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Ryokkynen A, et al. Multigenerational exposure to phytosterols in the mouse. Reprod Toxicol. 2005 Mar-Apr;19(4):535-40.

Adaptogens are compounds extracted from plant sources that improve re- sistance to stress.

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Resistance exercise imposes considerable physical stress that requires a certain amount of rest and recovery to avoid overtraining and injury. Everyday life also imposes a certain amount of mental and physical stress, that can take a toll on recovery.

Excessive stress can lead to overproduction of catabolic hormones like cortisol, depressed immunity, and poor performance. There are potential benefits then, to supplementing with compounds that might improve re- covery or the ability to cope with increased stress.

The adaptogenic compounds on the market today are a part of traditional folk medicine in countries like China, Korea, and Russia. Several have been researched for use by Russian athletes, but have not been extensively eval- uated by Western peer-reviewed research.

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What is it?

Withania somnifera

Ashwagandha is Withania somnifera, a medicinal plant female body and oxandrolone buy in australia supplements used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

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The name means “smells like a horse”, because of the characteristic odor. It’s also known as “Indian Ginseng” although it is not related to true ginseng.

What is it supposed to do?

Ashwagandha is used to treat a variety of ailments in Ayurvedic medicine. In bodybuilding supplements, extracts of Withania are supposed to im- prove stamina and reduce cortisol levels. Ashwagandha is also found in “thyroid support” formulas.

What does the research say?

Most of the studies on Ashwagandha have been performed in rats and mice. In one study, for example, administration of 2.5 mg/kg of an isolated “Withanolide” compound, 1-oxo-5beta, 6beta-epoxy-witha-2-ene-27-eth- oxy-olide, resulted in reduced indices of stress from exposure to cold, hy- poxia, and restraint. Another study found that the stress-related responses (glucose intolerance, increase in plasma corticosterone levels, gastric ul- cerations, male sexual dysfunction, etc.) of rats exposed to random foot shocks were attenuated by 25 – 50 mg/kg doses of Withania, administered 1 hour before.

Ashwagandha may also have anti-depressant effects.

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One study demon- strated that daily doses of 20 and 50 mg/kg of the withanolide fraction had similar effects to the benzodiazepine drug lorazepam on rat behavior in “elevated plus-maze, social interaction and feeding latency in an unfamiliar environment” tests.

Some of its positive effects may be due to its antioxidant activity. Rats given http: injections of 10 – 20 mg/kg of glycowithanolides for 21 days, had increased levels of endogenous antioxidants (superoxide dismutase, cata- lase and glutathione peroxidase) in their brains.

There are also antimicrobial, antiosteoporotic, antitumor, neuroprotective and immune-stimulating properties.

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Feeding 0.75 – 1.5 g/day of the root powder to rats also reduced cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic rats.

One of the more interesting properties of Ashwagandha may be its ability to increase levels of thyroid hormones. Mice gavaged with 1.4 g/kg root extract for 20 days had increased serum levels medical what to do when the potency of the cause of the of T3 and T4, along with re- duced hepatic lipid peroxidation. There is even a case report of thyrotoxi- cosis in a woman taking a supplement containing Ashwagandha.

activity Withania somnifera

As I’ve often pointed out, rats and mice aren’t people. While these stud- ies look interesting and support the traditional use of the herb, they’re far from conclusive. There are very few human studies that provide any in- dication of benefits to health or performance at doses normally found in bodybuilding supplements.

One of the few human studies involved an Indian commercial supplement, RA-11, which is used to treat arthritis. The 32-week trial demonstrated sig- nificantly reduced pain and increased knee function in patients receiving the supplement vs. those receiving the placebo. One flaw, however, was that RA-11 contains several other herbs in addition to Ashwagandha, so it’s difficult to draw firm conclusions from this clinical trial.

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Feedback on this herb has been limited, but mildly positive.

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There don’t appear to be any real benefits to performance, although some users report feeling a greater sense of well-being and/or improved memory.


On paper, Ashwagandha seems like interesting stuff, but it may be that the limited amounts consumed in many commercial supplements are inade- quate to produce any real results. Or it could be simply that the rat studies simply don’t extrapolate well to people.

In general, this herb is not expensive, so it might be worth a try for overall mood and/or cognition, although it gets a thumbs down for lean mass/ performance. It appears to be fairly safe when taken in recommended dos- es (3 – 6 g/day of the dried root, or 300 – 500 mg of a standardized extract). There are potential GI symptoms in higher doses, not to mention the case

While these studies look inter- esting and support the traditional use of the herb, they’re far from conclusive.

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There are very few human studies that provide any indica best prohormones of 2016– tion of benefits to health or perfor- mance at doses normally found in

bodybuilding sup- plements.”

report of thyrotoxicosis mentioned above.

To discuss Ashwagandha further, you can post in the Members’ Area.


Ahmad M, Saleem S, Ahmad AS, et al. Neuroprotective effects of Witha- nia somnifera on 6-hydroxydopamine induced Parkinsonism in rats. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2005 Mar;24(3):137-47.

Bhattacharya SK, Muruganandam AV. Adaptogenic activity of Withania somnifera: an experimental study using a rat model of chronic stress. Phar- macol Biochem Behav. 2003 Jun;75(3):547-55.

Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Sairam K, et al. Anxiolytic-antide- pressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimen- tal study. Phytomedicine. 2000 Dec;7(6):463-9.

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