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Stress (particularly distress) is excessive stimulation of the body's resources that eventually manifests negative symptoms such as fatigue or depression. Several supplements, such as adaptogens, are thought to reduce the development of stress.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published:
Last Updated:

Frequently Asked Questions about Stress

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Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect stress
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-c Ashwagandha Notable - See study
Ashwagandha appears to significantly reduce the symptoms of stress and its comorbidities (fatigue, temporary cognitive impairment, etc.) as well as biomarkers such as cortisol.
grade-c Centella asiatica Minor - See study
There appears to be stress reducing properties associated with supplementation of this herb at 1g daily, although they may be secondary to anxiety reduction.
grade-c Eurycoma Longifolia Jack Minor - See study
Supplementation of eurycoma in stressed persons appears to reduce subjective perceptions of stress.
grade-c Fish Oil  
grade-c Ginkgo biloba  
grade-c Krill Oil  
grade-c L-Tyrosine  
grade-c Melissa officinalis  
grade-c Phosphatidylserine  
grade-c Rhodiola Rosea  
grade-c Rose Essential Oil  
grade-c Soy lecithin  
grade-c Dehydroepiandrosterone  
grade-c Lavender  
grade-c Theanine  
grade-d Kava  
grade-d Pyrroloquinoline quinone  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.