Top 6 Health Benefits of Rhodiola

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Rhodiola, Top 6 Health Benefits of Rhodiola

Rhodiola, Top 6 Health Benefits of Rhodiola

Top 6 Health Benefits of Rhodiola

The bodies ability to effectively adapt to stress is the hallmark sign of successful health.  There are certain performance aids that help our bodies modulate the stress response and adapt effectively.  These substances are called adaptogens for their remarkable ability to enhance stress adaptation.  Rhodiola is one the most well-studied adaptogens and its effects on human health are remarkable.

Rhodiola or Golden root grows in some of the coldest regions of the world.  This includes much of the Artic and mountainous regions in Central Asia and the Appalachian mountains in North America.  It has also been found in Iceland, Scandinavia and mountainous regions of Europe.

Mountains regions typically face both extreme heat (because they are closer to the sun) and extreme cold.  Plants that are able to survive such harsh temperaments have unique adaptive qualities that benefit those who consume them.

Rhodiola, Top 6 Health Benefits of Rhodiola

Powerful Anti-Oxidant Compounds:

Rhodiola contains a number of powerful antioxidants including the glycosides (rosavin, rosin, rosarin) and flavonoids (rodiosin, rodionin, rodiolin, quercetin, proanthocyanidins, acetylrodaglin, kaempferol), monoterpenes, triterpenes and phenolic acids such as chlorogenic and gallic acid.  This unique array of phytonutrients allows rhodiola to adapt to stressful environmental conditions and it helps modulate our ability to withstand daily stressors.

Rhodiola helps us adapt to stress by modulating stress hormone levels (1).  When stress hormone goes too high it can leave us edgy and anxious.  Overtime, it leads to fatigue, lethargy and chronic disease.  Rhodiola prevents our stress hormones from going up too high at inappropriate times.  This allows our stress response system to remain strong and sensitive to the needs of our environment.

Rhodiola, Top 6 Health Benefits of Rhodiola

Boosting Nervous System Function:

Scientists have found that rhodiola enhances serotonin, dopamine and endorphin activity within the brain (23).  Healthy serotonin levels are necessary to balance our mood and keep us calm and positive.  Dopamine drives us towards accomplishing goals and enhances our self-esteem and confidence.  Endorphins help us to feel good and lift our mood and spirits.

Rhodiola is known to help people calm their emotions and stimulate cognitive processes that improve memory and creative thinking (4, 5).  Several studies have shown that rhodiola improves associative thinking, speed of audiovisual perception and ability to perform complex calculations (6).  Researchers also found that it significantly reduced stress-induced fatigue after just two weeks of regular usage (7).

Rhodiola, Top 6 Health Benefits of Rhodiola

Rhodiola is a Potent Performance Enhancer:

Adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola enhance muscle glycogen synthesis.  This is the stored sugar within muscle that allows the body to work with greater endurance during stressful periods.  This enhances exercise and performance during challenging workouts and competitions.  Athletes are able to improve strength, speed and endurance and perform at higher levels with adaptogenic herbs such as rhodiola (8, 9)

A 2010 study showed that rhodiola supplementation improved the usage of fatty acids as fuel during training session and improved athletic adaptation to stress (10).   This herb lowered levels of lactate and skeletal muscle damage after exhaustive exercise.

This was due to the ability of rhodiola to improve circulation and modulate stress hormone secretion both during and after the training sessions.  Rhodiola is completely safe and approved for usage by athletes in all major sports.

Rhodiola, Top 6 Health Benefits of Rhodiola

Rhodiola and Weight Loss:

Rhodiola has also been shown to stimulate fat burning mechanisms (11, 12).  This is due to its effect at stimulating the enzyme adipose lipase that mobilizes fatty acids as energy source.  This great herb rhodiola helps the body preserve sugar as stored energy in the form of glycogen and burn fat as a primary energy source during times of rest and low level activity.

This metabolic shift is essential for healthy weight management and blood sugar stability.  The product I recommend for Rhodiola along with many other powerful adaptogenic herbs such as Schisandra, Eulthero and Ginseng.  Check it out here

Rhodiola, Top 6 Health Benefits of Rhodiola

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Panossian AG. Adaptogens in mental and behavioral disorders. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2013 Mar;36(1):49-64. PMID: 23538076
2. Chen QG, Zeng YS, Qu ZQ, Tang JY, Qin YJ, Chung P, Wong R, Hägg U. The effects of Rhodiola_rosea extract on 5-HT level, cell proliferation and quantity of neurons at cerebral hippocampus of depressive rats. Phytomedicine. 2009 Sep;16(9):830-8. PMID: 19403286
3. Qin YJ, Zeng YS, Zhou CC, Li Y, Zhong ZQ. [Effects of Rhodiola_rosea on level of 5-hydroxytryptamine, cell proliferation and differentiation, and number of neuron in cerebral hippocampus of rats with depression induced by chronic mild stress]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2008 Dec;33(23):2842-6. Chinese. PMID: 19260327
4. Jacob R, Nalini G, Chidambaranathan N. Neuroprotective effect of Rhodiola_rosea Linn against MPTP induced cognitive impairment and oxidative stress. Ann Neurosci. 2013 Apr;20(2):47-51. PMID: 25206012
5. Qu ZQ, Zhou Y, Zeng YS, Lin YK, Li Y, Zhong ZQ, Chan WY. Protective effects of a Rhodiola_crenulata extract and salidroside on hippocampal neurogenesis against streptozotocin-induced neural injury in the rat. PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e29641. PMID: 22235318
6. Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wikman G, Wagner H. Rhodiola_rosea in stress induced fatigue–a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):365-71. PMID: 11081987
7. Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wikman G, Wagner H. Rhodiola_rosea in stress induced fatigue–a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):365-71. PMID: 11081987
8. Walker TB, Robergs RA. Does Rhodiola rosea possess ergogenic properties? Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Jun;16(3):305-15. PMID: 16948486
9. Huang SC, Lee FT, Kuo TY, Yang JH, Chien CT.Attenuation of long-term Rhodiola_rosea supplementation on exhaustive swimming-evoked oxidative stress in the rat. Chin J Physiol. 2009 Oct 31;52(5):316-24.PMID: 20034236
10. Dhar P, Tayade AB, Kumar J, Chaurasia OP, Srivastava RB, Singh SB. Nutritional profile of phytococktail from trans-Himalayan plants. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 23;8(12):e83008. PMID: 24376624
11. Wang J, Rong X, Li W, Yang Y, Yamahara J, Li Y.Rhodiola_crenulata root ameliorates derangements of glucose and lipid metabolism in a rat model of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Aug 1;142(3):782-8. PMID: 22683493
12. Niu CS, Chen LJ, Niu HS. Antihyperglycemic action of rhodiola_aqeous extract in type1-like diabetic rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jan 13;14:20. PMID: 24417880

Rhodiola, Top 6 Health Benefits of Rhodiola

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Dr. Jockers

Dr David Jockers is passionate about seeing people reach their health potential in mind, body and spirit. He is the host of the popular “Dr Jockers Functional Nutrition” podcast and the author of the best selling books, “The Keto Metabolic Breakthrough” and “The Fasting Transformation.



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  1. Dear Dr David
    Very useful info over herb Rhodiola. AHWAGANDHA is also having potent adaptogenic properties and profoundly use, popular and available in India.Basically out of these two herbs which is more superior? And can anybody use these two together?? Thanks
    Kind regards,
    Dr Prakash

    1. More superior rhodiola.You can use them together.Rememeber that ashwagandha side effects are affecting thyroid and make body gain weight, and some headaches in some.The only side effect of rhodiola is that if you take it too late in the day you cannot sleep at night cause keeps you alert.

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