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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:579467. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nep177. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

Centella asiatica Improves Physical Performance and Health-Related Quality of Life in Healthy Elderly Volunteer.

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1
Department of Biomedical Science Program, Graduate School, Khon Kaen University, 40002, Thailand.

Abstract

Recently, oxidative stress has been reported to contribute an important role in the decline of physical function as age advances. Numerous antioxidants can improve both physical and psychological performances resulting in the increase of health-related quality of life (HQOL). Therefore, we hypothesized that Centella asiatica, a medicinal plant reputed for nerve tonic, strength improvement and antioxidant activity, could improve the physical performance and HQOL especially in the physical satisfaction aspect, of the healthy elderly volunteer. To test this hypothesis, a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial was performed. Eighty healthy elderly were randomly assigned to receive placebo or standardized extract of C. asiatica at doses of 250, 500 and 750 mg once daily for 90 days. The subjects were evaluated to establish baseline data of physical performance using 30-s chair stand test, hand grip test and 6-min walk test. The health-related quality of life was assessed using SF-36. These assessments were repeated every month throughout the 3-month experimental period using the aforementioned parameters. Moreover, 1 month after the cessation of C. asiatica treatment, all subjects were also evaluated using these parameters again. The results showed that after 2 months of treatment, C. asiatica at doses of 500 and 750 mg per day increased lower extremity strength assessed via the 30-s chair stand test. In addition, the higher doses of C. asiatica could improve the life satisfaction subscale within the physical function subscale. Therefore, the results from this study appear to support the traditional reputation of C. asiatica on strength improvement, especially in the lower extremities of the elderly. C. asiatica also possesses the potential to be a natural resource for vigor and strength increase, in healthy elderly persons. However, further research is essential.

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