Posted by: Chris Maloney | February 9, 2012

Protandim: What Is It, Does It Work, and Should You Buy Stock?

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

In looking at alternative medicine stocks I came across Protandim.  I initially thought it was a composite name, like PennandTeller.  But it turns out to be a supplement that prevents oxidation.

In glancing through what has been written about it, I saw a sciencebasedmedicine trash on it.  For anyone who knows anything, a trash from sciencebasedmedicine doesn’t mean anything.  That site needs to be renamed “grumpy MDs (many of whom receive paychecks for research from big pharma)  who hate alternative medicine.  Really.  See if they ever say anything positive about anything.

So Protandim.  Interesting product.  If you look at the website facts page, they’ve covered the information reasonably well.  My initial impression is that this is a group that have done their homework, and generated a good, mixed product to oppose oxidation.  My expected price range would be in the $50-60 dollar range for a month’s supply.  Going on Amazon, I see a four month supply for $162, which is about what I’d expect.  It’s around a 400% markup for the raw materials, but unfortunately about on par with the incredibly expensive supplement industry.

Now we look at the major promoter, Dr. McCord.  Impressive background according to wikipedia, but does the research/trains the multilevel marketers/and has shares in the company that sells Protandim.

I don’t like multilevel marketing.  I just don’t.  I understand why it is done, I understand why it is effective, and it turns friendships sour when you won’t buy the particular thing your friends are promoting.  If I ever have a week when I’m not being hard sold a miracle product by someone I know, I might change my mind.

So, is Protandim a miracle supplement?  Yes.  Why?  Because the ingredients are miracle supplements.  Turmeric is powerful enough to slow chemo.  Ashwaghanda reverses the cancer in rats and blocks liver toxicity.  It can regenerate nerve endings (abstract below).

So, did Dr. McCord do anything beyond very smartly repackage these and specify one process that they help with?  No, not really.  Must you use his product?  No.  But we should all look into getting more Ashwaghanda and turmeric into our diet.  If you think Protandim is the best way to do that, great.  If not, you can usually purchase either Ashwaghanda or turmeric for about $20 a pound (that’s a LOT of little 500mg pills).  Take up some indian style cooking or just sprinkle it on your food.

Now, before any Protandim groupies decide to try and explain why I’m wrong and Protandim is THE miracle supplement, I’ve been doing the research on Ashwaghanda for years.  The data on that supplement makes the more recent Protandim work pale by comparison.  So don’t nobody go ripping off an Ayurvedic standard and pretending you just discovered it.  We don’t do the colonial thing anymore.  And no, I don’t want to sell Protandim.  When you sell something you lose your objectivity.

Ok, so I know that some of you have heard enough.  For those that want more, let’s start with a brief rundown of the positive effects of Ashwaghanda.  None of these studies have anything to do with McCord.  They have nothing to do with Protandim.  So no one needs to purchase that product to get these benefits.  In terms of side effects, I note that Ashwaghanda can have negative effects on your maleness, including drooping syndrome (erectile dysfunction).  That’s not a side effect the Protandim people mention.

Now, for those stock junkies out there.  Should you buy stock?  Somebody have a look at the lifecycle of the multilevel marketing structure for me.   I think it’s something like three to five years.  Some programs last longer, some implode.  I’d expect cheap knockoffs of Protandim to be on the shelves already, and we’re going to see people likely to benefit somewhat from those as well.  So it just depends if Protandim is able to continue to produce more supplements or get a lock on a market.  Generally if it can stick around and becomes a common name we’ll see it making returns, but not usually as exponential as initial growth.  Answer:  I don’t know, I’m not a stock guy.  But now you’ve got a much better picture of what this thing is and what it’s based on.

Br J Pharmacol. 2005 Apr;144(7):961-71. Links

Neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction induced by withanolide A.Kuboyama T, Tohda C, Komatsu K.

ResearchCenterfor Ethnomedicines,InstituteofNaturalMedicine,ToyamaMedical andPharmaceuticalUniversity, 2630 Sugitani,Toyama930-0194,Japan.


We investigated whether withanolide A (WL-A), isolated from the Indian herbal drug Ashwagandha (root of Withania somnifera), could regenerate neurites and reconstruct synapses in severely damaged neurons. We also investigated the effect of WL-A on memory-deficient mice showing neuronal atrophy and synaptic loss in the brain. Axons, dendrites, presynapses, and postsynapses were visualized by immunostaining for phosphorylated neurofilament-H (NF-H), microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2), synaptophysin, and postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95), respectively. Treatment with A beta(25-35) (10 microM) induced axonal and dendritic atrophy, and pre- and postsynaptic loss in cultured rat cortical neurons. Subsequent treatment with WL-A (1 microM) induced significant regeneration of both axons and dendrites, in addition to the reconstruction of pre- and postsynapses in the neurons. WL-A (10 micromol kg(-1) day(-1), for 13 days, p.o.) recovered A beta(25-35)-induced memory deficit in mice. At that time, the decline of axons, dendrites, and synapses in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus was almost recovered. WL-A is therefore an important candidate for the therapeutic treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, as it is able to reconstruct neuronal networks.


PMID: 15711595

Altern Med Rev. 2000 Aug;5(4):334-46.        Related Articles, Links


Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha): a review.

Mishra LC, Singh BB, Dagenais S.

Los Angeles College of Chiropractic (LACC), 16200 E Amber Valley Dr., Whittier, CA 90609-1166.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this paper is to review the literature regarding Withania somnifera (ashwagandha, WS) a commonly used herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Specifically, the literature was reviewed for articles pertaining to chemical properties, therapeutic benefits, and toxicity. DESIGN: This review is in a narrative format and consists of all publications relevant to ashwagandha that were identified by the authors through a systematic search of major computerized medical databases; no statistical pooling of results or evaluation of the quality of the studies was performed due to the widely different methods employed by each study. RESULTS: Studies indicate ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antistress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, hemopoietic, and rejuvenating properties. It also appears to exert a positive influence on the endocrine, cardiopulmonary, and central nervous systems. The mechanisms of action for these properties are not fully understood. Toxicity studies reveal that ashwagandha appears to be a safe compound. CONCLUSION: Preliminary studies have found various constituents of ashwagandha exhibit a variety of therapeutic effects with little or no associated toxicity. These results are very encouraging and indicate this herb should be studied more extensively to confirm these results and reveal other potential therapeutic effects. Clinical trials using ashwagandha for a variety of conditions should also be conducted.

Publication Types:


Review, Tutorial

PMID: 10956379 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Med Food. 2002 Winter;5(4):211-20.          Related Articles, Links


Effect of natural and synthetic antioxidants in a mouse model of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Singh A, Naidu PS, Gupta S, Kulkarni SK.

Pharmacology Division, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160014, India.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness characterized by persistent and relapsing fatigue, often accompanied by numerous symptoms involving various body systems. The etiology of CFS remains unclear; however, a number of studies have shown that oxidative stress may be involved in its pathogenesis. In the present study, a mouse model of CFS was used in which mice were forced to swim for one 6-minute session on each day for 15 days and the immobility period was recorded. There was a significant increase in immobility period in saline-treated mice on successive days. Intraperitoneal treatment with the potent antioxidants carvedilol (5 mg/kg) and melatonin (5 mg/kg) produced a significant reduction in immobility period. Similar results were observed with herbal preparations administered orally: Withania somnifera (100 mg/kg), quercetin (50 mg/kg), and St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum L., 10 mg/kg). Biochemical analysis revealed that chronic swimming significantly induced lipid peroxidation and decreased glutathione (GSH) levels in the brains of mice. The rats also showed decreased levels of antioxidant defense enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase. Co-administration of antioxidants carvedilol, melatonin, W. somnifera, quercetin or St. John’s wort significantly reduced lipid peroxidation and restored the GSH levels decreased by chronic swimming in mice. Further, the treatment increased levels of SOD in the forebrain and of catalase. The findings strongly suggest that oxidative stress plays a significant role in the pathophysiology of CFS and that antioxidants could be useful in the treatment of CFS.

PMID: 12639396 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Asian J Androl. 2002 Dec;4(4):295-8.             Related Articles, Links


Effect of Withania somnifera root extract on the sexual behaviour of male rats.

Ilayperuma I, Ratnasooriya WD, Weerasooriya TR.

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka.

AIM: To determine the effect of a methanolic extract of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal roots on sexual competence of male rats. METHODS: Male rats were orally administered 3000 of root extract for 7 days. Their sexual behaviour was evaluated 7 days prior to treatment, day 3 and 7 of treatment, and day 7, 14 and 30 post-treatment by pairing each male with a receptive female. RESULTS: The root extract induced a marked impairment in libido, sexual performance, sexual vigour, and penile erectile dysfunction. These effects were partly reversible on cessation of treatment. These antimasculine effects are not due to changes in testosterone levels or toxicity but may be attributed to hyperprolactinemic, GABAergic, serotonergic or sedative activities of the extract. CONCLUSION: Use of W. somnifera roots may be detrimental to male sexual competence.

PMID: 12508132 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Neuroreport. 2002 Oct 7;13(14):1715-20.     Related Articles, Links


Axon- or dendrite-predominant outgrowth induced by constituents from Ashwagandha.

Kuboyama T, Tohda C, Zhao J, Nakamura N, Hattori M, Komatsu K.

Research Center for Ethnomedicines, Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Toyama, Japan.

We previously reported that the methanol extract of Ashwagandha (roots of Dunal) induced dendrite extension in a human neuroblastoma cell line. In this study, we found that six of the 18 compounds isolated from the methanol extract enhanced neurite outgrowth in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Double immunostaining was performed in rat cortical neurons using antibodies to phosphorylated NF-H as an axonal marker, and to MAP2 as a dendritic marker. In withanolide A-treated cells, the length of NF-H-positive processes was significantly increased compared with vehicle-treated cells, whereas, the length of MAP2-positive processes was increased by withanosides IV and VI. These results suggest that axons are predominantly extended by withanolide A, and dendrites by withanosides IV and VI. Copyright 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

PMID: 12395110 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Nutr Cancer. 2002;42(1):91-7.         Related Articles, Links


Withania somnifera root extract prevents DMBA-induced squamous cell carcinoma of skin in Swiss albino mice.

Prakash J, Gupta SK, Dinda AK.

Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India.

The chemopreventive effect of Withania somnifera hydroalcoholic root extract (WSRE) on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced skin cancer was investigated in Swiss albino mice. The skin lesions were induced by the twice-weekly topical application of DMBA (100 nmol/ 100 microliters acetone) for 8 wk on the shaved back of mice. WSRE was administered at the maximal tolerated dose of 400 mg/kg p.o. three times per week on alternate days 1 wk before DMBA and continued for 24 wk thereafter. The results of the study revealed a significant decrease in incidence and average number of skin lesions in mice compared with DMBA alone at the end of Week 24. Biochemical parameters were assessed in the lesions of WSRE-treated and untreated control mice. A significant impairment was noticed in the levels of reduced glutathione, malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione S-transferase in skin lesions of DMBA-treated control mice compared with vehicle-treated mice. These parameters were returned to near normal by administration of WSRE to DMBA-treated mice. The above findings were supported by histopathological studies. From the present study, it can be inferred that WRSE possesses potential chemopreventive activity in this experimental model of cancer. The chemopreventive activity may be linked to the antioxidant/free radical-scavenging constituents of the extract. The anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of WSRE are also likely to contribute to its chemopreventive action.

PMID: 12235655 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Phytother Res. 2001 Sep;15(6):524-8.            Related Articles, Links


Nootropic-like effect of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera L.) in mice.

Dhuley JN.

Laboratory Pharmacology and Toxicology, Research Centre, Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd, Pimpri, Pune 411 018, India.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera L.) root extract (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg; orally) improved retention of a passive avoidance task in a step-down paradigm in mice. Ashwagandha (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg; orally) also reversed the scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg)-induced disruption of acquisition and retention and attenuated the amnesia produced by acute treatment with electroconvulsive shock (ECS), immediately after training. Chronic treatment with ECS, for 6 successive days at 24 h intervals, disrupted memory consolidation on day 7. Daily administration of ashwagandha for 6 days significantly improved memory consolidation in mice receiving chronic ECS treatment. Ashwagandha, administered on day 7, also attenuated the disruption of memory consolidation produced by chronic treatment with ECS. On the elevated plus-maze, ashwagandha reversed the scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg)-induced delay in transfer latency on day 1. On the basis of these findings, it is suggested that ashwagandha exhibits a nootropic-like effect in naive and amnesic mice. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID: 11536383 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Phytomedicine. 2000 Dec;7(6):463-9.            Related Articles, Links


Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study.

Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Sairam K, Ghosal S.

Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

The roots of Withania somnifera (WS) are used extensively in Ayurveda, the classical Indian system of medicine, and WS is categorized as a rasayana, which are used to promote physical and mental health, to provide defence against disease and adverse environmental factors and to arrest the aging process. WS has been used to stabilize mood in patients with behavioural disturbances. The present study investigated the anxiolytic and antidepressant actions of the bioactive glycowithanolides (WSG), isolated from WS roots, in rats. WSG (20 and 50 mg/kg) was administered orally once daily for 5 days and the results were compared by those elicited by the benzodiazepine lorazepam (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) for anxiolytic studies, and by the tricyclic anti-depressant, imipramine (10 mg/kg, i.p.), for the antidepressant investigations. Both these standard drugs were administered once, 30 min prior to the tests. WSG induced an anxiolytic effect, comparable to that produced by lorazepam, in the elevated plus-maze, social interaction and feeding latency in an unfamiliar environment, tests. Further, both WSG and lorazepam, reduced rat brain levels of tribulin, an endocoid marker of clinical anxiety, when the levels were increased following administration of the anxiogenic agent, pentylenetetrazole. WSG also exhibited an antidepressant effect, comparable with that induced by imipramine, in the forced swim-induced ‘behavioural despair’ and ‘learned helplessness’ tests. The investigations support the use of WS as a mood stabilizer in clinical conditions of anxiety and depression in Ayurveda.

PMID: 11194174 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Indian J Exp Biol. 2000 Jun;38(6):607-9.      Related Articles, Links


Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root.

Andallu B, Radhika B.

Department of Home Science, Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur 515001, India.

Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effects of roots of W. somnifera (ashvagandha) were assessed on human subjects. Six mild NIDDM subjects and six mild hypercholesterolemic subjects were treated with the powder of roots of W. somnifera for 30 days. Suitable parameters were studied in the blood and urine samples of the subjects along with dietary pattern before and at the end of treatment period. Decrease in blood glucose was comparable to that of an oral hypoglycemic drug. Significant increase in urine sodium, urine volume, significant decrease in serum cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL (low density lipoproteins) and VLDL (very low density lipoproteins) cholesterol were observed indicating that root of W. somnifera is a potential source of hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic agents. Clinical observations revealed no adverse effects.

Publication Types:

Clinical Trial

Controlled Clinical Trial

PMID: 11116534 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Phytother Res. 2000 Nov;14(7):568-70.        Related Articles, Links


Effect of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides on iron-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.

Bhattacharya A, Ramanathan M, Ghosal S, Bhattacharya SK.

Drug Research and Development Centre, Calcutta, India.

Glycowithanolides, consisting of equimolar concentrations of sitoindosides VII-X and withaferin A, isolated from the roots of Withania somnifera Dunal, have been reported to have an antioxidant effect in the rat brain frontal cortex and striatum. In the present study, the effect of 10 days of oral administration of these active principles, in graded doses (10, 20 and 50 mg/kg), was noted on iron overload (FeSo(4), 30 mg/kg, i.p.) induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Apart from hepatic lipid peroxidation (LPO), the serum enzymes, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and lactate dehydrogenase, were assessed as indices of hepatotoxicity. Silymarin (20 mg/kg, p.o.) was used for comparison. Iron overload induced marked increase in hepatic LPO and serum levels of the enzymes, which was attenuated by WSG in a dose-related manner, and by silymarin. The results indicate that the reported use of WS in Ayurveda for hepatoprotection against heavy metals and other environmental toxins, may be due the antioxidant action of WSG. Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID: 11054855 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Neurol Sci. 2000 Jun 15;176(2):124-7.        Related Articles, Links


Comment in:

J Neurol Sci. 2001 Feb 15;184(1):89-92.

Association of L-DOPA with recovery following Ayurveda medication in Parkinson’s disease.

Nagashayana N, Sankarankutty P, Nampoothiri MR, Mohan PK, Mohanakumar KP.

Department of Kayachikitsa, Govt. Ayurveda College, – 695 001, Thiruvananthapuram, India.

Ayurveda, the Indian system of traditional medicine, uses a concoction of several spices, herbs and minerals for the treatment of diseases. In a clinical prospective study we have evaluated the efficacy of Ayurveda treatment (a concoction in cow’s milk of powdered Mucuna pruriens and Hyoscyamus reticulatus seeds and Withania somnifera and Sida cordifolia roots) in 18 clinically diagnosed (with a mean Hoen and Yahr value of 2.22) parkinsonian patients. As per Ayurveda principles, 13 patients underwent both cleansing (for 28 days) and palliative therapy (56 days), 5 patients underwent palliative therapy alone (84 days). Only the former group showed significant improvement in activities of daily living (ADL) and on motor examination as per UPDRS rating. Symptomatically, they exhibited better response in tremor, bradykinesia, stiffness and cramps as compared to the latter group. Excessive salivation worsened in both the groups. Analyses of powdered samples in milk, as administered in patients, revealed about 200 mg of L-DOPA per dose. The study establishes the necessity of cleansing therapy in Ayurveda medication prior to palliative therapy. It also reveals contribution of L-DOPA in the recovery as observed in Parkinson’ disease following Ayurveda medication.

PMID: 10930594 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Nov 1;67(2):233-9.               Related Articles, Links


Withania somnifera and Bauhinia purpurea in the regulation of circulating thyroid hormone concentrations in female mice.

Panda S, Kar A.

School of Life Sciences, Devi Ahilya University, Vigyan Bhavan, Indore, India.

The effects of daily administration of Withania somnifera root extract (1.4 g/kg body wt.) and Bauhinia purpurea bark extract (2.5 mg/kg body wt.) for 20 days on thyroid function in female mice were investigated. While serum triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) concentrations were increased significantly by Bauhinia, Withania could enhance only serum T4 concentration. Both the plant extracts showed an increase in hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase (G-6-Pase) activity and antiperoxidative effects as indicated either by a decrease in hepatic lipid peroxidation (LPO) and/or by an increase in the activity of antioxidant enzyme(s). It appears that these plant extracts are capable of stimulating thyroid function in female mice.

PMID: 10619390 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Oct;67(1):27-35.    Related Articles, Links


Studies on immunomodulatory activity of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) extracts in experimental immune inflammation.

Agarwal R, Diwanay S, Patki P, Patwardhan B.

Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Poona College of Pharmacy, Erandwane, Pune, India.

The immunomodulatory activities of an Indian Ayurvedic medicinal preparation, i.e. extracts from Ashwagandha, Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (Solanaceae), namely WST and WS2, were studied in mice for immune inflammation: active paw anaphylaxis and delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH). Immunomodulatory effect was assessed in If IgE-mediated anaphylaxis as reduction of ovalbumin-induced paw edema, in animals treated with WS2 at doses of 150 and 300 mg/kg, and the results were compared with the standard drug disodium chromoglycate. In the DTH model, the modulatory effect was assessed as potentiation or suppression of the reaction, revealing an increase or decrease in mean foot pad thickness, respectively. Potentiation of the DTH reaction was observed in animals treated with cyclophosphamide at a dose of 20 mg/kg, WST at a dose of 1000 mg/kg and WS2 at a dose of 300 mg/kg. On the other hand, cyclophosphamide-induced potentiation of DTH reaction was suppressed in animals treated with WST and WS2. A significant increase in white blood cell counts and platelet counts was observed in animals treated with WST. A protective effect in cyclophosphamide-induced myelosuppression was observed in animals treated with WST and WS2, revealing a significant increase in white blood cell counts and platelet counts. Cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression was counteracted by treatment with WS2, revealing significant increase in hemagglutinating antibody responses and hemolytic antibody responses towards sheep red blood cells.

PMID: 10616957 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1998 Apr;42(2):299-302.               Related Articles, Links


Subacute toxicity study of the combination of ginseng (Panax ginseng) and ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in rats: a safety assessment.

Aphale AA, Chhibba AD, Kumbhakarna NR, Mateenuddin M, Dahat SH.

Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College, Aurangabad.

Ginseng (Panax ginseng) and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) are widely used as geriatric tonics. Both individually have not shown any toxicity on long term administration. Study was planned to assess the safety of the combination by doing subacute toxicity study in rats with 90 days oral administration using three doses. Food consumption, body weight, haematological, biochemical and histopathological parameters were studied. There was significant increase in body weight, food consumption and liver weight, and improved hematopoiesis was observed. Brain, heart, lung, liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach, testis and ovaries were normal on gross examination and histopathologically. Subacute toxicity studies in rats did not reveal any toxicity.

PMID: 10225062 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 1998 Feb;20(1):191-8.    Related Articles, Links


Therapeutic efficacy of Ashwagandha against experimental aspergillosis in mice.

Dhuley JN.

Pharmacology and Toxicology Division, Hindustan Antibiotics Limited, Pimpri, Pune, India.

Therapeutic efficacy of an Indian Ayurvedic medicinal preparation, Ashwagandha [Withania somnifera L. Dunal (Solanceae; root)] was evaluated against experimental aspergillosis in Balb/c mice. Ashwagandha given orally once daily for 7 consecutive days in a dose of 100 mg/kg after intravenous infection of Aspergillus fumigatus prolonged the survival period of infected mice. This protective activity was probably related to the observed increases in phagocytosis and intracellular killing of peritoneal macrophages induced by Ashwaganda treatment. The number of peripheral leukocytes was not modified, excluding a possibility of mobilization of cells from other compartments. On the basis of these findings, the probable mechanism underlying the protective action of Ashwagandha against systemic Aspergillus infection was discussed in relation with its possible activity to activate the macrophage function.

PMID: 9543708 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Indian J Exp Biol. 1997 Mar;35(3):297-9.     Related Articles, Links


Effect of Trasina, an Ayurvedic herbal formulation, on pancreatic islet superoxide dismutase activity in hyperglycaemic rats.

Bhattacharya SK, Satyan KS, Chakrabarti A.

Department of Pharmacology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

Diabetes mellitus was induced in male CF strain rats by streptozotocin (STZ) and hyperglycaemia and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of pancreatic islet cells was assessed on days 7, 14, 21 and 28. STZ induced significant hyperglycaemia and a concomitant decrease in islet cell SOD activity. Transina (TR), an Ayurvedic herbal formulation comprising of Withania somnifera, Tinospora cordifolia, Eclipta alba, Ocimum sanctum, Picrorrhiza kurroa and shilajit, had little per se effect on blood sugar concentrations and islet SOD activity in euglycaemic rats, in the doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg, p.o. administered once daily for 28 days. However, these doses of TR induced a dose- related decrease in STZ hyperglycaemia and attenuation of STZ induced decrease in islet SOD activity. The results indicate that the earlier reported anti-hyperglycaemic effect of TR may be due to pancreatic islet free radical scavenging activity, the hyperglycaemic activity of STZ being the consequence of decrease in islet SOD activity leading to the accumulation of degenerative oxidative free radicals in islet beta-cells.

PMID: 9332177 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Indian J Exp Biol. 1996 Sep;34(9):854-6.      Related Articles, Links


Use of Withania somnifera Dunal as an adjuvant during radiation therapy.

Kuttan G.

Amala Cancer Research Centre, Amala Nagar, Thrissur, India.

Withania somnifera popularly known as Aswagandha is used in several indigenous drug preparations. Administration of a 75% methanolic extract of the plant was found to significantly increase the total WBC count in normal Balb/c mice and reduce the leucopenia induced by sublethal dose of gamma radiation. Treatment with W. somnifera was found to increase the bone marrow cellularity significantly, the percentage increase being 146.3. Treatment with W. somnifera had normalised the ratio of normochromatic erythrocytes and polychromatic erythrocytes in mice after the radiation exposure. Major activity of W. somnifera seemed to be in the stimulation of stem cell proliferation.

PMID: 9014519 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Ethnopharmacol. 1991 May-Jun;33(1-2):91-5.         Related Articles, Links


Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study.

Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, Gandage SG, Patwardhan B.

Bryamjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College, University of Poona, Pune, India.

The clinical efficacy of a herbomineral formulation containing roots of Withania somnifera, the stem of Boswellia serrata, rhizomes of Curcuma longa and a zinc complex (Articulin-F), was evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, cross-over study in patients with osteoarthritis. After a one-month single blind run-in period, 42 patients with osteoarthritis were randomly allocated to receive either a drug treatment or a matching placebo for a period of three months. After a 15-day wash-out period the patients were transferred to the other treatment for a further period of three months. Clinical efficacy was evaluated every fortnight on the basis of severity of pain, morning stiffness, Ritchie articular index, joint score, disability score and grip strength. Other parameters like erythrocyte sedimentation rate and radiological examination were carried out on a monthly basis. Treatment with the herbomineral formulation produced a significant drop in severity of pain (P less than 0.001) and disability score (P less than 0.05). Radiological assessment, however, did not show any significant changes in both the groups. Side effects observed with this formulation did not necessitate withdrawal of treatment.

Publication Types:

Clinical Trial

Randomized Controlled Trial

PMID: 1943180 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]






    Protandim is a mixture of Herbs, which alters or buffers the current levels and electrical impulses in the Brain and nervous system, it is an “Herbal Electric Shock Treatment”. Altering the Brain waves, be it mechanical or Herbal, both will produce the same results and have long term effects, which you may never recover from. The end result is similar to a lobotomy.

  2. Well, let no one accuse you of downplaying the power of herbs! Given the number of nasties we currently put into our bodies that fry our nervous systems (Schapps, anyone?) I’m going to go with the “probably not going to cause the zombie apocalypse” on this one. If I’m right, it will be a moderately effective supplement, and if I’m wrong then, well, we’ll all know.

  3. Zombieish is her altered emotional state, Apocalypse, would be if LifeVentage doubled its dose. Booboo at the Salt Lake factory. Milk Thistle is no more an herb than a poisons mushroom. I don’t down play poisons mushrooms. These are nerve toxins which block brain wave transmissions.

  4. Wow, better check and make sure we’re both on the same plane. Silymarin is actually a thistle, milk thistle, and is quite harmless. I hope your booboo gets better.

  5. protandim is very good, I have used and are happy with it!
    protandim la gi?

  6. […] Protandim: what is it, does it work, and should you buy […]

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