Shatavari supplementation in postmenopausal women improves handgrip strength and increases vastus lateralis myosin regulatory light chain phosphorylation but does not alter markers of bone turnover

Mary F. O'Leary (Lead Author), Sarah R. Jackman, Vlad R. Sabou, Matthew I. Campbell, Jonathan C. Y. Tang, John Dutton, Joanna L. Bowtell

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract: Shatavari has long been used as an Ayurvedic herb for women’s health, but empirical evidence for its effectiveness has been lacking. Shatavari contains phytoestrogenic compounds that bind to the estradiol receptor. Postmenopausal estradiol deficiency contributes to sarcopenia and osteoporosis. In a randomised double-blind trial, 20 postmenopausal women (68.5 ± 6 years) in-gested either placebo (N = 10) or shatavari (N = 10; 1000 mg/d, equivalent to 26,500 mg/d fresh weight shatavari) for 6 weeks. Handgrip and knee extensor strength were measured at baseline and at 6 weeks. Vastus lateralis (VL) biopsy samples were obtained. Data are presented as difference scores (Week 6 – baseline, median ± interquartile range). Handgrip, (but not knee extensor) strength was improved by shatavari supplementation (shatavari +0.7 ± 1.1 kg, placebo -0.4 ± 1.3 kg; p=0.04). Myosin regulatory light chain phosphorylation, a known marker of improved myosin contractile function, was increased in VL following shatavari supplementation (immunoblotting; placebo -0.08 ± 0.5 a.u. shatavari +0.3 ± 1 arbitrary units (a.u.); p = 0.03). Shatavari increased phosphorylation of Aktser473 (Aktser473 (placebo -0.6 ± 0.6 a.u. shatavari +0.2 ± 1.3 a.u; p = 0.03) in VL. Shatavari supplementation did not alter plasma markers of bone turnover (P1NP, β-CTX) and stimulation of human osteoblasts with pooled sera (N = 8 per condition) from placebo and shatavari supplementation conditions did not alter cytokine or metabolic markers of osteoblast activity. Shatavari may improve muscle function and contractility via myosin conformational change and warrants further investigation in larger and more diverse cohorts of its utility in conserving and enhancing musculoskeletal function
Original languageEnglish
Article number4282
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2021


  • Asparagus racemosus
  • Nutrition
  • Skeletal muscle

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