Rhodiola Rosea Revelations

Revealing A Stress-Busting Trio: Rhodiola Rosea, Omega-3, and Magnesium

While everyone wants one supplement to provide all the answers, I’m afraid it just doesn’t work that way. Just as complete nutrition requires a balanced and varied diet, sometimes obtaining the maximum possible benefits of a supplement regimen means combining different nutrients or extracts. 

Bountiful gardens and productive farms often require the same diversity. Different plants and vegetables extract a variety of nutrients from the soil. When they expire, they feed another set of nutrients back into the soil. In healthy farming practices, crop rotations encourage this nutrient diversity in the soil.

Rhodiola rosea, an underappreciated adaptogen known for its stress-busting potential, appears to provide even greater potential benefits when combined with omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium.

Cognitive Enhancers In Stressful Moments

When taken together, Rhodiola rosea and omega-3s make an impressive nurturing duo for our minds and emotions. In 2013, the Carter Study suggested that high doses of Omega 3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, could reduce tangible stress measurements during high-stress activities, like taking a rigorous test.

R. rosea makes an excellent accompaniment to these findings by helping regulate cortisol. Cortisol is our primary stress hormone. While it is necessary, both for reducing acute inflammation and for helping us rise to the moment at times of duress, our bodies often overshoot their needs, producing excess cortisol. Excess cortisol causes us to feel so stressed that we think we can’t cope or even causes us to outright panic. By lightly inhibiting enzymes that help our body use cortisol, Rhodiola rosea modulates our production and use of cortisol.

In 2000, a study measured mental fatigue among night shift nurses. Measurements against a placebo included cognitive testing of short-term memory and accuracy in mathematical equations. The researchers determined that there was a statistically significant improvement among those taking 170 mg of R. rosea extract compared to a placebo.

Magnesium For Muscle Endurance and Recovery

Multiple studies with varied demographics suggest magnesium can support improved physical performance. One study in older women showed how supplementing with magnesium—even when the subjects weren’t deficient—could increase performance. The women taking 300 mg of magnesium increased their walking speed and improved their speed and confidence when rising from a chair. (Veronese, AJCN 2014). 

Another study, conducted with healthy male recreational endurance runners in their twenties, found that supplementing with 500 mg of magnesium daily for a week before a 10-kilometer run on a treadmill reduced muscle soreness by 32 percent the day after and 53 percent three days afterward. (Steward, Eur J Appl Physiol 2019).

Bring It All Together: Research For Rhodiola Synergy

In a clinical trial published in the May 2022 issue of the medical journal Nutrients, researchers studied supplementing with a combination of magnesium, B vitamins, l-theanine (from green tea), and Rhodiola rosea. The rationale for this combination was the following:

  • Verifiable evidence supports magnesium use in relaxation, with some evidence suggesting its use for stress reduction.
  • B vitamin deficiencies often reveal themselves in mood problems.
  • Rhodiola rosea is the most studied and well-supported of the adaptogens, which suggests it might help human resilience in the face of stress.
  • L-theanine appears to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness.

All of these individual supplements have a long and strong history of safety when taken in low to moderate amounts.

The results of the study found several benefits to taking these supplements together. They found the supplement combination more effective than a placebo in reducing stress 14 and 28 days after treatment. The measurements in the study suggested a trend toward improved daytime functioning as a result of reduced perceived sleepiness. In another noteworthy measurement, the subjects taking this combination exhibited reduced sensitivity to cold and warm pain.

Subjects experienced sustained benefits weeks after the study ended. Subjects on the supplement combination experienced improved stress handling even weeks after they stopped the combination supplement, compared to those taking the placebo.

In short, like a carefully prepared family dinner, this combination provided nourishment and comfort. This balanced and considered approach provided more substantial and sustained support for managing stress, much like a loving family working together to support each other.

Keep Calm and Exercise Caution

I know this sounds immensely hopeful, but we must always be cautious. All the studies referenced here were relatively small and short-term. In the science community, these studies would be considered promising but preliminary.

Please consult your doctor before embarking on a new supplement regimen. Rhodiola rosea, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium may each have their own set of side-effects all interact with your current medication. Each body is unique, like every family, and what works for one may not work as well for another.

But the evidence of combining these supplements suggests that, like tackling difficult times with a loving family, a combined effort can sometimes be more powerful than going it alone. We should embrace further research and encourage open discourse with healthcare experts to fully understand and leverage the synergetic power of Rhodiola rosea, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium.