I came across this University of California - Irvine study on Rhodiola's anti-aging effect in Drosophila.
Rhodiola: A Promising Anti-Aging Chinese Herb
Using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, we investigated the effects of Rhodiola on life-span. Rhodiola is a plant root used in traditional Chinese medicine that may increase an organism's resistance to stress. It has been proposed that Rhodiola can extend longevity and improve health span by alleviating oxidative stress. Rhodiola supplied every other day at 30 mg/mL significantly increased the lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster. When comparing the distribution of deaths between Rhodiola-supplemented and control flies, Rhodiola-fed flies exhibited decelerated aging. Although the observed extension in lifespan was associated with statistically insignificant reductions in fecundity, correcting for a possible dietary restriction effect still did not eliminate the difference between supplemented and control flies, nor does the effect of Rhodiola depend on dietary manipulation, strongly suggesting that Rhodiola is not a mere dietary restriction mimetic. Although this study does not reveal the causal mechanism behind the effect of Rhodiola, it does suggest that the supplement is worthy of continued investigation, unlike the other Chinese herbals, Lu Duo Wei (LDW), Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (BZYQT), San Zhi Pian (SZP, Three Imperial Mushrooms), Hong Jing Tian (Rhodiola) that were evaluated in this study.
The chief researcher Mahtab Jafari makes a brief mention of her experiment in the following presentation:
Here is another study where they mention Rhodiola as a promising candidate to treat human aging:
The Impact of Rhodiola rosea on Fecundity in Drosophila melanogaster
Mentor: Mahtab Jafari
Recent advances in aging research have revealed many biochemical pathways that influence lifespan in a number of different well-known model species, such as Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. In turn, this has opened the door for drug discovery in both pharmaceuticals and botanicals. Botanicals such as Rhodiola rosea have been found to be very powerful antioxidants that could effectively delay the aging process with little cytotoxic effects. Recent studies have provided evidence that Rhodiola rosea decreases mortality rate in Drosophila melanogaster, but the physiological and pharmacological mechanisms for this effect are not understood. Drug effects on reproduction in female Drosophila can indirectly influence the aging process, and it is well established that decreased fecundity is associated with increased longevity. Here we examined the dose dependent effects of Rhodiola on fecundity in Drosophila. At the high doses (60, 100, and 200 mg/ml) we observed a dose dependent decrease in fecundity. At low doses (15, 30, and 60 mg/ml), in which a significant mortality benefit was observed, there was no statistically significant difference in fecundity relative to the control. This result indicates that the extended longevity previously observed at low Rhodiola doses is not due to decreased fecundity. The discovery of no reproductive impairment at doses that increase longevity suggests that Rhodiola is a promising candidate to treat human aging.
Edited by amara, 03 December 2007 - 08:42 PM.