Does ashwagandha affect cardiometabolic health?

    Last Updated: November 3, 2023

    Animal studies suggest ashwagandha may be cardioprotective against a variety of insults.[1][2][3] The exact mechanism responsible for this effect is still unconfirmed, as limited evidence indicates ashwagandha has no clear influence on blood pressure parameters in people with no health conditions.[4]

    In rodent studies, ashwagandha appears to improve the lipoprotein profile with a mild increase in HDL-C and more notable reductions in LDL-C and total cholesterol. The reduction in LDL cholesterol actually appears to be a per se mechanism of action rather than just fixing a metabolic abnormality, and occurs in normal rats as well as those with metabolic ailments.[5][6] A reduction in LDL cholesterol has been confirmed in people with no health conditions taking ashwagandha (750–1,250 mg for one month), though there was no indication of changes in triglycerides in these same individuals over the same period.[7] A mild reduction in triglycerides has been associated with oral ingestion of ashwagandha when taken by people with metabolic syndrome.[7][8]

    In rodent models of diabetes, ashwagandha reduced blood glucose when given at the standard oral doses, with a potency comparable to reference drugs such as glipizide.[9][10][6] Similarly, there appears to be a mild reduction in blood glucose when supplemented (1,200 mg daily for 30 days) by people with metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance).[8]

    References

    1. ^Gupta SK, Mohanty I, Talwar KK, Dinda A, Joshi S, Bansal P, Saxena A, Arya DSCardioprotection from ischemia and reperfusion injury by Withania somnifera: a hemodynamic, biochemical and histopathological assessment.Mol Cell Biochem.(2004-May)
    2. ^Mohanty IR, Arya DS, Gupta SKWithania somnifera provides cardioprotection and attenuates ischemia-reperfusion induced apoptosisClin Nutr.(2008 Aug)
    3. ^A Hamza, A Amin, S DaoudThe protective effect of a purified extract of Withania somnifera against doxorubicin-induced cardiac toxicity in ratsCell Biol Toxicol.(2008 Jan)
    4. ^Sandhu JS, Shah B, Shenoy S, Chauhan S, Lavekar GS, Padhi MMEffects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adultsInt J Ayurveda Res.(2010 Jul)
    5. ^Nishant P Visavadiya, A V R L NarasimhacharyaHypocholesteremic and antioxidant effects of Withania somnifera (Dunal) in hypercholesteremic ratsPhytomedicine.(2007 Feb)
    6. ^Datta A, Bagchi C, Das S, Mitra A, Pati AD, Tripathi SKAntidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic activity of hydroalcoholic extract of Withania coagulans Dunal dried fruit in experimental rat models.J Ayurveda Integr Med.(2013-Apr)
    7. ^Raut AA, Rege NN, Tadvi FM, Solanki PV, Kene KR, Shirolkar SG, Pandey SN, Vaidya RA, Vaidya ABExploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteersJ Ayurveda Integr Med.(2012 Jul)
    8. ^Agnihotri AP, Sontakke SD, Thawani VR, Saoji A, Goswami VSEffects of Withania somnifera in patients of schizophrenia: A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled pilot trial studyIndian J Pharmacol.(2013 Jul)
    9. ^Anwer T, Sharma M, Pillai KK, Khan GProtective effect of Withania somnifera against oxidative stress and pancreatic beta-cell damage in type 2 diabetic rats.Acta Pol Pharm.(2012)
    10. ^Udayakumar R, Kasthurirengan S, Mariashibu TS, Rajesh M, Anbazhagan VR, Kim SC, Ganapathi A, Choi CWHypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic effects of Withania somnifera root and leaf extracts on alloxan-induced diabetic rats.Int J Mol Sci.(2009-May-20)