Withanolides - biologically active compounds belonging to the group of steroid lactones, occurring in some green plants. In supplementation they are perceived mainly as active substances of Withania somnifera, commonly called Ashwagandha. The percentage content of withanolides in Ashwagandha extracts is considered the indicator of the product’s quality - the higher the content, the more effective the supplement. In non-standardized extracts, the content of withanolides is estimated for 1% of dry muscle mass of Withania somnifera leaves.
Being the main active substances of Ashwagandha, withanolides are responsible for the majority of effects of its application. Regular supplementation with Withania somnifera extracts demonstrates adaptogen effect. It increases the organism’s tolerance to stress factors, holistically promoting the functions of the organism. It may decrease cortisol level in case of its excessively high concentrations, promote cognitive abilities and facilitate concentration. Supplementation with Ashwagandha also supports maintaining proper daily rhythm and is conducive to falling in a deep sleep.
Some sources also indicate that supplementation with Withania somnifera extracts positively influences the level of testosterone in the organism. Current research results indicate, however, that this effects of supplementation may be achieved only in people with initially excessively low secretion of the male sex hormone.