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Abstracts

Life Extension Magazine May 2012
Abstracts

Female sexual dysfunction

Anti-inflammation effects of Cordyceps sinensis mycelium in focal cerebral ischemic injury rats.

Brain ischemia-reperfusion (IR) triggers a complex series of biochemical events including inflammation. To test the neuroprotective efficacy of Cordyceps sinensis mycelium (CSM) in a rat model of focal cerebral IR, ischemic animals were treated with CSM. They were evaluated at 24 h after reperfusion for neurological deficit score. Furthermore, the mechanism of the anti-inflammatory potential of CSM in the regulation of nuclear factor kappaB, polymorphonuclear cells (PMN), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), adhesion molecule (ICAM-1), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) was determined by ELISA and immunohistochemistry. CSM significantly inhibited IR-induced up-regulation of NF-kappaB activation and the brain production of IL-1β, TNF-α, iNOS, ICAM-1, and COX-2. Moreover, CSM suppressed infiltration of PMN. The study demonstrates the neuroprotective potential of CSM inhibition through anti-inflammation in a rat model of ischemia-reperfusion.

Inflammation. 2011 Dec;34(6):639-44

Influence of Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc. and rat serum containing same medicine on IL-1, IFN and TNF produced by rat Kupffer cells.

The results indicated that the levels of IL-1, IFN, and TNF, especially those of IL-1 and INF, produced by cultured rat kupffer cells were increased in the presence of Cordyceps sinensis (CS) or the drug serum (DS) from rats fed on CS. The experimental result of DS was similar to that of CS. However, the former had a better repeatability and stability.

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1996 Jun;21(6):367-9, 384

Investigation of the tuber constituents of maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp.).

Lepidium meyenii, known in South America as maca, has received attention worldwide as a powerful energizer that improves physical and mental conditions and increases fertility. Because of these reports, we investigated the secondary metabolites of the tuber of maca. The methanol extract of the tuber of maca contained, in addition to free sugars and amino acids, the following: uridine, malic acid and its benzoyl derivative, and the glucosinolates, glucotropaeolin and m-methoxyglucotropaeolin. Because glucosinolates and their derived products have received increasing attention due to their biological activities, the occurrence of glucosinolate degradation products in the hexane extract was also investigated, and benzylisothiocyanate and its m-methoxy derivative were isolated. The two glucosinolates were semiquantified by HPLC, and benzylisothiocyanate was semiquantified by GC/MS. The methanol extract of maca tuber also contained (1R,3S)-1-methyltetrahydro-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid, a molecule which is reported to exert many activities on the central nervous system.

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Sep 25;50(20):5621-5

Effect of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a root with aphrodisiac and fertility-enhancing properties, on serum reproductive hormone levels in adult healthy men.

Lepidium meyenii (Maca) is a Peruvian hypocotyl that grows exclusively between 4,000 and 4,500 m in the central Andes. Maca is traditionally employed in the Andean region for its supposed aphrodisiac and/or fertility-enhancing properties. This study was a 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel trial in which active treatment with different doses of Maca Gelatinizada was compared with a placebo. The study aimed to test the hypothesis that Maca has no effect on serum reproductive hormone levels in apparently healthy men when administered in doses used for aphrodisiac and/or fertility-enhancing properties. Men aged between 21 and 56 Years received 1,500 mg or 3,000 mg Maca. Serum levels of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, prolactin, 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone, testosterone and 17-beta estradiol were measured before and at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks of treatment with placebo or Maca (1.5 g or 3.0 g per day). Data showed that compared with placebo Maca had no effect on any of the hormones studied nor did the hormones show any changes over time. Multiple regression analysis showed that serum testosterone levels were not affected by treatment with Maca at any of the times studied (P, not significant). In conclusion, treatment with Maca does not affect serum reproductive hormone levels.

J Endocrinol. 2003 Jan;176(1):163-8

Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the estrogenic and androgenic activity of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) and its effect on the hormonal profile and symptoms in postmenopausal women. DESIGN: Fourteen postmenopausal women completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. They received 3.5 g/day of powered Maca for 6 weeks and matching placebo for 6 weeks, in either order, over a total of 12 weeks. At baseline and weeks 6 and 12 blood samples were collected for the measurement of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin, and the women completed the Greene Climacteric Scale to assess the severity of menopausal symptoms. In addition, aqueous and methanolic Maca extracts were tested for androgenic and estrogenic activity using a yeast-based hormone-dependent reporter assay. RESULTS: No differences were seen in serum concentrations of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin between baseline, Maca treatment, and placebo (P > 0.05). The Greene Climacteric Scale revealed a significant reduction in scores in the areas of psychological symptoms, including the subscales for anxiety and depression and sexual dysfunction after Maca consumption compared with both baseline and placebo (P < 0.05). These findings did not correlate with androgenic or alpha-estrogenic activity present in the Maca as no physiologically significant activity was observed in yeast-based assays employing up to 4 mg/mL Maca extract (equivalent to 200 mg/mL Maca). CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary findings show that Lepidium meyenii (Maca) (3.5 g/d) reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity.

Menopause. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62

Lepidium meyenii (Maca) does not exert direct androgenic activities.

Maca is the edible root of the Peruvian plant Lepidum meyenii, traditionally employed for its purported aphrodisiac and fertility-enhancing properties. This study aimed at testing the hypothesis that Maca contains testosterone-like compounds, able to bind the human androgen receptor and promote transcription pathways regulated by steroid hormone signaling. Maca extracts (obtained with different solvents: methanol, ethanol, hexane and chloroform) are not able to regulate GRE (glucocorticoid response element) activation. Further experiments are needed to assess which compound, of the several Maca’s components, is responsible of the observed in vivo effects.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Apr 6;104(3):415-7

Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the estrogenic and androgenic activity of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) and its effect on the hormonal profile and symptoms in postmenopausal women. DESIGN: Fourteen postmenopausal women completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. They received 3.5 g/day of powered Maca for 6 weeks and matching placebo for 6 weeks, in either order, over a total of 12 weeks. At baseline and weeks 6 and 12 blood samples were collected for the measurement of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin, and the women completed the Greene Climacteric Scale to assess the severity of menopausal symptoms. In addition, aqueous and methanolic Maca extracts were tested for androgenic and estrogenic activity using a yeast-based hormone-dependent reporter assay. RESULTS: No differences were seen in serum concentrations of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin between baseline, Maca treatment, and placebo (P > 0.05). The Greene Climacteric Scale revealed a significant reduction in scores in the areas of psychological symptoms, including the subscales for anxiety and depression and sexual dysfunction after Maca consumption compared with both baseline and placebo (P < 0.05). These findings did not correlate with androgenic or alpha-estrogenic activity present in the Maca as no physiologically significant activity was observed in yeast-based assays employing up to 4 mg/mL Maca extract (equivalent to 200 mg/mL Maca). CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary findings show that Lepidium meyenii (Maca) (3.5 g/d) reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity.

Menopause. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62

Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands.

Lepidium meyenii (maca) is a Peruvian plant of the Brassicaceae family cultivated for more than 2000 years, which grows exclusively in the central Andes between 4000 and 4500 m altitude. Maca is used as a food supplement and also for its medicinal properties described traditionally. Since the 90s of the XX century, an increasing interest in products from maca has been observed in many parts of the world. In the last decade, exportation of maca from Peru has increased from 1,415,000 USD in 2001 to USD 6,170,000 USD in 2010. Experimental scientific evidence showed that maca has nutritional, energizer, and fertility-enhancer properties, and it acts on sexual dysfunctions, osteoporosis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, memory and learning, and protects skin against ultraviolet radiation. Clinical trials showed efficacy of maca on sexual dysfunctions as well as increasing sperm count and motility. Maca is a plant with great potential as an adaptogen and appears to be promising as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:193496

A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L. meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction.

We sought to determine whether maca, a Peruvian plant, is effective for selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)-induced sexual dysfunction. We conducted a double-blind, randomized, parallel group dose-finding pilot study comparing a low-dose (1.5 g/day) to a high-dose (3.0 g/day) maca regimen in 20 remitted depressed outpatients (mean age 36+/-13 years; 17 women) with SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. The Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX) and the Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Function Questionnaire (MGH-SFQ) were used to measure sexual dysfunction. Ten subjects completed the study, and 16 subjects (9 on 3.0 g/day; 7 on 1.5 g/day) were eligible for intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses on the basis of having had at least one postbaseline visit. ITT subjects on 3.0 g/day maca had a significant improvement in ASEX (from 22.8+/-3.8 to 16.9+/-6.2; z=-2.20, P=0.028) and in MGH-SFQ scores (from 24.1+/-1.9 to 17.0+/-5.7; z=-2.39, P=0.017), but subjects on 1.5 g/day maca did not. Libido improved significantly (P<0.05) for the ITT and completer groups based on ASEX item #1, but not by dosing groups. Maca was well tolerated. Maca root may alleviate SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction, and there may be a dose-related effect. Maca may also have a beneficial effect on libido.

CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91

The Effect of Herbal Extract (EstroG-100) on Pre-, Peri- and Post-Menopausal Women: A Randomized Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study.

This clinical research study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of a new herbal product, EstroG-100, containing a mixture of standardized extracts of Cynanchum wilfordii, Phlomis umbrosa and Angelica gigas, on menopausal symptoms. This randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed for 12 weeks with 64 pre-, peri- and postmenopausal White Hispanic, White non-Hispanic and African American women who were randomly allocated to either the EstroG-100 group (n = 31) or the placebo group (n = 33). Primary end-points were the mean change in scores of the Kupperman menopause index (KMI) that evaluates 11 symptoms, and the mean change in scores of vaginal dryness. The mean KMI score was significantly reduced in the EstroG-100 group from 29.5 ± 7.4 at baseline to 11.3 ± 5.8 (p < 0.01) compared with change of the placebo group (29.2 ± 6.6 at baseline vs 23.7 ± 7.7 at week 12). The constituting symptoms of vasomotor, paresthesia, insomnia, nervousness, melancholia, vertigo, fatigue and rheumatic pain were significantly improved in the EstroG-100 group in comparison with the placebo group (p < 0.05). Statistically significant improvement in vaginal dryness in the EstroG-100 group was also observed compared with that of the placebo group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, EstroG-100 significantly improved the menopausal symptoms of pre-, peri- and post-menopausal women without weight gain or any serious side effects.

Phytother Res. 2011 Sep 2. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3597

Vulvovaginal atrophy is strongly associated with female sexual dysfunction among sexually active postmenopausal women.

OBJECTIVE: The relationship between vulvovaginal atrophy and female sexual dysfunction is unclear. We investigated this association among sexually active postmenopausal women. DESIGN: The Menopause Epidemiology Study is a cross-sectional, population-based study of women 40 to 65 years old in the United States chosen from a source population selected by random digit dialing and probability sampling. We focused on sexually active postmenopausal women (N = 1,480) for our analyses. Vulvovaginal atrophy was defined as one or more of the following: vaginal dryness, itching, irritation; pain on urination; or pain or bleeding on intercourse. The Arizona Sexual Experience Survey was used to define female sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction subtypes for desire, arousal, and orgasm difficulties were individually scored. We evaluated demographic, behavioral, reproductive history, and medication covariates for effect modification and confounding. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between vulvovaginal atrophy and female sexual dysfunction. RESULTS: The prevalence of vulvovaginal atrophy (57%) and female sexual dysfunction (55%) was high. Women with female sexual dysfunction were 3.84 times more likely to have vulvovaginal atrophy than women without female sexual dysfunction (95% CI: 2.99-4.94). Hot flashes modified the association between vulvovaginal atrophy and desire difficulty. Educational level modified the association between vulvovaginal atrophy and arousal difficulty. Parity modified the association between vulvovaginal atrophy and orgasm difficulty. CONCLUSIONS: This large population-based study provides evidence of an association between vulvovaginal atrophy and overall female sexual dysfunction and its subtypes. Therapies aiming to reduce symptoms of one condition may also relieve symptoms of the other.

Menopause. 2008 Jul-Aug;15(4 Pt 1):661-6