Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performance.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of acute and 4-week Rhodiola rosea intake on physical capacity, muscle strength, speed of limb movement, reaction time, and attention. METHODS: PHASE I: A double blind placebo-controlled randomized study (n= 24) was performed, consisting of 2 sessions (2 days per session). Day 1: One hour after acute Rhodiola rosea intake (R, 200-mg Rhodiola rosea extract containing 3% rosavin + 1% salidroside plus 500 mg starch) or placebo (P, 700 mg starch) speed of limb movement (plate tapping test), aural and visual reaction time, and the ability to sustain attention (Fepsy Vigilance test) were assessed. Day 2: Following the same intake procedure as on day 1, maximal isometric knee-extension torque and endurance exercise capacity were tested. Following a 5-day washout period, the experimental procedure was repeated, with the treatment regimens being switched between groups (session 2). PHASE II: A double blind placebo-controlled study (n = 12) was performed. Subjects underwent sessions 3 and 4, identical to Phase I, separated by a 4-week R/P intake, during which subjects ingested 200 mg R/P per day. RESULTS: PHASE I: Compared with P, acute R intake in Phase I increased (p <.05) time to exhaustion from 16.8 +/- 0.7 min to 17.2+/- 0.8 min. Accordingly, VO2peak (p <.05) and VCO2peak (p<.05) increased during R compared to P from 50.9 +/- 1.8 ml x min(-1) x kg(- )1 to 52.9 +/- 2.7 ml x min(-10) x kg(-1) (VO2peak) and from 60.0 +/- 2.3 ml x min(-1) x kg(-1) to 63.5+/- 2.7 ml x min(-1) x kg(-1) (VCO2peak). Pulmonary ventilation (p =.07) tended to increase more during R than during P (P: 115.9+/- 7.7 L/min; R: 124.8 +/- 7.7 L/min). All other parameters remained unchanged. PHASE II: Four-week R intake did not alter any of the variables measured. CONCLUSION: Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise capacity in young healthy volunteers. This response was not altered by prior daily 4-week Rhodiola intake.
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Jun;14(3):298-307
Experimental analysis of therapeutic properties of Rhodiola rosea L. and its possible application in medicine.
The paper presents a review of the scientific publications on Rhodiola rosea L. known for its adaptogenic characteristics. Biologically active substances salidroside, rosin, rosavin, rosarin, and tyrosol, which are mainly found in plant rhizomes, demonstrate therapeutic effect. These active components effect the central nervous system by increasing the ability to concentrate, the mental and physical power; they are efficient in the asthenic states and improve general resistance of the cells and the organism against the harmful outer influence. They also prevent the heart system from stress and arrhythmias, and posses some antioxidant activity. Some data confirm that the Rhodiola rosea L. preparations stop the growth of the malignant tumors and metastases in the liver. Some preclinical and clinical data of the golden root preparations are discussed in the survey. The interaction of the herb with other medicines, its usage and effect, recommended doses, and its side effects are also reviewed in the paper.
Medicina (Kaunas). 2004;40(7):614-9
Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue--a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of repeated low-dose treatment with a standardized extract SHR/5 of rhizome Rhodiola rosea L, (RRE) on fatigue during night duty among a group of 56 young, healthy physicians. The effect was measured as total mental performance calculated as Fatigue Index. The tests chosen reflect an overall level of mental fatigue, involving complex perceptive and cognitive cerebral functions, such as associative thinking, short-term memory, calculation and ability of concentration, and speed of audio-visual perception. These parameters were tested before and after night duty during three periods of two weeks each: a) a test period of one RRE/placebo tablet daily, b) a washout period and c) a third period of one placebo/RRE tablet daily, in a double-blind cross-over trial. The perceptive and cognitive cerebral functions mentioned above were investigated using 5 different tests. A statistically significant improvement in these tests was observed in the treatment group (RRE) during the first two weeks period. No side-effects were reported for either treatment noted. These results suggest that RRE can reduce general fatigue under certain stressful conditions.
Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):365-71
A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen.
The objective was to investigate the stimulating and normalizing effect of the adaptogen Rhodiola rosea extract SHR-5 in foreign students during a stressful examination period. The study was performed as a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled with low repeated dose regime. The study drug and the placebo were taken for 20 days by the students during an examination period. The physical and mental performance were assessed before and after the period, based on objective as well as on subjective evaluation. The most significant improvement in the SHR-5 group was seen in physical fitness, mental fatigue and neuro-motoric tests (p <0.01). The self-assessment of the general well-being was also significantly (p < 0.05) better in the verum group. No significance was seen in the correction of text tests or a neuro-muscular tapping test. The overall conclusion is that the study drug gave significant results compared to the placebo group but that the dose level probably was suboptimal.
Phytomedicine. 2000 Apr;7(2):85-9
A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical study with an extra non-treatment group was performed to measure the effect of a single dose of standardized SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract on capacity for mental work against a background of fatigue and stress. An additional objective was to investigate a possible difference between two doses, one dose being chosen as the standard mean dose in accordance with well-established medicinal use as a psychostimulant/adaptogen, the other dose being 50% higher. Some physiological parameters, e.g. pulse rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, were also measured. The study was carried out on a highly uniform population comprising 161 cadets aged from 19 to 21 years. All groups were found to have very similar initial data, with no significant difference with regard to any parameter. The study showed a pronounced antifatigue effect reflected in an antifatigue index defined as a ratio called AFI. The verum groups had AFI mean values of 1.0385 and 1.0195, 2 and 3 capsules respectively, whilst the figure for the placebo group was 0.9046. This was statistically highly significant (p < 0.001) for both doses (verum groups), whilst no significant difference between the two dosage groups was observed. There was a possible trend in favour of the lower dose in the psychometric tests. No such trend was found in the physiological tests.
Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar;10(2-3):95-105
Reduction of noise-stress-induced physiological damage by radices of Astragali and Rhodiolae: glycogen, lactic acid and cholesterol contents in liver of the rat.
Noise is one of the factors that induces critical stress in animals. The contents of glycogen, lactic acid and cholesterol in the liver of noise-stressed rats were analyzed in order to investigate the alleviation of noise-stress-induced physiological damages by traditional medicine using Astragali and Rhodiolae radices. More than 95 dB noise ranging from 2 to 4 kHz reduced the contents of these compounds in the liver of rats not injected with the extract of Astragali or Rhodiolae, but did not change the contents in the liver of rats injected with the Astragali or Rhodiolae extract. These results show that noise induced stress in the rats via a decrease in contents of these compounds in the liver and that Astragali or Rhodiolae maintained the contents of these compounds in the liver of the noise-stressed rats. The results indicate that Astragali or Rhodiolae improved the ability for rats to resist noise stress.
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2003 Sep;67(9):1930-6
Effects of alcohol aqueous extract from Rhodiola rosea L. roots on learning and memory.
The effect of alcohol-aqueous extract (1:1) from Rhodiola rosea L. roots on the processes of learning and memory is studied on rats. Several methods of active avoidance with negative and positive reinforcements are used, as well as of passive avoidance. Using the maze-method with negative (punitive) reinforcement, it has been found that Rhodiola extract in a single dose of 0.10 ml per rat essentially improves learning and retention after 24 hours. Significant improvement of the long-term memory is also established in memory tests after 10-day treatment with the same dose of the extract. In the other two doses tested (0.02 and 1.0 ml per rat) the extract has no substantial effect on learning and memory. In a dose of 0.10 ml per rat the Rhodiola extract had a favourable effect on the training process using the ³staircase² method with positive (food) reinforcement as well. With the other methods used (active avoidance method with negative reinforcement ³shuttle-box² and passive avoidance methods ³step down² and ³step through²) Rhodiola extract in the dose used (0.10 ml per rat) had no substantial effect on learning and memory (a certain deterioration of the training process was even observed using the ³shuttle-box² method, while the ³step-down² method resulted in deterioration of the memory). The great significance of the method used for studying the effects of the pharmacological agents on learning and memory for the results obtained is evident.
Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg. 1986;12(1):3-16
Extract of Rhodiola rosea radix reduces the level of C-reactive protein and creatinine kinase in the blood.
The effects of extracts of Rhodiola rosea radix on blood levels of inflammatory C-reactive protein and creatinine kinase were studied in healthy untrained volunteers before and after exhausting exercise. Rhodiola rosea extract exhibited an antiinflammatory effect and protected muscle tissue during exercise.
Bull Exp Biol Med. 2004 Jul;138(1):63-4
Effect of Rhodiola rosea on the yield of mutation alterations and DNA repair in bone marrow cells.
The study was made of the influence of the Rhodiola rosea extracts administration on chromosome aberrations, production of cells with micronuclei and unscheduled DNA synthesis in bone marrow cells of mice under action of mutagens cyclophosphamide and N-nitroso-N-methylurea (NMU). It was found that Rhodiola rosea extracts reduce significantly the yield of cells with the chromosome aberrations and micronuclei induced by cyclophosphamide in vivo, inhibit unscheduled DNA synthesis induced by NMU in vitro. It is emphasized that Rhodiola rosea extracts are antimutagens due to ability to raise the efficiency of the intracell DNA repair mechanisms.
Patol Fiziol Eksp Ter. 1997 Oct-Dec;(4):22-4
The role of humoral factors of regenerating liver in the development of experimental tumors and the effect of Rhodiola rosea extract on this process.
In experiment on rats with Pliss lymphosarcoma (PLS) it was shown that partial hepatectomy (PHE), a course application of Rhodiola rosea extract (RRE) or combined effects inhibit the growth of tumors by 37, 39, and 59%, respectively, and that of metastases by 42, 50, and 75%. In combined treatment the process of hepatic regeneration was completed in earlier terms versus the animals which underwent PHE, and proliferative activity of the tumor and metastases decreased by 15 and 59%, respectively, judging by the degree of 3H-thymidine incorporation into DNA of these tissues. The assessment of clonogenic activity of PLS cells taken in the animals of this group, using the method of diffusion chambers, revealed a significant decrease in this index versus the rats which underwent PHE or which were given RRE (number of colonies per chamber being 4.8 +/- 0.5; 8.6 +/- 0.9; 5.7 +/- 0.6, respectively; in control 13.8 +/- 1.5). The assumption that these effects are determined by factors originating from the regenerating liver was confirmed in experiments with double-layer agar systems. Inhibition of colony-forming activity of PLS cells was the maximum in application of the hepatocytes of the rats which underwent a complex of effects, as a feeder, versus the hepatocytes taken in intact or hepatectomized animals, or the rats which were given RRE (number of colonies per plate well being 4.6 +/- 0.3; 15.7 +/- 1.6; 7.4 +/- 0.8; 8.7 +/- 0.9, respectively; in the control 25.6 +/- 6.5). In experiments on mice with Ehrlich adenocarcinoma, the factors isolated from the liver of animals subjected to PHE against a background of RRE administration and from the liver of mice which were given RRE only, as well as operated or intact ones, inhibited the tumor growth to 63, 38, 35, and 21%, respectively.