Licorice root extract is well-documented for its ability to strengthen the body’s stress response and support healthy energy levels. The botanical extract contains a number of active compounds that promote hormone balance, boost immune function and support the body’s resistance to fatigue. This liquid formulation of Licorice Root allows for flexible dosing throughout the day to accommodate a range of protocols.
OverviewHigh-stress lifestyles are known to push the stress response system into overdrive, often leading to a rise in levels of the hormone cortisol. While small amounts of cortisol are essential for health and survival, an overproduction of cortisol can ultimately cause the depletion of certain hormones and their precursors (including pregnenolone, DHEA and progesterone), along with a depleted production of cortisol itself, which can lead to low energy levels and fatigue. The structure of the active ingredient in licorice root is very similar to cortisol,1 and helps to block the conversion of cortisol to the inactive cortisone, increasing the activity and half-life of cortisol.2,3 As a result, licorice is useful in protocols in which incremental increases in cortisol are desirable for better stress resilience and energy.1
Glycyrrhizin and its metabolites are known to slow down enzymes, which convert cortisol to its inactive form; the similarity in structure of glycyrrhetic acid to that of cortisol accounts in part for the mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid activity of licorice root.4 Licorice has also been found to promotehealthy levels of testosterone by blocking 17-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17-20 lyase, making it useful in protocols for supporting healthy testosterone balance.5
Licorice constituents have also been found to support a normal inflammatory response. This is a result of its ability to inhibit phospholipase A2 activity, an enzyme important for promoting inflammatory balance.6 In vitro research has also shown licorice to inhibit cyclooxygenase activity and prostaglandin formation (specifically PGE2), as well as indirectly inhibiting platelet aggregation.6,7 Licorice has been shown to support immunity and to reduce oxidative stress in animals fed a high-fat diet.8 It has also been shown to enhance saliva IgA production and lower the expression of tumor necrosis factor-a messenger RNA.9