Dr. Ron’s Research Review – July 18, 2012

This week’s research review focuses on Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat ali).

A total of 350 patients (male partners of sub-fertile couples with idiopathic infertility) were given 200 mg of Eurycoma longifolia Jack extract daily. The sperm quality in these patients was significantly improved, allowing for 11 (14.7%) spontaneous pregnancies. (Tambi and Imran 2010)

A recent study showed that treatment of late-onset hypogonadism patients with this Tongkat ali extract significantly (P < 0.0001) improved the AMS score as well as the serum testosterone concentration. While before treatment only 10.5% of the patients did not show any complaint according to the AMS scale and 35.5% had normal testosterone levels, after the completed treatment 71.7% and 90.8% of the patients showed normal values, respectively. (Tambi, Imran et al. 2011)

One study found that Eurycoma longifolia Jack extract acts as a potential agent for reversing the effects of estrogen by increasing spermatogenesis and sperm counts in rats after fourteen consecutive days of treatment. (Wahab, Mokhtar et al. 2010)

In sexually sluggish rats, both acute (dosed at 500 and 1000 mg/kg) and sub-acute treatments with the root powder significantly reduced ejaculation latencies, increasing also the percentage of mounting and ejaculating animals; in addition the sub-acute administration reduced post-ejaculatory interval. In impotent rats both sub-acute and sub-chronic treatments increased the percentage of mounting and ejaculating rats. The motivational behavior of sluggish rats during the partner preference test was not affected by the treatments. Testosterone serum levels were increased in rats sub-acutely treated in comparison with controls. (Zanoli, Zavatti et al. 2009)

Dr. Ron


Articles

Eurycoma longifolia Jack in managing idiopathic male infertility

         (Tambi and Imran 2010) Download

This study investigated the effect of treatment with the proprietary standardized, water-soluble extract of the root of the Malaysian plant, Eurycoma longifolia Jack, which is thought to enhance male fertility with regard to higher semen volumes, sperm concentrations, the percentage of normal sperm morphology and sperm motility in male partners of sub-fertile couples with idiopathic infertility. A total of 350 patients were given 200 mg of the extract daily and follow-up semen analyses were performed every 3 months for 9 months. Of these 350 patients, 75 patients completed one full cycle of 3 months. Follow-up semen analyses in these patients showed significant improvement in all semen parameters. The proprietary extract of Eurycoma longifolia Jack significantly improved the sperm quality in these patients, allowing for 11 (14.7%) spontaneous pregnancies.

Standardised water-soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late-onset hypogonadism?

            (Tambi, Imran et al. 2011) Download

In most countries, millions of people are relying on herbal medicines as remedy for numerous ailments. In South-East Asia, Eurycoma longifolia Jack, also known as 'Malaysian ginseng' or Tongkat ali, is used to combat stress and disease and to improve physical strength. Moreover, the compounds of the roots of this plant are reported to have aphrodisiac and testosterone enhancing effects in the rat. Considering that human studies are not available, 76 of 320 patients suffering from late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) were given 200 mg of a standardised water-soluble extract of Tongkat ali for 1 month. The Ageing Males' Symptoms (AMS) according to the standardised rating scale and the serum testosterone concentration were taken. Results show that treatment of LOH patients with this Tongkat ali extract significantly (P < 0.0001) improved the AMS score as well as the serum testosterone concentration. While before treatment only 10.5% of the patients did not show any complaint according to the AMS scale and 35.5% had normal testosterone levels, after the completed treatment 71.7% and 90.8% of the patients showed normal values, respectively. Thus, Tongkat ali extract appears to be useful as a supplement in overcoming the symptoms of LOH and for the management of hypogonadism.


The effect of eurycoma longifolia Jack on spermatogenesis in estrogen-treated rats

         (Wahab, Mokhtar et al. 2010) Download

INTRODUCTION: There is little data concerning the ability of Eurycoma longifolia Jack (EL) to reverse the inhibitory effects of estrogen on testosterone production and spermatogenesis. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of EL on testicular histology and sperm count in estrogen-treated male rats. METHODS: Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 200-250 g were divided into four groups of six rats each. Group A (control) was given solvent in the same manner as the treated groups were given EL. Group B was treated with EL (8 mg/kg body weight) orally. Group C was treated with estradiol (E(2)) (intramuscular dose of 500 microg/kg body weight), and group D received a combined treatment of oral EL and intramuscular E(2). After fourteen consecutive days of treatment, rats from all groups were sacrificed and subjected to spermatogenic and epididymal sperm cell counts. RESULTS: The spermatogenic cell count in the E(2)-treated group was significantly decreased as compared to the control (p < 0.05) and EL+E(2)-treated groups (p < 0.05). A similar finding was found for the epididymal sperm count; the E(2)-treated group had a significant decrease in the count compared to the control (p < 0.05) and EL+E(2)-treated groups (p < 0.05). Rats that were treated with EL alone exhibited significantly higher sperm counts and sperm motility when compared to the control group (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: EL extract acts as a potential agent for reversing the effects of estrogen by increasing spermatogenesis and sperm counts in rats after fourteen consecutive days of treatment.

Influence of Eurycoma longifolia on the copulatory activity of sexually sluggish and impotent male rats

         (Zanoli, Zavatti et al. 2009) Download

AIM OF THE STUDY: The root of Eurycoma longifolia Jack, native to South East Asia, has long been used as a male aphrodisiac remedy to treat sexual disorders. In the study we evaluated the influence of Eurycoma longifolia Jack on sexual behavior (including both motivation and copulatory performance) of sexually sluggish and impotent male rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The root powder of the plant was orally administered to adult Sprague-Dawley male rats, classified as sexually sluggish or impotent taking in account their behavior in pre-experimental tests. Groups of 8 animals each were submitted to three different types of treatment: (1) acute at 3 dose levels (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg); (2) subacute (daily for 6 days) at the dose of 500 mg/kg and (3) subchronic (daily for 12 days) at the same dose (500 mg/kg). Mount, intromission and ejaculation latencies and post-ejaculatory interval were recorded during the mating test in order to evaluate sexual performance. In addition the partner preference test was used to assess sexual motivation. Testosterone serum levels were measured in subacutely treated rats and compared with the values of controls receiving vehicle. RESULTS: Concerning the copulatory activity of sexually sluggish rats, both acute (dosed at 500 and 1000 mg/kg) and subacute treatments with the root powder significantly reduced ejaculation latencies, increasing also the percentage of mounting and ejaculating animals; in addition the subacute administration reduced post-ejaculatory interval. In impotent rats both subacute and subchronic treatments increased the percentage of mounting and ejaculating rats. The motivational behavior of sluggish rats during the partner preference test was not affected by the treatments. Testosterone serum levels were increased in rats subacutely treated in comparison with controls. CONCLUSION: Eurycoma longifolia root improved sexual performance but not motivation in sluggish rats after acute or subacute administration. The effect could be mainly ascribed to increased testosterone levels.

References

Tambi, M. I. and M. K. Imran (2010). "Eurycoma longifolia Jack in managing idiopathic male infertility." Asian J Androl 12(3): 376-80.

Tambi, M. I., M. K. Imran, et al. (2011). "Standardised water-soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late-onset hypogonadism?" Andrologia.

Wahab, N. A., N. M. Mokhtar, et al. (2010). "The effect of eurycoma longifolia Jack on spermatogenesis in estrogen-treated rats." Clinics (Sao Paulo) 65(1): 93-8.

Zanoli, P., M. Zavatti, et al. (2009). "Influence of Eurycoma longifolia on the copulatory activity of sexually sluggish and impotent male rats." J Ethnopharmacol 126(2): 308-13.