Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Randomized Controlled Trial
. Mar-Apr 2019;13(2):1557988319835985.
doi: 10.1177/1557988319835985.

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha ( Withania Somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males

Affiliations
Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha ( Withania Somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males

Adrian L Lopresti et al. Am J Mens Health. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Ashwagandha ( Withania somnifera) is a herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote youthful vigor, enhance muscle strength and endurance, and improve overall health. In this 16-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, its effects on fatigue, vigor, and steroid hormones in aging men were investigated. Overweight men aged 40-70 years, with mild fatigue, were given a placebo or an ashwagandha extract (Shoden beads, delivering 21 mg of withanolide glycosides a day) for 8 weeks. Outcome measures included the Profile of Mood States, Short Form (POMS-SF), Aging Males' Symptoms (AMS) questionnaire, and salivary levels of DHEA-S, testosterone, cortisol, and estradiol. Fifty-seven participants were enrolled, with 50 people completing the first 8-week period of the trial and 43 completing all 16 weeks. Improvements in fatigue, vigor, and sexual and psychological well-being were reported over time, with no statistically significant between-group differences. Ashwagandha intake was associated with an 18% greater increase in DHEA-S ( p = .005) and 14.7% greater increase in testosterone ( p = .010) compared to the placebo. There were no significant between-group differences in cortisol and estradiol. In conclusion, the intake of a standardized ashwagandha extract (Shoden beads) for 8 weeks was associated with increased levels of DHEA-S and testosterone, although no significant between-group differences were found in cortisol, estradiol, fatigue, vigor, or sexual well-being. Further studies with larger sample sizes are required to substantiate the current findings.

Keywords: DHEA; Withania somnifera; ashwagandha; energy; fatigue; herbal; hormones; testosterone.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Arjuna Natural Ltd. was not involved in the design of the research, analysis of data, or in the writing of the report.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Systematic illustration of study design.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
Mean symptom scores after each crossover period.
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
Mean hormonal scores after each crossover period.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 article

References

    1. Abdel-Magied E. M., Abdel-Rahman H. A., Harraz F. M. (2001). The effect of aqueous extracts of Cynomorium coccineum and Withania somnifera on testicular development in immature Wistar rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 75(1), 1–4. - PubMed
    1. Al-Qarawi A. A., Abdel-Rahman H. A., El-Badry A. A., Harraz F., Razig N. A., Abdel-Magied E. M. (2000). The effect of extracts of Cynomorium coccineum and Withania somnifera on gonadotrophins and ovarian follicles of immature Wistar rats. Phytotherapy Research, 14(4), 288–290. - PubMed
    1. Ambiye V. R., Langade D., Dongre S., Aptikar P., Kulkarni M., Dongre A. (2013). Clinical evaluation of the spermatogenic activity of the root extract of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in oligospermic males: A pilot study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, 1–6. doi:10.1155/2013/571420 - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Andrade C., Aswath A., Chaturvedi S. K., Srinivasa M., Raguram R. (2000). A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy of an ethanolic extract of Withania somnifera. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 42(3), 295–301. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Antoni M. H. (2003). Stress management effects on psychological, endocrinological, and immune functioning in men with HIV infection: Empirical support for a psychoneuroimmunological model. Stress, 6(3), 173–188. doi:10.1080/1025389031000156727 - DOI - PubMed

Publication types

Feedback