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Eleuthero for Sports & Fitness

Eleuthero: Main Image© Steven Foster

How Much Is Usually Taken by Athletes?

Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) supplementation may improve athletic performance, according to preliminary Russian research.1 Other studies have been inconclusive and two recent double-blind studies showed no beneficial effect on endurance performance in trained men.2, 3, 4 Eleuthero strengthens the immune system and thus might reduce the risk of post-exercise infection. Although some doctors suggest taking 1 to 4 ml (0.2 to 0.8 tsp) of fluid extract of eleuthero three times per day, evidence supporting the use of this herb to enhance athletic performance remains weak.

Side Effects

Reported side effects have been minimal with use of eleuthero.5 Mild, transient diarrhea has been reported in a very small number of users. Eleuthero may cause insomnia in some people if taken too close to bedtime. Eleuthero is not recommended for people with uncontrolled high blood pressure. There are no known reasons to avoid eleuthero during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, pregnant or breast-feeding women should be aware that some products may be adulterated with herbs that should not be taken in pregnancy, such as Asian ginseng. Only eleuthero from a trusted source should be used.

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

In one case report, a person taking eleuthero with digoxin developed dangerously high serum digoxin levels.6 Although a clear cause-and-effect relationship could not be established, it is wise for someone taking digoxin to seek the advise of a doctor before taking eleuthero.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2024.