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adaptogens etc



In the 1950’s Russian scientists studied adaptogens to enhance performance and to maintain allostasis and homeostasis. Research is based on Seley’s biological stress response stages.
   - Alarm reaction.
   - Resistance.
   - Exhaustion.
Measures of allostatic load.
   - BP.
   - Cardiovascular activity.
   - Waist-hip ratio.
   - Glucocorticoid activity.
   - Cholesterol.
   - HbA1c
   - Glucose metabolism.
   - DHEA-S.
   - HPA axis.
   - U-24-hr cortisol.
   - Integrated measure of 12-hr HPA axis activity.
   - U-24-hr-NA, A.
   - Integrated indices of 12-hr sympathetic nervous systems activity.

Chronic stress contributes to structural and functional changes in the brain (prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus). Loss of dendrite grown, shortening of dendrites, remodeling of hippocampus, and reduced hippocampal volume. Behavioral changes include heightened fear response, increased anxiety, memory loss, and cognitive decline. Disruption of normal cortisol fluctuations influence Circadian rhythms of sleep and waking. (own comment - everything stresses everybody these days).

Neuroendocrine stress response - include hippocampus, amygdala (locus coeruleus), prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus (HPVN), and the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland.

Metabolic Stages of Illness and Recovery.
   - Metabolic Stage 1 - adaptive response - catabolic processes increase glucose, FA, AA. Insulin resistance develops to support glucose and FA needs. Increased oxidation of carbs and increased energy output contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction. This is partially attributed to a decrease in the anabolic hormone IDF-I and testosterone.
   - Metabolic Stage 2 - inflammatory processes increase. Increase of the processes mentioned above. This stage represents a progression from adaptive to a maladaptive response.
   - Metabolic Stage 3 - progression to an illness that is critical.
   - Metabolic Stage 4 - recovery stage. Body returns to anabolic balance and inflammatory pathways are down-regulated. Proper diet and selection of botanicals are essential in this stage.

Adaptogens - any agent that increases non-specific resistance of an organism to stress and other environmental influences.

   - Benefits physical performance.
   - Enhances recovery from training and stress.
   - Enhances immune system and decrease inflammtion.
   - Increased cognitive capacity and neuroprotective.
   - Increased alertness “without speed effect”.
   - AO effect through GSH-Px and SOD.

   - Chinese athletes used it. Increases endurance, vigor, and athletic performance. Immunomodulatory. Protects liver and kidney. Inhibit brain aging. Modulate endocrine function. Restores testosterone, sexual function, and replenish sperm.

Ashwaganda Root (Withania somnifera)
   - Also called Winter Cherry.
   - Increases telomeres activity.
   - Normalize glucose levels, supports healthy aging, and enhances male sexual function.
   - Prevents depletion of vit. C and cortisol.
   - 80% reduction in cell degeneration in the brain of stressed animals.

   - Especially during stress, improves mental capacity, motor coordination, and efficiency.
   - Increases mitochondrial glutathione redox status.

Anabolic Botanicals.

Ben Tabachnik, PhD (1940-2008) was a senior scientist for the National Research Institute of Sport in Moscow during the 1970s and 1980s. He specialized in sports physiology for over 30 years and coached the Soviet Olympic sprinting team. In 1990 he immigrated to the United States where he worked as a coach and sports medicine consultant for elite athletes and with several nationally-known sports teams. He was especially interested in herbal alternatives to anabolic steroids and was the first to introduce the concept of using specific botanicals as natural anabolic agents to improve athletic performance.
When he met professional clinical herbalist Donald Dance in the 1990s, they further developed this concept working together. They realized that the catabolic processes of the prolonged stress response also occurs during high-performance athletic training.
The most potent herbs to promote anabolic function are Rhaponticum, Ajuga, Cissus, and Shilajit.
   - Rhaponticum Root      - Increases LBM.
   - Ajuga            - Pr. Synthesis increase 190% (especially Turkesterone).
   - Shilajit aka Mumie   - Some effect on pr. Sent and bone building.
   - Cissus            - Works mainly through glucocorticoid antagonist.
   - Epimedium Leaf (horny goat weed)   - supports androgenic balance.
   - Deer antler velvet   - Increases testo and IGF-I.


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