Efficacy and safety of Eurycoma longifolia (Physta®) water extract plus multivitamins on quality of life, mood and stress: a randomized placebo-controlled and parallel study

  • Annie George
  • Jay Udani
  • Nurhayati Zainal Abidin
  • Ashril Yusof
Keywords: Eurycoma longifolia, multivitamins, quality of life, mood, stress


Background: The use of alternative and complementary medicines to alleviate stress has increased to avoid the negative effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Objective: This study investigated the safety and efficacy of Eurycoma longifolia in combination with multivitamins (EL+MV) versus placebo on improving quality of life (QoL), mood and stress in moderately stressed healthy participants.

Methods: This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled 24-week study enrolled 93 participants aged 25–65 years, with a body mass index of 18–30 kg/m2, scoring ≤18 in tension and ≤14 in fatigue subscale of Profiles of Mood Scores (POMS) questionnaire and supplemented with EL+MV or placebo. The primary endpoints were QoL measured by 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) questionnaire and mood measured by POMS. The secondary endpoint was stress measured by Multi-Modal Stress Questionnaire (MMSQ). The safety of the intervention product was measured by complete metabolic panel, lipid and renal analysis including several immune parameters.

Results: While there were no significant between-group differences, within-group improvements were observed in the SF-12 QoL, POMS and MMSQ domains. In the SF-12 domain, improvements were seen in role limitation due to emotional health (P = 0.05), mental component domain (P < 0.001), emotional well-being (P < 0.001), social functioning (P = 0.002) as well as vitality (P = 0.001) at week 12. An increasing trend in POMS-vigour domain was also observed in the EL+MV group at week 12. A 15% decrease in physical stress domain (P < 0.05) compared with 0.7% in the placebo group was also observed in MMSQ. When the subjects were subgrouped according to age, 25–45 and 46–65 years of age, for primary outcomes, between-group significance was observed in the 25–45 year group in the social functioning domain of SF-12 (P = 0.021) and POMS-vigour (P = 0.036) in the 46–65 year group. No significant changes were observed in vital signs and complete metabolic panel. Regarding immune parameters, the lymphocytes increased significantly in the active group (P≤0.05). In total, 13 adverse events were reported: six on placebo and seven on EL+MV.

Conclusion: EL+MV may support the QoL, mood, stress and immune parameters in healthy participants. Trial registration: This study has been registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02865863).


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How to Cite
George A., Udani J., Zainal Abidin N., & Yusof A. (2018). Efficacy and safety of <em>Eurycoma longifolia</em&gt; (Physta®) water extract plus multivitamins on quality of life, mood and stress: a randomized placebo-controlled and parallel study. Food & Nutrition Research, 62. https://doi.org/10.29219/fnr.v62.1374
Original Articles