Effects of a commercial herbal-based formula on exercise performance in cyclists
ABSTRACT We examined the effects of a commercially marketed herbal-based formula purported to increase endurance on oxygen consumption (VO2) in 17 competitive category III/IV amateur cyclists [mean (SEM) age: 31.1 (1.8) yr; height: 178.5 (1.8) cm; weight: 77.1 (1.6) kg].
Each cyclist participated in two (pre/post) cycling tests progressing 25 W.4 min(-1) starting at 100 W administered in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind fashion. The second trial was performed 14 d after the ingestion of a manufacturer recommended loading phase (4 d x 6 caps.d(-1)) and a maintenance phase (11 d x 3 caps.d(-1)). Three treatment capsules contained 1000 mg of Cordyceps sinensis (CS-4) and 300 mg Rhodiola rosea root extract as the primary ingredients; 800 mg of other ingredients included calcium pyruvate, sodium phosphate, potassium phosphate, ribose, and adenosine and 200 mcg of chromium.
Using a 2 x 2 ANOVA, we observed no significant treatment effect for any between or within group variables including peak VO2 [treatment 4.14 (0.2) L.min(-1); placebo 4.10 (0.2) L.min(-1)], time to exhaustion [treatment 38.47 (1.7) min; placebo 36.95 (1.8) min], peak power output (PO) [treatment 300.00 (12.1) W; placebo 290.63 (12.9) W], or peak heart rate. We also observed no differences for any subpeak exercise variable including the PO eliciting 2 mmol.L(-1) blood lactate (BLa) [treatment 201.00 (18.1) W; placebo 167.50 (19.2) W] and 4 mmol.L(-1) BLa [treatment 235.88 (15.8) W; placebo 244.78 (14.9) W], ventilatory threshold, respiratory compensation point, or Vo2 L.min(-1) gross efficiency at each stage.
A 2-wk ingestion schema of a commercial herbal-based formula is insufficient to elicit positive changes in cycling performance.
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ABSTRACT: Cordyceps sinensis is a traditional Chinese medicine used for promotion of health, longevity and athletic power. However, the molecular mechanism for anti-fatigue activity and physical fitness has not yet been reported. The present study was conducted to evaluate the exercise endurance promoting activities of fungal traditional Chinese medicine (FTCM) Cordyceps sinensis cultured whole mycelium (CS) and the underlying mechanisms. CS was orally supplemented (200mg/kg body weight/day) to rats for 15days with or without swimming exercise along with exercise and placebo groups. Both CS supplementation and supplementation concurrent with exercise improved exercise endurance by 1.79- (P<0.05) and 2.9-fold (P<0.01) respectively as compared to placebo rats. CS supplementation concurrent with exercise also increased the swimming endurance by 1.32-fold (P<0.05) over the exercise group. To study the molecular mechanism of the observed effect, we measured the expression levels of endurance responsive skeletal muscle metabolic regulators AMPK, PGC-1α and PPAR-δ as well as endurance promoting and antioxidant genes like MCT1, MCT4, GLUT4, VEGF, NRF-2, SOD1 and TRX in red gastrocnemius muscle. Our results indicate that CS supplementation significantly upregulates the skeletal muscle metabolic regulators, angiogenesis, better glucose and lactate uptake both in exercised and non-exercised rats. We have also observed increased expression of oxidative stress responsive transcription factor NRF-2 and its downstream targets SOD1 and TRX by CS supplementation. CS supplementation with or without exercise improves exercise endurance capacity by activating the skeletal muscle metabolic regulators and a coordinated antioxidant response. Consequently, CS can be used as a potent natural exercise mimetic.Journal of ethnopharmacology 06/2011; 136(1):260-6. DOI:10.1016/j.jep.2011.04.040 · 2.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this review article was to summarize accumulated information related to chemical composition, pharmacological activity, traditional and official use of Rhodiola rosea L. in medicine. In total approximately 140 compounds were isolated from roots and rhizome - monoterpene alcohols and their glycosides, cyanogenic glycosides, aryl glycosides, phenylethanoids, phenylpropanoids and their glycosides, flavonoids, flavonlignans, proanthocyanidins and gallic acid derivatives. Studies on isolated organs, tissues, cells and enzymes have revealed that Rhodiola preparations exhibit adaptogenic effect including, neuroprotective, cardioprotectiv e, anti-fatigue, antidepressive, anxiolytic, nootropic, life-span increasing effects and CNS stimulating activity. A number of clinical trials demonstrate that repeated administration of R. rosea extract SHR-5 exerts an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental performance (particularly the ability to concentrate in healthy subjects), and reduces burnout in patients with fatigue syndrome. Encouraging results exist for the use of Rhodiola in mild to moderate depression, and generalized anxiety. Several mechanisms of action possibly contributing to the clinical effect have been identified for Rhodiola extracts. They include interactions with HPA-system (cortisol-reducing), protein kinases p-JNK, nitric oxide, and defense mechanism proteins (e.g. heat shock proteins Hsp 70 and FoxO/DAF-16). Lack of interaction with other drugs and adverse effects in the course of clinical trials make it potentially attractive for use as a safe medication. In conclusion, Rhodiola rosea has robust traditional and pharmacological evidence of use in fatigue, and emerging evidence supporting cognition and mood.Phytomedicine: international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology 04/2010; 17(7):481-93. DOI:10.1016/j.phymed.2010.02.002 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The nutritional requirements for mycelial growth of Cordyceps sinensis in semi-synthetic liquid media were investigated. The results provide a basis for further physiological study and industrial fermentation of the fungus. Nutritional requirements, including 17 carbohydrates, 16 nitrogen compounds, nine vitamins, four macro-elements, four trace-elements and eight ratios of carbon to nitrogen, were studied for their effects on the mycelial growth in submerged cultures of C. sinensis by using one-factor-at-a-time and orthogonal matrix methods. Among these variables, sucrose, peptone, folic acid, calcium, zinc and a carbon to nitrogen ratio 12 : 1 were identified as the requirements for the optimum mycelial growth. The concentrations of sucrose, peptone and yeast extract were optimized and the effects of medium composition on mycelial growth were found to be in the order sucrose > yeast extract > peptone. The optimal concentration for mycelial growth was determined as 50 g l(-1) sucrose, 10 g l(-1) peptone and 3 g l(-1) yeast extract. Under optimal culture conditions, over 22 g l(-1) of mycelial biomass could be obtained after 40 days in submerged cultures. Cordyceps sinensis, one of the most valued medicinal fungi, is shown to grow in axenic culture. This is the first report on nutritional requirements and design of a simplified semi-synthetic medium for mycelial growth of this psychrophilic species, which grows slowly below 20 degrees C. The results of this study will facilitate research on mass production of the fungus under defined culture conditions.Journal of Applied Microbiology 09/2005; 99(3):483-92. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2672.2005.02640.x · 2.39 Impact Factor