Posted on 27 July 2020
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a herb used in Indian traditional medicine. Most supplements derived from ashwagandha are root extract.
Stress and anxiety are physiological processes that exacerbate age-related decline of the immune system, promoting inflammation and increasing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Ashwagandha‘s most notable effect is relieving stress and anxiety. A small meta analysis found that all five studies included were able to show reduction in stress and anxiety scores relative to placebo, and supplementation with 300mg/day for 60 days appears to reduce cortisol by 28% – a substantial reduction over the placebo group.
Ashwagandha extract appears to slow ageing (delay the onset of senescence) in human cells in culture. Whether this ability to slow cellular ageing actually translates into longevity-enhancing effects in humans is unknown, however.
Multiple studies have also suggested that ashwagandha extract can also reduce blood sugar somewhat, and may thus protect against insulin resistance and diabetes.
In addition to the above effects, ashwagandha may also reduce insomnia, fatigue, and improve exercise performance, but there hasn’t been enough research to confirm these effects with confidence.
Stress, ageing and their influence on functional, cellular and molecular aspects of the immune system: doi: 10.1007/s11357-014-9631-6
Effect of Withania somnifera on Insulin Sensitivity in Non‐Insulin‐Dependent Diabetes Mellitus Rats: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-7843.2008.00223.x
Effects of Withania somnifera in patients of schizophrenia: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled pilot trial study: doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.115012.
Deceleration of senescence in normal human fibroblasts by withanone extracted from ashwagandha leaves: doi: 10.1093/gerona/glp088.
Effects of eight-week supplementation of Ashwagandha on cardiorespiratory endurance in elite Indian cyclists: DOI: 10.4103/0975-9476.104444
A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults: DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022
An Alternative Treatment for Anxiety: A Systematic Review of Human Trial Results Reported for the Ayurvedic Herb Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0177
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