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J Med Food. 2010 Dec;13(6):1287-92. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0286. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Exploring new applications for Rhodiola rosea: can we improve the quality of life of patients with short-term hypothyroidism induced by hormone withdrawal?

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Department of Applications, Safety and Regulations, Polinat S.L., Taibique, Polígono Industrial Las Majoreras, 35240 Ingenio, Las Palmas, Spain.


Patients treated for differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) are subjected to periodic surveillance that includes serum thyroglobulin measurements followed by radioiodine administrations for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes if necessary. Both procedures require adequately elevated blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which can be achieved by two approaches: parenteral administration of recombinant human TSH (rhTSH) or stopping thyroid hormone replacement until optimal levels of endogenous TSH are achieved. Although rhTSH administration does not require hormone withdrawal, it is not inexpensive and carries the risk of secondary effects. The latter option is simpler but induces a profound state of hypothyroidism, which results in physical and mental complaints that may interfere severely with the patient's activities of daily living. Rhodiola rosea is a popular plant in traditional medical systems in Eastern Europe and Asia with a reputation for stimulating the nervous system, decreasing depression, enhancing work performance, and eliminating fatigue, all features of clinical hypothyroidism. Investigators have also suggested additional benefits such as cardioprotection or even tumor growth inhibition. Here, we propose R. rosea as a viable alternative treatment for the symptoms of short-term hypothyroidism in patients with DTC who require hormone withdrawal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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