasons, Sensoril is a core part of my Omega Q Plus® ULTRA formula which supports heart health, healthy aging, and your emotional wellbeing.

Hear More from Dr. Sinatra About Stress and Ashwagandha:

Dr. Stephen Sinatra

Meet Dr. Stephen Sinatra

Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy.

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