Coastal plant extract could improve physical performance and reduce fatigue, a study suggests

By Liza Laws contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags: fatigue, exercise performance, Glossogyne tenuifolia

A perennial plant that grows along the coastline could be the key to improving exercise performance and reducing fatigue, a study has found.

Glossoglyne tenuifolia (GT) grown in Taiwan was used in the study on mice to look at its effect on increasing exercise performance and easing fatigue during exercise.

Insufficient rest, mental stress, unnecessary physical load and pressure are the factors that cause physiological fatigue. It is also associated with high-intensity exercise-induced exhaustion where the body uses energy sources including glucose, hepatic and muscle glycogen and on the other hand, the aggregation of metabolites including lactic acid, ammonia and blood urea nitrogen that can add to muscle fatigue.

Previous studies​ have shown that natural products can boost athletic performance and decrease or prevent fatigue without causing any adverse effects.

The medicinal properties of many Chinese herbal teas or medicines are known and include being rich in antioxidants, notably phenolics, alkaloids and antioxidant vitamins, research​ has found. The GT herb was used for making tea in folk medicines. In Chinese medicine, it is used as an antipyretic, hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory medicine. Herbal teas made from this extract have been used to treat sunstroke.

Important economic healthy food

The researchers said: “GT is a traditional antipyretic and hepatoprotective herb and may soon become an important economic healthy food. However, the information on effective ingredients was still rare and unclear until now​. Safety reports of the extract have also shown no toxicity of up to 10g.”

Fifty male mice at the Institute of Cancer Research in Taiwan and segregated into five groups of ten taking extracts of GT orally at different strengths for four weeks. The concentrations used were 50, 100, 250 and 500 mg per day.

Evaluations of forelimb grip strength, endurance swimming time, serum biochemical marker levels, blood lipid profiles and histological analysis of various organs were performed to assess the anti-fatigue effect and exercise performance of GT extracts.

Endurance levels increased

The forelimb grips strength and endurance swimming time of GT-administered mice were increased significantly in a dose-dependent manner when compared to the control.

Serum glucose, creatine kinase and lactate were increased significantly in the highest dose group while liver marker serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) was increased in the two highest dose groups (those on 250 and 500mg/day).

Muscle and hepatic glycogen levels which are essential for energy sources during exercise were also significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner in all GT extract groups. No histological aberrations were observed in the vital organs after GT extract was administered.

Researchers added: “The results show that this plant extract could be used for formulating food supplementation/health drinks exhibiting anti-fatigue effect and improving exercise performance.”

They concluded the GT extract in mice could enhance physical performance, including forelimb grip strength and endurance swimming time. They also noted that fatigue blood biochemical parameters indicate that GT extract improves glucose levels in the liver and muscle. They say taken together, herbal extract GT can be used to mitigate fatigue during exercise and increase exercise performance.

Source: Nutrients

First published: http://doi.org/10.3390/nu14051011

'Anti-Fatigue and Exercise Performance Improvement Effect of Glossogyne tenuifolia Extract in Mice'

Authors: Yi-Ju Chen et al

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