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Rhodiola: An adaptogen for physical and emotional stress management
Our world is changing. Physical and emotional stress have become a part of life for everyone – and the impacts of stress on our health are stark.
From the everyday stress of work, school, and family life to the increasingly heavy toll on mental and physical health from a global pandemic health crisis, it is clear that people are becoming more aware of their mental and physical health and the risks of high-stress on our wellbeing.
High levels of physical and emotional stress have been linked to rising rates of chronic inflammatory conditions and non-communicable diseases like diabetes, obesity, asthma and allergy, gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune conditions, and even premature death.
An American Psychological Association report titled ‘Stress in America 2020’ warns that the country is facing a national mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come – adding that the impact will be amplified on young ‘Gen Z’ adults who are at a pivotal moment in their lives and face an uncertain future1.
The picture is similar across every country, with rising incidence of stress, anxiety, and other mental health conditions in all age groups.
Adaptogens: A natural solution
Taking a natural and holistic approach to preventing and easing mental and physical stress is now top of mind for many. Whether you are an ‘on the go parent’, a stressed-out student, a weekend warrior, or a healthy ager aiming at staying fit and active, reducing stress by getting fitter and back into routines of physical activity is vital to adapting to the current health crisis.
The growth of yoga, mindfulness apps, and increasing interest in adaptogenic ‘mood foods’ are great examples of how consumers are prioritising self-care and looking for natural and holistic solutions for stress.
When it comes to adaptogenic ingredients, the ‘golden root’ of Rhodiola rosea is one of the most well-known and scientifically validated and has a rich history in both Siberian culture and Traditional Chinese Medicine2.
More than 20 years ago Nektium co-founder and the forefather of Rhodiola rosea Dr Zakir Ramazanov researched and popularised the powerful effects of the Rhodiola rosea root.
Nektium carefully preserves Zakir’s legacy. Since 1998, the Nektium team has been leading the way in the sourcing and production of high-quality standardised Rhodiola rosea extracts.
Rhodiolife was one of the very first commercially available standardized extracts of Rhodiola rosea.
After more than 20 years, Nektium continues to guarantee a stable and long-term supply of the highest quality Rhodiola rosea roots while a fully traceable 50-step quality assurance programme ensures every single batch of Rhodiolife is authenticated at every step of the journey.
Show me the studies!
A powerful adaptogen, Rhodiola rosea has been shown to have benefits for mental energy and mood in addition to boosting athletic performance3, improving recovery4, and increasing immune protection after exercise and sports5.
Nektium has pioneered understanding the effects of botanicals on electric activities of the brain. In cutting-edge neurophysiological studies Rhodiolife intake resulted in a rapid onset of stimulant activity with beneficial effects lasting for at least five hours and increases in LTP, an effect related to improvements in spatial and temporal memory6, while studies on genes related to neurodegeneration and neuroprotection suggest that Rhodiolife acts as a neuroprotector7.
Research focused on the impact of Rhodiolife on mental wellbeing reported significant improvements in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms after intake of Rhodiolife, with a reduction in Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) scores8. Furthermore, a clinical evaluation of Rhodiola rosea extracts in people with major depressive disorder and stress-induced mild depression reported antidepressant actions for Rhodiola rosea9.
Multiple clinical studies also link Rhodiola rosea to improved endurance and enhanced physical recovery of muscles, while others suggest immune-supportive activity in athletes3,4.
It is well known that athletes are especially prone to infections after physical stress and exhaustion. Research in marathon runners has also linked the principal bioactive compounds of Rhodiolife to a protective activity against such infections5, therefore decreasing the risk of athletes falling ill when run-down after competition.
Not just any Rhodiola
Authenticity is important to Nektium. Long standing relationships with local partners guarantee a stable and long-term supply of the highest quality Rhodiola rosea roots, assuring continued availability of the ingredient without the risk of batch-to-batch variations in price and quality.
The Rhodiola rosea roots used for Rhodiolife are wild harvested in the pristine mountains of the Altai region of Siberia – a protected territory with sustainable and responsible harvesting practices.
Roots that have an average of 3-5 year´s growth are sustainably harvested from their natural habitat following Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP). Nektium works with partners to avoid repeat harvesting from the same locality and to allow sustainable re-establishment of the plant population while audits of the collection process and storage facilities on site in Siberia are performed on a regular basis.
Quality and safety assurance
With decades of experience and long-standing partners Nektium has implemented a fully traceable 50-step quality assurance programme to ensure each batch of Rhodiolife is authenticated at every step of the journey.
Rigorous identity tests including macroscopic, sensorial, chromatographic profiles, and independent DNA barcode analysis of each lot of plant material are carried out, so that each batch of material can be shipped to customers with a certificate of analysis and multiple documents showing the authenticity and traceability through the supply chain.
However, it is the level of important bioactive compounds called rosavins and salidroside that make Rhodiola rosea, and therefore Rhodiolife, a unique and powerful adaptogen. The authenticity of Rhodiola ingredients can be pinpointed not only to those compounds but also to the ratio of these actives present in the plant as well as in the extract.
Under strict cGMP manufacturing conditions, Nektium uses a gentle extraction and proprietary process to ensure the preservation of the full spectrum of natural phytoactive compounds, which are standardised to different grades of rosavins and salidroside.
As an extra mark of quality and safety assurance for sports applications, Rhodiolife is the first BSCG Certified Drug Free Rhodiola ingredient available on the market.
Nektium works with the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG) to test and certify materials sold as Sports Grade. The BSCG program tests for 496 drugs, including 272 drugs that are banned by a broad range of sports organisations.
Authentic. Reliable. Responsible. Rhodiolife is your trusted source.
For further information, you are invited to download the Rhodiolife whitepaper!
1. American Psychological Association. Stress in AmericaTM 2020: A National Mental Health Crisis. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2020/sia-mental-health-crisis.pdf (2020).
2. Anghelescu, I. G., Edwards, D., Seifritz, E. & Kasper, S. Stress management and the role of Rhodiola rosea: a review. International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice vol. 22 242–252 (2018).
3. De Bock, K., Eijnde, B. O., Ramaekers, M. & Hespel, P. Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performance. Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab. 14, 298–307 (2004).
4. Abidov M, Grachev S, Seifulla RD, Ziegenfuss TN. Extract of Rhodiola rosea radix (Rhodiolife) reduces the level of C-reactive protein and creatinine kinase in the blood. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2004 Jul;138(1):63-4. doi: 10.1023/b:bebm.0000046940.45382.53. PMID: 15514725.
5. Ahmed, M. et al. Rhodiola rosea (Rhodiolife) Exerts Antiviral Activity in Athletes Following a Competitive Marathon Race. Front. Nutr. 2, 24 (2015).
6. Dimpfel, W., Schombert, L., Vega-morales, T., Wiebe, J. C. & Giessen, J. Neuropharmacological Characterization of Extracts from Rhodiola rosea , Oenothera paradoxa and Paullinia cupana in Comparison to Caffeine. 290–303 (2016).
7. Zubeldia, J., Hernandez-Sanatana, A., Jiménez del Rio, M. & Pérz-López, V. In Vitro and in Silico Evaluation of the Potential for Neuroprotection of Rhodiolife, A Rhodiola Rosea Roots Extract. J. Food Stud. 2, 31–40 (2013).
8. Bystritsky, A., Kerwin, L. & Feusner, J. D. A pilot study of Rhodiola rosea (Rhodiolife) for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). J. Altern. Complement. Med. 14, 175–80 (2008).
9. Amsterdam, J. D. & Panossian, A. G. Rhodiola rosea L. as a putative botanical antidepressant. Phytomedicine 23, 770–783 (2016).