Stress supplements may help not only reduce physical and mental stress, but also enhance the body’s response to it. This glossary describes the main terms and concepts related to stress and anti-stress supplementation.
Adaptogens are herbs that help the body manage all kinds of different physical and mental stress factors, including fatigue, loud noises, sleep deprivation, and extreme temperatures. Adaptogens not only seem to reduce general stress, but also revitalize the body. Examples of adaptogens for stress relief include holy basil and rhodiola rosea.
Antioxidants are compounds in foods and dietary supplements that help counter damage to cells caused by reactive oxygen species. Their primary stress-related use is to minimize the negative consequences of stress rather than reduce the stress itself.<
Blood Brain Barrier
The blood-brain barrier, or BBB, is a membrane that separates blood passing through the brain from other fluids. Besides water, only select fat-soluble molecules and gases are allowed to pass through, which prevents harmful toxins from entering and affecting the brain. The effectiveness of GABA supplements has been questioned due to their inability to cross the BBB.<
Catecholamines are hormones produced by the adrenal glands during periods of stress. Stress triggers the production of the two principal catecholamines— epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline)—which play a critical role in the fight-or-flight response.