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A combination of Rhodiola with Astragalus may protect the brain from a lack of oxygen

Nov 01, 2005

Rats were split into 3 groups, the first group was the control group where brain oxygen was maintained at normal, the second and third group had their oxygen supply decreased in a hypobaric chamber for 7 hours. The third group was supplemented with both Rhodiola and Astragalus before their oxygen was depleted. In the group that had the oxygen depleted there was a much greater water content in their brain, whereas the water content in the brain of the herb supplemented group was much less elevated. Free radical activity measured by the malondialdehyde level was elevated in the brain and blood of rats not treated with the herbs and was much lower in the Rhodiola-Astragalus group (malondialdehyde is used as a measure of rancidity in brain fat). Lactic acid which is a waste product of glucose burning cells when these cells do not have enough oxygen, was markedly elevated in the brain and the blood of nonsupplemented rats but was drastically reduced in the brain and blood of the herb supplemented rats. Lactic acid can cause cells to swell. When Rhodiola and Astragalus are used together they may reduce damage in the brain caused by a lack of oxygen. The study appears in the August 2005 issue of the journal Space Medicine and Medical Engineering.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Hopefully none of us will encounter an agent as destructive as mustard gas, but it is good for us to note that these particular antioxidants are very lung friendly and that available oral supplement levels have shown protective activity in research.

Xanthone in Mangosteen protects the colon from cancer causing chemical

Xanthones are what may turn out to be super protective polyphenols found apparently in very few fruit. According to one source about 200 Xanthones have been isolated and about 40 of these are present in the Mangosteen fruit. A major category of Xanthenes in the Mangosteen fruit is the Mangostin class.

Rats were given an injection of a chemical that causes colon cancer 3 times a week for 2 weeks. One week before the injections started a group of rats were fed a diet containing alpha-mangostin for 5 weeks. Supplementing with alpha-mangostin greatly inhibited the production of precancerous colon cells and other abnormal cells and the higher the concentration of the Xanthone the greater the protection. The study is published in the October-December 2004 issue of the Asian pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention.