African Journal of Biotechnology

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Safety and efficacy of a Labisia pumila var alata water extract on sexual well being and lipid profile of pre- and postmenopausal women: A randomized double-blind pilot study

A George, D Wilson, A Abas, M Evans


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.
AJOL African Journals Online