Re: APF alternative Dr. Kellon please

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

--- In EquineCushings@..., "tink92065" <tink92065@...> wrote:

Are these herbs safe for long term use ? If my memory serves me right Siberian Ginseng is not. Something about the way APF extracts the whatever that makes it safe for long term use.
Extracts are actually more potent than the powdered dried herb. However, all the side effects you mentioned are linked to true ginsengs. Siberian ginseng (Eleuthrococcus) is not a ginseng.

Here's a good monograph on Eleuthrococcus:


and this describes the type of effects we are after with APF/adaptogens:

Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Sep;4(3):198-219. Epub 2009 Sep 1.
Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity.

Panossian A, Wikman G.

Swedish Herbal Institute Research and Development, Spårvägen 2, SE-43296 Askloster, Sweden. alexander.panossian@...

The aim of this review article is to assess the level of scientific evidence presented by clinical trials of adaptogens in fatigue, and to provide a rationale at the molecular level for verified effects. Strong scientific evidence is available for Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract, which improved attention, cognitive function and mental performance in fatigue and in chronic fatigue syndrome. Good scientific evidence has been documented in trails in which Schisandra chinensis and Eleutherococcus senticosus increased endurance and mental performance in patients with mild fatigue and weakness. Based on their efficacy in clinical studies, adaptogens can be defined as a pharmacological group of herbal preparations that increase tolerance to mental exhaustion and enhance attention and mental endurance in situations of decreased performance. The beneficial stress-protective effect of adaptogens is related to regulation of homeostasis via several mechanisms of action associated with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the control of key mediators of stress response such as molecular chaperons (e.g. Hsp70), stress-activated c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK1), Forkhead Box O transcription factor DAF-16, cortisol and nitric oxide (NO). The key point of action of phytoadaptogens appears to be their up-regulating and stress-mimetic effects on the "stress-sensor" protein Hsp70, which plays an important role in cell survival and apoptosis. Hsp70 inhibits the expression of NO synthase II gene and interacts with glucocorticoid receptors directly and via the JNK pathway, thus affecting the levels of circulating cortisol and NO. Prevention of stress-induced increase in NO, and the associated decrease in ATP production, results in increased performance and endurance. Adaptogen-induced up-regulation of Hsp70 triggers stress-induced JNK-1 and DAF-16-mediated pathways regulating the resistance to stress and resulting in enhanced mental and physical performance and, possibly, increased longevity.

Safety in general isn't usually about long term use as much as it is dose, individual variations (the link describes this well) and pre-existing medical conditions. For example, the true ginsengs, especially Asian, can cause hypertension depending on dose and the user's health when they take it. This will happen with the first dose though. It's not a long term consequence, although the risk of secondary consequences from the hypertension, like renal or cardiac failure, are long term reactions.

An adverse event that can develop with any herb is sensitivity reactions such as rash, hives or wheezing.

The longest I have had a horse on APF is around 6 months. Many people have used it every year during the competition season of a similar length, or longer, but don't give it during rests. Whether constant use is a problem or not, I just don't know. The breaks in supplementation are partially financial and partially because resistance to the effects does develop, probably as a result of the liver ramping up metabolizing enzyme systems.

Extracts like APF draw out and concentrate the bioactive chemicals/drugs in the raw herb. This eliminates or reduces effects from poor digestion related to things like stomach acid suppression or rapid intestinal transport. Other than that, to duplicate the effects of APF with dried herb you would need to know the relative proportions of the herbs in the product, the strength of the extract (how the dose would compare in terms of dried herb) and would have to have the same source of herb. We don't know any of that.

That said, using 10 to 15 grams of each (about what a tablespoon probably weighs) is a reasonable place to start.

Eleanor in PA
EC Co-owner
Feb 2001

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