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The Cortisol-Weight Loss Controversy:

Will CortiSlim Help You Lose Weight?


Updated June 11, 2014

Overall, there is little evidence, except in studies produced by the product’s own makers for use in their advertising, that the CortiSlim formulation can deliver any unique impact on cortisol levels.

In late October of 2004, the Federal Trade Commission also found fault with some of the claims promoted by CortiSlim. It charged the makers, including Shawn Talbott, with false advertising. The FTC told them they must cease and desist advertising that CortiSlim guarantees a permanent weight loss of 10 to 15 pounds and that it was backed by 15 years of scientific research.

To address the Federal Trade Commission’s concerns, CortiSlim has produced some new television ads. But the truth remains that the supplement likely does little to affect weight loss, and may even pose a health threat if people taking it overlook and ignore potential signs of heart disease or high blood pressure.

According to an article printed recently in the Salt Lake City Tribune, Talbott and his associates have made more than $50 million dollars from desperate dieters who bought their product. Some critics have accused Talbott of serious consumer fraud, and of being willing to take a slap on the wrist by the FTC in exchange for a quick buck earned at the expense of unsuspecting customers.

So what can you do if you want to reduce cortisol?

Reducing Cortisol

If we accept that chronic stress and elevated cortisol may be factors in weight problems, what can we do, besides plunking down $50 a month for supplements that are questionably effective?

First, focus on becoming stress resistant. One of the best things to reduce stress and improve insulin sensitivity, for example, is getting regular exercise, even a daily brisk walk.

Second, practice stress reduction techniques – such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, breathing exercises, anger management therapy, therapeutic massage, listening to calming music or other similar techniques. These sorts of approaches can help reduce your body’s physiological response to daily stressors.

Third, get enough sleep! In November of 2004, we saw research showing the link between insufficient sleep and weight problems. Chronic sleep deprivation increases stress, reduces the immune system, and make it more likely that you’ll be overweight. In fact, researchers found that those between the 32 and 59 who slept four hours or less per night were 73 percent more likely to be obese than those who slept between seven and nine hours each night. So snuggle up and get those zzz’s.

Finally, for those who still wish to try supplements, I suggest you start by getting a copy of my book, The Thyroid Diet. I have an entire chapter devoted to the subject of supplements for weight loss and metabolism, evaluating them based on various research findings, and discussing their pros and cons. The book outlines a variety of different supplements you can try, and discusses at length those that I have found work particularly well for me.

And, if you’re determined to at least try the particular mix of supplements you’ll find in CortiSlim or Relacore, keep in mind that you can at least save money. There are other brands that offer the same combination of ingredients in similar quantities, at far less cost. For example, CortiSol Balance is similar to CortiSlim, but costs about half the price, and Relora by Source Naturals is similar to Relacore), but costs about $15 for 90 Tablets, versus $50.

Fran Murphy conducted research for and contributed to this article.

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