DragonHead Extract is a supplement made from the dragonhead plant (Dracocephalum moldavica), sometimes called ‘Moldavian Melissa’, which is traditionally used in Uighur medicine for combatting the aging process.
With its unique mode of action and high content in flavonoid glucuronides, it mimics the effects of calorie restriction, an action that significantly slows down the aging process. In the short term, it produces benefits for the skin, while in the long term, it promotes longevity.
It has a similar action to that of the exceptional anti-aging product Nicotinamide mononucleotide.
What benefits are offered by DragonHead Extract?
Aqueous extract of Dracocephalum moldavica is distinct in being able to mimic calorie restriction, and as a result, may be able to push back the limits of human life expectancy and reduce the risk of age-related diseases.
What exactly is calorie restriction and how does it affect aging?
Calorie restriction is simply limiting one’s food intake to the minimum necessary. Until very recently, it was the only method known to increase longevity whilst improving general health (3-5).
Calorie restriction activates a cell protein called AMPK (6-7) which itself triggers the expression of a family of genes called sirtuins (8-9-20). These genes slow down the aging process by acting on a number of cell mechanisms, such as DNA repair, resistance to oxidative stress and cell death. Studies also show that sirtuin activation increases insulin sensitivity and lipolysis, reduces levels of inflammation and plays a preventive role in neurodegenerative problems.
But just how many of us would be prepared to make such a huge sacrifice? A lifetime of drastically reduced calorie consumption in order to increase one’s life expectancy holds little appeal for most people (even if, in the past, such diets were undoubtedly responsible for the incredibly long life expectancy enjoyed by Japan’s Okinawa islanders).
Anti-aging dragonhead extract that mimics the effects of calorie restriction
Fortunately, researchers recently succeeded in isolating natural compounds capable of reproducing the beneficial effects of calorie restriction, with dragonhead emerging as one of the most impressive resources. When humans and other animals are given extract of dragonhead, its flavonoid glucuronides activate AMPK in exactly the same way as calorie restriction. This brings about the same increase in activation of sirtuins, the genes that slow down aging. This results in both general benefits and cellular ones, with effects ranging from a decrease in metabolic waste products, to a reduction in fat mass. Accordingly, one laboratory study showed that the compounds in DragonHead Extract led to an increase of 400% in AMPK activity, and of 300% in FOXO transcription factors which activate the sirtuin family. Perhaps most surprising is that the beneficial effects of this molecule are even observed in cases of overeating (which is common in Western countries).
With dragonhead’s ability to mimic calorie restriction, it’s therefore possible to have your cake (maximum life expectancy), and eat it too (normal calorie intake) and even have a cherry on top (a slim figure).
Additional benefits of DragonHead Extract
Through a domino effect, DragonHead Extract’s activation of sirtuins produces other health benefits too:
- It improves the circulation(1).
- It helps you slim down.
- It supports regeneration of the skin and improves a number of visible markers (elasticity, density, hydration …). One study examined 32 women in their fifties with sun-damaged skin. Following daily administration of 200mg of DragonHead Extract for eight weeks, dermal imaging showed a 14% improvement in hydration, a 7% improvement in elasticity and an approximate 3% increase in skin density (2).
What exactly is Moldavian dragonhead?
It’s a plant that has recently been rediscovered and positively exploited for its high content in glucuronic flavonoids, the compounds responsible for its many properties. It is indigenous to central Asia where it plays a prominent part in Uighur medicine.
What is in DragonHead Extract?
DragonHead Extract is produced from the aerial parts of Moldavian dragonhead which contain most of the active substances. The use of high-quality aqueous extraction produces an extract packed with active compounds such as flavonoids, terpenoids, steroids, glycosides and volatile components. Of all these ingredients, it is the flavonoids which are the most active. Several studies have shown the most important flavonoids to be tilianin, luteolin-7-O-glucuronides, apigenin and rosmarinic acid (15-17). But as in all plant extracts, it is really the synergy between the components which is key.
Pharmacological studies have demonstrated the biological activity of this exceptional synergy: researchers have observed antioxidant, anti-hypoxic, immune-modulatory, anti-microbial, and vasodilatory properties (the latter accounting for its traditional use in treating heart and blood pressure problems (18-19).
How should DragonHead Extract be taken?
The recommended dose is two 100mg capsules a day, to be taken in between meals.
Other anti-aging supplements available from our catalogue include:
- Nicotinamide Riboside 125 mg;
- Longevity Nutrients, an enhanced formulation for promoting longevity;
- Natural Dopamine Support 400 mg, a wild green oat extract;
- Natural Rapalogs, a natural ‘rapalog’ formulation for slowing down aging;
- PQQ & Q10, a synergistic formulation for fighting cognitive impairment (PQQ and co-enzyme Q10).
Written : March 2019.
Note: this product should not be used as a substitute for a varied, balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to follow the guidelines on how to take it and the recommended dose, and to use it by the ‘best before’ date. It is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or for children under 15. Keep out of children’s reach. Store in a cool, dry place.
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- DracoBelle™ Nu Key to skin’s beauty by mimicking caloric restriction, [https://haanspecialingredients.nl/framework/files/35/uploads/Brochure_DracoBelle_Nu_.pdf]
- Leanne M. Redman, Steven R. Smith, Jeffrey H. Burton, Corby K. Martin, Dora Il'yasova, Eric Ravussin. Metabolic Slowing and Reduced Oxidative Damage with Sustained Caloric Restriction Support the Rate of Living and Oxidative Damage Theories of Aging. Cell Metabolism, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.02.019
- Heilbronn LK, de Jonge L, Frisard MI, DeLany JP, LarsonMeyer DE, Rood J, Nguyen T, Martin CK, Volaufova J, Most MM, Greenway FL, Smith SR, Deutsch WA, Williamson DA, Ravussin E (2006) Effect of 6-month calorie restriction on biomarkers of longevity, metabolic AGE (2011) 33:15–31 29 adaptation, and oxidative stress in overweight individuals: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Med Assoc 295 (21):2482–2482
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- Greer EL, Oskoui PR, Banko MR, et al. The energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase directly regulates the mammalian FOXO3 transcription factor. J Biol Chem 2007 ; 282 : 30107–30119.
- Greer EL, Dowlatshahi D, Banko MR, et al. An AMPK-FOXO pathway mediates longevity induced by a novel method of dietary restriction in C. elegans. Curr Biol 2007 ; 17 : 1646–1656.
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- Flachsbart F, Caliebe A, Kleindorp R, et al. Association of FOXO3A variation with human longevity confirmed in German centenarians. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2009 ; 106 : 2700–2705.
- Jiang W, He CH, Xing JG. Preparation technology of Dracocephalum moldevica total flavonoids pellets and its release mechanism. Chinese Traditional and Herbal Drugs. 2013;44:26–29.
- González-Trujano ME, Ponce-Muñoz H, Hidalgo-Figueroa S. Depressant effects of Agastache Mexicana methanol extract and one of major metabolites tilianin. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2015;8:185–90.
- Yang, L. N., Xing, J. G., He, C. H., Wu, T., The phenolic compounds from Dracocephalum moldavica L. Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 2014, 54, 19–22.
- Zeng, Q., Jin, H. Z., Qin, J. J., Fu, J. J., Hu, X. J., Liu, J. H., Yan, L., Chen, M., Zhang, W. D., Chemical constituents of plants from the genus Dracocephalum. Chem. Biodiv. 2010, 7, 1911–1929.
- Dastmalchi, K., Dorman, H. D., Laakso, I., Hiltunen, Raimo., Chemical composition and antioxidative activity of Moldavian balm (Dracocephalum moldavica L.) Food Sci. Technol. Int. 2007, 40, 1655– 1663.
- Michan S, Sinclair D. Sirtuins in mammals : Insights into their biological function. Biochem J 2007;404:1-13
- Bordone L, Cohen D, Robinson, et al. SIRT1 transgenic mice show phenotypes resembling calorie restriction. Aging Cell 2007;6:759-67
We have already discussed in detail the exceptional properties of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ):
It is an ultra-powerful antioxidant, up to 5,000 times more effective than vitamin C.
It is the only nutrient capable of generating new mitochondria – up to 20% more, in existing – even aging - cells.
It uniquely ensures protection for mitochondrial DNA, which is particularly exposed and vulnerable to oxidative stress.
PQQ and Q10, a powerful antioxidant mix
This new dietary supplement offers the synergistic effects of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) and co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Extensively studied in recent years, these two compounds offer significant antioxidant potency. They are thus able to combat oxidative stress – the result of attacks on cells by highly reactive species. The best-known of these are free radicals which contribute to premature ageing of cells as well as the development of certain age-related disorders such as cognitive impairment. The good news is that antioxidants are available which can fight the effects of free radicals and protect cognitive function. These include PQQ and CoQ10.
Powerfully protective effects of PQQ
PQQ – or to give it its scientific name, pyrroloquinoline quinone – is one of the most powerful antioxidants currently known. It has the advantage of having good molecular stability which makes it highly effective at fighting oxidative stress. Its antioxidant activity is particularly beneficial for protecting mitochondria, the cell structures essential for energy production. In addition to this protective role, it promotes new mitochondrial growth.
The multiple benefits of coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 features in the composition of a number of anti-ageing formulations. In helping to protect the body against free radicals, coenzyme Q10 helps prevent premature ageing of the cells and the onset of certain age-related symptoms. In addition, this powerful antioxidant works within the mitochondria for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The main energy source for numerous cellular functions, ATP is essential in order for the body to function properly. Despite this critical role, the body’s ATP reserves are very low and need to be constantly renewed, hence the importance of coenzyme Q10 for maintaining vital and cognitive functions.
PQQ and Q10, a synergistic combination with protective effects
Often recommended individually, PQQ and CoQ10 are combined in this supplement to take advantage of their synergistic effects. Indeed, recent research has shown that combining them in this way may strengthen their protective role against oxidative stress. These studies suggest that their antioxidant effects may be particularly enhanced in the cardiovascular and nervous systems. As a result, PQQ and CoQ10 are today associated with protecting the heart, red blood cells and brain, as well as preventing age-related problems such as memory loss and concentration deficit. The suggested dose for this PQQ and CoQ10 supplement is two capsules a day. Other powerful antioxidants may also be of interest for fighting age-related cellular damage such as , the natural antioxidant found in grapes and red wine. For optimal efficacy, this protective compound can also be combined with other antioxidants such as in the synergistic formulation .
Taken together, PQQ and CoQ10 improve antioxidant status and mitochondrial health via complementary mechanisms. They also provide multi-faceted support for cardiovascular and cerebral function. They improve mental condition and quality of life in elderly patients and may be beneficial in delaying or preventing cognitive decline in middle-aged individuals.