Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2018 Mar;93(3):284-290.
doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.10.019.

Over-the-Counter "Adrenal Support" Supplements Contain Thyroid and Steroid-Based Adrenal Hormones

Affiliations

Over-the-Counter "Adrenal Support" Supplements Contain Thyroid and Steroid-Based Adrenal Hormones

Halis Kaan Akturk et al. Mayo Clin Proc. .

Abstract

Objective: To assess whether dietary supplements that are herbal and/or animal-derived products, marketed for enhancing metabolism or promoting energy, "adrenal fatigue," or "adrenal support," contain thyroid or steroid hormones.

Methods: Twelve dietary adrenal support supplements were purchased. Pregnenolone, androstenedione, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, cortisol, cortisone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, synthetic glucocorticoids (betamethasone, dexamethasone, fludrocortisone, megestrol acetate, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone, budesonide, and triamcinolone acetonide) levels were measured twice in samples in a blinded fashion. This study was conducted between February 1, 2016, and November 1, 2016.

Results: Among steroids, pregnenolone was the most common hormone in the samples. Budesonide, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, cortisol, and cortisone were the others in order of prevalence. All the supplements revealed a detectable amount of triiodothyronine (T3) (63-394.9 ng/tablet), 42% contained pregnenolone (66.12-205.2 ng/tablet), 25% contained budesonide (119.5-610 ng/tablet), 17% contained androstenedione (1.27-7.25 ng/tablet), 8% contained 17-OH progesterone (30.09 ng/tablet), 8% contained cortisone (79.66 ng/tablet), and 8% contained cortisol (138.5 ng/tablet). Per label recommended doses daily exposure was up to 1322 ng for T3, 1231.2 ng for pregnenolone, 1276.4 ng for budesonide, 29 ng for androstenedione, 60.18 ng for 17-OH progesterone, 277 ng for cortisol, and 159.32 ng for cortisone.

Conclusion: All the supplements studied contained a small amount of thyroid hormone and most contained at least 1 steroid hormone. This is the first study that measured thyroid and steroid hormones in over-the-counter dietary "adrenal support" supplements in the United States. These results may highlight potential risks of hidden ingredients in unregulated supplements.

Comment in

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 article

  • Thyroid hormone misuse and abuse.
    Bernet VJ. Bernet VJ. Endocrine. 2019 Oct;66(1):79-86. doi: 10.1007/s12020-019-02045-1. Epub 2019 Oct 15. Endocrine. 2019. PMID: 31617167 Review.
Feedback