Based on demand, Metabolic Maintenance® recently unveiled two brand new stress-support products: an adaptogen-based relaxation and sleep aid, called Ashwagandha Plus, and an Elderberry and Ashwagandha multivitamin formula, called Balanced ResponseTM.
Both formulas contain Shoden® brand Ashwagandha extract, which provides the most potent dose of active withanolides available on the market.
Which one is the right ashwagandha product for you?
If you already take a daily multivitamin, you may like to add a complementary herbal calming aid to your daily regimen. In that case, Ashwagandha Plus may be the right choice.
If you are interested in a full-spectrum multi-formula that will support a healthy immune system, boost your focused energy during the day, and support more restful sleep at night, Balanced ResponseTM is the formula for you.
Read on to better understand each of these brand new offerings from Metabolic Maintenance®.
Ashwagandha is one of the most popular dietary supplements on the market in the US right now , but has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine as a “Rasayana”, or rejuvenator herb. Rasayana herbs rejuvenate the body and promote the health of all tissues by eliciting a complex network of changes throughout the body . One of many benefits backed by modern science, however, is helping the body respond to stress and feelings of worry. Regular supplementation with ashwagandha can actually reduce the activity of the HPA axis in response to stressors [2,3]
Aside from its benefits to stress and occasional anxiety, ashwagandha can support healthier glucose (sugar) and triglyceride (fats) levels in the circulation, promote focus and memory, stimulate female sexual function and male fertility, maximize the effects of exercise, balance immune response, and promote healthy inflammatory response [4,5].
Ashwagandha does not elicit one specific pharmacological mechanism. The processes it catalyzes in the body are holistic and complex. Adaptogens, like ashwagandha, reduce stress-induced damage and exhibit stimulating effects, but they are also innocuous, do not interfere with any bodily functions, and do not cause any negative effects or withdrawal symptoms .
Shoden® Ashwagandha Extract
A recent review summarizes about 140 specialized compounds isolated from ashwagandha . Half of the compounds on this list are withanolides, a complex group of steroidal lactones.
Root and leaf extracts of ashwagandha, including the withanolides, have been shown to promote anti-stress and anti-worry effects in both human and animal studies . Shoden® ashwagandha extract in Ashwagandha Plus has been standardized to 35% withanolides, making it the most potent ashwagandha extract on the market. Studies show that Shoden® ashwagandha extract is more bioavailable at lower doses than other products on the market, and so is effective at a lower dose level .
Ashwagandha Plus goes further than most ashwagandha supplements in another way. It also provides relaxation and stress-recovery support through L-theanine and magnesium bisglycinate.
L-Theanine is an amino acid isolated from green tea. It’s the calming, soothing chemical that balances tea’s caffeine (and the reason you’re less likely to get shaky after tea vs coffee). Whereas ashwagandha’s anti-stress benefits take regular supplementation to build up, L-theanine’s effects are immediate .
L-Theanine is structurally similar to glutamine and glutamate and has been proven to cross the blood-brain barrier . In the brain, L-theanine exhibits its effects through the modulation of glutamine, GABA, glycine, and dopamine . Together, these neurotransmitters create a feeling of calm well-being in the body and mind.
Magnesium is the second most abundant cation found in intercellular fluid, yet commonly lacking in the Western diet and quickly depleted in stress states . One of the hundreds of roles magnesium plays in the body is its regulation of stress hormones, norepinephrine, and cortisol. It also participates in the relaxation of muscles throughout the body.
The magnesium in this formula is chelated with two molecules of glycine, another calming amino acid. Magnesium bisglycinate is significantly more absorbable in the intestines than other forms and may be better for rebalancing magnesium levels than other types of supplementary magnesium .
This formula is an Elderberry and Ashwagandha multivitamin, but its benefits are complex.
When we are faced with stress, it weakens the immune system , reduces the absorption of necessary nutrition from the diet , and negatively impacts our ability to find calm and focus. The intention behind the design of Balanced ResponseTM is to bolster your body’s immune and stress response systems, and provide essential balanced nutrition, so you can bounce back quickly from whatever surprises life may throw your way.
By providing both essential nutrients and supportive herbal extracts, Balanced ResponseTM is sure to be a popular one-a-day answer to a full spectrum daily multivitamin/mineral supplement with extra reinforcement in the stress, mood, and immune categories of health.
Like Ashwagandha Plus, Balanced ResponseTM contains Shoden® ashwagandha, standardized to 35% withanolides and delivered at a dose relevant to efficacy in clinical trials .
Elderberry (Extract of Sambucus nigra L.)
Yet another powerful herbal extract is that of elderberry (Sambucus nigra). Its benefits can be credited to the potent antioxidant pigments it contains called anthocyanins, belonging to the flavonoids class of naturally-occurring chemicals . These compounds also support healthy inflammatory responses in the body . Our elderberry extract has been standardized to 15% anthocyanins.
Like ashwagandha, elderberry has a long history of use as a medicinal plant, specifically for viral defense. Modern science has provided data to support these applications.
Numerous clinical studies have investigated the effectiveness of elderberry in promoting healthy immune systems . Elderberry extract substantially supports a return to health in the upper respiratory system . No serious adverse events after elderberry extract consumption were reported in any of those studies .
Together, these findings all suggest elderberry extract is an excellent herbal supplement for immune support, especially in the face of stress.
A daily multivitamin does not negate the need for a healthy diet. There are countless physiological processes occurring constantly throughout the body, and each of them requires certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other chemicals found in food to function properly. When those nutritional puzzle pieces are missing, your physiology can suffer.
This is where your multivitamin/mineral formula comes in to serve as a nutritional safety net or insurance policy. By providing potent doses of the nutrients often lacking in the diet, a multivitamin can ensure your body has what it needs to respond to the physical and mental demands of the day.
In addition to their general benefits to homeostasis, taking a daily multivitamin can benefit your mental health. A recent study concluded that those who took a daily multivitamin were less likely to suffer from anxiety than those taking a placebo . Vitamins play a role in the synthesis and signaling of neurotransmitters necessary for mental health, but stress states quickly deplete these vitamins. It follows that extra nutrition circulating the body can benefit this mental aspect of well-being.
Metabolic Maintenance offers numerous multivitamin/mineral blends, each slightly different in their potency or formula, with the intent to support a certain aspect of health.
Balanced ResponseTM is an elderberry and ashwagandha multivitamin and mineral formula. Aside from the two herbal extracts, it also includes vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, B-complex vitamins (including folate as L-methylfolate), and zinc. These are some of the most important nutrients for proper immune function.
Innate immunity depends upon vitamin A, for the normal regeneration of mucosal barriers damaged by infection, and for proper function of immune cells such as neutrophils, macrophages, and natural killer cells .
Vitamin C is a highly effective antioxidant that protects cells from damage by free radicals . Regular supplementation of vitamin C can help us bounce back quickly and efficiently when we are under the weather .
Recent experiments have shed a brighter light on the immune-enhancing properties of vitamin D, specifically its role in innate immunity and vitamin D-dependent proteins that combat pathogens in the body . Although vitamin D can be made in the body in response to sun exposure, supplementary vitamin D may be most important during the winter months when there are fewer hours of sunlight and colder temperatures, keeping people indoors or limiting the skin’s exposure to sunlight with warm clothing when outdoors.
Impaired immune function due to inadequate zinc status may be the most common cause of secondary immunodeficiency in humans . Zinc can inhibit the replication of the rhinovirus (which causes the common cold) and has been demonstrated to support the return to good health by approximately 33%. It is suggested that zinc supplementation is most effective when started within 24 hours of under-the-weather feelings .