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A powerful adaptogen that enhances vitality and performance

Editor’s Note: This article has been reprinted. This was originally published on February 12, 2018.

The perennial plant Rhodiola rosea, sometimes called “Golden Root”, “Roseroot” or “Arctic Root”, is a potent adaptogen that has been shown to increase vitality by helping your body adapt to physical, chemical and environmental stressors. Known for. In other words, it helps your body maintain homeostasis. The plant has a long history of use in traditional folk medicine in Russia and the Scandinavian countries.1 And modern science has shown rhodiola:2,3,4,5,6

Has antidepressant and anti-anxiety benefits7 and helps improve symptoms of burnout

Enhances cognitive function, improves mental clarity, thought formation and focus

Helps modulate immune function (boosts low immune function and reduces overactive function)

Boosts Nervous System Health

boosts heart health

Improves male and female sexual function, reproductive health and fertility

Improves blood sugar control in diabetics when combined with cinnamon

has anticarcinogenic benefits

Helps protect against viral infection8

Increases athletic performance and reduces recovery time between workouts

Exercise Benefits of Rhodiola

a 2004 study9 found that an extract of Rhodiola rosea radix had an anti-inflammatory effect before and after exhausting exercise on healthy untrained volunteers. It also protects muscle tissue during exercise. According to the essence:

“Professional athletes have effectively used Rhodiola rosea (‘Golden Radix’) extract as a safe nonsteroidal food additive for several decades to improve endurance and rapid muscle recovery. Rhodiola rosea extract improves muscle work due to a more economical expenditure of muscle energy resources.

R. Use of adaptogens, including rosea, improved physical endurance of male athletes, reduced blood lactate levels, and accelerated recovery after exhausting exercise.”

Other studies have similarly found that rhodiola can significantly increase the time to exhaustion during exercise,10 Reduce C reactive protein levels and improve neuromotor fitness. For example, a 2003 animal study11 found that when rats were given 50 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of Rhodiola crenulata root along with the same amount of Rhodiola rosea extract, the rats increased their swimming duration by about 25%.

This improvement was found to be due to the extract’s ability to activate the synthesis or reuptake of ATP in the mitochondria. The extract also stimulated regenerative energy processes that occur after exercise. Rhodiola rosea was found to be the most effective of the two extracts for improving physical performance.

Antiviral Effects of Rhodiola

Rhodiola extract has also been shown to protect athletes from viral infections. In one study,12 48 marathon runners received either 600 mg of Rhodiola rosea or a placebo for four weeks before the race.

Blood samples were collected at three intervals: before the start of the race, and 15 minutes and 1.5 hours after the race ended. Follow-up studies using in vitro assays concluded that rhodiola was able to protect cells against vesicular stomatitis virus for 12 hours after physical exertion.

David Nieman, director of the Appalachian State University Human Performance Laboratory, found that marathon runners are particularly prone to viral illnesses, especially upper respiratory tract illnesses, after competition. Rhodiola, they found, may help with this — in addition to providing athletes with improved performance and recovery benefits.

antidepressant benefits

It’s not yet completely clear how Rhodiola rosea actually works, but some studies have shown that it helps slow the enzymatic breakdown of neurotransmitters like serotonin by inhibiting monoamine oxidase.13,14 As such, it is classified as an herbal monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). The bioactive phytochemical risiridin in Rhodiola rosea has been shown to inhibit MAO-B by more than 80%. This helps explain some of its antidepressant and cognitive effects.

By increasing the concentration of important neurotransmitters in your brain, your neurons can communicate better. The bioactive compounds rosavin and salidroside in Rhodiola rosea have also been shown to improve the passage of serotonin precursors through the blood-brain barrier and to help preserve serotonin by reducing the activity of catechol-O-methyltransferase. Evidence suggests that rhodiola may also significantly increase serotonin levels.15

Research published in 2015 compared rhodiola to the antidepressant sertraline, concluding that it is a safer alternative. While the drug was more effective overall, rhodiola improved depressive symptoms and had fewer side effects. According to psychiatrists who use rhodiola in their clinical practice, the plant extract is “a viable option in many cases for the treatment of mild to moderate depression.”16

According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, patients diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder who received 340 mg of Rhodiola rosea extract for 10 weeks reported significant improvement in symptoms based on the Hamilton anxiety rating scale. , the Clinical Global Impact of the Four Dimensional Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Severity/Improvement Scale.17

Several other studies have also confirmed the mood-enhancing effects of rhodiola. According to health reporter and “Medicine Hunter” Chris Kilham, who specializes in discovering natural remedies:18

“More than 300 human studies19 Rhodiola rosea has been shown to have anti-stress, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant properties in the plant, and there are no significant negative effects from taking an extract of the root. This is in contrast to drugs for similar purposes, which typically cause sleep disorders, digestive upset, sexual dysfunction and a variety of mood disorders.

Unlike many other herbs, Rhodiola rosea produces a euphoric feeling. When you make preparations from this plant, you feel it. Typically, users report increased energy, improved mood, much less stress, better sleep, and improved sexual vitality.

Rhodiola safely fights chronic fatigue

The energy- and vitality-boosting effects of rhodiola may have clear benefits for those struggling with chronic fatigue. A multicenter trial published last year found that patients suffering from chronic fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome who took 400 mg of dry ethanol rhodiola extract per day for eight weeks experienced significant improvement within the first week.20

Overall, the most significant improvements occurred for the complaint of “general fatigue,” but scores for “impairment at work,” “impairment in social life,” and “impairment in family life” also improved significantly by the end of two months. Overall, patients experienced a 42% reduction in total stress and a 39% reduction in fatigue. Eighty-three percent of them felt “a lot” or “a lot” of improvement by week eight. As reported by the American Botanical Council:21

“Nearly all outcome measures improved significantly over time and continued to decline until the eighth week, and the treatment was safe and well-tolerated. Taken together, the authors concluded that significant improvements in measures were not only associated with core fatigue symptoms. Rather a wide variety of symptoms and fatigue outcomes suggest a good potential for rhodiola to improve quality of life in chronic fatigue.”

The mechanism behind these effects is thought to be related to rhodiola’s ability to modulate catecholamine release and cAMP levels in your myocardium during stress.22 It also helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol. As noted by Mental Health Daily, “Other proposed mechanisms include regulation of the protein kinase p-JNK, nitric oxide, defense mechanism proteins (eg, heat shock proteins), and beta-endorphin and opioid peptides.”23,24

Rhodiola safely reduces the effects of daily stress

Importantly, rhodiola has been shown to be particularly beneficial for your nervous system. Work stress can trigger burnout, and research published in 2000 and 2017 suggests that rhodiola may provide significant protection against such stress. As reported in Life Extension magazine:25

“Several studies have shown that rhodiola can dramatically reduce mental and physical fatigue in stressful situations by increasing the body’s energy level. In one study,26 Due to significant decrease in physical and mental performance, 56 young doctors were given R.R. on night call. A low dose (170 mg/day) of rosea extract was given.

Using measures of cognitive and memory function, such as associative thinking, short-term memory, calculation and audiovisual perception speed, researchers found a statistically significant reduction in stress-induced fatigue after just two weeks of rhodiola supplementation . No side effects of rhodiola have been reported.”

in follow-up study27,28 published last year, 118 men and women with symptoms of burnout were given 400 mg of Rhodiola rosea extract for 12 weeks. Over the course of the study, levels of emotional exhaustion, fatigue, exhaustion, lack of joy, lack of enthusiasm for life, and depersonalization symptoms improved significantly.

Improved sexual functioning was also noted. According to the authors, the findings suggest that Rhodiola rosea extract “may be an important first step toward the sustained alleviation of burnout symptoms, thus preventing exacerbation of the syndrome and the development of subsequent disorders such as depression or physical illness.” prevents.”

Rhodiola for Diabetes Control

While animal research is limited, evidence also suggests that rhodiola may be helpful for diabetics when combined with Cinnamomum cassia (cinnamon).29 Both of these remedies are widely used in folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes.

Here, diabetic rats fed a mixture of rhodiola and cinnamon extracts for 12 weeks experienced significant reductions in blood glucose, while reducing glutathione, glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase.

Based on these effects, the researchers concluded that rhodiola extract may be helpful for “correcting hyperglycemia and preventing diabetic complications.”30 As noted by Life Extension Magazine,31 “These…results confirm earlier studies and anecdotal evidence demonstrating rhodiola as a comprehensive adaptogen that helps the body combat the aging effects of stress and aging.”

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