Suppliers

NutraGenesis lauds results of five new ashwagandha studies

25-Mar-2013 - By Hank Schultz
The marketplace features root-only ashwagandha ingredients, and one that include the leaves, too.
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As interest in Ayurvedic ingredients increases and in ashwagandha in particular one supplier has come out with new studies that it says push the envelope for this already multipurpose ingredient.

“The breadth of health benefits for Sensoril continues to expand outside of the traditional uses and indications for Ashwagandha which is a tremendous benefit to our customers and marketing partners as they can utilize Sensoril in more and more condition specific areas,” said Suzanne McNeary, president of NutraGenesis, which is based in Brattleboro, VT.

Recently, Nutragensis, the North American supplier of Sensoril, the ashwagandha ingredient with the longest market history in North America, announced five new clinical trials backing the ingredient. Sensoril is an ashwagandha ingredient that combines extracts of both the root and leaf of the ashwagandha plant Withania somnifera. According to the ingredient’s manufacturer, Natreon, Inc., this yields an ingredient that has “optimal concentrations of the desired active constituents found in the plant.”

A category of chemicals known as withanolides are generally associated with ashwangadha’s health benefits, which includes its use as an adaptogen.

Studies yield surprising results

Nutragenesis gave the following synopsis of the five Sensoril trials, none of which have yet been published:

The first study was conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and assessed Sensoril’s ability to enhance memory and mental cognition in a clinical setting with patients experiencing short term memory and focus issues.

The second double-blind, placebo controlled study was conducted in a multi-center clinical setting and evaluated Sensoril in the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Generalized Anxiety Disorder affects approximately 6.8 million American adults with twice as many women being affected as men. Its symptoms include excessive worrying and the ability to relax.

An additional study investigated the effects of Sensoril on endothelial function, both when taken alone and in combination with Capros, a patented Indian Gooseberry extract. Subjects in this study were evaluated for lipid profile, inflammation (CRP reduction), glutathione increase, nitric oxide increase and blood sugar balance. The positive control in the study was a popular statin drug which has recently gone generic. The final two studies assessed cardiovascular changes in healthy subjects under cold stress and mental stress conditions.

The studies ranged in size up to 80 participants and in length up to three months.

“The most surprising result with Sensoril is the improvement in endothelial function, which is related to cardiovascular health.  It is usually thought that materials with high antioxidant activity improve endothelial function, but Sensoril with very little antioxidant activity showed significant improvement in endothelial function,” McNeary said.

Balancing stress and anxiety

McNeary also lauded the results of the GAD study. One of ashwagandha’s traditionally uses has been as a mood balancer, and Sensoril showed good results along these lines, McNeary said.

“This was a multi-center, study with a total of 80 subjects completing the study. The duration of the treatment was 60 days. The preliminary report shows that there was more than a 50% decrease in Hamilton anxiety scores with Sensoril. We are extremely pleased with these initial results in Sensoril’s ability to reduce anxiety symptoms. These results are consistent with a previous published study that was conducted on Sensoril that shows highly significant reductions in stress and anxiety,” she said. 

“The results of these new studies further solidify Sensoril’s superiority in the ashwagandha marketplace,” McNeary said.

Nutragenesis and Natreon say their extract is a full spectrum ingredient.

“Sensoril is the most concentrated, multi-patented, truly full-spectrum ashwagandha extract,” McNeary said.

Intellectual property

Natreon, for its part, stands by its patents, too, and intends to defend them.

 “Our commitment to building the research and intellectual property platform for Sensoril on behalf of our customers and partners has and always will be our first priority,” said Dr Sanni Raju, CEO of Natreon.

 “Natreon’s intellectual property around ashwagandha is extensive, involving several U.S. and international patents which cover extracts produced from root only with a 3% minimum withanolide content and higher, and extracts produced from root and leaf with a minimum 8% withanolide content and higher. We at Natreon take our investment into the intellectual property and scientific research for our ingredients very seriously and we actively enforce our patent rights,” he said.

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