Natural Products Insider

JUL-AUG 2019

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Page 15 of 56 7 Ashwagandha for Stress & Anxiety THEORY: Stressful situations can cause increases in levels of serum cortisol, and increase levels of anxiety and depression in otherwise healthy adults. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen known to promote homeostasis. Can ashwagandha reduce stress and anxiety, and improve general well-being in otherwise healthy adults under stress? PARAMETERS: A single-center, prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial at Asha Hospital, Hyderabad, India. A total of 64 healthy adults received 300 mg twice daily of ashwagandha (as KSM-66) or placebo for eight weeks. Efficacy measured using Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) score, serum cortisol level, General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28) score, and Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) score. Source: Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. "A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Effi cacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults." Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul-Sep;34(3):255-262. DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022. IMPACT: Clinical depression costs over $51 billion in absenteeism from work and lost productivity, and $26 billion in direct treatment costs. 1 And it is projected that mental disease, including stress-related disorders, will be the second leading cause of disabilities by 2020. 2 Ashwagandha is known to reduce serum cortisol levels; and reduces over-excitation of neurons, producing calmness and increasing focus and mental well-being. e study results suggest ashwagandha (as KSM-66) safely and eff ectively reduces levels of stress and depression, as well as physiological markers of anxiety. 1. J Clin Psychiatry. 2003;64(12):1465-75 2. Metabolism. 2002;51(6 Suppl 1):49-53 OUTCOME: A er eight weeks, adults taking ashwagandha: ? Researchers concluded: "High-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract improves an individual's resistance toward stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life." All changes were statistically signifi cant compared to placebo. DASS domain scores dropped 71.6 % , with the biggest decrease in the depression domain at 77.0 % GHQ-28 scores were markedly reduced by 72.9 % , with greatest reduction in the severe depression domain at a 79.3 % decline. PSS score was reduced 44 % Serum cortisol levels were reduced 27.9 % Source: Infographic brought to you by

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