Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root or roseroot, is a popular herb taken to help the body adapt to a wide variety of illnesses and stresses. Now a team of researchers from the University of California Irvine (UCI) have published a study that suggests it might also increase longevity.
Rhodiola rosea is a tough yellow flower of mountain and arctic regions. It has long been used in Russian and Scandinavian traditional medicine.
However, despite its popularity as a supplement, there hasn’t been much scientific study of whether or not golden root actually works.
The UCI team tested the herbal extract of Rhodiola rosea on fruit flies. According to the results recently published in open access science journal PLOS One, roseroot clearly extended the lifespan of both male and female fruit flies.
In fact, the fruit flies that were given the Rhodiola extract lived almost 25 percent longer.
In addition, research leaders Mahtab Jafari and Sam Schriner noticed something that’s particularly interesting for people who are already unusually fit and healthy.
I have previously reported on resveratrol, a popular red wine extract that has been the subject of some nearly incredible claims about how far it can extend the human lifespan.
Jafari said in a statement that resveratrol works for people who are already “overfed” — which I suspect is a nice word for “overweight” — or otherwise unhealthy.
However, Rhodiola can give you a boost even if you’re already fit.
“We found that Rhodiola actually increases lifespan on top of that of dietary restriction,” he explained. “It demonstrates that Rhodiola can act even in individuals who are already long-lived and healthy.”
Hmm. In addition to prolonging life in the fruit flies, it also delayed the loss of physical performance. You could fairly say that the test flies aged more slowly and thus lived longer.
Rhodiola is safe for human consumption, and it’s already widely taken for fatigue and stress.
If the new research stands up, the herbal extract will become even more popular — whether you call it golden root, roseroot, or Rhodiola rosea.
[Rhodiola rosea photo by Opiola Jerzy via Wikimedia]