Ashwagandha is an herbal supplement that has become popular in recent years for its purported health benefits. Some people believe that ashwagandha can help with everything from anxiety to weight loss. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims. One area where ashwagandha has been studied relatively extensively is in relation to weight gain. So, does ashwagandha cause weight gain? Let’s take a look at the evidence.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an herbal remedy that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. The name ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit words “ashva,” meaning horse, and “gandha,” meaning smell. The name is thought to refer to the herb’s strong horse-like smell.
Ashwagandha is a member of the nightshade family of plants and is related to tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. The herb is native to India and North Africa and has been used medicinally for centuries. In Ayurveda, ashwagandha is known as “Indian ginseng” because of its similarities to Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng).
There are several studies that have looked at the effect of ashwagandha on weight gain. One study, published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, found that taking ashwagandha for two months resulted in a significant increase in body weight and fat mass in a group of overweight adults. Another study, this one published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, found that supplementation with ashwagandha increased body weight, fat mass, and cholesterol levels in rats.
So, it appears that there is some evidence to suggest that ashwagandha may cause weight gain in both humans and animals. However, it’s important to note that both of the aforementioned studies were relatively small and used extracts of unknown quality. Moreover, the long-term effects of ashwagandha use on body weight are not known. Therefore, more research is needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn.
How Ashwagandha May Cause Weight Gain?
Ashwagandha is an “adaptogen,” which means it helps the body adapt to stress. One of the ways it does this is by increasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol has many functions, one of which is storing energy in the form of fat. Therefore, if cortisol levels are increased, fat storage may also increase, leading to weight gain.
In addition, ashwagandha may increase appetite. A study in rats found that those given ashwagandha ate more than those who were not given the herb. While this study was done on rats and not humans, it’s possible that ashwagandha may have a similar effect on humans and increase appetite, leading to weight gain.
At this point in time, there is not enough scientific evidence to say definitively whether or not ashwagandha causes weight gain. However, there is some evidence to suggest that it may have this effect. If you are considering taking ashwagandha, or if you are already taking it and have noticed an increase in your weight, it is best to speak with your healthcare provider first. They can provide you with more information and help you make an informed decision about whether or not this supplement is right for you.
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