New branded ashwagandha shows immunity, sleep benefits

Launched at SupplySide West 2019, the Shoden branded ashwagandha ingredient is breaking new ground with "restorative sleep."

Todd Runestad, Content Director,

January 22, 2021

2 Min Read
New branded ashwagandha shows immunity, sleep benefits

The ashwagandha branded ingredient class just got bigger with the recent launch of Shoden, from NutriScience Innovations.

The significant difference between the three is in the percent of withanolide glycosides. Ashwagandha extracts are typically standardized to 2.5% withanolides. KSM-66 uses the amount found naturally in the root—5%. Sensoril concentrates and standardizes withanolides at 10%. That’s the difference between dosage levels. The Sensoril dosage, which starts at 125mg for its adaptogenic effects, rises as high as 500mg in one study benefitting strength. 

KSM-66, meanwhile, boasts the most published research, with most studies using 300 mg twice daily.

Shoden, on the other hand, raises the bar with a whopping 35% withanolide level.

“It utilizes an innovative multistep solvent extraction process for which a patent has been applied for,” said Michael Lelah, chief science officer at NutriScience Innovations. “It’s not a simple extraction. The extraction solvents are only water and ethanol.”

Three published studies have been conducted on Shoden, at various dosage levels. At 60 mg, it was found to increase hormone levels of DHEA and testosterone, yet not real practical effects as it relates to fatigue, vigor and the like. 

At 240 mg, Shoden modulates the HPA axis (but not cortisol, the stress hormone, levels) and improves stress outcomes.

Related:Ashwagandha gets lampooned on Saturday Night Live. That’s great news! - podcast

Lelah said new evidence, not yet published, shows that “much lower levels” can also reduce cortisol. A new clinical trial is about ready to start to dig into that area.

Restorative sleep

And at 120 mg, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on 150 participants for six weeks showed a significant increase, of 42%, on restorative sleep.

“That means you’re waking up and ready to go,” said Lelah.

Time to fall asleep after lights out was significantly reduced by almost 12%. Improved quality of sleep time increased by 39 minutes—Lelah said studies show a 30-minute increase in sleep results in a significant increase in daytime function, otherwise known as restorative sleep.

In a new twist, Shoden has been shown to benefit immune health.

“Immune health has become an important part of general health and wellness,” said Lelah. “Consumers are looking at immune health not just as an important part of general health and wellness but as an integral part of emotional health and well-being.”

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study using 60 mg Shoden on 25 subjects for 30 days, researchers found a significant activation of the innate immune system (NK cells, B and T cells) as well as adaptive immunity, which goes into effect when the body faces an acute challenge.

That study is not yet published. But with another study not yet published, and another study about to commence, it shows the commitment to science that NutriScience Innovations is putting behind what is the ranking king of the adaptogen market—ashwagandha.

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director,, Natural Products Insider

Todd Runestad has been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. He is content director for and Natural Products Insider digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for, Delicious Living!, and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still covers raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here on LinkedIn.


Todd writes about nutrition science news such as this story on mitochondrial nutrients, innovative ingredients such as this story about 12 trendy new ingredient launches from SupplySide West 2023, and is a judge for the NEXTY awards honoring innovation, integrity and inspiration in natural products including his specialty — dietary supplements. He extensively covered the rise and rise and rise and fall of cannabis hemp CBD. He helps produce in-person events at SupplySide West and SupplySide East trade shows and conferences, including the wildly popular Ingredient Idol game show, as well as Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East and the NBJ Summit. He was a board member for the Hemp Industries Association.

Education / Past Lives

In previous lives Todd was on the other side of nature from natural products — natural history — as managing editor at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He's sojourned to Burning Man and Mount Everest. He graduated many moons ago from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.


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