Also indexed as: Protomorphogen (Adrenal), Suprarenal
Adrenal extracts are derived from the adrenal glands of bovine (beef) sources. Commercially
available adrenal extracts are made using the whole gland (whole or total adrenal extracts) or
just the cortex or outer portion of the gland (adrenal cortex extracts). The adrenal glands
are a pair of small glands that lie just above the kidneys.
Where is it found?
Adrenal extracts are available in capsules or tablets. Adrenal extracts prepared for
injection were commonly used at one time, but currently are unavailable.
Adrenal extract has been
used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the
individual health concern for complete information):
Who is likely to be deficient?
As adrenal extract is not an essential nutrient, no nutritional deficiency state exists.
However, some people sub-optimal adrenal function or frank adrenal insufficiency. The
diagnosis of adrenal problems should be made by a physician.
How much is usually taken?
The amount of adrenal extract taken will depend upon the quality and potency of the
product. Follow the recommendations given on the product label or those given by your
Are there any side effects or interactions?
Stomach irritation and/or nausea is a common side effect, especially with higher potency
products. Other possible side effects include a general stimulatory effect that may manifest
as anxiety, irritability, and/or insomnia. Since no safety data exist for use during pregnancy or breast-feeding, adrenal extract
should not be used in these situations unless supervised by a doctor.
Consumption of excessive amounts may produce signs and symptoms of corticosteroid excess similar to those experienced
with the drug prednisone. However, serious
side effects are not likely to result from taking a large amount of an adrenal extract for a
short period of time or from excessive intake on a single occasion, but rather from long-term
use of high amounts. With prednisone (a synthetic cortisone-like drug) at lower doses (less
than 10 mg per day), the most notable side effects are usually increased appetite, weight
gain, retention of salt and water, and increased susceptibility to infection.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions
with adrenal extract.