Adrenal glandulars are adrenal supplements made up of actual adrenal gland tissue, usually from either porcine or bovine (pig or cow) sources. Some manufacturers use the whole adrenal gland, and others use just the adrenal cortex, which will be called adrenal cortical extract.
Adrenal glandular supplements provide the support your adrenals need to repair themselves and return to normal function. Think of it as a "coming alongside" of your adrenal glands, helping them to carry their load.
An adrenal glandular should be your first choice of adrenal support supplements for mild to moderate cases of adrenal fatigue.
There were two adrenal glandular supplements on the market that had been considered the top-of-the-line choices of adrenal fatigue supplements: Future Formulations (now called Doctor Wilson's) Adrenal Rebuilder and Isocort. Isocort, however, has recently been reformulated to become a plant-based cortisol supplement and is no longer an adrenal cortical extract.
Doctor Wilson's Adrenal Rebuilder is one of four adrenal supplements that together make up a complete program he has developed for patients with Adrenal Fatigue. Dr. Wilson is the author of the book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, and is considered the leading authority on adrenal fatigue.
The Adrenal Rebuilder is a "proprietary blend of porcine glandulars processed to remove hormones", and contains not only adrenal glandular, but also gonad, hypothalamus, and pituitary. These are all glands that can be affected by stress, and provide hormones that all work together with the adrenals. Each tablet is 880 mg. of this glandular blend.
It is hormone-free, so it will not surpress your own cortisol production, instead, it provides the nutrients and adrenal cell components necessary to rebuild your adrenal glands and stimulate your own hormone production. Picture it as adding more engines onto a freight train to generate enough power to haul heavy loads.
This is a high-quality, excellent product to begin with. Following Dr. Wilson's program was an important key to my own recovery.
Expensive? Yes, but with adrenal supplements as with most everything else in life, you get what you pay for. (read my Advertising Policy for more thorough commentary on the products I promote, as well as the price issue)
Isocort is a bit different, both in composition and in the way it works. Up until recently, Isocort WAS an adrenal cortical extract (from sheep) that did not have all the hormone removed, so it contained a small amount of cortisol. Many people have found this to be a very helpful supplement in treating their adrenal fatigue. In early 2011, the manufacturer switched from using adrenal cortical extract to using a proprietary blend of "fermented plant-based cortisol" and echinacea purpurea.
While there are many positive reviews of Isocort, nearly all of them refer to the old formula. There are not many reviews online yet of this new plant-based Isocort. Many places are still selling out stock of the old formula, so be aware that if you try the old formula and like it, you may notice a difference when switching. (Read more about cortisol supplements here.)
Isocort is a bit different than taking a prescription cortisol supplement, however. It is supplementing at a very low level, not enough to surpress your own adrenal production of cortisol, but just enough to help increase your circulating cortisol levels and reduce the production demand on your adrenals.