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Aviat Space Environ Med. 2008 Feb;79(2):94-8.

Radix astragali and orthostatic response: a double-masked crossover study.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, College of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an, China.

Abstract

AIM:

Recent results from animal experiments have shown that radix astragali (RA), a traditional Chinese herbal tonic, alleviates muscle atrophy under simulated weightlessness conditions, rendering RA a candidate for human use as a countermeasure against muscular atrophy. Possible cardiovascular side effects have not yet been investigated. We analyzed the effects of RA on the orthostatic stability of healthy men.

METHODS:

There were 10 test subjects who were assigned to a double-blinded, randomized crossover design using RA or placebo (PL) for 14 d each, respectively. Test runs were separated by a 14-d 'washout' interval. At the beginning and the end of every 14-d test run, graded orthostatic stress (GOS) consisting of head-up tilt (HUT) combined with lower body negative pressure (LBNP) was used to achieve a presyncopal endpoint. Orthostatic effects on cardiac and vascular function were continuously monitored.

RESULTS:

There were no significant differences between the RA vs. PL groups: mean arterial blood pressure dropped by 13 vs. 17%, pulse pressure 46 vs. 35%, heart rate increased 108 vs. 117%, and stroke volume index decreased 54 vs. 49% from supine control to presyncope. Neither did RA influence standing time compared to PL (18 +/- 7 vs. 17 +/- 6 min), nor did progression from the first to the fourth trial (15 +/- 6 to 18 +/- 7 min).

CONCLUSION:

RA does not influence resting cardiovascular variables and orthostatic capacity in humans. It can be expected that human studies of RA's musculo-skeletal countermeasure potential will not be compromised by any cardiovascular side effects at the dosage employed in this study.

PMID:
18309905
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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