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Rhodiola Extract Improves Symptoms in Patients with Burnout Syndrome

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Research Glimpse: Burnout syndrome results from physical, mental and emotional exhaustion due to prolonged stress and negatively affects the socioeconomics of the modern world. The various mood related symptoms stemming from the syndrome include fatigue, cynicism, impaired sexual life, lack of concentration, negative attitude toward work. In addition, somatic symptoms such as headaches, hypertonia, or irritable stomach are also reported. 

Adaptogenic substances are known to potentially enhance individual stress tolerance and could be very useful in alleviating burnout syndrome. Rhodiola rosea is a well known adaptogen with a high safety profile. Substantial clinical evidence and traditional knowledge supports the efficacy of R. rosea in enhancing work performance through mental stimulation combined with emotional stabilization. This recent exploratory clinical study has investigated the clinical outcomes of R. rosea treatment in patients suffering from burnout symptoms. 

In this open-label, multicenter, single-arm clinical trial conducted at four centers in Vienna (Austria): Vienna University Hospital and three GP practices, a total of 118 male and female outpatients suffering from burnout symptoms were enrolled. Participants consumed a daily dose of 400 mg R. rosea extract over 12 weeks. Multiple clinical outcomes were measured by using various scales that assessed burnout symptoms, perceived stress, mood state and sexual function. The study results showed that R. rosea administration improved majority of the clinical outcome measures over time and was tolerated well. Most parameters improved after 1 week of treatment and continued to improve until the study end. The study investigators also reported a high degree of treatment compliance from the participants.

Clinical conclusion: The research findings offer the first line of evidence on the beneficial effects of R. rosea in improving symptoms in patients suffering from burnout symptoms. The favorable tolerability and safety profile of R. rosea in these patients suggests a promising treatment option for the management of burnout syndrome.