Natural Products Insider

MAY-JUN 2018

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Page 25 of 76 7 Ashwagandha Enhances Telomerase Ac� vity THEORY: Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal) has been used for millennia as a rasayana or "life extender" in Ayurveda. Researchers are studying how to extend healthy lifespan, including looking at some of the physiological factors that may accelerate the aging process, specifi cally, the degrada� on of telomeres. While ashwagandha has been suggested to increase longevity, there is only limited scien� fi c evidence to support the claim. Could ashwagandha's an� -aging eff ects be a� ributed in part to an ability to enhance telomerase ac� vity? PARAMETERS: Human HeLa cells were maintained in DMEM, supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum in a humidifi ed incubator. Cells (40%-60% confl uency) were treated with various concentra� ons—10 µg, 50 µg, 100 µg, 500 µg, 5 mg—of ashwagandha root extract (as KSM-66 Ashwagandha from Ixoreal Biomed). Cells were collected and centrifuged, and detec� on of telomerase ac� vity assayed using the PCR-based telomeric repeat amplifi ca� on protocol (TRAP assay). Source: Raguraman VR, Subramaniam JR. "Withania somnifera Root Extract Enhances Telomerase Ac� vity in the Human HeLa Cell Line." Adv Biosci Biotechnol. 2016;7:199-204. DOI: 10.4236/abb.2016.74018. IMPACT: Aging-associated telomere shortening is well documented, while telomerase, which is needed to maintain telomere length through replica� on, is essen� al for healthy life. 1 Several factors, including stress, aggravate the senescence process through telomere shortening. 2 As ashwagandha exerts an� -stress ac� vi� es, its ability to enhance telomerase ac� vity suggests it may indeed func� on as a "life extender" by suppor� ng the body's natural processes. 1. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2006;18:254-260. DOI: 10.1016/ 2. PNAS. 2004;101(49):17312-15. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0407162101. Source: Infographic brought to you by OUTCOME: Researchers concluded: "Ashwagandha root extract is able to enhance telomerase ac� vity," and suggest it should be evaluated under various adult onset disease condi� ons for its holis� c protec� ve eff ect. 45 % Telomerase ac� vity was highest between 50 ng and 5 µg of total protein of cell extract, with 2 µg as the ideal protein concentra� on in this study. There was a dose-dependent increase in telomerase ac� vity up to 50 µg/ml, a� er which ac� vity started decreasing as the prepara� on is a powder suspension. Ashwagandha root extract powder, at a concentra� on of only 10 µg to 50 µg, increased telomerase ac� vity by upon 72 hours of exposure.

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