Adaptogens from IOC

Definition of adaptogens Adaptogens are natural substances that help the body cope with stress, improving its ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. These are mainly plant and mushroom extracts that aim to stabilize physiological processes and support homeostasis. They work by reducing the body's response to stress, which may translate into improved overall well-being and health.

A brief history and origin of the term The term "adaptogens" was introduced in 1947 by Soviet toxicologist Nikolai Lazarev. Initially, this term referred to substances that increase the body's resistance to stress. Research on adaptogens was particularly intense in the USSR, Korea and China, where natural remedies were sought to improve physical and mental performance. In the 60s and 70s, adaptogens gained popularity due to their potential health benefits, although to this day not all aspects of their effects are fully documented scientifically.

What are adaptogens?

Description of adaptogens as substances of plant and synthetic origin

Adaptogens are substances that can come from plants or be synthesized in a laboratory. Their main goal is to support the body in coping with stress and adapting to changing environmental conditions. Plant adaptogens, such as ginseng and rhodiola, have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Synthetic adaptogens, on the other hand, are a newer achievement of science, offering similar benefits in a more controlled form.

Three criteria of adaptogens

For a substance to be considered an adaptogen, it must meet three key criteria:

  1. Non-toxic: Adaptogens must be safe to use and not cause toxic effects, even with long-term use.
  2. Support in various stressful conditions: Adaptogens should support the body in dealing with various types of stress, both physical and mental.
  3. No disruption to normal body functions: Adaptogens should not disturb the body's normal physiological functions, but rather support its natural defense and adaptation mechanisms.

Mechanism of action of adaptogens

How adaptogens affect the body at the molecular level Adaptogens act at the molecular level, affecting various systems biocbody's hemics. By modulating the response biochemic, adaptogens help restore balance (homeostasis) in the body. They act as regulators that can increase or decrease the activity of enzymes and receptors, depending on the body's needs. For example, in stressful situations, adaptogens can reduce cortisol levels and, in cases of fatigue, increase its production.

Role in regulating the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) system Adaptogens play a key role in regulating the HPA system, which is responsible for the body's response to stress. The HPA system involves interactions between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands. In response to stress, the hypothalamus releases the hormone CRH, which stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete ACTH. ACTH, in turn, stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Adaptogens help modulate this response, preventing excess cortisol secretion and protecting the body from the long-term effects of stress. Thanks to this, adaptogens support the body in maintaining balance and improving overall health.

Popular Adaptogens and Their Properties

Panax ginseng

Korean ginseng, also known as Panax ginseng, is one of the most popular adaptogens. It helps improve physical and mental performance, supports cognitive functions and strengthens the immune system.

Rhodiola rosea

Rhodiola rosea, known as Rhodiola rosea, is an adaptogen that supports the body in the fight against stress, reduces fatigue and improves physical and mental performance.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is an adaptogen that has calming properties, supports sanity and improves the functioning of the nervous and hormonal systems.

schisandra chinensis

Schisandra chinensis, or Schisandra chinensis, is an adaptogen that supports physical endurance, improves mental performance and supports liver function.

Eleutherococcus senticosus

Eleutherococcus spiny, also known as Eleutherococcus senticosus, is an adaptogen that increases resistance to stress, improves concentration and supports the immune system.

Table: Adaptogens, Benefits and Side Effects

AdaptogenBenefitsSide effects
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)Improving memory, reaction time, calmness, supporting the immune systemInteractions with anticoagulants
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)Reduction of stress and anxietyStomach problems, dangerous during pregnancy
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)Fighting fatigueInteractions with drugs that affect the immune system
Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)Increased enduranceDry mouth, nausea, headaches
Goji berry (Lycium barbarum)Increasing energy, physical and mental performanceAllergic reactions
Eleuthero root (Eleutherococcus senticosus)Improving concentrationStomach problems, headaches
Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum)Reducing stress, increasing enduranceNo documented side effects
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)Reduction of oxidative stressHigh blood pressure, decreased potassium
Rhodiola rosea (R. rosea)Reduction of fatigueDizziness, dry mouth
Schisandra berry (Schisandra chinensis)Increasing endurance and mental capacityProblems sleeping, difficulty breathing
Tulsi/Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum)Reduction of physical and mental stressSafe, but requires further research
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)Reduction of depressionSafe in small quantities

source: https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/smart-girls-guide-to-adaptogens

Benefits of Using Adaptogens

Strengthening immunity Adaptogens such as ginseng and ashwagandha can support the immune system, helping the body fight infection and disease. They improve immune function, which may lead to greater resistance to colds and other infections.

Improving physical and mental performance Adaptogens such as rhodiola and eleuthero increase physical endurance and improve mental performance. They can help improve concentration, reduce fatigue and increase energy during physical exercise.

Reduction of stress and fatigue Adaptogens are known to reduce stress and fatigue levels by regulating cortisol levels and supporting hormonal balance. Ashwagandha and schisandra can help calm the mind, improve sleep quality, and generally reduce symptoms of stress.

Potential Side Effects and Contraindications

Possible side effects Although adaptogens are generally well tolerated, some side effects may occur. The most common ones include stomach problems, headaches, dizziness, dry mouth and allergic reactions. For example, ashwagandha may cause stomach problems and rhodiola may cause dry mouth or dizziness.

Drug interactions and contraindications Adaptogens may interact with some medications. For example, American ginseng may interact with anticoagulant medications, and astragalus may interact with medications that affect the immune system. Some adaptogens, like licorice root, may not be safe for people with high blood pressure or kidney disease. Always consult your doctor before using adaptogens, especially if you are pregnant or taking other medications.

How to Use Adaptogens

Various forms (capsules, tinctures, teas) Adaptogens are available in various forms, such as capsules, tinctures, and teas. Each of these forms has its advantages and can be used depending on the user's preferences.

Dosage recommendations The dosage of adaptogens depends on the specific substance and form of administration. It is important to always follow the manufacturer's recommendations on the packaging and not to exceed the recommended dose.

Turtledove consultation with a doctor Before starting to use adaptogens, especially if you are taking other medications or have existing medical conditions, always consult your doctor. Adaptogens may interact with some medications and are not suitable for everyone.

The therapeutic effect of adaptogens cannot be declared in the context of dietary supplements Please note that adaptogens in the form of dietary supplements cannot be declared as medicines. Their effects should always be discussed with your doctor to ensure they are suitable and safe for use.

Summation

General conclusions on the benefits of adaptogens Adaptogens can support the body in coping with stress, improve physical and mental performance, and strengthen the immune system. They can be a valuable addition to a healthy lifestyle.

The importance of a healthy lifestyle combined with adaptogen supplementation It is worth remembering that the best effects of adaptogens can be achieved when combined with an overall healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular physical activity and adequate sleep. Adaptogens should be treated as support, not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle.

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