(This article on Astragalus is reposted from the M2 Performance Nutrition blog, click here to read it on their site)
By Mike Molloy, PhD
(Owner of M2 Performance Nutrition)
• PhD in Microbiology & Immunology
• 9+ years Nutritional & Physical Training Coach
• Coach to more than 40 CrossFit Regional and Games athletes
""As most of you know, I’m a former Immunologist. I first learned about Astraglus for its effects in promoting what we call Th1 immune responses. Th1 immunity helps us to fight viruses, bacteria and cancer, all things that we want a nice strong response for. However, the body has designed lots of “breaks” on the immune system to prevent it from getting too strong. One of those breaks is stress, which dampens our Th1 response and instead pushes it more towards Th6 immunity. Th6 responses aren’t inherently bad, they help us to fight parasite infections, but unfortunately the Th6 pathway is often corrupted into causing allergies.
As most of us have pretty stressful lives, a little push back towards Th1 immunity using an herbal supplement such as astragalus makes a lot of sense. Checking through the literature, you can also find astragalus supplementation linked to:
- Improved blood flow and enhanced red blood cell production (including post heart attack)
- Antioxidant functionality
- Enhanced endurance capacity including animal modeling
- Reducing the side effects of chemotherapy
- Improved telomerase function, a protein involved in anti-aging
- Direct anti-viral effects on a NUMBER of viral and bacterial strains (1,2, etc)
- Improved wound healing
- Improved blood glucose control in pregnant women
- In vitro studies improving sperm motility (potential improved fertility)
Any downsides you might ask??? There’s nothing firm, but if you have an autoimmune condition, I might be a little careful and dose carefully since many AI diseases are Th1 mediated as well.
How to take astragalus?
There’s of a few options here. Of course, you can just take a normal powdered pill (want to dose between 250 and 500 mg 2X a day). In fact, I have this in my supplement closet right now.""
Thanks to Mike Molloy for the article and make sure to click here and go check out the original and the rest of the M2 Performance Nutrition blog.