You know those tough asparagus stalks you’ve been tossing in the trash during dinner prep? Turns out, they’ve been hiding a goldmine all this time.
The scientific community has finally caught on to this little-known secret. And not a moment too soon for people struggling with occasional sleeplessness. (And judging from my clinical experience, that’s a lot of people.)
A cutting-edge enzyme-treated asparagus stem extract named ETAS™ is hitting the market as I write this. And if the research is any indication, it could change the face of stress and sleep management forever.
The “shocking” link between asparagus stalks and a deep night’s sleep
The secret behind the sleep and relaxation benefits of this new breakthrough is something called heat shock proteins (HSPs). These little molecules are responsible for the soothing, stress-melting effects of a nice, hot bath or an hour in the sauna.
Technically, the release of HSPs can be triggered by several factors, including excess heat and free radicals—which you probably recognize as unhealthy.
But that’s the point. HSPs are designed by nature to come to your body’s rescue, serving as a protector and repairman for damaged proteins. As I mentioned on page 3, proteins are your body’s basic building blocks. And HSPs are what allow these proteins to stay functional in the face of the assaults that occur during normal, everyday living.
As you may have already guessed, though, your supply isn’t exactly limitless. In fact, HSP release declines with age.
So any strategy that triggers the release of more heat shock proteins is going to do your body some pretty big favors.
But the good news is, you don’t need to spend all day soaking in a Jacuzzi or sweating in a sauna to manage this feat. (And it’s a good thing too, because as nice as it would be, I don’t know anyone who has that kind of time.)
Exercise is one effective way to trigger HSP release. Calorie restriction is another—which explains, at least in part, why these strategies have shown such promising results against aging in studies. But neither of these approaches exactly offer quick results.
This is where ETAS comes in. The asparagus extract in ETAS is rich in a class of compounds called hydroxymethylfurfural derivatives—and a (much easier to pronounce) molecule called asfural in particular.
All of these compounds trigger the release of a powerful, protective heat shock protein called HSP70. But asfural happens to be particularly good at it. (Bonus: It also has notable antioxidant and circulation-boosting powers.)
In other words, asfural-rich ETAS delivers a heat shock protein windfall directly to your body—along with all the stress-melting, deep-sleep-promoting, anti-aging benefits those HSPs deliver.
Except, instead of starving or sweating your way back to total rejuvenation, all you have to do is take a supplement.
Sound too good to be true? Well, according to a significant (and still growing) body of research, it’s anything but.
Drive down cortisol levels—and send sleepless nights packing
Studies show that ETAS has a significant effect on two major stress hormones: chromogranin A and cortisol.
Japanese researchers first confirmed these benefits in the laboratory, where they found that ETAS significantly increased HSP70 expression in human cell lines. Small preliminary studies revealed the same effect in actual human subjects taking ETAS.
Experiments also showed that treating sleep-deprived mice with ETAS elevated their HSP expression and lowered stress responses.
Still, we’re mostly talking about animal research, here. So to get a really accurate picture of what ETAS can do, let’s look at the results of two different clinical intervention trials, published in 2014.
The first was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 16 healthy adult male volunteers. (Small, but very well designed.) Results showed that supplementing with ETAS enhanced HSP release compared to placebo.
But that’s not all—it also delivered significant improvement to subjects’ autonomic nervous system (ANS) parameters. Your ANS is responsible for the physical stress response—like increased heart rate and respiration.
The second study was also randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled—another gold-standard trial. But this time, researchers focused on stress-related hormones and sleep. And just as animal models predicted, ETAS supplementation effectively suppressed cortisol elevation and decreased chromogranin A levels. It also had a significant benefit on subjects’ sleep states.
This is just some of the research that’s been published in the past two years. And it all tells the same story: That ETAS supplementation can drive down cortisol levels by as much as 80 percent. That it can decrease chromogranin A levels with twice the effectiveness of a placebo. And that it can dramatically improve mental stress, quality of sleep—even mood and energy levels—as a result.[5-6]
All this, from a humble asparagus extract. And yet, it makes perfect sense. Especially when you consider how quickly a haywire stress response can hijack your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
The hidden culprit behind those sleepless nights
I’ve explained the dangers of adrenal burnout before—especially as it relates to a good night’s sleep. But I can’t think of a better time to revisit the subject. So here’s a little refresher for you…
As you may remember, cortisol is your body’s “get-up-and-go” signal. Your adrenal glands release this hormone as part of its “fight-or-flight” response to temporary stressors.
When you’re healthy, your cortisol levels have a reliable rhythm. They naturally peak first thing in the morning, and they gradually drop throughout the day. When your cortisol levels are balanced, you don’t even need an alarm clock—much less a whole pot of coffee—to get out of bed. And you don’t need any help getting to sleep once your head hits the pillow at night, either.
But unfortunately, these days, balanced cortisol levels are the exception—not the rule. And my experience as a doctor with a very busy New York practice certainly reflects that.
My office is packed with patients struggling with tired, achy bodies. But who nevertheless find themselves awake and unable to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, night after night.
What’s behind this trend? Nine times out of ten, it’s adrenal fatigue—a condition that leaves your body so exhausted that you can’t get the restorative sleep you require. Daily stress, poor diet, and lack of sleep all throw your adrenal glands into high gear, ratcheting up cortisol release until eventually the entire system overloads and burns out.
When you’re up against an adrenal fatigue, relying on stimulants (like that morning cup of coffee) is the equivalent of throwing gasoline on a raging fire. After all, an overactive stress response is what caused the problem in the first place.
What you need is consistent, restorative rest. And as you can see, ETAS is a valuable ally in this effort—with benefits that reach way beyond your average sleep supplement.
Get your “beauty sleep”… and a whole lot more
Heat shock proteins offer natural repair against protein damage from heat and oxidative stress. Collagen—the compound that gives skin its youthful elasticity—is the most abundant protein in your body. It’s also one of the first proteins to succumb to the ravages of time (not to mention UV exposure).
So if you guessed that ETAS doubles as a world-class wrinkle eraser, research suggests you’re probably correct. Studies show that heat shock proteins help promote healthy, young-looking skin.
But these potential extra perks run more than skin deep. In fact, emerging research suggests that ETAS could play a vital role in keeping your memory sharp, too.
Studies on human nerve cells show that ETAS’ ability to upregulate heat shock proteins may defend neurons against oxidative stress. And that it may even help neurons live longer with advancing age. Studies on mice are equally promising—showing that ETAS insulates neuronal cells from damage and stops age-related cognitive decline in its tracks.
Obviously, we need more human trials to help confirm these preliminary studies. But with all the other benefits this new supplement brings to the table, I don’t need more science to seal my recommendation. The sooner you add ETAS to your regimen, the better.
In fact, I’m so impressed by the research on ETAS, I worked with the manufacturer to secure an exclusive supply. And I’m actually the first one to make it available here in the U.S., as the feature ingredient in DreamLogic, my brand new sleep formula. You can order DreamLogic by clicking here.
 Nishihira J, et al. The Discovery of a Novel Functional Constituent Extracted from Asparagus: its Effectiveness for Stress Reduction, and Potential Use for Prevention of Sleep Disorders. (see “ETAS Overview”)
 Waki H, et al. Effect of Enzyme-treated asparagus (ETAS™) on the Stress Response Substance in a Clinical Trial. Presented at the 35th European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) Congress, Leipzig, Germany. 2013. (See “ETAS Clinical Evidence”)
 “ETAS Presentation” slide 8.
 Ogasawara J. Inhibitory Effect of ETAS against Amyloid Beta-induced Cellular Disorder in PC12 Cells. Amino Up Chemical Co. Ltd. Sapporo, Japan, no date.