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Astragalus and telomeres


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#1 beachbum

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:26 AM


A source of extensive information on astragalus, and astragalus formulations, including a list of over 300 clinical studies, is at vidainstitute.org . I have summaries of many of the studies which I can provide if anyone is interested in any particular one. The site also has an interesting page on another herb called Centella Asiatica or Gotu Kola. The site is not complete yet, and more will be added in the coming days.

I personally have been using a regimen of large doses of raw astragalus root (30g+ per day), tea made from the root, and extracts, some with the addition of Centella Asiata, for several weeks now, and have gotten results that are nothing short of amazing. A fairly serious back problem (compressed disk, osteoarthritic degeneration) is greatly improved, as well as osteoarthritis in a shoulder, and another condition called Laryngoesophageal Reflux Disorder (LERD) seems almost entirely cured. I am physically stronger and more energetic, and my memory is improved. It even shrank my hemmorhoids! After adding Centella Asiatica to the regimen, I even have gotten effects on my eyesight. I can read a paperback novel now in good light - something I haven't been able to do in years!
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#2 beachbum

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:00 AM

GreenPower, I quoted some results you posted in this thread on one page of the site. I figured this was OK. Thank you for posting your results and experience.

#3 beachbum

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:22 AM

A note to anyone who might consider trying large doses of astragalus - There were some serious side effects from a dose of 50g on the first night, I was violently ill that night with vomiting and dry heaves to the extent that I considered going to the hospital. I was much better in the morning, and after reducing the dosage to 30g/day the nausea went away completely after a couple of days. I think the body must become accustomed to it, in a similar manner to how the nausea experienced by a beginning drinker of alcohol goes away with time (something I have regretted learning). Also I was very fatigued for the first three days, a condition that was later replaced by a very high energy level (this seems to partly be a transient effect while the astragalus is actually in the system). Centella Asiatica seems to dampen the super-high energy produced by the astragalus, and I noticed side effects of constipation, and increased irritability after it was added to the regimen. I do attribute the improvement in eyesight to the addition of Centella however, because astragalus alone had shown no noticeable effect in this area. Immediately after starting the use of Centella (also in significantly large doses, initially 3:1 astragalus/centella), I noticed watery eyes, and at first my eyeballs were swollen and sore. I noticed a rapid significant improvement in my vision however. I have been employing a strong astragalus/centella tea as eyedrops, with no ill effects so far (try this at your own risk because the safety of this is unproven), and it is uncertain how much of the improvement in vision can be attributed to the eyedrops, and how much to internal consumption of astragalus/centella. The large doses I have been employing of these substances may not be necessary, more is not always better, but I am convinced that many astragalus products on the market simply contain too small of a dose to produce appreciable effects. Plus, raw astragalus contains many substances to which medicinal properties have been attributed, so to what extent the effects of astragalus are due to telomerase activation, or other medicinal effects is unkown. I am thrilled with my results, and sometimes literally feel like a "new man".

Edited by beachbum, 01 April 2011 - 08:31 AM.


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#4 McQueen

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 01:06 AM

Most of the astragalus extract caps I find are 500 mg. Are you saying I would have the to take 60 caps a day to get the proper dose? How do you afford this and what a pain. THis would be equivalent to how much cyloastragenol?
Thanks

#5 beachbum

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 02:05 AM

Most of the astragalus extract caps I find are 500 mg. Are you saying I would have the to take 60 caps a day to get the proper dose? How do you afford this and what a pain. THis would be equivalent to how much cyloastragenol?
Thanks


My post referred to quantities of raw astragalus root, not extract.

There are various kinds of astragalus extracts on the market - there are extracts (more aptly termed concentrates) which are made by simple evaporation of an aqueous or aqueous/alcohol extractant (often labeled a 10:1 extract) which I favor. There are also "standardized" extracts which have had further procedures applied to them to produce a product with a specific concentration of a certain compound such as astragaloside IV. These "standardized" extracts are generally pricier, due not only to the extra procedure(s) required to make them, but also due to the expensive laboratory analysis required to assay the concentration of the compound that they are standardized for. There is the danger that some valuable components of these extracts have been lost in order to produce a certain concentration of the target compound.

Note also that cycloastragenol is only one of the many compounds present in astragalus root, several of which have been claimed to have telomerase activation ability (see Geron patent #WO 2005/000245 A2 and other research). Clinical evidence for the effectiveness of cycloastragenol alone on alleviating the physical manifestations of aging is far less (and arguably considerably less impressive) than evidence of the effectiveness of raw astragalus, and extracts from it, on aging-related conditions (see http://vidainstitute...linical-studies).

Ultimately, I view the bottom line as being - Restoring and maintaining one's youthful physical state is the most important endeavor in the world, much more important than economic success (I would much rather be a poor man with youth, health, and vigor, than an old billionare who is physically falling apart, waiting to die). I don't know what your age is, but when your age passes 50+, regaining and maintaining a youthful physical state starts to be much more important and well worth whatever effort, inconvenience, and expense it entails.

Edited by beachbum, 02 April 2011 - 02:10 AM.


#6 McQueen

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 04:45 AM

I too, have a gut instinct and a modest bit of empirical evidence that leads me to believe that astragalus is the way to go rather than cycloastragenol. I notice more tangible evidence that something is actually happening when using astragalus( a knuckle on my finger where swelling and pain vanished after having problems for more than a year after 2weeks of astragalus and also noticeable skin tightening). Could you direct me to the products you are using and where to acquire them? Thank you.

#7 beachbum

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:22 AM

McQueen, I sent you a private message on this. I don't want to violate the prohibition against commercial promotion by discussing products on the forum.

#8 rwac

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:38 AM

McQueen, I sent you a private message on this. I don't want to violate the prohibition against commercial promotion by discussing products on the forum.


I think we're all sufficiently curious now. Do post it.

#9 beachbum

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:00 AM

There will soon (2 weeks?) be products available on the http://vidainstitute.org website. Packaging is being finalized, inventory built up, payment processing set up, etc. Products will inlude astragalus/centella tea, pure astragalus tea, centella/astragalus and pure astragalus extracts, and a centella/astragalus based skin cream. You can always contact me for further information via PM's on this site, or by using the contact form on the vidainstitute.org website.

#10 maxwatt

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 10:56 AM

There are many sources of astragalus root to be found with a web search.

I am going to be asking a Chinese herbalist her opinion of beachbum's protocol. Id does sound a little excessive as to the amount, at 30 grams.

#11 GreenPower

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:14 PM

GreenPower, I quoted some results you posted in this thread on one page of the site. I figured this was OK. Thank you for posting your results and experience.


I guess that when you post your results in an open forum that you can hardly forbid other persons from using the information for commercial purposes, so please go ahead. But I would appreciate if you could contribute with more hard data on the actual effects of using different varieties of Astragalus in different doses. That is, not only what you experience from a subjective point of view (these results are often open to non-conclusive discussions) - but also clinical tests of different kinds. This could be everything from a simple health check with some inexpensive blood works to more expensive telomere length tests.

Edited by GreenPower, 09 April 2011 - 09:22 PM.


#12 GreenPower

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:20 PM

There are many sources of astragalus root to be found with a web search.

I am going to be asking a Chinese herbalist her opinion of beachbum's protocol. Id does sound a little excessive as to the amount, at 30 grams.

This is one of the reasons you should add some kind of blood works to this kind of regimen/protocol. 30 g of Astragalus could contain a lot of iron. If you're not a woman, who regulates the amount of iron in the body on a monthly basis, you could easily build up an excessive amount of iron. Iron overload can destroy your liver, among other things.

Edited by GreenPower, 09 April 2011 - 09:21 PM.


#13 McQueen

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 02:40 AM

My concern is purity of product coming from China. I saw 300 500 mg caps of Astragalus root (not extract) for $11.00 at The Vitamin Shoppe.I'm a little reticent to buy it cause it seems so cheap. Anyway to determine purity or anyone know reliable place to buy?
I too don't understand people that are offering products and testing on their website but say they are "too busy to have the testing done". This seems way beyond believable.

#14 GreenPower

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 04:34 PM

A source of extensive information on astragalus, and astragalus formulations, including a list of over 300 clinical studies, is at vidainstitute.org . I have summaries of many of the studies which I can provide if anyone is interested in any particular one. The site also has an interesting page on another herb called Centella Asiatica or Gotu Kola. The site is not complete yet, and more will be added in the coming days.

I personally have been using a regimen of large doses of raw astragalus root (30g+ per day), tea made from the root, and extracts, some with the addition of Centella Asiata, for several weeks now, and have gotten results that are nothing short of amazing. A fairly serious back problem (compressed disk, osteoarthritic degeneration) is greatly improved, as well as osteoarthritis in a shoulder, and another condition called Laryngoesophageal Reflux Disorder (LERD) seems almost entirely cured. I am physically stronger and more energetic, and my memory is improved. It even shrank my hemmorhoids! After adding Centella Asiatica to the regimen, I even have gotten effects on my eyesight. I can read a paperback novel now in good light - something I haven't been able to do in years!


I had the same experience with feeling "physically stronger and more energetic" and having my memory improved. A few notes on this, though:
1. I got these effects using much lower doses of Astragalus.
2. The energy and memory effect is larger in the beginning and smaller at the end of a six month test period. When restarting after taking a longer break the effect seem to be larger again.
3. I also use Gingko Biloba in order to enhance this memory effect and also to give me more "focus" (not as much as you see in the writing of the author Vernor Vinge, but a comparison is not entirely off track...)

I haven't seen the other effects, but then again I didn't have the other problems (except being near sighted) nor did I use such large doses of Astragalus - and I didn't use Centella Asiata at all.

#15 GreenPower

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 05:07 PM

My concern is purity of product coming from China. I saw 300 500 mg caps of Astragalus root (not extract) for $11.00 at The Vitamin Shoppe.I'm a little reticent to buy it cause it seems so cheap. Anyway to determine purity or anyone know reliable place to buy?
I too don't understand people that are offering products and testing on their website but say they are "too busy to have the testing done". This seems way beyond believable.

I've been using Solgar because they have a brand in which they "standardize" a large part of their Astragalus extract and in earlier mail communications they said they are testing all their drugs for the occurrence of "heavy metals". On the other side, I've not yet received an explanation on why they changed the written formula on their bottles (even though it looks to be about the same as before).

Regarding "being busy", I worked so much overtime last year that first the union and then then the "Work Environment Authority" had to give dispensation for more overtime. I was then very close to hit the maximum legal amount of yearly overtime you are allowed to work in my country - and I still could fit a couple of health checks into my schedule. And I don't sell the stuff...

#16 Anthony_Loera

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 05:58 PM

Hi Guys,

I am noticing a decrease in material prices recently for Astragalus.
This maybe very good for folks that can't afford some of the telomerase supplements available on the market.

Because of this, I would state that supplements containing Cycloastragenol from natural Astragalus (in the appropriate amounts) would likely activate telomerase, not only because of cycloastrgenol... but because of the other telomerase activators found in Astragalus (Astragaloside IV, Astragenol, etc). I also feel that because of the additional activators found in Astragalus, that this method (In my personal opinion) may be better than TA-65 which appears to only use Cycloastragenol, and none of the other telomerase activators found in astragalus.




In my mind, I can see how the decrease in price of natural astragalus material, can make telomerase activation something very affordable for most people. People will just need to take it in multi-gram doses, not a big deal for many.


Cheers
A

#17 beachbum

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:45 AM

Sorry to have been away so long - been very busy. GreenPower - yes measurements of telomere length as you did would definitely be interesting, and we will get to this eventually. Currently we have several trial volunteers monitoring effects on their physical manifestations of aging which are of greater significance to us. I have not found any analysis that shows astragalus as having a particularly high iron content.

There is one side effect that has turned up however. It happened to me personally (I have been using much higher doses than any of the trial participants). One week I got lazy and instead of measuring the the quantity of astragalus, I resorted to just dumping a large quantity of granulated astragalus into the teapot, and a heaping spoonful of extract into the coffepot, and adding ground astragalus to food at every opportunity. After a few days of this, I developed an allergic reaction that included sneezing fits, itching, and worse of all, facial swelling. This happened during a period when I was using pure astragalus rather than mixed with centella asiatica. A couple days use of corticosteroids coupled with reducing the astragalus dosage to back to a measured 15-30g per day alleviated the allergic symtoms. This experience shows that it is not a good idea to go hog wild with the consumption as I did. Astragalus is capable of producing allergic reactions, and some people are no doubt more susceptible than others to this.

I have been getting very good results with the astraglus/centella mixture. My eyesight has improved to the point where I can now read a paperback novel without glasses (at 59 years old), something that I haven't been able to do for 15 or 20 years! My back is not as strong as in my youth but never bothers me at all any more and my acid reflux problem seems completely cured and I can now eat whatever I want. Still no noticeable results on the skin. Haven't gotten many reports yet from our other testers.

We decided not to sell any products on the http://vidainstitute.org website, however a reliable source of astragalus and centella asiatica products is at http://astragalus-source.com

#18 iwriter

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 04:53 PM

Sorry to have been away so long - been very busy. GreenPower - yes measurements of telomere length as you did would definitely be interesting, and we will get to this eventually. Currently we have several trial volunteers monitoring effects on their physical manifestations of aging which are of greater significance to us. I have not found any analysis that shows astragalus as having a particularly high iron content.

There is one side effect that has turned up however. It happened to me personally (I have been using much higher doses than any of the trial participants). One week I got lazy and instead of measuring the the quantity of astragalus, I resorted to just dumping a large quantity of granulated astragalus into the teapot, and a heaping spoonful of extract into the coffepot, and adding ground astragalus to food at every opportunity. After a few days of this, I developed an allergic reaction that included sneezing fits, itching, and worse of all, facial swelling. This happened during a period when I was using pure astragalus rather than mixed with centella asiatica. A couple days use of corticosteroids coupled with reducing the astragalus dosage to back to a measured 15-30g per day alleviated the allergic symtoms. This experience shows that it is not a good idea to go hog wild with the consumption as I did. Astragalus is capable of producing allergic reactions, and some people are no doubt more susceptible than others to this.

I have been getting very good results with the astraglus/centella mixture. My eyesight has improved to the point where I can now read a paperback novel without glasses (at 59 years old), something that I haven't been able to do for 15 or 20 years! My back is not as strong as in my youth but never bothers me at all any more and my acid reflux problem seems completely cured and I can now eat whatever I want. Still no noticeable results on the skin. Haven't gotten many reports yet from our other testers.

We decided not to sell any products on the http://vidainstitute.org website, however a reliable source of astragalus and centella asiatica products is at http://astragalus-source.com



Thanks very much for sharing your ideas and experiments ... Do you have a website or way we can view more thoroughly what you are doing? I would love to know exactly your protocol and the products that seemed to work best with your situation. I sent you a private message and am interested in this to the extreme.. INtersting to me though is how quickly you noticed results. THat seems conter intuitive. Would take a while to rebuild the teleromes one would think... but then again this is brand new territory...but the placebo effect is one to watch out for. But the fact that you got some indirect healings of your body is very intreguing...=I am very interested in experimenting myself...

#19 Logan

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 05:11 PM

Is it pretty safe to assume that a quality astragalus extract made by a reliable company will have enough cyanoastraganol, astragaloside IV, and other mentioned compounds so one can megadose it and get effective amounts of these telomerase activators? I had been taking about 18 mg of Herbpharm's astragalus. Anthony or anyone else want to take a guess as to whether Herbpharm's product is good enough for this use? It's a 4:1(or 1:4??? don't have the bottle with me and can't remember how it works) concentration, yielding about 200 mg astragalus extract per drop. I may try out a tincture with a much higher concentration so I don't have to take as much.

I am interested in trying the revamped Revgenetics product when it comes out.

#20 ledgf

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 05:35 PM

>Would take a while to rebuild the telomeres one would think

It would be entirely likely, however, that when the telomerase gene is activated, it in turn activates many other proteins in the cell to prepare it for cell division. Telomerized human cells in culture grow faster than their non-telomerized normal somatic antecedents (regardless of how much the PI may want them not to). Obviously having cells divide faster is not all good, but it could explain some feeling of well-being.

That said, of course first we need to know whether the herbal supplements are actually activating telomerase (and not just, e.g., releasing stimulants). TA-65 seems to have been demonstrated to work, but figuring out how to get the right dose of anything from herbs is always an adventure... I look forward to reading some of the papers from beachbum.

#21 BioFreak

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 09:52 AM

I'm very interested in this. One question though - how does it taste? And how long until effects are being noticed (and how long until you stopped seeing further improvements, indicating that the telomeres did not grow any longer?) I was thinking about doing this periodically, however I do not know how long the intervals and breaks should be.

Edited by BioFreak, 21 June 2011 - 09:54 AM.


#22 zorba990

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 01:26 AM

Is it pretty safe to assume that a quality astragalus extract made by a reliable company will have enough cyanoastraganol, astragaloside IV, and other mentioned compounds so one can megadose it and get effective amounts of these telomerase activators? I had been taking about 18 mg of Herbpharm's astragalus. Anthony or anyone else want to take a guess as to whether Herbpharm's product is good enough for this use? It's a 4:1(or 1:4??? don't have the bottle with me and can't remember how it works) concentration, yielding about 200 mg astragalus extract per drop. I may try out a tincture with a much higher concentration so I don't have to take as much.

I am interested in trying the revamped Revgenetics product when it comes out.


I've started using 4 dropper-fulls of the Herb Pharm astragals since I think their herbs pare of superior quality. I added that to LivLong's extract and plan to add herb pharm's goto kola and ginseng. I really wish herbpharm would post more info on the contents of their extracts but I've always found the quality to be excellent (super echinacea is an awesome extract).

#23 niner

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 03:32 AM

I really wish herbpharm would post more info on the contents of their extracts but I've always found the quality to be excellent.


How do you judge quality, particularly when you don't even know what's in it?
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#24 zorba990

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 04:32 AM


I really wish herbpharm would post more info on the contents of their extracts but I've always found the quality to be excellent.


How do you judge quality, particularly when you don't even know what's in it?


That's a good question. I'm going by the effects from using their Ginseng (adrenal energy) and Echinacea (immune enhancement verified by blood work in the late 80's), Sarsaparilla (libido enhancement), the growing and cultivation processes they use, as well as having met the owners at past NNFA shows. When I meet people that are truly devoted to their craft and very mindful of quality it makes me more likely to buy their products. I know this is very subjective, but without personally owning sophisticated testing equipment everything comes down to a level of trust at some point. They sell mostly alcohol extracts, but they do sell some echinacea compressed into pills. If you take those pills out of the bottle and compare them to other encapsulated products you can get an idea of the quality from the smell and taste. Maybe someone with the right equipment can do a brand comparison of active ingredients. Of course one of the issues may be the unknown fractions of the herb that no one is yet testing for, because they don't know what _to_ test for.

#25 Louis

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 11:56 PM

I've recently learned that the astragalus used in the formulation for TA-65 comes almost exclusively from northwest mongolia. Apparently there's something very special about the soil conditions and the particular astragalus species in this part of the world that makes it particularly rich in TA-65.

I'm curious if any of you know if you're taking astragalus that comes from mongolia?

Edited by Louis, 04 February 2012 - 11:57 PM.

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#26 hav

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:17 PM

I recently looked into something similar regarding observed differences in Rhodiola based on where it was grown: northern Russia compared to Southern China. And found a few pubmed studies that documented enhancement of certain of its constituent compounds based on the difference in sunlight spectra depending on how far north its grown. Here's one: http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/15227984 But I haven't found anything like that relating to Astragalus root.

Howard

#27 solarfingers

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:35 PM

I hope nobody minds me resurrecting this post. I would like to hear some anecdotal testimonies for people who have been taking astragolus powder for more than a year. What evidence do you suggest implies that your tolemeres are actually growing? I know this information has been out for some time. I have taken the powder for a little over a week at 30mg a day. The only effects I have notice is I felt a bit rundown for a couple of days when starting and actually feel a bit tired after taking it. I'm definitely taking more naps over the weekends. I also am noticing a bit of an upset stomach and more than usual heartburn flareups.

#28 scottknl

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:10 AM

I hope nobody minds me resurrecting this post. I would like to hear some anecdotal testimonies for people who have been taking astragolus powder for more than a year. What evidence do you suggest implies that your tolemeres are actually growing? I know this information has been out for some time. I have taken the powder for a little over a week at 30mg a day. The only effects I have notice is I felt a bit rundown for a couple of days when starting and actually feel a bit tired after taking it. I'm definitely taking more naps over the weekends. I also am noticing a bit of an upset stomach and more than usual heartburn flareups.

I take 5 g of powdered astragalus root each morning with my breakfast oatmeal mixture edit: I've been doing this for 4 years now. It has no discernible effect for me. However, I view this as a long shot possibility to provide a better quality of life for me at the end of my life. If I live out my maximum span, I'll need the extra few cell divisions that astragalus might provide for me.

I think the telomere theory of aging is not the limiting factor for people who are aging right now. In the future if lifespans are extended dramatically, then it could become the limiting factor. I see intra and extra cellular junk accumulation being the limiting factors preventing cellular renewal by interfering with signalling pathways. And this is the reason I follow a CR diet.

Edited by scottknl, 30 May 2013 - 12:11 AM.


#29 niner

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:45 AM

Astragalus may be useful for reasons other than activation of telomerase. Strictly viewing it as a telomerase activator, we need to consider the self-regulating nature of telomeres. When the telomere is long, it inhibits the telomerase complex, and little or no length is added. As the telomere shortens below a critical threshold, this effect stops and telomerase will add significantly more bases to the telomere, until it again gets long enough to suppress telomerase activity. Thus, unless you are old enough to have some telomeres that are below the critical length, telomerase won't do that much for you, so there isn't much point in telomerase activators.

At some point, though, all of us will have enough critically short telomeres to make telomerase activators worth pursuing. However, when we choose to do that, if we are going to measure our results, we really should be looking at the fraction of short telomeres, and not the average telomere length which is unlikely to change much.

I agree with scottknl that telomere length isn't the limiting factor for most of us.

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#30 solarfingers

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:02 AM

If I understand it correctly maintaining short telomeres is the end goal. When we prevent telomeres from getting too short we have removed another reason for cell death. Shouldn't this promote health as we age? I would think that different cells would be at a different stages and some are dying off due to the depleting of telomers. Isn't this by definition the cause of the effect of aging? That is we age because cells are dying. I'm not completely sure what you mean by limiting factors... What other factors should we address if we wish to have greater success at longevity?

Thanks...




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