Biologically Active Food Supplement, is a product based on Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and the mushroom Cordyceps sinensis, useful in all cases of reduced dietary intake or increased need for useful components to increase concentration, mental energy and creative processes. Two tablets/day of DE:STRESS are able to provide Ashwagandha E.S. (5% withanolidi) 600mg, Cordyceps sinensis extract standardized to 40% of polysaccharides 100 mg and vitamin C 60 mg.
The particularly balanced formulation with strong nootropic and immunostimulating properties can play a positive role by restoring harmony and mental clarity and balancing the mood, thanks to ingredients with proven activity and great tradition such as the Cordyceps mushroom and the Ayurvedic plant ashwagandha able to increase concentration and to combat attention deficit and emotional stress by regulating serotonin and dopamine levels and modulating endogenous enzyme antioxidants.
It is well known that stress slows the healing process, decreases inflammatory responses, and likewise increases fear and anxiety. The increase in levels of circulating cortisol, secondary to an increase in the production of corticotropin releasing hormone and the action of the autonomic nervous system, can create harmful effects in different organs and tissues. Mood can negatively affect cognitive performance. Periods of depression can generate feelings such as sadness, guilt, despair, anxiety and fear, as well as lack of motivation, curiosity, interest. These symptoms are often associated with sleep disturbance, mental fatigue, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and memorizing. Some herbs have been selected and used for thousands of years in various traditional medicines as cognitive enhancers and in the treatment of stress and depression.
Thought is a very demanding biological process. It involves the use of neurons which in turn require the use of various neurotransmitters (dopamine, acetylcholine and serotonin) and even if the latter are reusable up to a certain limit, they can be exhausted. Exhaustion of neurotransmitters leads to an inevitable decrease in mental performance, which can also include mood disorders.
Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical traditions practiced in India, Sri Lanka and other South Asian countries and has a solid philosophical and experiential basis. Ayurveda has different formulations for the management of stress and physical and mental condition. In this formulation the combination of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), an adaptogen used as a tonifier to normalize the metabolism and reduce the level of anxiety and stress; Similarly, the Cordyceps mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine has been used for millennia because it can increase concentration and enhance creative processes, mental faculties and the psyche in general, immunostimulant and antioxidant and anti-stress activity.
Cordyceps sinensis is a natural stimulant, capable of improving physical performance. Increases ATP levels and cell oxygenation, allowing cells to work efficiently during physical exertion (1). Cordyceps keeps blood sugar constant during prolonged exercise and has a cardiotonic and relaxing effect on vascular smooth muscle, improving circulation. For these characteristics, Cordyceps proves to be a very valid natural alternative to boost libido and harmonize sexual life. Cordyceps has a high nutritional value (29: it contains unsaturated fats, proteins and all essential amino acids, vitamins E and K, the water-soluble vitamins B1, B2 and B12, and trace elements. The biological action is due to bioactive polysaccharides to which the various pharmacological and derivative properties of adenine are ascribed, such as cordicepine and cordicepic acid, which have shown ergogenic, antiproliferative, pro-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory activity (3). Cordyceps phytocomplex improve learning and reduce scopolamine-induced impairment of in vivo memory, an action related to inhibition of acetylcholine-esterase (4). It is worth mentioning that acetylcholinesterase (AChEI) inhibitors continue to be the main nootropics for both Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.
In Ayurveda, ashwagandha has been used as an adaptogenic, anti-stress and nootropic tonic for the treatment of general debilitation, nervous exhaustion, insomnia and memory dysfunctions. It has been recommended as a natural drug for neurological disorders such as traumatic brain injury, brain tumors and neurodegenerative diseases (5,7). The active constituents are steroidal alkaloids and lactones, a class of chemicals known as withanolides.
For the first time a preparation based on this combination of herbs and active ingredients in a mixture is proposed and marketed
Cordyceps. Cordyceps mushroom contains the bioactive cordicepine, an adenosine derivative, that has been shown to increase the expression of interleukin (IL) -10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine and decreased the expression of IL-27. In other studies, the regulatory effects of the entire fungus on human immune cells are reported (8), showing an interesting immunomodulatory and immunostimulating action.
Cordyceps was reported to improve physical performance, to reduce the sense of fatigue and to increase energy performance1. Taken regularly, this mushroom combats aging, oxidative stress and prevents problems related to senility, as demonstrated by one study conducted in elderly patients, in which the reduction of fatigue, the perception of cold and dizziness was observed after administration of 3g/day of Cordyceps for six weeks (9). Cordyceps also improves oxygen uptake, aerobic capacity, ventilation and fatigue resistance during exercise, as reported in in vivo studies10 and clinical trials (10,11). Other studies have reported antioxidant activity and increased concentration and memory after Cordyceps extract administration. In particular, the effect on lipid peroxidation in rat brain homogenates was studied and tests and cognitive performance were performed in mice treated with ethanol using the passive avoidance test and in mice aged by D-galactose to analyze the antiaging effect, on the ‘learning and memory using the test of avoidance performance in water and step-down type. The study showed that CSE can improve brain function and antioxidant enzyme activity (12,13).
Ashwagandha. Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical practice in India, Sri Lanka and other South Asian countries and has a solid philosophical and experiential basis. Ayurveda has different formulations for the management of stress and physical and mental condition.
In Ayurveda, ashwagandha has been used as an adaptogen, anti-stress tonic and for the treatment of general debilitation (14).
In experimental models such as the forced swimming resistance test in rats, it has been shown to increase resistance and prevent variations of ascorbic acid and cortisol in the adrenal gland following induced stress (15). In models of neurodegenerative pathologies such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in which the functional impairment is due to the interruption of the neural network and the premature death of neurons, the ashwagandha extract has shown good therapeutic potential leading to the formation of dendrites and induction of sleep and relaxation with an action similar to GABA (16-18).
The brain is very sensitive to stress: even mild and uncontrollable stress can cause rapid and dramatic loss of cognitive ability. Oxidative stress also contributes to a wide range of brain disorders and dementia including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. Ashwagandha extracts have an enormous ability to protect neuronal cells from different types of stressors that alter brain function leading to memory, cognition, and predisposition to stroke and neurodegenerative pathologies (14).
- HAN, Y. B., ZHAO, P., LI, B., ZHANG, J. H., FU, W. Z., YANG, J. F., … & HUANG, C. P. (2009). Experimental study of cordycepin tablets on alleviating physical fatigue function of animal [J]. Chinese Journal of Health Laboratory Technology, 11, 015.
- Mushrooms, M. (1995). An Exploration of Tradition, Healing and Culture. Christopher Hobbs.
- Wong, Y. Y., Moon, A., Duffin, R., Barthet-Barateig, A., Meijer, H. A., Clemens, M. J., & de Moor, C. H. (2010). Cordycepin inhibits protein synthesis and cell adhesion through effects on signal transduction. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285(4), 2610-2621.
- Gong, M. F., Xu, J. P., Chu, Z. Y., & Luan, J. (2011). Effect of Cordyceps sinensis sporocarp on learning-memory in mice. Zhong yao cai= Zhongyaocai= Journal of Chinese medicinal materials, 34(9), 1403-1405.
- Kuboyama, T., Tohda, C., & Komatsu, K. (2005). Neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction induced by withanolide A. British journal of pharmacology, 144(7), 961-971.
- Kulkarni, S. K., & Dhir, A. (2008). Withania somnifera: an Indian ginseng. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology and biological psychiatry, 32(5), 1093-1105.
- Semwal, P., Kapoor, T., Anthwal, P., Sati, B., & Thapliyal, A. (2014). Herbal extract as potential modulator and drug for synaptic plasticity and neurodegenerative disorders. Int J Pham Sci Rev Res, 25, 69-79.
- Zhou, X., Luo, L., Dressel, W., Shadier, G., Krumbiegel, D., Schmidtke, P., … & Meyer, C. U. (2008). Cordycepin is an immunoregulatory active ingredient of Cordycepssinensis. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 36(05), 967-980.
- Kuo, Y. C., Tsai, W. J., Shiao, M. S., Chen, C. F., & Lin, C. Y. (1996). Cordycepssinensis as an immunomodulatory agent. The American journal of Chinese medicine, 24(02), 111-125.
- Xiao, Y., Huang, X. Z., Chen, G., Wang, M. B., Zhu, J. S., & Cooper, C. B. (1999). Increased aerobic capacity in healthy elderly humans given a fermentation product of cordyceps Cs-4. Medicine & Science in Sports &Exercise, 31(5), S174.
- Kumar, R., Negi, P. S., Singh, B., Ilavazhagan, G., Bhargava, K., &Sethy, N. K. (2011). Cordycepssinensis promotes exercise endurance capacity of rats by activating skeletal muscle metabolic regulators. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 136(1), 260-266.
- Chen, S., Li, Z., Krochmal, R., Abrazado, M., Kim, W., & Cooper, C. B. (2010). Effect of Cs-4®(Cordycepssinensis) on exercise performance in healthy older subjects: A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(5), 585-590.
- Ji, D. B., Ye, J., Li, C. L., Wang, Y. H., Zhao, J., & Cai, S. Q. (2009). Antiaging effect of Cordyceps sinensis extract. Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives, 23(1), 116-122.
- Wadhwa, R., Konar, A., & Kaul, S. C. (2016). Nootropic potential of Ashwagandha leaves: Beyond traditional root extracts. Neurochemistry international, 95, 109-118.
- Misra, D., Maiti, B., & Ghosh, D. (2009). Protection of swimming-induced oxidative stress in some vital organs by the treatment of composite extract of Withania somnifera, Ocimum sanctum and Zingiber officinalis in male rat. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 6(4).
- Baitharu, I., Jain, V., Deep, S. N., Shroff, S., Sahu, J. K., Naik, P. K., & Ilavazhagan, G. (2014). Withanolide A prevents neurodegeneration by modulating hippocampal glutathione biosynthesis during hypoxia. PloS one, 9(10), e105311.
- Grover, A., Shandilya, A., Agrawal, V., Bisaria, V. S., & Sundar, D. (2012). Computational evidence to inhibition of human acetyl cholinesterase by withanolide a for Alzheimer treatment. Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics, 29(4), 651-662.
- Jansen, R. L. M., Brogan, B., Whitworth, A. J., & Okello, E. J. (2014). Effects of five Ayurvedic herbs on locomotor behaviour in a Drosophila melanogaster Parkinson’s disease model. Phytotherapy research, 28(12), 1789-1795.