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16.12.2012


Kaempferia parviflora makes the over-sixties fitter

Kaempferia parviflora
Supplements containing extracts of Kaempferia parviflora, or Thai ginseng, boost fitness. Physiologists at Khon Kaen University, who did experiments with subjects in their sixties, wrote about this in Evidence-Based and Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The effects weren't earth shattering, but the doses used were also very modest.

Somewhere between the ages of fifty and sixty, antioxidants in food become a strong positive factor in physical functioning. If you give older lab animals extra vitamin E, vitamin A, zinc, selenium and rutin, the anabolic growth stimulus of leucine increases. If you give over-sixties vitamin C and E supplements, their strength training becomes more fruitful. Animal studies done on mice that age fast show that supplementation with resveratrol or green tea maintains the level of endurance capacity and fat burning.

Findings like these led the researchers to wonder whether supplements containing Kaempferia parviflora might be interesting for people in their sixties who want to keep up their condition. Extracts of Kaempferia parviflora have been sold in Thailand for centuries as a tonic that not only improves fitness but also keeps up sexual performance. [J Reprod Dev. 2007 Apr;53(2):351-6.]

Kaempferia parviflora probably contains the flavonoids you see below.


Kaempferia parviflora makes the over-sixties fitter


The researchers did an experiment with 45 people in their sixties. They were given a placebo or a supplement containing a low [25 mg] [KP25] or a higher [90 mg] dose of Kaempferia parviflora extract [KP90].

The researchers discovered that the higher dose made the elderly subjects fitter. They observed no effect on muscle strength in the lower arms when the subjects did a Handgrip Strength Test, but did notice that the subjects who had taken the 90 mg dose of Kaempferia parviflora were able to stand up 11 percent more often in the 30-Second Chair Stand Test. The researchers also discovered that the subjects in the KP90 group were able to cover a 5 percent greater distance during the 6-Minute Walk Test.


Kaempferia parviflora makes the over-sixties fitter


Kaempferia parviflora makes the over-sixties fitter


Kaempferia parviflora makes the over-sixties fitter


The researchers found more of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide-dismutase, catalase and glutathione-peroxidase in the blood of the subjects that had taken Kaempferia parviflora. They also found less malondialdehyde, a metabolite that is released when aggressive molecules cause damage to cell structures. The reduction in the malondialdehyde level suggests that the enzymesí protective function was stimulated by Kaempferia parviflora to become more effective.

The researchers suspect that the improved endogenous antioxidant effect that occurs as a result of taking Kaempferia parviflora improves the functioning of muscles. In addition they think that Kaempferia parviflora makes blood vessels more supple, which in turn improves the blood supply to the muscle cells.

"Kaempferia parviflora or Thai ginseng is the potential food supplement to enhance muscle strength and aerobic endurance, the important components of health-related physical fitness", the researchers write. "Therefore, it may also improve health quality of life and decrease risk to fall in the elderly. However, further study is required."

Source:
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:732816.

More:
Resveratrol keeps older endurance athletes fitter 14.12.2012
Pulsed administration strengthens anabolic effect of proteins 20.10.2012
Human study: protein pulse gives anabolic stimulus 18.10.2012