Article by Abidoff -Fanna
Moscow, Russian Republic
WILL ADULTERATION POISON SCIENTIFIC INNOVATION AGAIN?
RHODIOLA ROSEA -Case Study of An Industry Disease. Is There A Cure?
Standardized, clinically potent Rhodiola rosea is a unique and exciting herbal extract that has risen to a level of well-earned consumer excitement that unfortunately is attracting cases of product adulteration, usually justified by misinformation. Apparently the increased popularity of clinically effective forms of Rhodiola rosea now make it a target for counterfeiting with innocuous and ineffective substitutes being sold to a public still too naive to protect itself from low quality alternatives that simply do not work. Unfortunately, this sad tale is all too familiar to experienced innovators in the natural products industry.
The public does not yet fully understand that only true Rhodiola rosea extract containing sufficient standardized levels of its unique active constituents, rosavin, rosin, and rosarin can insure that the consumer is getting the form of the product that works!
Despite its rising popularity, public education about Rhodiola rosea is still in its infancy. That is why articles like this are an essential “preventative medicine” against the abuses and destructive consequences of new product misinformation typically used to justify substitution and adulteration.
The tragedy, of course, is that continuing misinformation will eventually destroy public enthusiasm for the real Rhodiola rosea and diminish its bright future. Regulators and industry critics will once again be warning disappointed consumers that they cannot trust the “unscrupulous and unregulated natural products industry” as a whole! In effect, the recurrent pattern of great products being prematurely discredited and ruine
d by competitive adulteration is a sickness that eats the heart out of the integrity and fundamental health of the entire phytomedicinal industry.
Rhodiola rosea is a perfect case study of how the natural products industry constantly finds itself under attack by critics and regulators because of its historical inability to prevent this type of abuse.
Judge for yourself. here are the facts:
Rhodiola rosea (also known as golden root) is part of the Crassulaceae family of plants, indigenous to the Polar Regions of Eastern Siberia.
- The release of information on extraordinary~ health benefits of Rhodiola rosea by the former Soviet Union in the early 1990′ s has dramatically increased interest in this unique medicinal plant. After more than 35 years of intensive research, Russian, Bulgarian and Scandinavian scientists demonstrated that highly active constituents extracted from Rhodiola rosea regulated levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.
- ‘Pharmacological and medicinal properties of any herbal extracts are a phenomenon strictly specific to unique species of the herbs…’ (Saratikov et al. 1987). Russian botanists have identified nearly 200 species of Rhodiola genus. According to the Russian Pharmacopoeia, key active constituents in Rhodiola rosea that are responsible for its unique pharmacological and medicinal properties are actually complexes of phenylpropanoids : rosavin, rosin and rosarin. If your extract does not contain all of these active constituents then there is no guarantee that what you have been taking will work anywhere as well as clinically true Rhodiola rosea extract that does work.
- Some suppliers of so-called “standardized Rhodiola rosea” have standardized their products to 1% salidroside. Critical evaluation of results of recent research clearly shows that the presence of salidroside and its aglycon p-tyrosol is not specific to Rhodiola genus and not the source of Rhodiola’s extensive clinical value. First identified in white willow bark (Salix), salidroside was also found in more than 22 plants, algae and in some bacteria. These active compounds have also been found in virgin olive oil as well as olive leaf extract. The presence of salidroside or p-tyrosol in our diet does have some benefit.For example, P- tyrosol in our diet does have some benefit.
For example, p-tyrosol plays an important role in protecting against LDL oxidation and helping to regulate heart arrhythmia. There are cheaper sources of abundant salidroside available from many other natural products. Rhodiola rosea as well as many other Rhodiola species also contain salidroside and p-tyrosol. But what is unique to the standardized Rhodiola rosea extracts that produced impressive clinical effects is their full specter of pharmacologically active rosavin, rosin and rosarin. The salidroside content alone cannot be used as the objective standard for product evaluation.
- The key quality control discovery that allowed us to see the real effectiveness of this amazing extract was in knowing that it had to be standardized to the rosavins content (rosavin, rosin and rosarin) and not according to the salidroside content as presented in Tibetan and Chinese substitutes! Thirty-five years of clinical Research clearly proves that only full potency Rhodiola rosea extract offer full effectiveness, not the salidroside!
- The ability of the standardized Rhodiola rosea extract to help the body adapt to stress may lie in its special ability to enhance levels of serotonin, dopamine and other vital neurotransmitters.
- Only the Rhodiola rosea extract containing all its key active compounds (rosavin, rosin and rosarin) improves the physical work ability, shorten the recovery period after prolonged muscular workloads, normalizing the parameters of the activity of the cardiovascular system.
- During intensive muscular work Rhodiola rosea extract stimulates the production of energy, optimizing the processes of oxidative phosphorilation, activating the phosphorilation of creatine, and stabilizing the mitochondria’s ultra-structure, while stimulating the release of fatty acids from adipose tissue.
- Only Rhodiola rosea extract containing all its unique active constituents has shown a positive influence on the higher mobility of the human body; improving mental ability, primarily enhancing the qualitative indicators of the performed work. The effect of “prompt adaptation” arises in the organism with the introduction of the Rhodiola rosea into the central nervous system. Rhodiola rosea prevents the beginning of pathological changes in the organism, caused by immobilizing and emotionally painful stress.
- The adaptogenic characteristics of the standardized Rhodiola rosea preparations are displayed in an increase of the resistance of the organism to the action of physical and biological factors. Rhodiola rosea prevents the experimental development of hyper and hypoglycemia, leukocytosis, leucopenia, erythrocytosis, erythropenia and hypoxia.
- The proven of effectiveness of Rhodiola rosea extract containing Rosavin and other key compounds in treating depression led Russian scientists to use it in combination with antidepressants. Patients’ general activity along with intellectual and physical productivity increased while duration of hospital stays and side effects normally associated with tricyclic antidepressants decreased. Rhodiola rosea is a safe and effective adjunct to conventional antidepressant therapy.
- The Rhodiola rosea preparations increase the anti-tumor resistance of the organism. They significantly inhibit the growth of experimental tumors while decreasing the frequency of their metastases: Also, the life expectancy of animals with tumors is prolonged, decreasing the outcome of spontaneous tumor growth.
- The Rhodiola rosea preparations are prescribed as a stimulative remedy for fatigue, for people with an inclination toward asthenia during work, which require increased mental workload, in sports medicine to fight exhaustion occurring during intense muscular work: It also accelerates the recovery processes during intensive training workouts.
- In testing the response of exhaustive muscle workloads to Rhodiola rosea extract, it was found that the herb increases the activity of proteolytic enzymes and also significantly elevates the level of RNA and protein in skeletal muscles.
However, many new US Rhodiola products do not establish or maintain true clinical potency in their formulations. Consequently, they will not work and are not worth their price… especially since a clinically potent product is readily available and is verified.
Letting people know about the genetically true Rhodiola rosea extract presents a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the natural product industry’s ability to prevent recurrent threats and set a new standard of validity and integrity. Demand that the truth be told about real Rhodiola rosea extract will insure that consumers get the benefits they expect and pay for; this is critical to preserving the goodwill of our loyal public. Perhaps a more proactive, consumer centered self-help industry is needed to defend and promote objective standards in new product innovations. Participatory public PR campaigns are needed to brighten the image and reality of the natural products industry as a whole. The opportunity exists because the problem persists. Who will stand up for truth in marketing while offering integrity in product innovation? It will be those of us who really care about this industry and who have the principles and power to put our ideals into practice.
This article presented by:
Dr. Musa T Abidoff MD, Professor of Medicine, President and CEO, Abidoff-Farma & Center of Modern Medicine, Russian Academy of Medicinal Science.Professor Satarov AD, Russian Academy of Medicinal Sciences, Academician Emeritus of Russian Academy of Sciences, President of Medicinal Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
Professor Krasnov, Russian Academy of Medicinal Sciences, Emeritus Academician of Russian Academy of Sciences, President of Medicinal Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.