Ortho Adapt™ Vegan


Helps the body cope with stress effectively

  • Mobilizes internal energy stores
  • Reduces the impact of stressful conditions
  • Activates whole-body defenses
  • Prevents the body from overreacting to a stressor
Vegan Society
Gluten Free

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Ortho Adapt™ Vegan is an anti-stress formula that provides adaptogenic botanicals along with targeted nutrients to help the body cope with stress. Ortho Adapt™ Vegan contains the same effective ingredients and doses as those found in Ortho Adapt™, but without the porcine adrenal gland extract. This allows vegans and those who avoid pork products to benefit from this powerful formula, without the use of animal products.

Ortho Adapt™ Vegan is designed to help the body deal with stress more effectively, by stimulating the adrenal glands and helping to prevent adrenal insufficiency. Adaptogens are substances that provide support to the body during times of stress. They activate whole-body, nonspecific defenses, redirecting the body’s resources to provide energy for active engagement with any stressor, whether physical, emotional or environmental. Ortho Adapt™ Vegan provides ashwagandha, Rhodiola rosea, licorice and Siberian ginseng, four effective adaptogenic herbs that are backed by human research. It also includes vitamins C and B5, which are quickly depleted during times of stress and are required by the adrenal glands to make stress hormones. All of these factors work together to prevent fatigue and burnout, boost energy levels and support the ability to cope.

Ortho Adapt™ Vegan can provide a boost for anyone who is stressed, tired, fatigued or trying to keep up with the demands of today’s fast-paced lifestyle at work, school, sports or family life at home.

AOR Advantage

AOR’s Ortho Adapt™ Vegan’s  premier adaptogenic formula includes panthenine and botanical adaptogens and it effectively supports the body’s ability to respond to stress and maintain balance. Ortho Adapt™ Vegan is especially designed for vegetarians, vegans and those who avoid products sourced from pork.





Ortho Adapt™ Vegan is used in herbal medicine to help improve mental and/or physical performance after periods of mental and/or physical stress.


AOR™ guarantees that all ingredients have been declared on the label. Contains no wheat, gluten, nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, sulphites, mustard, soy, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish or any animal byproduct.

Adult Dosage

Take one capsule two to three times daily with food or as directed by a qualified health care practitioner. Consult a health care practitioner for use beyond one month. Do not consume immediately before bedtime.


Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult a health care practitioner if you have a liver disorder, any type of acute infection, if you are taking hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills or antidepressant medication, or if symptoms persist or worsen. Consumption with alcohol, other drugs or natural health products with sedative properties is not recommended. Do not use if you have hypokalemia, high blood pressure, bipolar spectrum disorder, a kidney or cardiovascular disorder, if you are taking thiazide diuretics, cardiac glycosides, corticosteroids, stimulant laxatives or other medications which may aggravate electrolyte imbalance.

Main Applications
  • Adaptogen
  • Adrenal support
  • Energy

The information and product descriptions appearing on this website are for information purposes only, and are not intended to provide or replace medical advice to individuals from a qualified health care professional. Consult with your physician if you have any health concerns, and before initiating any new diet, exercise, supplement, or other lifestyle changes.

Serving Size: Three Capsule
Vitamin C
500 mg
Pantothenic acid (pantethine, calcium D-pantothenate)
200 mg
Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice extract, 20% glycyrrhizic acid)
800 mg
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng)
200 mg
Rhodiola rosea (3-3.5% rosavins, 1-5% salidroside)
150 mg
Withania somnifera Ashwagandha (Ashwagandha extract )
175 mg

Non-medicinal Ingredients: Microcrystalline cellulose, silicon dioxide, sodium stearyl fumarate and sodium benzoate.

Capsule: hypromellose.


How Do You Handle Stress?

A good diet, regular exercise, a clean environment, and other good lifestyle habits can help keep your body healthy and thus ready for life’s challenges. And certainly, your genes and your upbringing play a big role in the way you handle the stress in your life. But science – often following clues left by the traditional medical practices of cultures living the demanding lives of hunter-gatherers or in extreme environments – has also identified key botanicals and nutrients that can help you to rise to the demands of life. Ortho•Adapt has combined the best of tradition and science to provide the most supportive formula for the adrenals to improve your energy levels and capacity to deal with stress.

What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are substances, often herbs,  that increase the body’s ability to dynamically shift gears when new demands are placed on us. Adaptogens mobilize our internal reserves strength, lessening the severity of the initial shock of the alarm phase which occurs as the body desperately tries to gear up to deal with a new threat. They also keep the body from overreacting to the stressor, thus avoiding, reducing, or delaying the exhaustion phase: the burnout that comes when the body’s resources are unsustainably “strip-mined” in response to stress. Instead, true adaptogens extend the poorly named phase of resistance, that golden zone in which the body’s energies and capacities are optimally mobilized to adapt to new challenges.

Adaptogens, then, are quite distinct from substances that address some specific threat to the body, such as chelating agents to deal with heavy metals, antioxidants to quench free radicals, or antidotes to biological poisons. Instead, adaptogens activate whole-body, nonspecific defenses, redirecting the body’s resources to provide energy for active engagement with all of life’s battles, from fighting sabre-toothed tigers, to handling long hours at work, to finding your way through grief or emotional chaos. Adaptogens must also be distinguished from substances like stimulants or steroids, which force the body down a rigidly defined metabolic path: instead, adaptogens work to enhance homeostasis, the ability of the body to adjust responsively to changes in the external environment in a way that maintains an ideal internal environment.

Orthomolecules Essential to Adaptive Response

Vitamin B5

Pantethine is the stable form of pantetheine, which is the “activated” form of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). The biological purposes of pantothenic acid can only be fulfilled after your body converts it into Pantethine, which forms a key component of the critical metabolic factor coenzyme A (CoA). But unfortunately, your body’s biosynthesis of CoA can be limited by a feedback “thermostat,” which turns off the conversion of pantothenic acid into Pantethine as CoA levels rise – and unfortunately, in many people the “thermostat” is set too low, leaving you with inadequate Pantethine (and CoA) levels. Providing Pantethine directly lets you simply walk around this metabolic stonewall.

The importance of Pantethine to adaptive response lies in the essential role of CoA in the biosynthesis of key adrenal hormones involved in the body’s release of energy reserves in response to stress. People who are deficient in pantothenate rapidly develop symptoms that are all too familiar to people suffering with burnout: fatigue, listlessness, depression, headache, sleep disturbances, low immune function leading to more frequent colds and other infections, high blood pressure, and hypoglycemia.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has long been known to be critical to the ability of your adrenal glands to respond to stress. Vitamin C is essential for adrenal stress hormone biosynthesis, and concentrations of vitamin C in the healthy adrenal glands are higher than in any other part of the body except the brain. When scientists subject living things to any of a wide range of stressors, one of the most well documented results is the rapid depletion of vitamin C stores, especially in the adrenal glands.



Pantethine & Vitamin C

Human and animal studies show that “megadose” pantothenic acid is more effective than “adequate” levels in both humans and animals at activating the adrenal glands and boosting adrenal hormone levels. But Pantethine is more effective than common pantothenic acid at supporting adrenal function, and can be critical if your conversion of B5 to Pantethine has been impaired or is set at a high threshold.

Human and animal studies show that high-dose vitamin C supplementation can help to modulate the impact of stressful conditions, preventing immune suppression and buffering the extremes of cortisol secretion.

Interestingly, studies also show that vitamin C and Pantethine work together in supporting adrenal function. For instance, animals deficient in pantothenate show disturbed vitamin C metabolism, and as the adrenals shrink they lose much of their vitamin C stores; and on the other hand, giving pantothenate-deficient animals extra vitamin C partially protects them against the ordeal.

Botanical Adaptogens

Rhodiola rosea

Rhodiola rosea is one well-studied adaptogen, which has received a lot of attention lately. Also known as “Arctic Root” or “Roseroot,” Rhodiola is an herb with a long history of use in the traditional medicine of Siberia, for adaptation to the rigors of life on the tundra’s of North-Central Asia. Its adaptogenic balancing properties were extensively studied in animals exposed to a wide range of stressors by scientists in the former Soviet Union; more recently, interest in the herb has jumped in the West, after several randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials documented the ability of standardized Rhodiola to enhance the body’s physical and mental work capacity and productivity under conditions of stress. Users find that Rhodiola is highly effective at helping with the psychological impact of stress, even as it enhances physical and mental endurance.

In one trial, 161 military cadets performing a 24-hour military exercise were randomized to receive either Rhodiola supplements or a dummy pill. At the beginning of the exercise, the cadets’ mental performance and self-evaluated health and wellbeing were tested, and a general medical exam was performed. All groups began the study with very similar performance. At 0400 hours, the cadets took their capsules (Rhodiola or placebo), and were re-tested an hour later.

Rhodiola users experienced a pronounced anti-fatigue effect: while the placebo group was performing almost 10% sub par, the study found that cadets taking Rhodiola supplements actually experience marginally better performance than they do before the military exercise begins! There is also a tendency toward a better overall sense of health and wellbeing among subjects taking Rhodiola.

Standardized Rhodiola supplements have also been put to the test in physicians during two-week stretches on night duty and in students during final exams. These trials have confirmed the herb’s general anti-fatigue effect, showing that it improves tests of physical fitness, mental fatigue and neuromotor function under stress.

People who have tried this botanical report that they feel better on Rhodiola. The experience is described in terms of a continuous sensation of physical and mental relief from stress, and anecdotally the effect appears to be most pronounced in people who typically respond to stress with anger or feelings of helplessness. Animal studies have given us some clues to the neurochemical basis of these effects, including effects on the metabolism of the serotoninergic system, boosting brain levels of dopamine, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine, and apparently influences on the synthesis, levels, and/or activity of endorphins and enkephalins, since blocking the receptors for some of these “feel-good” peptides negates some of Rhodiola’s effects.


Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), the so-called “Indian ginseng,” is actually not a ginseng species at all; and while it does provide powerful support against overwhelming stress, its effects are in many ways distinct from most other adaptogenic herbs. While most adaptogens primarily work by helping the body to mobilize and maintain the physiological response to stress, Ashwagandha appears to work first and foremost by reducing the stress-related excesses of the alarmed nervous system.

Several studies show that Ashwagandha is superior to Panax ginseng at helping animals and humans rise to adversity, such as forced swimming in cold water. Ashwagandha has broader effects as well. In one double-blind trial, 101 healthy men aged 50 to 59 were evaluated for various aging parameters over the course of a year. Increased red blood cell levels, greater libido, and lower erythrocyte sedimentation rate (a measure of chronic inflammation) were observed in the men who got Ashwagandha instead of the dummy pills. And remarkably, Ashwagandha prevents both over-activation and suppression of the immune system, strengthening the immune system under the yoke of immunosuppressive drugs yet protecting the body from inflammatory excesses.


Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is the source of the phytochemical glycyrrhizin, which is partly converted in the intestine to the more active glycyrrhetic acid. Both glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetic acid can activate the receptors for key adrenal hormones (mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids) involved in mobilizing your energy reserves in response to stress. Glycyrrhetic acid also helps your body to keep these hormones in their more active forms, by inhibiting the enzymes (5-beta-reductase and 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase) that degrade adrenal hormones into less active forms.

While some people can’t take this herb unless its glycyrrhizin has been removed (see cautions), the German Commission E monographs have established that for most people 200 mg of glycyrrhizin from licorice is a safe, effective dose, which helps the body to maximize the availability of the adrenal hormones necessary for the adaptogenic response.

Siberian Ginseng

Eleutherococcus senticosus, or “Siberian ginseng,” is another misnomer: as is the case with Ashwagandha, it is not a ginseng species at all. But its adaptogenic properties are, if anything, better documented than those of Panax ginsengitself. This botanical was long the juggernaut behind Soviet Olympic dominance, as well as being extensively exploited in the Soviet military and space programs. After an initial focus on Panax ginseng, Russian researchers shifted their attention to Eleutherococcus after comparative investigations and clinical experience revealed its superiority. Eleutherococcus lacks the side effects observed in some users of Panax ginseng, which overexcites some people and can ironically even cause them stress. “Siberian ginseng” also has a more global beneficial effect on the immune system than Panax ginseng, and its phytochemistry – and resulting benefits – is more reliable than its Panax namesake.

In a recent clinical trial, the effects of Eleutherococcus on physical performance and cellular defense were compared with those of Echinacea purpurea (using the standardized Madaus preparation approved as a “drug” in Germany). At the end of the study, people supplementing with Eleutherococcus enjoyed favorable changes in a variety of laboratory parameters, with no significant changes seen in the Echinacea users. The immunological tests were especially revealing – and surprising.

Eleutherococcus supplementers experienced a 16.45% increase in the maturation of their lymphocytes in response to an antigenic challenge, as compared to an almost negligible 2.29% increase in those using Echinacea. Eleutherococcus users also gained increases in their neutrophils’ phagocytic activity (the engulfing and digesting foreign cells): both the number of cells engaged in phagocytosis under test conditions, and the mean number of bacteria phagocytized per neutrophil, were increased. No significant changes were seen in people supplementing with Echinacea.

Finally, on the physical performance tests, people taking Eleutherococcus supplements gained significant improvements in physical performance, increasing their VO2max by 0.26 L per minute (or 3.41 L per minute per kilogram of body mass), and the ratio of VO2max to heart rate. No significant change occurred in these parameters in the Echinacea group.


Market Trends

Managing stress in one’s life is essential if health is to be maintained. Some of the common supplements that are taken in order to help the body to cope with stress include: ashwagandha, maca root, B-vitamins, curcumin, deglycyrrhizinated licorice, glandulars, Rhodiola rosea and ginseng, among others.



Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Sairam K, Ghosal S. Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study. Phytomedicine 2000 Dec; 7(6): 463-9.

Fidanza A. Therapeutic action of pantothenic acid. Int J Vitam Nutr Res Suppl. 1983; 24: 53-67.

Martinelli M, Abate G. The behavior of plasmatic corticotropin activity in subjects treated with high doses of a preparation of adrenal cortex extract. Minerva Med. 1970 Mar 17;61(22):1057-62.

O’Keefe MP, Scholz C, Campbell PS. Vitamin C attenuates the physiological response to stress. Book of Abstracts, 218th ACS National Meeting. 1999; 79.

Shevtsov VA, Zholus BI, Shervarly VI, et al. A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work. Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar; 10(2-3): 95-105.

Szolomicki J, Samochowiec L, Wojcicki J, Drozdzik M, Szolomicki S. The influence of active components of Eleutherococcus senticosus on cellular defence and physical fitness in man. Phytother Res. 2000 Feb; 14(1): 30-5.

Tarasov IuA, Sheibak VM, Moiseenok AG. Adrenal cortex functional activity in pantothenate deficiency and the administration of the vitamin or its derivatives. Vopr Pitan. 1985 Jul-Aug; (4): 51-4.



A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work.

Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar; 10(2-3): 95-105.

Shevtsov VA, Zholus BI, Shervarly VI, Vol’skij VB, Korovin YP, Khristich MP, Roslyakova NA, Wikman G.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical study with an extra non-treatment group was performed to measure the effect of a single dose of standardized SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract on capacity for mental work against a background of fatigue and stress. An additional objective was to investigate a possible difference between two doses, one dose being chosen as the standard mean dose in accordance with well-established medicinal use as a psychostimulant/adaptogen, the other dose being 50% higher. Some physiological parameters, e.g. pulse rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, were also measured. The study was carried out on a highly uniform population comprising 161 cadets aged from 19 to 21 years. All groups were found to have very similar initial data, with no significant difference with regard to any parameter. The study showed a pronounced antifatigue effect reflected in an antifatigue index defined as a ratio called AFI. The verum groups had AFI mean values of 1.0385 and 1.0195, 2 and 3 capsules respectively, whilst the figure for the placebo group was 0.9046. This was statistically highly significant (p < 0.001) for both doses (verum groups), whilst no significant difference between the two dosage groups was observed. There was a possible trend in favour of the lower dose in the psychometric tests. No such trend was found in the physiological tests.


The influence of active components of Eleutherococcus senticosus on cellular defence and physical fitness in man.

Phytother Res. 2000 Feb; 14(1): 30-5.

Szolomicki J, Samochowiec L, Wojcicki J, Drozdzik M, Szolomicki S.

The influence of active components of Eleutherococcus senticosus, contained in Taiga Wurzel preparation, were studied on cellular defence and physical fitness in man. 50 healthy volunteers of both sexes were selected, and basic clinical examination and laboratory tests were performed in all subjects. All were randomly subdivided into two study groups: group A with 35 subjects receiving Taiga Wurzel and group B with 15 subjects receiving Echinacea. 20 healthy males were randomly selected from both groups and underwent an ergospirometric study. The preparations were administered for 30 days as follows: Taiga Wurzel 25 drops three times daily, Echinacea 40 drops three times daily. After 1 month blood was drawn for control tests. Changes in the following blood parameters were observed in comparison to initial values in group A: total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose. No alterations were seen in group B. The ergospirometric test revealed a higher oxygen plateau in group A (Taiga Wurzel). On the basis of the present study the following conclusions were drawn: active components in Eleutherococcus senticosus contained in Taiga Wurzel preparation affect cellular defence and physical fitness, as well as lipid metabolism.


Vitamin C attenuates the physiological response to stress.

Book of Abstracts, 218th ACS National Meeting. 1999; 79.

O’Keefe MP, Scholz C, Campbell PS.

The purpose of this study was to determine if vitamin C could act through the endocrine system to bolster immune function by limiting the secretion of anti-inflammatory adrenal corticoids. Rats were fed 50mg or 100mg of vitamin C twice daily at twelve-hour intervals for a period of three weeks. Stress was produced daily by one hour of complete physical restraint. Rats were euthanized by CO2 narcosis and blood obtained by cardiac puncture. RIA and ELISA were used to measure corticosterone and IgG, respectively. Vitamin C treatment at 200mg/day increased the serum IgG levels and alleviated the physiological response to stress, preventing the morning elevation of blood corticosterone produced by immobilization. Adrenal hypertrophy and thymus involution were also more pronounced under stress without vitamin C. We conclude that vitamin C may reduce the debilitation and illness associated with chronic stress by inhibiting glucocorticoid secretion and thus immunosuppression.


[Adrenal cortex functional activity in pantothenate deficiency and the administration of the vitamin or its derivatives]

Vopr Pitan. 1985 Jul-Aug; (4): 51-4.

Tarasov IuA, Sheibak VM, Moiseenok AG.

Study of the corticosteroid content in the adrenals and blood of rats under pantothenate deficiency has demonstrated a decrease in adrenocortical function. A single administration of pantothenate in a dose of 3.3 mg/kg reduced the influence of hypovitaminosis on the adrenals. The pantothenate derivatives (pantethine, 4′-phosphopantothenate and CoA in particular) injected to intact animals in a single dose equimolar to 3.3 mg/kg calcium pantothenate per kg bw had a marked steroidogenous effect.


Therapeutic action of pantothenic acid.

Int J Vitam Nutr Res Suppl. 1983; 24: 53-67. F

idanza A.

Summary: Pantothenic acid plays a fundamental role in cellular physiology as a constituent of coenzyme A and as such it intervenes in the metabolism of lipids; in addition to that, in the form of active acetate, it is the precursor of cholesterol and of steroid hormones. An adequate vitamin intake is essential for tissue trophism, especially for the epithelial tissue, and for the functioning of organs and systems. The manifestations peculiar to the deficiency particularly involve the adrenal glands and the gonads, with particularly serious hypofunction pictures: lesions of the skin and of the mucosac are also observed with alterations of the cutaneous adnexes and in particular the hair. Moreover, through its intervention in the synthesis reaction of acetylcholine, the vitamin is capable of stimulating the depressed intestinal peristalis and is therefore extensively used for the resolution of postoperative paralytic ileus. Researches carried out in our laboratories in recent years have revealed that in rats, after administration of high amounts of pantothenic acid, there occurs an increase in hepatic and seric cholesterol; urinary 17-ketosteroid elimination is increased as well as the total amount of corticosteroids in adrenal cortex. In the course of recent experiments performed on humans, we could observe that, following administration of high doses of oral panthenol, a considerable increase is recorded in the urinary elimination of 17,21 dihydroxy-20 ketosteroids, an unmistakable sign of a functional activation of the adrenal gland. On the basis of our researches, we deem it advisable to suggest the therapeutic use of this vitamin in the corticosuprarenal hypofunction forms, in the reactivation of the intestinal mobility, and in all those conditions in which the structure of the skin, of the cutaneous adnexes and of the mucosae is altered.

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  • Supports the immune system
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