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licorice root a stress reliever?

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licorice root a stress reliever?

Postby wildfunguy » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:09 pm

Maybe somebody familiar with endocrinology could help me understand.

Popular media sources say licorice root reduces stress by promoting adrenal gland function. That's not why I got licorice root capsules, but I think the recomended dosage, 900mg daily, has an opposite effect. I think it causes me to be preoccupied with insignificant problems, e.g. guilt over highly unlikely consequences of my actions, or anxiety over imagined or exaggerated negative appraisals. It also effects my heart rate and libido, but that's off-topic.

I don't know where the stress-reducing idea came from. Licorice root increases cortisol levels by inhibiting 11β–hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, which converts cortisol to cortisone.

Licorice-Induced Hypermineralocorticoidism (Farese et al.)
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NE ... 0243251706
Stewart et al.4 proposed that licorice acts by inhibiting renal 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity, thereby diminishing the conversion of cortisol to cortisone and resulting in high renal levels of cortisol [...]

[D]ecreased urinary ratios of cortisone to cortisol metabolites [...] confirm that licorice impairs normal cortisol metabolism.

Loneliness and Cortisol: Momentary, Day-to-day, and Trait Associations (Daone & Adam)
This was contrary to previous work which has shown that high levels of anger, tension, nervousness and stress were related to momentary increases in cortisol levels (van Eck et al., 1996; Peeters et al., 2003; Pressman et al., 2005; Adam, 2006) in both adolescent and adult populations.
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