Can You Lose Weight with Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha may be able to help you stabilize your hormones and lose weight.45 You may have heard commercials claiming that stress and excess cortisol can cause you to gain weight and make it difficult to lose. In fact, there’s plenty of unbiased scientific research validating these assertions. Cortisol is a natural hormone produced in the body as a part of a normal response when facing a life-threatening or tense situation, with hormone levels returning to normal once the danger or nerve-wracking event has passed.72

Studies in both humans and animals indicate that temporary spikes in cortisol levels are actually beneficial in acute and moderately acute stressful situations, where it promotes greater learning ability and responsiveness.73 But under chronically stressful conditions, cortisol concentrations stay at unhealthy elevated levels, which can also lead to a reduction in testosterone.72

The combination of chronic high-level cortisol and low-level testosterone has been linked to serious health problems, including increased abdominal fat and obesity. This is often made worse in menopause and andropause, when testosterone levels naturally drop for both women and men. Clinical trials indicate that weight and cortisol levels are positively correlated in people suffering from obesity, and those with the highest cortisol levels have the most difficult time losing weight (despite dieting). Other studies showed that lower testosterone levels were associated with significant weight gain in men.72,74

How it Works

Research, including a number of human clinical trials, has shown that ashwagandha can to reduce the stress hormone cortisol while increasing DHEA, a hormone precursor to testosterone.45 In a clinical trial, testosterone supplementation increased loss of abdominal fat in obese women significantly better than placebo.72These studies suggest that ashwagandha can ameliorate factors linked to weight gain and obesity.72

Evidence of Benefits

Although there isn’t any published data where ashwagandha was specifically studied for its effects on weight loss, some companies are banking on the wealth of evidence supporting its proven benefits in the battle of the bulge. Sensoril™ is one such patented product. Composed of a standardized proprietary blend of ashwagandha extracts from both the roots and leaves, the idea behind this product is that by helping to reduce stress Sensoril™ will reduce cortisol levels and help people lose weight.74

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A sex hormone.