IsoCort has changed! As of early 2011, Bezwecken changed the product from a bovine adrenal cortex to  a fermented plant-derived cortisol, joining over 100 other chemical substances which are plant derived. It also appears to be made from Yam. 

Why has Isocort always been popular with thyroid/adrenal patients and their doctors? For years, patients and their doctors favored Isocort because unlike so many other adrenal support products on the over-the-counter market, it was made solely from the adrenal cortex, i.e from New Zealand sheep. That is an important distinction since the cortex only contains cortisol as compared to whole adrenal glandular products which contain both cortisol and adrenaline (epinephrine). And giving yourself more adrenaline was the last thing you would want as an adrenally-challenged, low cortisol individual.  Dysfunctional adrenals already cause the production of too much adrenaline as it is, resulting in anxiety, an increased heartrate and further stress on your already-stressed adrenals.

Will this change to plant derived affect the way Isocort works in me? Hopefully not.  As before, it only contains cortisol, even if from yams, and avoids the unneeded adrenaline that you get from “adrenal glandulars”.

What’s in the newly-reformulated IsoCort? Besides the cortisol,  Isocort is now listed on the Bezwecken website as containing Echinacea, as Echinacea Purpurea (6 mg per pellet). It also contains Lactose, Magnesium Stearate, Starch Arrowroot, Maltodextrin, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Magnesium Silicate, and Lactase.

Previously, it was listed as follows:  Freeze-Dried Adrenal Cortex (soluble fractionation) from New Zealand Sheep. Echinacea Extract (trace amount). Prunus and Lomatium dissectum root isolate (kreb concentrate-2%) in pellet base of lactose and lactase.

In other words, it still contains lactose and lactase, but the rest you see are new.

Why did they change the bovine adrenal cortex to plant derived cortisol? For one, the change now makes the product vegetarian-friendly. And it now joins a group of over 100 plant-derived substances made out there which are effective.

Can you tell me more about it being plant derived? Medicinal plants have always contained substances that are helpful for humans. Aspirin is one good example, made from willow or other salicylate-rich plants. In fact, there are so many medicinal plants out there that we haven’t even begun to touch the surface of using them! China is an exception, having used plants for thousands of years. It’s said that the practice of  ayurvedic in Asia uses nearly 2000 different kinds of plant species.  The Botanical Garden of the National Autonomous University of Mexico has stated there are approximately 3,500 species of medicinal plants in Mexico alone.  And more and more cancer drugs are going to be plant-derived.

How do patients and their forward-thinking doctors use IsoCort? When after doing a 24 hour saliva cortisol test, it’s discovered there are some low cortisol readings, the use of Isocort gives back the cortisol that  the sluggish adrenal/HPA function is not giving.  You can read more about dysfunctional adrenal function here.  After reading that page, you’ll see a link on what patients have learned in treating it, plus references to other websites and patient groups.

How much cortisol is in the plant-derived formulation? Probably the same. But we’re just guessing.

Are there any other OTC adrenal cortex products out there? Yes. If you will use your favorite search engine and put in “adrenal cortex supplements”, you’ll find other sources. Just read the labels correctly to make sure it’s only adrenal cortex.

* To read four facts about plant-derived medications, go here.

* To find a good doctor in the use of Isocort, go here.