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  1. #1
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    Russian Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.)

    I wrote this for my current log,I thought it's appropriate to post it here as well.


    Russian Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.)


    Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.) is a plant of the Asteraceae family which is called the "King of Herbs" by the French.There're 2 kinds of tarragon cultivated in herb gardens : The French Tarragon (Native of the Southern Europe & the Mediterranean area) & the Russian Tarragon (Native in Siberia and Western Asia).Russian Tarragon has more medicinal use than culinary.There is another variety of tarragon which is actually a member of the marigold family (Tagetes lucida) commonly called Mexican Marigold or Winter Tarragon.

    RT may increase insulin,lower blood glucose levels (Treating diabetes-associated hyperglycemia) & reduce blood insulin levels in mildly diabetic patients.It has a traditional Persian history of use as a natural cleanser of the blood and for the treatment of headaches and dizziness.It is a common part of diet in Iran.
    Essential oil extracted from RT may also have potential as an anticonvulsant and as a mild sedative*.

    How does RT work?

    The 2 polyphenolic compounds 6-demethoxycapillarisin & 2',4'-dihydroxy-4-methoxydihydrochalcone are responsible for the hypoglycemic effect of RT.

    Wang ZQ, Ribnicky D, Zhang XH, Raskin I, Yu Y, Cefalu WT.

    Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA.

    An alcoholic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L (PMI 5011) has been shown to decrease glucose and improve insulin levels in animal models, suggesting an ability to enhance insulin sensitivity. We sought to assess the cellular mechanism by which this botanical affects carbohydrate metabolism in primary human skeletal muscle culture. We measured basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, glycogen accumulation, phosphoinositide 3 (PI-3) kinase activity, and Akt phosphorylation in primary skeletal muscle culture from subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus incubated with or without various concentrations of PMI 5011. We also analyzed the abundance of insulin receptor signaling proteins, for example, IRS-1, IRS-2, and PI-3 kinase. Glucose uptake was significantly increased in the presence of increasing concentrations of PMI 5011. In addition, glycogen accumulation, observed to be decreased with increasing free fatty acid levels, was partially restored with PMI 5011. PMI 5011 treatment did not appear to significantly affect protein abundance for IRS-1, IRS-2, PI-3 kinase, Akt, insulin receptor, or Glut-4. However, PMI 5011 significantly decreased levels of a specific protein tyrosine phosphatase, that is, PTP1B. Time course studies confirmed that protein abundance of PTP1B decreases in the presence of PMI 5011. The cellular mechanism of action to explain the effects by which an alcoholic extract of A dracunculus L improves carbohydrate metabolism on a clinical level may be secondary to enhancing insulin receptor signaling and modulating levels of a specific protein tyrosine phosphatase, that is, PTP1B.

    PMID: 18555856
    Govorko D, Logendra S, Wang Y, Esposito D, Komarnytsky S, Ribnicky D, Poulev A, Wang Z, Cefalu WT, Raskin I.

    Rutgers University, Biotech Center, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.

    An ethanolic extract of Russian tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus L., with antihyperglycemic activity in animal models was reported to decrease phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) mRNA expression in STZ-induced diabetic rats. A quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay was developed for the bioactivity-guided purification of the compounds within the extract that decrease PEPCK expression. The assay was based on the inhibition of dexamethasone-stimulated PEPCK upregulation in an H4IIE hepatoma cell line. Two polyphenolic compounds that inhibited PEPCK mRNA levels were isolated and identified as 6-demethoxycapillarisin and 2',4'-dihydroxy-4-methoxydihydrochalcone with IC(50) values of 43 and 61 muM, respectively. The phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY-294002 showed that 6-demethoxycapillarisin exerts its effect through the activation of the PI3K pathway, similarly to insulin. The effect of 2',4'-dihydroxy-4-methoxydihydrochalcone is not regulated by PI3K and dependent on activation of AMPK pathway. These results indicate that the isolated compounds may be responsible for much of the glucose-lowering activity of the Artemisia dracunculus extract.

    PMID: 17848630
    How much should I take?

    The suggested dose to increase the uptake of 5g creatine is 2x0.5g.

    Ralf J?ger, Iain P Kendrick, Martin Purpura, Roger C Harris, David M Ribnicky and Ivo Pischel

    Background : It has previously been shown that the plasma concentration of creatine following supplementation is influenced by extracellular concentrations of insulin and glucose, the form in which creatine is administered, and also the creatine concentration in the muscle cells. The common practice of raising insulin levels to increase initial uptake into muscle, by means of high amounts of glucose and/or protein, involves a high caloric load which is not always desired by athletes. A standardized extract of Russian Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.), which can be administered safely as an oral supplement, has been shown to have antihyperglycemic activity. This study examined whether the plasma concentration curve following administration of creatine monohydrate was affected by the co-administration of Russian Tarragon extract.

    Methods : Eleven healthy male subjects (20.4 +/- 1.5 yrs, 180.0 +/- 7.2 cm) participated in the study. Each subject was assigned to ingest a single dose of 60 mg/kg bwt creatine monohydrate (Creapure, AlzChem, Trostberg, Germany), preceded 15 minutes earlier by ingestion of 2 x 500 mg capsules of a standardized extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. (Finzelberg, Andernach, Germany) or placebo. Plasma creatine concentrations, determined over two hours following ingestion, were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA.

    Results : Russian tarragon administration resulted in a significant reduction of plasma creatine levels at 60, 90 and 120 min, in comparison to placebo (Figure 1), as well as a significant reduction in the area under the plasma concentration curve (AUC). The effect of Russian Tarragon is seen as comparable with that of glucose and protein.



    Plasma creatine concentrations. Mean (SD) plasma creatine concentration (micromo/L) following administration of 60 mg/kg bwt creatine monohydrate, preceded 15 minutes earlier by ingestion of 2 x 500 mg capsules of a standardized extract of Russian Tarragon (A) or placebo (B). The inset shows the mean differences (+/-SD) between treatments in the change from baseline at each time point.

    Conclusion : It was concluded that Russian Tarragon influences plasma creatine levels during the ingestion of creatine monohydrate. Further research is needed to evaluate the effects of Russian Tarragon on creatine uptake and retention in muscle.
    Is RT safe?

    Ribnicky DM, Poulev A, O'Neal J, Wnorowski G, Malek DE, Jager R, Raskin I.

    Biotech Center, Cook College, Rutgers University, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA.

    TARRALIN* is an ethanolic extract of Artemisia dracunculus (Russian tarragon), a common medicinal and culinary herb with centuries of use. Artemisia dracunculus is a close relative of the French or cooking tarragon and contains components common to many herbs that are routinely consumed without reported adverse effects. Since safety information of Artemisia dracunculus and its extract is limited to historical use, TARRALIN was examined in a series of toxicological studies. Complete Ames analysis did not reveal any mutagenic activity either with or without metabolic activation. TARRALIN was tested in an acute limit test at 5000 mg/kg with no signs of toxicity noted. In a 14 day repeated dose oral toxicity study, rats appeared to well tolerate 1000 mg/kg/day. Subsequently, TARRALIN was tested in an oral subchronic 90-day toxicity study (rat) at doses of 10, 100 and 1000 mg/kg/day. No noteworthy signs of toxicity were noted in feeding or body weight, functional observational battery or motor activity. Gross necropsy and clinical chemistry did not reveal any effects on organ mass or blood chemistry and microscopic examinations found no lesions associated with treatment. Therefore, TARRALIN appears to be safe and non-toxic in these studies and a no-observed adverse effect level in rats is established at 1000 mg/kg/day.

    PMID: 15019182
    *TARRALIN is the former patent name of RT.
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    Thumbs up

    Good post.
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    Originally Posted by __AM__ View Post
    The suggested dose to increase the uptake of 5g creatine is 2x0.5g.
    My thoughts: Russian tarragon may prove useful for speeding the [initial] uptake of creatine into the cells however, I do not think it will be of significant benefit following chronic supplementation.

    Admittedly I have not viewed the full text however, I highly doubt the subjects supplemented creatine prior to the aforementioned study [which would result in depleted PCr values --> thereby allowing for maximal uptake during the study]. Once intramuscular PCr levels reach maximal capacity, I fail to see how tarragon could force more creatine into the cell.
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    it reminds me the concept used by app.nut on their neovar rc, I tried it and I really notice an increase on insulin sensitivity, looks like the concept was right
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    Originally Posted by NO HYPE View Post
    My thoughts: Russian tarragon may prove useful for speeding the [initial] uptake of creatine into the cells however, I do not think it will be of significant benefit following chronic supplementation.

    Admittedly I have not viewed the full text however, I highly doubt the subjects supplemented creatine prior to the aforementioned study [which would result in depleted PCr values --> thereby allowing for maximal uptake during the study]. Once intramuscular PCr levels reach maximal capacity, I fail to see how tarragon could force more creatine into the cell.
    The study doesn't mention previous creatine supplementation.
    It's obvious that RT cannot "force" or oversaturate skeletal muscle PCr stores.The purpose is to induce an insulin response as much as large amounts of carbs.
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    Originally Posted by __AM__ View Post
    It's obvious that RT cannot "force" or oversaturate skeletal muscle PCr stores.
    I'm confused --> "The suggested dose to increase the uptake of 5g creatine is 2x0.5g."

    If the cells are already at full capacity, how could creatine "uptake" be enhanced by RT?
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    Originally Posted by NO HYPE View Post
    I'm confused --> "The suggested dose to increase the uptake of 5g creatine is 2x0.5g."

    If the cells are already at full capacity, how could creatine "uptake" be enhanced by RT?
    As I said it's undisclosed whether the subjects were at PCr saturation pre-study,I'm guessing they weren't.
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    Originally Posted by nunes View Post
    it reminds me the concept used by app.nut on their neovar rc, I tried it and I really notice an increase on insulin sensitivity, looks like the concept was right
    If I wasn't so satisfied with PreSurge as my creatine source I would likely be using Neovar... I really think it has one of the better profiles for a creatine-specific formula... not surprised you noticed good benefits with it.

    I don't think we can come to any conclusion about the RT and creatine just yet... based on the single study, it looks to enhance creatine delivery, which I can only see as a good thing and much better than depending on simple sugars to do so... Hopefully we see some more research done on this herb regarding creatine delivery/benefits, etc... and who knows, perhaps affecting other beneficial muscle nutrients.
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    Originally Posted by __AM__ View Post
    The purpose is to induce an insulin response as much as large amounts of carbs.
    Without any disrespect, how will an induced insulin response help by any significant degree, if the individual's PCr concentrations are at full capacity?
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    Originally Posted by NO HYPE View Post
    Without any disrespect, how will an induced insulin response help by any significant degree, if the individual's PCr concentrations are at full capacity?
    In that case it wouldn't make much of a difference...
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    Originally Posted by __AM__ View Post
    The purpose is to induce an insulin response as much as large amounts of carbs.
    An insulin response would induce a drop in blood sugar. I thought that RT had no effect upon blood glucose levels in non-diabetics while still aiding in creatine uptake?

    (ie: it works via upregulated/agonizing a specific creatine transporter?)

    Perhaps you mean the same uptake response as compared to a large amount of carbs co-ingested with creatine?
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    Originally Posted by papagunz View Post
    An insulin response would induce a drop in blood sugar. I thought that RT had no effect upon blood glucose levels in non-diabetics while still aiding in creatine uptake?

    (ie: it works via upregulated/agonizing a specific creatine transporter?)

    Perhaps you mean the same uptake response as compared to a large amount of carbs co-ingested with creatine?
    The mechanism is not fully understood yet,that's just my speculation.
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    Here is a very informative post from AEN. It seems as though they are privy to specific studies. Either way, it belongs in this thread.

    Originally Posted by ATHLETIC EDGE NUTRITION View Post
    Actually, no, surprisingly, as it has no impact on blood glucose levels in HEALTHY people(a good thing). I need to be careful here and can't go into detail, due to patent issues. But, the blood glucose disposal effects it has on type two diabetics, it DOES NOT have on healthy individuals. I have gotten into some very interesting conversations on how it is working with the researchers... perhaps directly on the CreaT transporters. The truthful answer though, is we do not know the exact MOA yet but we know it's not through being an insulin mimitec or potentiator ect. Fascinating stuff, no doubt.
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    Chronic vs. acute effects: I am thinking that a lack of intramuscular PCr was a critical factor in the aforementioned study. Following PCr saturation, I do not honestly feel that RT will make much of a difference in terms of cellular capacity.

    Originally Posted by ATHLETIC EDGE NUTRITION
    I have gotten into some very interesting conversations on how it is working with the researchers... perhaps directly on the CreaT transporters.
    Originally Posted by NO HYPE
    Admittedly I have not viewed the full text however, I highly doubt the subjects supplemented creatine prior to the aforementioned study [which would result in depleted PCr values --> thereby allowing for maximal uptake during the study]. Once intramuscular PCr levels reach maximal capacity, I fail to see how tarragon could force more creatine into the cell.
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    Originally Posted by NO HYPE View Post
    I am thinking that a lack of intramuscular PCr was a critical factor in the aforementioned study.
    Originally Posted by No Hype
    Admittedly I have not viewed the full text [...] I highly doubt the subjects supplemented creatine prior to the aforementioned study [which would result in depleted PCr values --> thereby allowing for maximal uptake during the study].
    It was placebo controlled, and it did beat placebo. That's the big thing here. Perhaps you missed that since you didn't read the full text? I don't think anyone touts RT to increase [PCr] capacity in muscle tissue. It would be amazing if it did , but that's beside the point. Perhaps that could be/will be examined in a chronic (full [PCr] in muscle cells) RT study?

    Originally Posted by NO HYPE View Post
    Following PCr saturation, I do not honestly feel that RT will make much of a difference in terms of cellular capacity.
    I very much agree with you on this point.
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    Originally Posted by papagunz View Post
    It was placebo controlled, and it did beat placebo. That's the big thing here.
    I'm still trying to figure out what is so big about it? --> "The effect of Russian Tarragon is seen as comparable with that of glucose and protein."



    Originally Posted by papagunz View Post
    I don't think anyone touts RT to increase [PCr] capacity in muscle tissue.
    Agreed however, note the following bolded text:



    Originally Posted by papagunz View Post
    but that's beside the point.
    Ok, just help me clarify what the actual point is then. The way I see it, RT is merely a more efficient way to achieve intramuscular PCr saturation, during the [initial] stages of supplementation.

    "The common practice of raising insulin levels to increase [initial] uptake into muscle, by means of high amounts of glucose and/or protein, involves a high caloric load which is not always desired by athletes."
    Last edited by NO HYPE; 12-24-2008 at 11:29 AM.
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    Originally Posted by NO HYPE View Post
    Ok, just help me clarify what the actual point is then. The way I see it, RT is merely a more efficient way to achieve intramuscular PCr saturation, during the [initial] stages of supplementation.
    Agreed. Once PCr levels are saturated, they're saturated. No way getting around that. I believe the addition of RT can help the typical creatine user reach saturation quicker with intermitent dosing (like training days only). As I believe saturation can eventually occur with dosing of 4-5 times per week. But that's just my theory after a couple conversations with Sebastian and reading the RT/creatine study.
    Last edited by Adjusting; 12-24-2008 at 11:52 AM.
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    What products are it in? I think its in AEN's pre-surge.
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    Originally Posted by GetDatFool View Post
    What products are it in? I think its in AEN's pre-surge.
    Just PreSurge.
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    Originally Posted by NO HYPE View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out what is so big about it? --> "The effect of Russian Tarragon is seen as comparable with that of glucose and protein."
    Exactly, you don't have to consume substrate with it for optimal uptake. I think that's the exciting part. For a product like PreSurge, if you desire to take creatine pre-workout, maximize uptake (if [PCr] isn't saturated), and still reap the effects of PEA, Caffeine, GlycoCarn, ect, you shouldn't take it with substrate and you don't have to.

    Originally Posted by NO HYPE
    Ok, just help me clarify what the actual point is then. The way I see it, RT is merely a more efficient way to achieve intramuscular PCr saturation, during the [initial] stages of supplementation.
    Agreed, as well as the afforementioned lack of need to co-consume Pro/Cho to maximize uptake.

    I would like to see a study that examines why RT extract behaves differently in diabetics than in non-diabetics. (glucose disposal versus creatine uptake) Do you recall any compounds that do that, and perhaps know the moa as to why? (just generally curious)

    Originally Posted by NO HYPE
    "The common practice of raising insulin levels to increase [initial] uptake into muscle, by means of high amounts of glucose and/or protein, involves a high caloric load which is not always desired by athletes."
    I agree with the bolded part. Just curious, did you include "means of high amounts of glucose and/or protein, involves a high caloric load which is not always desired by athletes" to give your bolded part a context, or because you also view that as important? (if the answer is importance, then I will feel like a dumbass)
    Last edited by papagunz; 12-24-2008 at 01:46 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Adjusting View Post
    Agreed. Once PCr levels are saturated, they're saturated. No way getting around that. I believe the addition of RT can help the typical creatine user reach saturation quicker with intermitent dosing (like training days only). As I believe saturation can eventually occur with dosing of 4-5 times per week. But that's just my theory after a couple conversations with Sebastian and reading the RT/creatine study.

    If Russian Tarragon does impact/enhance the CreaT transporters then I can only see that as a positive... just how big an impact this would have on an athlete and muscular PCr levels vs not using it in the long run, we can't answer that with a definitive answer right now. Maybe it can increase muscular PCr levels beyond what would be done without RT???

    Do we all reach saturation from the dizzying array of current creatine products? All claiming to be the best, but without even the one legitimate study to show for them.


    Despite the questions we can't answer, what does seem likely...
    Short term, this one ISSN study looks very promising for those looking for quick results from creatine and getting the most from such a product that includes both creatine monohydrate and russian tarragon.

    You def. would get more out of each serving/gm of creatine and it makes sense esp. in a pre-workout like PreSurge which you would ideally take 3-5x week before weight training... It should allow for customers to begin to see the benefits of the creapure creatine monohydrate earlier in their supplementation and thus rather than noticing results towards the end of a bottle of PreSurge, they can experience the benefits earlier and thus longer with each bottle... you get more out of your purchase which I am sure customers would appreciate... many people use 75g++ carbs to get the most out of creatine and RT can be used instead of these often empty calories.

    Companies have been trying to enhance the delivery and every other aspect of creatine since it broke out into the sports nutrition scene and changed the industry forever by itself. Russian Tarragon is one of the few ingredients that seems to have some interesting synergy with creatine. I only see positive here and at worst it may do no more once saturation is reached, but still assist in maintaining that saturation.

    In fact, as you can see in this post, I recommended looking for a russian tarragon/creatine mono combo well before I ever knew it was going to be in PreSurge... so yeah, no bias here... I heard of the study after it was published and hoped to see a product/company release it. AEN did first.
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    Originally Posted by Peter LeDrew View Post
    If I wasn't so satisfied with PreSurge as my creatine source I would likely be using Neovar... I really think it has one of the better profiles for a creatine-specific formula... not surprised you noticed good benefits with it.

    I don't think we can come to any conclusion about the RT and creatine just yet... based on the single study, it looks to enhance creatine delivery, which I can only see as a good thing and much better than depending on simple sugars to do so... Hopefully we see some more research done on this herb regarding creatine delivery/benefits, etc... and who knows, perhaps affecting other beneficial muscle nutrients.
    ive been hearing many good things about presurge Not surprised, its made by a good company if you do get a shot to run neovar id love to hear a comparison
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by Outside backer View Post
    ive been hearing many good things about presurge Not surprised, its made by a good company if you do get a shot to run neovar id love to hear a comparison

    PreSurge lives up to the great things people have been saying... both non and sponsored logs... I hear good things about Neovar and I am also not surprised... Right now I consider it possibly the best choice for a non-stim creatine-based product. I managed to get some samples and I'll try them sometime.
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