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Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: A randomized controlled trial

Authors:
  • D.Y.Patil University School of Medicine, Navi Mumbai, India
  • Institute of Infectious diseases Pune, India

Abstract and Figures

Background: Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) is a prominent herb in Ayurveda. This study was conducted to examine the possible effects of ashwagandha root extract consumption on muscle mass and strength in healthy young men engaged in resistance training. Methods: In this 8-week, randomized, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, 57 young male subjects (18-50 years old) with little experience in resistance training were randomized into treatment (29 subjects) and placebo (28 subjects) groups. Subjects in the treatment group consumed 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily, while the control group consumed starch placebos. Following baseline measurements, both groups of subjects underwent resistance training for 8 weeks and measurements were repeated at the end of week 8. The primary efficacy measure was muscle strength. The secondary efficacy measures were muscle size, body composition, serum testosterone levels and muscle recovery. Muscle strength was evaluated using the 1-RM load for the bench press and leg extension exercises. Muscle recovery was evaluated by using serum creatine kinase level as a marker of muscle injury from the effects of exercise. Results: Compared to the placebo subjects, the group treated with ashwagandha had significantly greater increases in muscle strength on the bench-press exercise (Placebo: 26.4 kg, 95 % CI, 19.5, 33.3 vs. Ashwagandha: 46.0 kg, 95 % CI 36.6, 55.5; p = 0.001) and the leg-extension exercise (Placebo: 9.8 kg, 95 % CI, 7.2,12.3 vs. Ashwagandha: 14.5 kg, 95 % CI, 10.8,18.2; p = 0.04), and significantly greater muscle size increase at the arms (Placebo: 5.3 cm(2), 95 % CI, 3.3,7.2 vs. Ashwagandha: 8.6 cm(2), 95 % CI, 6.9,10.8; p = 0.01) and chest (Placebo: 1.4 cm, 95 % CI, 0.8, 2.0 vs. Ashwagandha: 3.3 cm, 95 % CI, 2.6, 4.1; p < 0.001). Compared to the placebo subjects, the subjects receiving ashwagandha also had significantly greater reduction of exercise-induced muscle damage as indicated by the stabilization of serum creatine kinase (Placebo: 1307.5 U/L, 95 % CI, 1202.8, 1412.1, vs. Ashwagandha: 1462.6 U/L, 95 % CI, 1366.2, 1559.1; p = 0.03), significantly greater increase in testosterone level (Placebo: 18.0 ng/dL, 95 % CI, -15.8, 51.8 vs. Ashwagandha: 96.2 ng/dL, 95 % CI, 54.7, 137.5; p = 0.004), and a significantly greater decrease in body fat percentage (Placebo: 1.5 %, 95 % CI, 0.4 %, 2.6 % vs. Ashwagandha: 3.5 %, 95 % CI, 2.0 %, 4.9 %; p = 0.03). Conclusion: This study reports that ashwagandha supplementation is associated with significant increases in muscle mass and strength and suggests that ashwagandha supplementation may be useful in conjunction with a resistance training program.
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R E S E A R C H A R T I C L E Open Access
Examining the effect of Withania somnifera
supplementation on muscle strength and
recovery: a randomized controlled trial
Sachin Wankhede
1
, Deepak Langade
2
, Kedar Joshi
3
, Shymal R. Sinha
4
and Sauvik Bhattacharyya
5*
Abstract
Background: Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) is a prominent herb in Ayurveda. This study was conducted to
examine the possible effects of ashwagandha root extract consumption on muscle mass and strength in healthy
young men engaged in resistance training.
Methods: In this 8-week, randomized, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, 57 young male
subjects (1850 years old) with little experience in resistance training were randomized into treatment (29 subjects)
and placebo (28 subjects) groups. Subjects in the treatment group consumed 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract
twice daily, while the control group consumed starch placebos. Following baseline measurements, both groups
of subjects underwent resistance training for 8 weeks and measurements were repeated at the end of week 8.
The primary efficacy measure was muscle strength. The secondary efficacy measures were muscle size, body
composition, serum testosterone levels and muscle recovery. Muscle strength was evaluated using the 1-RM load
for the bench press and leg extension exercises. Muscle recovery was evaluated by using serum creatine kinase
level as a marker of muscle injury from the effects of exercise.
Results: Compared to the placebo subjects, the group treated with ashwagandha had significantly greater
increases in muscle strength on the bench-press exercise (Placebo: 26.4 kg, 95 % CI, 19.5, 33.3 vs. Ashwagandha:
46.0 kg, 95 % CI 36.6, 55.5; p= 0.001) and the leg-extension exercise (Placebo: 9.8 kg, 95 % CI, 7.2,12.3 vs.
Ashwagandha: 14.5 kg, 95 % CI, 10.8,18.2; p= 0.04), and significantly greater muscle size increase at the arms
(Placebo: 5.3 cm
2
, 95 % CI, 3.3,7.2 vs. Ashwagandha: 8.6 cm
2
, 95 % CI, 6.9,10.8; p= 0.01) and chest (Placebo: 1.4 cm,
95 % CI, 0.8, 2.0 vs. Ashwagandha: 3.3 cm, 95 % CI, 2.6, 4.1; p< 0.001). Compared to the placebo subjects, the
subjects receiving ashwagandha also had significantly greater reduction of exercise-induced muscle damage as
indicated by the stabilization of serum creatine kinase (Placebo: 1307.5 U/L, 95 % CI, 1202.8, 1412.1, vs.
Ashwagandha: 1462.6 U/L, 95 % CI, 1366.2, 1559.1; p= 0.03), significantly greater increase in testosterone level
(Placebo: 18.0 ng/dL, 95 % CI, -15.8, 51.8 vs. Ashwagandha: 96.2 ng/dL, 95 % CI, 54.7, 137.5; p= 0.004), and a
significantly greater decrease in body fat percentage (Placebo: 1.5 %, 95 % CI, 0.4 %, 2.6 % vs. Ashwagandha: 3.5 %,
95 % CI, 2.0 %, 4.9 %; p= 0.03).
Conclusion: This study reports that ashwagandha supplementation is associated with significant increases in
muscle mass and strength and suggests that ashwagandha supplementation may be useful in conjunction with a
resistance training program.
Keywords: Ashwagandha, Adaptogen herbs, Muscle, Muscle strength, Muscle mass, Testosterone, Body fat,
Creatine kinase
* Correspondence: dr.sauvik.bhattacharyya@gmail.com
5
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, NSHM Knowledge Campus, 124
B.L. Saha Road, Kolkata 700053, India
Full list of author information is available at the end of the article
© 2015 Wankhede et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
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the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver
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Wankhede et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2015) 12:43
DOI 10.1186/s12970-015-0104-9
Background
Both the modern medical literature and traditional
Ayurveda writings report many potential health benefits
of the Ashwagandha herb (Withania somnifera, also
known as Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry) under the
rubrics of anti-stress effects, neuroprotective effects,
immunomodulatory effects, and rejuvenating effects, via
the herb's interplay with the nervous system, the endo-
crine system, the cardiopulmonary system, the energy
production system and the immune system including
analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor,
anti-stress, anti-diabetic, neuroprotective, immunopro-
tective and cardioprotective effects [17]. This paper fo-
cuses on ashwagandha as an ergogenic aid and is the
first to present the results of a randomized, double-
blind, placebo-controlled clinical study on ashwagand-
has effects, as an adjuvant to a resistance training
program, multifariously on muscle strength, muscle
hypertrophy, muscle recovery and body composition.
We add to the broader literature on ashwagandhas effect
on physical performance. This literature has only a small
set of published papers [810], which is surprising be-
cause traditional Ayurveda explicitly advocates the use
of ashwagandha toward bala, which means strength
in the Sanskrit language [11] .
Ashwagandha is a member of the family of herbs re-
ferred to as adaptogens. The term adaptogenis ap-
plied to a herb with phytonutrients that regulate
metabolism when a body is perturbed by physical or
mental stress, and help the body adapt by (a) normaliz-
ing system functions, (b) developing resistance to future
such stress, and (c) elevating the bodys functioning to a
higher level of performance [12]. The adaptogen family
of herbs has many members, noteworthy among them
being ashwagandha, rhodiola, ginseng, schisandra and
maca [12]. Adaptogens are used commonly for stress
relief, brain health, adrenal health and for ameliorating
HPA-axis dysfunction. More recently, adaptogens have
started to be used in sports supplements that aim to
enhance physical fitness. Recent research has found
adaptogens to be promising in this application domain
[1315]. However, the results in this literature are mixed
and therefore more research is needed so that we have a
better understanding of adaptogens as ergogenic aids
[14]. This present study attempts to make a small step
towards such an understanding.
A resistance training program consists of exercises
that cause skeletal muscles to contract against external
resistance. The body often responds to such programs
with increased strength and correlated adaptations
[1619]. The present research work was motivated by the
hypothesis that ashwagandha supplementation can in-
crease some of these adaptations and gains, thereby serv-
ing as a useful adjuvant to a resistance training program.
There are several rationales underlying this hypothesis:
Studies in healthy normal adults demonstrated that ashwa-
gandha improves muscular strength/coordination, and car-
diorespiratory endurance [810]. Ashwagandhas roots are
classified as a rasayana(rejuvenator), and have been used
toward promoting health and longevity, slowing the aging
process, revitalizing the body and generally creating a sense
of well-being [4, 20]. Ashwagandha has a wide range of
pharmacological effects: it has anxiolytic, hypotensive,
sedative, central nervous system, immunomodulatory, an-
algesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anabolic, cardiopul-
monary and antioxidant effects [4, 9, 2127]. It also
stimulates respiratory function, causing smooth muscle
relaxation, and stimulates thyroid activity [3]. Studies in
humans show that ashwagandha is well tolerated and is
associated with decreases in cortisol [28], and increases in
testosterone [29]. Research suggests that ashwagandha may
reduce increases of blood urea nitrogen, lactic acid, cor-
ticosterone in response to stress [4], and also reduce the
tendency of dopamine receptors in the brain to activate
under stress [3, 5, 21]. Ashwagandha contains several ac-
tive components, which may account for the various
mechanisms of action by which it exerts its effects. These
include steroidal lactones (withanolides, withaferins), sapo-
nins and alkaloids like isopelletierine and anaferine [5, 30].
The adaptogenic properties of ashwagandha raise the
possibility of it being an effective ergogenic aid because
the strain from exercise can be viewed as a form of
stress, with enhanced human physical performance as
the corresponding stress response upon ashwagandha
supplementation. This study seeks to examine the hy-
pothesis that ashwagandha supplementation may moder-
ate the bodys adaptation in response to resistance
training. While this hypothesis is rooted in traditional
Ayurvedic medicine and previous studies, well designed
clinical trials are clearly needed to test and characterize
the effects. The present double-blind, randomized,
placebo-controlled study in healthy adults will, it is
hoped, help toward expanding scientific understanding
in this domain.
Methods
The study design, recruitment and methods were ap-
proved by all the authorsinstitutesreview boards on
human subjectsstudies and followed the guidelines of
the Declaration of Helsinki and Tokyo for humans.
Subjects selection, incentives and participation
Healthy male subjects (1850 years old) were recruited
by use of fliers circulated in the vicinity of the gymna-
sium which served as the site of the training program.
Subject enrollment, allocation, attrition, and analysis is
summarized in Fig. 1. The purpose and protocol for the
study was described to the subjects. The subjects had to
Wankhede et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2015) 12:43 Page 2 of 11
sign a written consent for the study, agree to refrain
from alcohol and tobacco during the study, and had to
receive permission of their physician to participate. Sub-
jects were excluded from the study if they met any of
the following criteria: 1) taking any medication or
steroids to enhance physical performance, 2) weight loss
of >5 kg in the previous 3 months, 3) any history of drug
abuse, smoking 10+ cigarettes day or consuming more
than 14 grams of alcohol daily, 4) hypersensitivity to
ashwagandha, 5) history of any orthopedic injury or
surgery within the previous 6 months, 6) participation in
other clinical studies during the previous 3 months, 7)
any other conditions which the investigators judged
problematic for participation in the study. Subjects were
requested to refrain from using anti-inflammatory agents
during the study and to report any ill effects from con-
suming the ashwagandha/ placebo.
Because participation in the study would require a sig-
nificant amount of time allocation from the subjects, the
recruiters offered as compensation one year of paid
membership to the gym and three months of profes-
sional trainer support. As Fig. 1 indicates, 57 subjects
were initially recruited for the study and 50 completed
the study, including 25 in the ashwagandha group and
25 in the placebo group. For the ashwagandha treatment
group and for the placebo group, the mean age ± stand-
ard deviation were 28 ± 8 years and 29 ± 9 years,
respectively.
Study design
This study was a prospective, double-blind, placebo-con-
trolled parallel group study to measure the possible effects
of ashwagandha extract on muscle strength/size, muscle
recovery, testosterone level and body fat percentage in
Fig. 1 CONSORT schematic diagram
Wankhede et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2015) 12:43 Page 3 of 11
young males undergoing weight training. Adverse events
were assessed by patient/ researcher reporting and the
PGATT (Physicians Global Assessment of Tolerability to
Therapy) form.
The resistance training program
The resistance training program consisted of sets of
exercises over major muscle groups in both the upper
body and the lower body. Directions for the resistance
training were obtained from publications of the National
Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) [3133].
Each subject in both groups was asked to come to a
training session every other day, with one rest day per
week, for three days per week. Every session began with
a warm up consisting of five minutes of low-intensity
aerobic exercise.
The subjects were instructed to perform, for each set,
as many repetitions as they could until failure. The sub-
jects were asked to go through the full range of motion
and were demonstrated the proper technique for safe
and effective weight lifting.
Exercise selection
The specific exercises and the number of sets in each
session were as follows. For the first week, the subjects
were asked to perform the barbell squat (2 sets), the leg
extension (1 set), the seated leg curl (2 sets), the ma-
chine chest press (1 set), the barbell chest press (2 sets),
the seated machine row (1 set), the one-arm dumbbell
row (2 sets), the machine biceps curl (1 set), the dumbbell
biceps curl (2 sets), the cable triceps press-down (2 sets),
the dumbbell shoulder press (2 sets), and the straight-arm
pull-down (2 sets). For the second week, the subjects were
asked to perform the leg extension (1 set), the barbell
squat (2 sets), the barbell chest press (3 sets), the seated
leg curl (2 sets), the seated cable row (3 sets), dumbbell
biceps curl (3 sets), the cable triceps press-down (3 sets),
the dumbbell shoulder press (3 sets), and the straight-arm
pull-down or lat pull-down (3 sets). After this two-week
acclimatization phase, for the rest of the study, the
subjects were asked to perform the barbell squat (3 sets),
the leg extension (3 sets), the leg curl (2 sets), one chest
exercise (flat, incline or decline press or fly, cable cross-
over, 3 sets), one back exercise (rows, pull up, pull down
or seated cable row, 3 sets), another chest exercise (3 sets),
another back exercise (3 sets), one biceps exercise or one
triceps exercise (curls or extensions, 3 sets), and one
shoulder exercise (raises or presses, 3 sets).
How the target number of repetitions was chosen
The number of repetitions for the initial two weeks was
set to be 15, which is a moderately high number (implying
correspondingly lower weights), chosen to allow a sub-
jects body and neural system to get accustomed to
strength training [31, 33]. The subsequent 6 weeks had a
varying number of repetitions, akin to a rudimentary non-
linear periodization programs, because these have been
shown to induce greater adaptation and more gains in
muscle strength and size [33]. The number of repetitions
specified for each of the days in the training program is
given in Table 1.
How the load was chosen
The load was chosen to be such that the subject would
reach the failure-point upon performing approximately
the target number of repetitions (chosen as described in
the preceding paragraph) when lifting that load. The
corresponding load for an exercise was estimated on the
basis of the 1RM prediction equations of Epley, Wathan
and others [34].
Treatments and dosing
The researchers engaged a local laboratory to fill
cellulose-based vegetarian capsules with either 300 mg
of starch or 300 mg of a high-concentration ashwa-
gandha root extract, KSM-66, manufactured by Ixoreal
BioMed, Los Angeles, California, USA. This extract was
produced using a water-based process using no alcohol
or solvents and is standardized to a 5 % concentration of
withanolides as measured by HPLC. The two capsules
were identical in appearance, weight, and texture. Both
the control and ashwagandha groups received a bottle of
60 pills at start of study and at 4 weeks. The pill count
at 4 weeks allowed for a compliance check. The subjects
were instructed to store the capsules between 18 and
32 °C and to take the capsules twice a day, once shortly
after awakening and again shortly before bed, for the 8
weeks of the study.
Primary efficacy endpoint
The primary efficacy endpoint was muscle strength.
Muscle strength is often measured by 1RM, the one-
repetition maximum, which is specific to a certain per-
son and a certain exercise movement and refers to the
maximal load that a subject can lift for one movement
cycle of the exercise [31, 35]. Measurements were made at
the first day of training and again 2 days after the 8 week
training ended. The equipment used machine models
DPL0802 (bench press) and DSL0605 (leg extension),
Table 1 The targeted number of repetitions over the course of
the resistance training program
Weeks 12 Weeks 34 Weeks 56 Weeks 78
Day115135 9
Day 2 15 9 13 5
Day315135 9
Day 4 15 9 13 5
Wankhede et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2015) 12:43 Page 4 of 11
manufactured by Precor (Woodinville, Washington, USA
The 1-RM measurement was done using a variant of the
widely used Baechle-Earle-Wathen protocol, employing
the multiple RM method [3640]. To reduce measure-
ment error in strength assessment, we were careful to
ensure consistency in the range of motion and that each
movement on the chest press and the leg extension was
complete and in accordance with the guidelines of the
NSCA.
Secondary efficacy endpoints
The secondary efficacy endpoints related to serum testos-
terone level, muscle recovery and anthropometric factors
capturing muscle size and body fat percentage.
Anthropometry
Muscle size: Muscle size was measured at 3 sites: the
arm (flexed mid upper arm), chest (sternum at mid-tidal
volume) and upper thigh (just inferior to gluteal fold).
Measurements were done on the first day of the training
period and 2 days after the last day of training. For the
chest, we measured the girth, taken at the level of the
middle of the sternum, with the tape passing under the
arms and at the end of a normal expiration. For the
thigh and arm, we assessed the maximal cross-sectional
area (CSA) using the method of Moritani-DeVries,
which is based on girth and skin-fold measurements
[4143]. The literature shows that the muscle CSA mea-
sures obtained by the Moritani-DeVries method are
highly correlated with measures obtained by computer
tomography or muscle biopsy, the gold standards for
muscle CSA measurement [4143]. Because of this high
correlation, the across-time (Day 0 versus Day 56) or
across-group (treatment versus placebo) comparisons on
the basis of the Moritani-DeVries method are strongly
indicative of the directionality and strength of the corre-
sponding comparisons on the basis of the computer
tomography. We chose to use the Moritani-DeVries
method because it is less time-consuming and invasive
than computer tomography or biopsy, and therefore less
likely to discourage study participation.
Body fat percentage
Body fat percentage was calculated with a bioelectrical
impedance method using machine with electrodes
placed at the hand, wrist, foot, and ankle [44, 45]. Be-
cause bioelectrical impedance analysis based measure-
ment of fat composition is known to be affected by
extraneous factors like hydration level and temperature,
we tried to maintain consistency in these factors by
instructing the subjects to: 1) abstain from eating or
drinking for 4 h before measurements, 2) urinate 30 min
prior, 3) not engaged in exercise for 12 h prior and 4)
not consume alcohol of caffeinated products [35, 45].
Body composition was measured two days after the first
day of resistance training and again two days after the
last day of resistance training.
Testosterone
Total blood testosterone serum levels were measured
twice: once 2 days after the study commenced and again
2 days after the study ended. The blood draw was timed
to be between two hours and three hours of each sub-
jects regular waking time, and prior to any substantial
physical activity, in order to minimize the effects of the
natural diurnal variation in testosterone level. The 20 ml
blood draws were from an antecubital vein, punctured
with a 20-gauge disposable needle connected to a Vacu-
tainer tube. The blood serum samples were analyzed by
an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay).
Muscle recovery
Resistance training frequently damages skeletal muscle
tissue. Such damage can result in decreased muscle force
production and performance in subsequent training ses-
sions, thereby possibly reducing the extent of adaptation
and gains from resistance training [46]. Muscle recovery
refers to the reduction in exercise-induced muscle dam-
age over time. The level of creatine kinase, a protein, in
the blood is a commonly used measure of muscle dam-
age because this protein is specific to muscle tissue [47].
When muscles are overexerted, the muscle filaments are
damaged and become necrotic, thereby causing soluble
proteins like creatine kinase to migrate from muscle tis-
sue into the blood stream [48]. The body on its own re-
pairs such damage over 1 to 10 days and serum creatine
kinase returns to baseline levels [48]. A bout of exercise
tends to produce less damage in muscle tissue when re-
peated in subsequent training sessions after the body
gets accustomed to the exercise. This is because of adap-
tation and strengthening of the muscle tissue. Serum
creatine kinase was measured at 24 h and at 48 h after
the end of the first exercise session, and also at 24 h and
at 48 h after the end of the last exercise session approxi-
mately 8 weeks later, from 20 ml blood draws using a
20-gauge disposable needle and a Vacutainer setup. The
creatine kinase level was determined in a commercial la-
boratory using enzymatic analysis tracking nicotinamide
adenine diphesphopyridine (NADPH). The increase in
creatine kinase from the 24-h point to the 48-h point
can be taken as a biomarker of recovery in that a smaller
increase corresponds to faster stabilization of creatine
kinase level and hence faster recovery of muscle tissue
from exercise-induced damage.
Tolerability
The subjects were asked to report any adverse events ex-
perienced at any point in the study. We used the
Wankhede et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2015) 12:43 Page 5 of 11
Physicians Global Assessment of Tolerability to Therapy
(PGATT) form [4951]. Subjects used a five-point scale
to assess tolerability from worst tolerability(which cor-
responds to patientsnot being able to tolerate the drug
at all) to excellent tolerability(which corresponds to
no adverse effects and the patient being able to tolerate
the drug excellently).
Statistical analysis
Assessment of statistical significance of continuous treat-
ment effects was done using ANOVA with group identity
(treatment versus placebo) as a factor. We used the
Mann-Whitney test if the data were found to be not
normally distributed. Frequencies of the tolerability
scale values were compared using the chi-square test
for contingency tables. The accepted level of signifi-
cance was α=0.05.
Results
Tables 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 compare the treatment group and
the placebo group at baseline, at the start of the study
and at the end of the 8 week study for the following 5
factors: testosterone level (ng/dL), muscle strength on
the bench press 1-RM (Kg), muscle strength on the leg
extension 1-RM (Kg), muscle size at thighs (cm
2
),
muscle size at arms (cm
2
), muscle size at chest (cm),
body fat percentage, muscle recovery in terms of creat-
ine kinase levels change (U/L),
Primary efficacy measure: muscle strength
There was a significant increase in muscle strength and
muscle size in both the ashwagandha group and the pla-
cebo group, for both the upper and lower body. This is
unsurprising because both group engaged in resistance
training. The focal question is whether the adaptation is
greater under ashwagandha supplementation. Table 2
and Fig. 2 show that the increases in muscle strength
were statistically significantly greater in the ashwagandha
group than in the placebo group, for the upper body
(Placebo: 26.42 kg, 95 % CI, 19.52, 33.32 vs. Ashwa-
gandha: 46.05 kg, 95 % CI 36.56, 55.54; p= 0.001) and
the lower body (Placebo: 9.77 kg, 95 % CI, 7.18, 12.35 vs.
Ashwagandha: 14.50 kg, 95 % 10.76, 18.23; p= 0.04).
Secondary efficacy measures
Anthropometry
Muscle Size: For muscle size (Table 3; Fig. 2), the in-
creases are significantly greater in the ashwagandha
group than the placebo group in the arm (Placebo: 5.30
cm
2
, 95 % CI, 3.34,7.25 vs. Ashwagandha: 8.89 cm
2
,
95 % 6.95,10.84; p= 0.01) and chest (Placebo: 1.43 cm,
95 % CI, 0.83, 2.02 vs. Ashwagandha: 3.37 cm, 95 % CI,
2.59, 4.15; p< 0.001) but not in the thighs (Placebo: 6.22
cm
2
, 95 % CI, 2.61, 9.84 vs. Ashwagandha: 8.71 cm
2
,
95 % CI, 4.56, 12.87; p= 0.36).
Body composition: Table 4 shows that body fat percent-
ages declined in both groups over the 8 week study, with
the fat percentage decrease being significantly greater
among subjects in the ashwagandha group as compared
to the placebo group (Placebo: 1.52 %, 95 % CI, 0.46, 2.59,
vs. Ashwagandha: 3.47 %, 95 % CI, 1.99, 4.95; p=0.03).
Serum testosterone
Over the eight weeks, there was a significant increase in
testosterone level in the ashwagandha treatment group
relative to the placebo group (Table 5; Fig. 3). The in-
crease in testosterone level was significantly greater with
ashwagandha supplementation than with the placebo
(Placebo: 18.00 ng/dL, 95 % CI, -15.83, 51.82 vs. Ashwa-
gandha: 96.19 ng/dL, 95 % CI, 54.86, 137.53; p= 0.004).
While the mean post-intervention level was notably
higher in the ashwagandha group than in the placebo
group (726 versus 693), the numbers are not detectable
as statistically significantly different, very likely because
the across-subject variance is high.
Muscle recovery
Recall that the level of recovery from exercise-induced
muscle damage is assessed through the increase in level
of serum creatine kinase from Hour 24 to Hour 48 after
the end of the resistance training session. A smaller in-
crease in this muscle protein in the blood stream
Table 2 Muscle strength
Treatment group Placebo group Between group comparison
Mean (SD) Mean (SD) (p-values)
Sample size (n) n=25 n=25
Bench Press 1RM (Kg) Pre intervention 33.21 (8.50) 31.35 (7.97) 0.44
Post intervention 79.26 (25.90) 57.77 (16.48) 0.001
Change 46.05 (23.00); 95 % CI: 36.56, 55.54** 26.42 (16.72); 95 % CI: 19.52, 33.32** 0.001
Leg Extension 1RM (Kg) Pre intervention 27.89 (4.24) 25.22 (7.03) 0.11
Post intervention 42.38 (10.80)** 34.98 (10.54)** 0.02
Change 14.50 (9.04); 95 % CI: 10.76, 18.23** 9.77 (6.27); 95 % CI: 7.18, 12.35** 0.04
** = p< 0.001 within group compari son
Wankhede et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2015) 12:43 Page 6 of 11
corresponds to faster muscle tissue repair, which in turn
corresponds to greater recovery. Table 6 and Fig. 3 show
how this metric varied across groups and over time. It is
important to keep in mind that smaller numbers are to
be interpreted as better recovery. What is striking is that
recovery was dramatically better after 8 weeks of resist-
ance training, in both the ashwagandha group and the
placebo group, likely because of muscle tissue getting ac-
customed to the training regimen and developing greater
integrity to resist any damage. Comparing the ashwa-
gandha group and the placebo group, the results showed
that recovery is substantially higher in the ashwagandha
group than in the placebo group (Placebo: 1307.48 U/L,
95 % CI, -1202.82, 1412.14 vs. Ashwagandha: 1462.68 U/
L, 95 % CI, 1366.27, 1559.09; p= 0.03).
Tolerability
No serious side effects were reported by subjects in ei-
ther group. All subjects rated tolerability as either good
or excellenton the PGATT form. There was no statis-
tically significant difference in PGATT scores between
the 2 groups.
Discussion
This is the first research paper that we know of that
studies ashwagandha as an adjuvant to resistance train-
ing programs. Because subjects in both the ashwagandha
group and the placebo group engaged in resistance
training, we would expect to see a substantial degree of
improvement in muscle-related parameters in both
groups, and indeed we did. These findings are consistent
with numerous studies which have measured adaptation
to strength training programs in the absence of any sup-
plementation [33]. The focal question that we sought to
examine in this research is related to whether ashwa-
gandha supplementation would magnify these adapta-
tions. The adaptations were found to be statistically
significantly greater, at a p-value threshold of 0.05, with
ashwagandha supplementation than under placebo for
all parameters (muscle strength, muscle size and body
fat percentage, testosterone, and muscle recovery) except
for thigh muscle size, though some effects were mar-
ginal. Increased recovery from muscle damage has the
practical implication that it allows one to resume resist-
ance training more quickly, thereby increase the volume
of training per unit time and thereby potentially achieve
Table 3 Muscle size
Treatment group mean (SD) Placebo group mean (SD) Between group comparison
(p-values)
Sample size (n) n=25 n=25
Thigh (cm
2
) Pre intervention 107.84 (24.61) 111.18 (17.15) 0.58
Post intervention 116.56 (26.04) 117.40 (19.96) 0.9
Change 8.71 (10.06); 95 % CI: 4.56, 12.87** 6.22 ( 8.76); 95 % CI: 2.61, 9.84* 0.36
Arm (cm
2
) Pre intervention 51.96 (10.88) 53.13 (14.84) 0.75
Post intervention 60.85 (13.23) 58.43 (17.66) 0.59
Change 8.89 (4.71); 95 % CI: 6.95, 10.84** 5.30 ( 4.74); 95 % CI: 3.34, 7.25** 0.01
Chest (cm) Pre intervention 101.40 (11.22) 101.16 (8.93) 0.93
Post intervention 104.77 (11.09) 102.58 (8.76) 0.44
Change 3.37 ( 1.89); 95 % CI: 2.59, 4.15** 1.43 (1.45); 95 % CI: 0.83, 2.02** 0.0002
*=p< 0.01; ** = p< 0.001 within group comparison
Table 4 Body fat percentage
Treatment group Placebo Between group
comparison
Mean (SD) Group mean (SD) (p-values)
Sample
size (n)
n=25 n=25
Pre intervention 21.60 (3.91) 22.01 (3.37) 0.7
Post intervention 18.13 (3.13)** 20.48 (1.85)* 0.003
Change 3.47 (3.58); 95 %
CI: -4.95, -1.99**
1.52 (2.58); 95 %
CI: -2.59, -0.46*
0.03
*=p< 0.01; ** = p< 0.001 within group comparison
Table 5 Serum testosterone level (ng/dL)
Treatment
group
Placebo
group
Between
group
comparison
Mean (SD) Mean (SD) (p-values)
Sample
size (n)
n=25 n=25
Pre intervention 630.45 (231.88) 675.12 (157.02) 0.43
Post intervention 726.64 (171.55)** 693.12 (115.04) 0.42
Change 96.19 (100.14); 95 %
CI: 54.86, 137.53**
18.00 (81.94); 95 %
CI: -15.83, 51.82
0.004
** = p< 0.001 within group compari son
Wankhede et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2015) 12:43 Page 7 of 11
greater gains per unit time. Our basic results are consist-
ent with the findings of previous human studies with ash-
wagandha [8, 9, 28, 29, 52] in demonstrating gains in
muscle strength, body composition and testosterone,
though these other studies do not follow these parameters
all in a single clinical trial or in conjunction with a resist-
ance training program. The ashwagandha extract was tol-
erated very well at the study dose with no side effects
reported. This good safety profile of ashwagandha is con-
sistent with reports from previous studies [8, 9, 28, 29,
52].
There are also studies considering the use of other
adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola rosea,Eleutherococcus
senticosus,Schisandra chinensis and ginseng toward
physical performance. One study [53] gave evidence that
Rhodiola rosea supplementation can improve endurance
and reduce time to exhaustion. A review of Russian re-
search [15] identifies human studies that show improved
physical and mental performance from Schisandra supple-
mentation. It is suggested that [15] Schisandra supple-
mentation can help elite athletes adapt to high physical
intensities. More study of the use of adaptogen herbs in
the aid of muscle strength and recovery is needed.
There are several mechanisms of action that could
have contributed to the positive effects of ashwagandha
supplementation on resistance training and performance
improvements in this study. These can be viewed from two
perspectives: muscle development and muscle recovery.
Muscle development
The ability to lift weights is a function of (a) muscle size,
(b) energy production and (c) the nervous systems
Table 6 Muscle recovery: increase of serum creatine kinase from hour 24 to hour 48 after end of exercising (U/L)
Treatment group Placebo group Between group comparison
Mean (SD) Mean (SD) (p-values)
Sample size (n) n=25 n=25
Pre intervention 1478.88 (239.60) 1406.52 (264.45) 0.31
Post intervention 16.20 (9.47)** 99.04 (16.77)** <0.0001
Change 1462.68 (233.57); 95 % CI: -1559.09,-1366.27** 1307.48 (253.54); 95 % CI: -1412.14, -1202.82** 0.03
** = p< 0.001 within group compari son
Fig. 2 The effect of Ashwagandha treatment in muscle strength [abench press 1 RM, bleg extension 1RM] and muscle size in cthigh, darm
and eChest
Wankhede et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2015) 12:43 Page 8 of 11
ability to recruit muscles and coordinate them to gener-
ate the required force. Muscle size is a function of
muscle growth, which is affected by two of ashwagand-
has effects: (i) increase in testosterone, which leads to
muscle growth and (ii) decrease in the levels of cortisol,
which as a catabolic agent detracts from muscle mass. In
terms of energy production, ashwagandha (i) can have
beneficial effects on mitochondrial energy levels and
functioning and reduce the activity of the Mg2
+ -dependent ATPase enzyme responsible for the break-
down of ATP [54], and (ii) can increase creatine levels
that can in turn lead to ATP generation [8]. Finally, the
effects of ashwagandha on the nervous system as anti-
anxiety agent and in promoting focus and concentration
[28] may translate to better coordination and recruit-
ment of muscles. The reason for the lack of an effect on
thigh size is not clear. Longer term studies are needed to
shed light on this, as are studies looking at markers in
the local environment of these muscles to rule out any
biochemical anomalies as contributing factors.
Muscle recovery
In the present study, more rapid recovery from muscle
damage under supplementation with ashwagandha was
demonstrated by monitoring creatine kinase. The faster
recovery could be due to a number of mechanisms, or
more likely their synergistic effects, as mediated by the
various extract components, such as antioxidant effects
to combat free radical damage both at the muscle and
central nervous system levels, anti-inflammatory and
analgesic effects and reduction in lactic acid and blood
urea nitrogen [46]. In that vein, muscle soreness is a
common occurrence following exercise for those less
accustomed to physical activity. Delayed onset muscle
soreness (DOMS) presents between 24 and 48 h after
exercise as tenderness to palpation, and/or movement
accompanied by decreases in flexibility and maximal vol-
untary force production. This soreness can inhibit full
and proper exercise. Thus, a reduction in DOMS as a
consequence of ashwagandhas effect on reduced muscle
injury would counteract this negative consequence.
Conclusion
This study confirms previous data regarding the adapto-
genic properties of ashwagandha and suggests it might
be a useful adjunct to strength training. This study has
the following limitations which should lead us to inter-
pret the findings with some caution: the subjects are
untrained and moderately young, the sample size of 50
is not large and the study period is of duration only 8
weeks. Research studying the possible beneficial effects
of ashwagandha needs to be conducted for longer pe-
riods of time and for different populations including
females and older adults of both genders.
Competing interests
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the
publication of this paper.
Authorscontributions
SW and DL developed the clinical trial design and the resisitance training
protocol. They carried out the data collection in collaboration with KJ and
SS. SW, DL, KJ and SS oversaw the data treatment and data analysis. SB
contributed to the writing, the presentation, the bibliography and managed
correspondence. All authors were involved in the writing and drafting, and
all read and approved the final manuscript.
Acknowledgments
The authors thank Shri Kartikeya Pharma and Ixoreal BioMed of Los Angeles,
California, USA for supplying the KSM-66 high-concentration root extract
used in the study treatment.
Author details
1
Sports Medicine, SrimatiKashibaiNavale Medical College, Pune, India.
2
Department of Pharmacology, BVDU Dental College & Hospital, Navi
Mumbai, India.
3
Department of Pharmacology, BharatiVidyapeeth Medical
College & Hospital, Sangli, India.
4
Department of Clinical Pharmacology,
Grant Government Medical College, SirJamshedjeeJeejeebhoy Group of
Hospitals, Mumbai, India.
5
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, NSHM
Knowledge Campus, 124 B.L. Saha Road, Kolkata 700053, India.
Received: 13 July 2015 Accepted: 16 November 2015
Fig. 3 The effect of Ashwagandha treatment in aserum testosterone and bserum creatine kinase level
Wankhede et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2015) 12:43 Page 9 of 11
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Wankhede et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2015) 12:43 Page 11 of 11
... Herbal extracts may help alleviate age-related muscle weakness by their anabolic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, insulin-secretagogic, and anti-fatigue effects. Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) is known to strengthen the weak aging skeletal muscle by virtue of its anti-stress and adaptogenic activity, anti-inflammatory effect and a potent antioxidant effect [8]. It decreases the levels of cortisol, which reduces muscle mass [8]. ...
... Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) is known to strengthen the weak aging skeletal muscle by virtue of its anti-stress and adaptogenic activity, anti-inflammatory effect and a potent antioxidant effect [8]. It decreases the levels of cortisol, which reduces muscle mass [8]. By reducing the activity of the Mg þ2 -dependent ATPase, which catabolizes ATP, Withania may have beneficial effects on mitochondrial function [9]. ...
... A study has reported an extract of W. somnifera to improve muscle function and recovery in adult males engaged in resistance training for 8 weeks [8]. On consumption of the Withania extract, significant attenuation of muscle markers which had built up in blood stream on exercise-induced muscle damage in these males was noted along with decrease in body fat. ...
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Full-text available
Background Aging leads to loss of skeletal muscle, diminished muscle strength, and decline in physical functions. Objective This study evaluates Withania somnifera and some dietary interventions to combat muscle weakness in aging rats. Materials and methods Rats (12–13 months old) corresponding to a human age of 60–65 years were assigned to various groups and given orally a standardized W. somnifera extract (WSE, 500 mg/kg) or a protein cocktail comprising soybean (1.5 g/kg) and quinoa (1 g/kg) or a combination of WSE and the protein cocktail or whey protein (1 g/kg) as a reference standard or only resistance exercise for 60 days. Grip strength and blood glucose levels were monitored weekly. At the end of the treatment, total protein, inflammatory markers (CRP, IL-6 and TNF-α), AMPK, malondialdehyde, glutathione, antioxidant enzymes and apoptotic regulator genes (Bax and Bcl-2) were assayed. The biceps brachii muscle of all animals was subjected to histomorphological study. Results All treatments successfully attenuated aging-elevated glucose, CRP, IL-6, TNF-α, AMPK, malondialdehyde, and Bax levels. A significant restoration of the aging-depleted total protein levels, glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and Bcl-2 was noted in the treatment groups. An increase in grip strength and greater biceps mass with all treatments indicated regaining of the frail aging muscle's strength and functionality. The WSE + protein treatment elicited the best results among all treatment groups to optimize muscle strength. Conclusion All the interventions curbed muscle loss and strengthened the skeletal muscle by reducing inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis, and increasing ATP availability to the muscle.
... Interestingly, compared to the placebo subjects, the group treated with Ashwagandha had a significantly greater increase in muscle strength on the bench-press and the leg-extension exercises. Furthermore, a significant increase in muscle size at the arms and chest was observed in test groups that also showed a significant reduction in exercise-induced muscle damage and body fat percentage [50]. These studies have suggested the potential of Ashwagandha as a sports supplement/medicine and hence warrant molecular studies in muscle differentiation and stress pathways. ...
... Treatment with Withania somnifera has shown a significant increase in lifespan, has rescued climbing impairment of ALS-Drosophila, and has exhibited neuroprotective effects on the Parkinson's disease model of Drosophila [45,46]. Several studies have reported that Ashwagandha may improve body composition and increase strength [47,50,75]. In another study, it was reported that the people who consumed Ashwagandha regularly acquired significantly higher muscle strength and size [50]. ...
... Several studies have reported that Ashwagandha may improve body composition and increase strength [47,50,75]. In another study, it was reported that the people who consumed Ashwagandha regularly acquired significantly higher muscle strength and size [50]. The studies suggested the potential of Ashwagandha for increasing muscle mass and strength. ...
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Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) is used in Indian traditional medicine, Ayurveda, and is believed to have a variety of health-promoting effects. The molecular mechanisms and pathways underlying these effects have not yet been sufficiently explored. In this study, we investigated the effect of Ashwagandha extracts and their major withanolides (withaferin A and withanone) on muscle cell differentiation using C2C12 myoblasts. We found that withaferin A and withanone and Ashwagandha extracts possessing different ratios of these active ingredients have different effects on the differentiation of C2C12. Withanone and withanone-rich extracts caused stronger differentiation of myoblasts to myotubes, deaggregation of heat- and metal-stress-induced aggregated proteins, and activation of hypoxia and autophagy pathways. Of note, the Parkinson’s disease model of Drosophila that possess a neuromuscular disorder showed improvement in their flight and climbing activity, suggesting the potential of Ashwagandha withanolides for the management of muscle repair and activity.
... A number of studies have tested the supplementation of Withania somnifera intending to increase sports performance [9][10][11] . Research evidences its effects, as well as pre-hormonal effects about testosterone levels, muscle hypertrophy, increased strength 12 . Maximum oxygen capacity and endurance 10 , induced better performance and consequent improvement in sports practice. ...
... Muscle recovery was assessed using this method in a study 12 , in which, the researchers submitted the participants to a blood test and used as a reference the plasmatic concentrations of CK, analyzing the values 24 and 48 hours after the physical exercise imposed in the research, to monitor the muscular damage of the skeletal muscle. The main finding of the research was due to the increase in the level of CK circulating in the bloodstream of supplemented individuals compared to levels before the intervention. ...
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Background: Withania somnifera has been used as an ergogenic resource in recent years. In this scenario, a systematic literature review is justified to compile the findings in the scientific literature and to evaluate the methodological quality of these investigations. Aims: Our objective with this review was to evaluate the effects of Withania somnifera supplementation on sports performance in physical exercise practitioners. Material and Methods: This systematic literature review with meta-analysis addresses the effects of Withania somnifera supplementation on sports performance. Results: Of the parameters evaluated in the articles, the maximum oxygen uptake was shown to improve significantly in the three studies in which it was evaluated. Maximum strength was not influenced by the supplementation. Conclusions: The results of the present systematic literature review showed evidence that the supplementation of Withania somnifera over 500 mg to 1,250 mg before or after exercise can improve physical performance. Keywords: Withania, Sports, Dietary Supplements, Athletic Performance.
... Wankhede et al., [43] ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is a phenomenon that typically occurs within 8-48 hours, and can peak within 24-72 hours after a bout of intense resistance training[1]. To combat this pain, analgesics such as Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used. Many negative risks and side effects are associated with NSAID use including but not limited to: gastrointestinal (GI) distress, ulcers, hypertension, acute renal failure, and other cardiovascular related incidences [25]. Ashwagandha is an Indian herbal supplement believed to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of Ashwagandha on DOMS following a bout of intense exercise. Fifteen (n=15) college aged individuals (18-23 years of age), volunteered to participate in this study and were randomly placed in either an experimental condition (n=8), (750mg dose of Ashwagandha), or a placebo condition (n=7). The subjects completed an intense lower-body exercise protocol consisting of 5 sets of 20 weighted lunges at 40% body weight, along with 3 sets to failure of 75% body weight on a leg press machine. Testing measurements consisted of a Visual Analog Scale (VAS), pain pressure threshold, thigh circumference, peak power output, ground contact time, peak velocity, and vertical jump. Measurements were taken at pre-test, post resistance training bout, day 3, and day 6. VAS measurements were recorded days 1-5. Statistical analysis showed a statistically significant difference in peak power (W) output on Day 3 in the experimental group, (M= 1659.873, SD 614.104) compared to the control group (M=1401.214, SD= 306.669), t(10.558)=1.051, p<0.016. No other measurements showed statistically significant difference among the groups. This demonstrates Ashwagandha has the ability to improve, or maintain peak power output measures on the third day following an intense bout of lower body resistance training exercises.
... No adverse health effects were stated using the W. somnifera root powder. e impact of W. somnifera root extract supplementation in muscle strength and recovery of 57 male subjects (18 to 50 years old) was also evaluated [121]. Subjects in the treatment group received 300 mg of W. somnifera root extract twice daily for 8 weeks, and no adverse health events were reported. ...
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... These results are relatable with the study of (Wankhede et al., 2015), which support the effect of Indian ginseng supplementation on muscle strength, muscle size and recovery. The significantly improved data of SFI on day 9 and 12 in treatment groups showed accelerated functional recovery which further supports the potential of ginseng extracts for speedy motor function revival. ...
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Background Deregulated inflammatory responses are known to play a pivotal role in cancer initiation and progression. Tumor microenvironment is associated with the presence of a diverse array of inflammatory reactions, which further help tumor growth, metastasis and drug resistance. Withania somnifera is known to curb proliferation of cancer cells and lower inflammatory responses. Purpose In order to minimize the inflammation, cancer treatments often include immunomodulatory drugs. However, given the side effects of both of the cytotoxic cancer drugs and synthetic immunomodulatory agents, there is a need to develop novel anti-inflammatory agents for improved cancer therapy. A number of reports indicate that bioactive phytochemicals derived from W. somnifera exhibit anti-inflammatory capabilities in cancer. A deeper look into the underlying molecular mechanisms implicated in W. somnifera mediated anti inflammation is lacking, which is essential to fully understand the potential of this magical plant in cancer. Therefore, in the present review we are summarizing various reports, which describe mechanistic understanding of W. somnifera in cancer related inflammation. Study design and methodology In order to gather information on the molecular pathways affected by Withania somnifera in cancer related inflammation, ‘PubMed’ and ‘Science Direct’ databases were searched using keywords Withania, cancer inflammation, and Withaferin A. Selected literature was analyzed to cover the role of inflammation in cancer, usage and side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs, W. somnifera as an immunomodulatory agent in cancer, molecular pathways modulated by W. somnifera in various preclinical models, and clinical trials using W. somnifera as an anti-inflammatory agent. Results Upon literature survey we found that both W. somnifera extracts and Withaferin-A, exhibit anti inflammatory activities in various preclinical cancer models. W. somnifera modulates a number of signaling pathways such as NF-kB, JAK-STAT and AP1 to reduce cancer related inflammation. Anti inflammatory properties of W. somnifera might be effective in the treatment of drug resistance in cancers. Based on its promising effects against cancer associated inflammation in preclinical studies, W. somnifera derived products are being tested in clinical trials. Conclusion Several preclinical studies demonstrated anti-inflammatory potential of W. somnifera in a variety of cancers. While a few clinical trials are investigating the role of W. somnifera in various diseases, focused studies on its role in cancer related inflammation are lacking. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory effects offer targeting of senescence associated secretory phenotype (SASP), which is speculated to play a critical role in chemoresistance. Apart from targeting cancer cell proliferation, anti-inflammatory effects of Withania provide double advantage in cancer management. Therefore, clinical trials to target cancer related inflammation using W. somnifera as a drug, should be performed to validate its advantages in cancer therapy.
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In conventional Ayurveda and Unani frameworks of medication, the foundations of Indian Ginseng or Ashwagandha have a long history of utilization as an adaptogen. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) is an individual from the Solanaceae group of plants. Keeping up with general prosperity and improvement of essentialness has been the essential significance of this "Rasayana". In spite of the fact that the idea to be valuable as a restorative spice in Ayurveda and sold in numerous nations as a dietary enhancement, there is lacking logical proof that it is protected or successful for treating any infection.
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Withania somnifera, also known as Indian ginseng, is an important traditional medicine in the Ayurvedic medical system of India, which has a significant effect of adaptation. Modern studies have shown that the main chemical components of W. somnifera are withanolides, which have antioxidant, anti-tumor, enhancing immunity, cardiovascular protection, neuroprotection, anti-stress, anti-stress reaction and hypoglycemic activities. Studies on human, animal, mutagenesis, genotoxicity, reproductive toxicity and drug interaction showed that W. somnifera had good safety. Clinical trials have proved that W. somnifera is effective in treating a variety of human diseases. As a famous traditional medicine and modern dietary supplement, it has a high reputation and market in the international health product market, but in China, there is little scientific research, market development, product introduction and application. In this paper, the traditional application, chemical composition, pharmacological activity, safety evaluation and clinical study of the plant were introduced, so as to increase the understanding of the dual use of the plant, and to provide reference for the future introduction of the product, the service to the health of the Chinese people and the promotion of the "double cycle" of the trade of health products between China and the international community.
Chapter
The herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a member of the nightshade family. It has been used as a nervine tonic in Ayurveda since around 3000 BC. It is an adaptogen that helps maintain homeostasis of the body during stress. It also has antiinflammatory, antiarthritic, and antineuralgic effects. Ashwagandha can be beneficial for numerous diseases and conditions, including hyperlipidemia, diabetes, female sexual dysfunction, male infertility, osteoarthritis, cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and much more. This chapter examines some of the scientific research conducted on ashwagandha, both alone and in combination formulas, for treating numerous health conditions. It summarizes results from several human studies of the herb’s use in treating cardiometabolic, musculoskeletal, neurological, psychiatric, and endocrine disorders. Finally, the chapter presents a list of ashwagandha’s Active Constituents, different Commonly Used Preparations and Dosage, and a Section on “Safety and Precaution” that examines side effects, toxicity, and disease and drug interactions.
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Since publication of its First Edition in 1981, Exercise Physiology has helped more than 350,000 students build a solid foundation of the scientific principles underlying modern exercise physiology. This Seventh Edition has been thoroughly updated with all the most recent findings, guiding you to the latest understanding of nutrition, energy transfer, and exercise training and their relationship to human performance. This Seventh Edition maintains its popular seven-section structure. It begins with an exploration of the origins of exercise physiology and concludes with an examination of the most recent efforts to apply principles of molecular biology. The book provides excellent coverage of exercise physiology, uniting the topics of energy expenditure and capacity, molecular biology, physical conditioning, sports nutrition, body composition, weight control, and more. Every chapter has been fully revised and updated to reflect the latest information in the field. The updated full-color art program adds visual appeal and improves understanding of key topics. A companion website includes over 30 animations of key exercise physiology concepts; the full text online; a quiz bank; references; appendices; information about microscope technologies; a timeline of notable events in genetics; a list of Nobel Prizes in research related to cell and molecular biology; the scientific contributions of thirteen outstanding female scientists; an image bank; a Brownstone test generator; PowerPoint® lecture outlines; and image-only PowerPoint® slides.
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Resistance exercise intensity is commonly prescribed as a percent of 1 repetition maximum (1RM). However, the relationship between percent 1RM and the number of repetitions allowed remains poorly studied, especially using free weight exercises. The purpose of this study was to determine the maximal number of repetitions that trained (T) and untrained (UT) men can perform during free weight exercises at various percentages of 1RM. Eight T and 8 UT men were tested for 1RM strength. Then, subjects performed 1 set to failure at 60, 80, and 90% of 1RM in the back squat, bench press, and arm curl in a randomized, balanced design. There was a significant (p < 0.05) intensity x exercise interaction. More repetitions were performed during the back squat than the bench press or arm curl at 60% 1RM for T and UT. At 80 and 90% 1RM, there were significant differences between the back squat and other exercises; however, differences were much less pronounced. No differences in number of repetitions performed at a given exercise intensity were noted between T and UT (except during bench press at 90% 1RM). In conclusion, the number of repetitions performed at a given percent of 1RM is influenced by the amount of muscle mass used during the exercise, as more repetitions can be performed during the back squat than either the bench press or arm curl. Training status of the individual has a minimal impact on the number of repetitions performed at relative exercise intensity.
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Help your students develop an understanding of exercise physiology concepts and their application athletic performance and well-being with Exercise Physiology, 2e. Using an engaging evidence-based approach that combines research and theory with practical discussions of nutrition and training, the authors help students understand how the human body works and responds to exercise. The Second Edition includes new video clips, a fresh new design, and enhanced online teaching and learning resources to save you time and help your students succeed. Instructor Resources: • A pre-created PowerPoint Presentation speeds lecture preparation. • A Test bank of chapter-specific questions saves you time in building quizzes and exams • A complete image bank enhances lecture and exam preparation. • LMS cartridges allow you to connect to your preferred course management system with ease. • Answers to Review Questions speed student assessment. Student Resources: • Animations demonstrate complex concepts in a dynamic, memorable way. • Video Clips from experts demonstrate fascinating, real-life applications in a variety of exercise science careers. • Quiz bank provides online practice to help ensure content mastery.
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Withania somnifera is known as Ashwagandha, also commonly known in different parts of the world as Indian ginseng, Winter cherry, Ajagandhaand and Kanaje Hindi, a plant belonging to the Solanaceae family. Ashwagandha is a woody shrub or herb whose various parts (berries, leaves and roots) are used as folk remedies. Some traditional uses of ashwagandha are also invoked now a day, such as enhancing sexual function in men, increasing fertility in men or women, aiding sleep and enhancing sports performance. Withania somnifera is used as adaptogen, antiarthritic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, nervine tonic, nerve soothing, sedative, hypotensive, antioxidant, immunomodulator, free radical scavenger, anti-stress and anti-cancer agent. Ashwagandha is called "Rasayana", which means powerful rejuvenator in Ayurvedic jargon as it increases hemoglobin (red blood count) and hair melanin. In this study we have critically reviewed recent advancements of Withania somnifera in an attempt to authenticate its use as a multi-purpose medicinal agent.
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The purpose of this investigation was to determine if 1-RM strength could be predicted from a 4-6 RM submaximal strength test with a greater accuracy than the commonly used 7-10 submaximal strength test. Thirty-four healthy males between the ages of 19 and 32 participated in this study. Subjects completed 1-RM, 4-6 RM, and 7-10 RM strength assessments in random order with a minimum of 48 hours between each strength assessment. During each session, subjects performed strength assessments for the bench press, incline press, triceps extension, biceps curl, and leg extension. Multiple regression analysis was used to produce equations for predicting 1-RM strength from 4 to 6 or 7 to 10 repetition maximum tests. The 4-6 RM prediction equations improved the predictive accuracy of 1-RM strength compared to the 7-10 RM prediction equations based on the adjusted R2 and standard error of estimate. Since no injuries or symptoms of delayed onset of muscle soreness were reported during either the 7-10 RM or the 4-6 RM submaximal strength assessments, the results of this study indicate that when attempting to predict 1-RM strength in healthy, young, males, a 4-6 RM submaximal strength assessment appears to be the more accurate test.
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Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) is a well-known phenomenon that happens after performing lengthening contractions or unaccustomed exercise. Many studies have tried to reduce this muscle damage yet muscle damage is also known to produce a protective effect against future damaging exercise bouts. Objectives: The purpose of this paper was to briefly discuss how EIMD can result in negative consequences and examine evidence for or against potential benefits of EIMD. Design and Methods: Non-systematic review Results: EIMD is detrimental in that it produces prolonged decreases in force and decreased exercise performance. If muscle damage is severe it may result in exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis and when it occurs in combination with dehydration or heat stress, it may potentially lead to life threatening issues such as acute kidney failure. Despite its detrimental effects, some have suggested possible benefits from EIMD. The potential benefits of EIMD include the repeated bout effect and muscle hypertrophy but these benefits can be produced without inducing EIMD. Conclusion: After examining the detrimental and beneficial effects of EIMD, it seems that the detrimental effects outweigh any possible benefits of EIMD and many of the proposed benefits (repeated bout effect and hypertrophy) can be produced without EIMD.