Rhodiola rosea the Power Flower in Shroom TECH Sport by Onnit

Rhodiola rosea is a flowering plant that naturally grows in Siberia were it is well adapted to high altitudes, extreme cold and dry terrain. The roots contain a number of molecular compounds that have medicinal benefits. Rhodiola has been purported to elevate neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine that are involved with mood and depression by restoring neurotransmitter balance. The increase in levels of these transmitters is thought to be achieved by inhibiting monoamine oxidase which prevents the breakdown of these transmitters so they remain around longer. Rhodiola is thought to alter endorphin production which provides for increased physical endurance and mental clarity. Endorphins are the “feel high” transmitters. Clinical studies have demonstrated that the root of this plant has the ability to combat fatigue and increase both physical and mental performance. It is also used to combat high altitude sickness.

Rhodiola rosea has adaptogenic properties agains cold stress

Rhodiola rosea supplementation has been used throughout Europe and Russia for its adaptogenic properties particularly in cold climates. It has been reported to combat cold stress and long dark day depression (seasonal affective disorder, SAD).

The major class of molecules responsible for Rhodiola effects include: flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, phenylethanol derivatives, monoterpenes, triterpenes and phenolic acid. The molecules that are somewhat peculiar to Rhodiola are known as rosavin, rosarin, salidrosides and tyrosol.

Rosavin and rosarin are believed to inhibit the activity of Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase (COMT) enzyme. This allows serotonin levels to remain high decreasing symptoms of depression. Rosavin has also been demonstrated to increase levels of ATP and creatine phosphate in the brain. ATP is the energy currency of the cell that is used to run metabolic pathways and prevents fatigue, improves mental clarity, and physical performance. High levels of ATP is required for muscle contraction. For that reason athletes often take Rosavin or a Rhodiola extract to boost performance and stamina.

Salidrosides are powerful antioxidants that are glucosides of tyrosol that are responsible for the antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties of this plant. These molecules account for more of the mood elevation, antidepressive and anti-anxiety effects than Rosavins. Salidrosides have also been demonstrated to strongly inhibit binge eating in animal studies. It has also been demonstrated to have neuroprotective ability by scavenging free radicals which in turn allows for neuroregeneration. Tyrosol is another powerful antioxidant that has synergistic affects with Salidrosides.

Rhodiola is a powerful adaptogen that has the ability to protect the body/brain during times of chemical, biological and physical stress. Studies demonstrate that the root of this plant contains molecules that inhibit monoamine oxidase thereby maintaining high levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the central nervous system. It has also been demonstrated that acetylcholine and norepinephrine remain elevated as well. These transmitters are important for cognition, focus, concentration, short-term memory and mood. The antioxidant properties protect neuronal membranes from oxidative damage by scavenging free radicals. Rhodiola extract also aids in the transport of neurotransmitter precursor molecules into the brain by increasing the permeability of the blood-brain-barrier.