Feature Botanical: Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, otherwise, known as Withania somnifera, has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions, and is most well known for its restorative benefits. Not only is it one of the most potent aphrodisiacs in the entire botanical kingdom, but also it has remarkable neuro-regenerative effects.
Fertility and Testosterone Levels in Men:
Similar to women undergoing menopause, men experience “andropause.” Every decade a man ages, the male hormone testosterone declines by 10%. Specific to fertility, a study that appeared in 2013 found that infertile men taking ashwagandha capsules every day for a couple of months had their testosterone level rise by 17% and their sperm concentration by 167%.
(VR Ambiye et al, “Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males,” Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013; 571420)
Brain Function and Alzheimer’s Defense:
Research has shown that ashwagandha extract is capable of halting and even repairing damage to brain cells in an experimentally induced model of Alzheimer’s disease. In laboratory experiments in India in 2004, researchers discovered that ashwagandha root extract inhibits acetylcholinesterase in much the same way as the prescription drug donepezil, which is currently used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
(MI Choudhary et al, “Withanolides, a new class of natural cholinesterase inhibitors with calcium antagonistic properties,” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2005 Aug 19;334(1):276-87)
If you are a man over the age of 40 and would like to evaluate your current state of health… because, let’s face it, “it’s been awhile”, feel free to book an appointment with our Naturopathic Doctor. An initial visit will include an overview of recommended baseline tests specific to your age and health concerns discussed. Some common themes include evaluating cardiovascular health with cholesterol levels, evaluating common nutrient deficiencies, and/or doing a stress assessment by looking at hormones such as cortisol and testosterone – all of these can help guide treatment. Ongoing pain in the muscles or joints and ligaments (if those are a nagging issue for you) can be improved with different injection therapies too. A follow up visit with physical exam, body composition, and lifestyle treatment plan can get you on the road to excellent health and disease prevention for the next decade to come. Get ahead of the game!
For a quick overview of what health checks you should consider for your age group, visit the Men’s Maintenance Guide @ dontchangemuch.ca