Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from JISSN and BioMed Central.

Journal App

google play app store
Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects

Shawn M Talbott1*, Julie A Talbott1, Annie George2 and Mike Pugh3

Author Affiliations

1 SupplementWatch, 648 Rocky, Knoll Draper, UT 84020, USA

2 Biotropics Malaysia Berhad, Lot 21, Jalan U1/19, Section U1, Hicom-Glenmarie Industrial Park, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

3 MonaVie, 10855 S River Front Parkway, South Jordan, UT 84095, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013, 10:28  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-28

Published: 26 May 2013

Abstract

Background

Eurycoma longifolia is a medicinal plant commonly called tongkat ali (TA) and “Malaysian ginseng.” TA roots are a traditional “anti-aging” remedy and modern supplements are intended to improve libido, energy, sports performance and weight loss. Previous studies have shown properly-standardized TA to stimulate release of free testosterone, improve sex drive, reduce fatigue, and improve well-being.

Methods

We assessed stress hormones and mood state in 63 subjects (32 men and 31 women) screened for moderate stress and supplemented with a standardized hot-water extract of TA root (TA) or Placebo (PL) for 4 weeks. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) with significance set at p < 0.05 was used to determine differences between groups.

Results

Significant improvements were found in the TA group for Tension (−11%), Anger (−12%), and Confusion (−15%). Stress hormone profile (salivary cortisol and testosterone) was significantly improved by TA supplementation, with reduced cortisol exposure (−16%) and increased testosterone status (+37%).

Conclusion

These results indicate that daily supplementation with tongkat ali root extract improves stress hormone profile and certain mood state parameters, suggesting that this “ancient” remedy may be an effective approach to shielding the body from the detrimental effects of “modern” chronic stress, which may include general day-to-day stress, as well as the stress of dieting, sleep deprivation, and exercise training.

Keywords:
Testosterone; Cortisol; Stress; Vigor; Tongkat ali; Eurycoma; Mood