Eurycoma longifolia supplementation increases testosterone levels in humans via activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and/or the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis mainly in older adults and nonhealthy populations. This study aimed to assess the impact of Eurycoma longifolia on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axes in healthy young males since this might promote functional testosterone prowess. Thirty-two males (24.4 ± 4.7 years; 1.74 ± 0.07 m; 73.7 ± 8.4 kg) in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, matched-paired study received 600 mg/day Eurycoma longifolia or placebo for two weeks. Blood analysis using repeated measures analysis of variance showed significant interaction and time effects for testosterone (F1,30 = 9.04, p = .005), free testosterone (F1,30 = 7.13, p = .012) and estradiol (F1,30 = 8.07, p = .008) levels in favour of the treatment group, while luteinising hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and sexual hormone-binding globulin did not. The lack of changes in luteinising hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels suggests that a lesser role played by Eurycoma longifolia in activating the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in the young adults. The raised testosterone level may be due to a greater rate of hormone production via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The supplementation of Eurycoma longifolia for two weeks demonstrates steroidogenic effects on young men were dose-related. Consequently, the raised testosterone following Eurycoma longifolia supplementations could benefit muscle and strength gain in young adults.
Keywords: herbal supplement; hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal; hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal; sex hormones.
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