There is no solid evidence that cortisol blockers lead to weight loss.
When you're under stress, your body boosts production of the hormone cortisol. Chronic stress and persistently high cortisol levels may be associated with increased appetite and weight gain.
However, the connection between stress hormones and weight gain is largely based on anecdotal evidence, with only a few studies supporting it. Weight gain is influenced by many intersecting factors.
Some dietary supplements claim to block cortisol to aid weight loss. Seven marketers of such supplements were charged by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission with making false and unsubstantiated claims that their products produce rapid, substantial and permanent weight loss.
Bottom line: Steer clear of weight-loss products that make unproven claims. Instead, focus on reducing your calorie intake and increasing your activity level. For lowering stress, explore stress management techniques.
May 05, 2020
See more Expert Answers
- CortiSlim. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed Feb. 17, 2020.
- Seaward BL. Physical exercise: Flushing out the stress hormone. In: Essentials of Managing Stress. 4th ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2017.
- Perreault L. Obesity in adults: Drug therapy. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Feb. 17, 2020.
- What you need to know about dietary supplements. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/what-you-need-know-about-dietary-supplements. Accessed Sept. 30, 2019.
- Chao AM, et al. Stress, cortisol, and other appetite-related hormones: Prospective prediction of 6-month changes in food cravings and weight. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017; doi:10.1002/oby.21790.
- Junne F, et al. Determinants of perceived stress in individuals with obesity: Exploring the relationship of potentially obesity-related factors and perceived stress. Obesity Facts. 2017;10:127.
- Schwartz MW, et al. Obesity pathogenesis: An Endocrine Society scientific statement. Endocrine Reviews. 2017;38:267.
- Seaward BL. Physical exercise, nutrition, and stress. In: Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being. 9th ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2018.
- Braun LT, Reincke M. What is the role of medical therapy in adrenal-dependent Cushing's syndrome? Best Practice and Research Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2020; doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2020.101376.
- Federal Trade Commission reaches New Year's resolutions with four major weight-control pill marketers. U.S. Federal Trade Commission. https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2007/01/federal-trade-commission-reaches-new-years-resolutions-four-major. Accessed March 10, 2020.
- The truth behind weight loss ads. U.S. Federal Trade Commission. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/truth-behind-weight-loss-ads. Accessed March 10, 2020.