Tongkat Ali plus multivitamin may improve mood and stress response: Human data

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / SAKDAWUT14
© Getty Images / SAKDAWUT14
Co-supplementation of a multivitamin with Tongkat Ali may improve quality of life factors mood, stress response and immune parameters in adults, says a new study.

Data from the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 24-week study indicated that supplementation with HP Ingredients’ LJ100 Tongkat Ali and a multivitamin with 11 vitamins and 7 minerals was associated with improvements in vigor, mental component, emotional well-being, cognition and testosterone levels.

“Significant between-group improvements in the social functioning domain of [the 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) questionnaire] observed in the 25–45 years age group and vigor domain of [the Profiles of Mood Scores (POMS) questionnaire] in the 46–65 years age group supplemented with [LJ100 plus multivitamin] indicate the efficacy of the supplement in particular spheres of influence, particularly relating to age,” ​wrote the researchers in Food & Nutrition Research​.

“[LJ100 plus multivitamin] was found to be safe and well-tolerated in this 24-week supplementation study on moderately stressed participants.”

“Asian Viagra”

Tongkat ali (also known as Eurycoma longifolia​) comes from the root of a tree native to Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, and was dubbed the “Asian Viagra” by the New Sunday Times in 1999. Supplements containing the ingredient are often positioned for male libido, energy, weight loss, and sports performance.

The multivitamin used in the study contained vitamin C (50 mg), retinyl acetate (4,000 IU), vitamin D (200 IU), vitamin E (Dl-alpha tocopherol acetate, 15 IU), thiamine mononitrate (1.5 mg), riboflavin (1.7 mg), pyridoxine hydrochloride (2 mg), cyanocobalamin (0.001 mg), folic acid (0.2 mg), niacinamide (20 mg), D-biotin (0.15 mg),

The new study, performed by scientists at the University of Malaya (Malaysia) and Biotropics Malaysia Berhad, included 93 people aged between 25 and 65, and with a BMI of 18–30 kg/m2. Participants were randomly assigned to receive the LJ100 plus multivitamin or placebo for 24 weeks. Efficacy was assessed after 12 weeks of study, while safety was monitored over 24 weeks.

Stress burn out © Getty Images humonia
© Getty Images / humonia

Quality of life (QoL) was measured using the 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) questionnaire and mood measured by Profiles of Mood Scores (POMS). Stress, a secondary endpoint, was measured by the Multi-Modal Stress Questionnaire (MMSQ).

The researchers reported that, despite relatively strong placebo effects in the control group, LJ100 plus multivitamin supplementation was associated with improvements in QoL, mood and stress of moderately stressed participants.

Stress-related changes in neutrophils and leukocyte esterase were also observed in the active supplement group.

A possible adaptogen?

“Participants in this study showed a significant decrease in neutrophils that degranulate to release proteases during pathogenesis and psychological stress,” ​commented lead author Annie George from the University of Malaya. “Stress also enhances neutrophilia and neutrophil counts without concurrent increase in eosinophils or monocytes, which was also noted in this study.

“It can be speculated that LJ100 is a nutritional adaptogen, an agent that rejuvenates the body through restoration, which may regulate neutrophils and leukocyte esterase release. It is plausible that the [LJ100 plus multivitamin]-mediated improvement in emotional health and vitality may be associated with changes in these immune parameters.”

Source: Food & Nutrition Research
2018, 62: 1374, doi: 10.29219/fnr.v62.1374
“Efficacy and safety of ​Eurycoma longifolia water extract plus multivitamins on quality of life, mood and stress:  a randomized placebo-controlled and parallel study”
Authors: A. George, et al.

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