This randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigated the safety and efficacy of Labisia pumila (LP) water extract on sexual health, lipid profile and inflammatory markers in 36 healthy pre-and post-menopausal North American women. Participants were randomized to either LP (200 mg) or placebo for 12 weeks. The female sexual function index (FSFI) and short form-36 health survey (SF-36) were completed, and lipid profiles, anti-inflammatory markers, urinary antioxidants and safety parameters were assessed. There were no significant differences in FSFI and SF-36 scores after 12 weeks. Compared to placebo, women on Labisia pumila trended towards a reduction in total cholesterol after 12 weeks (p=0.077). Urinary 8-isoprostane concentrations from baseline to week 12 decreased for both groups, with women on L. pumila demonstrating a greater decrease (Δ= -144.4nmol/L) versus placebo (Δ= -125.9nmol/L). Significant decreases in serum IL-6 from baseline to week 6 were observed in Labisia pumila and placebo (p=0.006 and p=0.012 respectively) but these differences were not sustained through week 12. LP demonstrated a trend towards an improvement in TC, urinary 8-isoprostane and significant within group improvement in IL-6 and IL-1β suggesting a role for LP in improving inflammation. Future research should focus on older subjects that are sexually dysfunctional.
Key words: Labisia pumila, women’s health, randomized double-blind trial, female sexual function index, blood lipid profile, cytokines.
Abbreviations: LP, Labisia pumila; FSFI, female sexual function index; AEs, adverse events; ALT, alanine transaminase; AST, aspartate aminotransferase; BMI, body mass index; CBC, complete blood count; GGT, gamma-glutamyl transferase; HDL-C, high density lipoprotein cholesterol; ICH, International Conference of Harmonization; IL, interleukin; LDL-C, low density lipoprotein cholesterol; SF-36, Short Form 36; SOD, superoxide dismutase; TNFα, tumor necrosis factor-alpha.
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