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A Botanical; Containing Cistanche & Ginkgo Extracts; Improves CFS Symptoms in Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled study,2021,Kan

Discussion in 'ME/CFS research' started by Sly Saint, Nov 27, 2021.

  1. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    A Botanical Product Containing Cistanche and Ginkgo Extracts Potentially Improves Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms in Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, and Placebo-Controlled Study

    [​IMG]Juntao Kan1†, [​IMG]Junrui Cheng1,2†, [​IMG]Chun Hu3†, [​IMG]Liang Chen1, [​IMG]Siyu Liu1, [​IMG]Dawna Venzon3, [​IMG]Mary Murray3, [​IMG]Shuguang Li4* and [​IMG]Jun Du1*

    Dietary therapy may be beneficial in alleviating symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a disorder that is characterized by extreme fatigue and other symptoms, but the cause of which remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the protective effect of a botanical product containing cistanche (Cistanche tubulosa [Schenk] Wight) and ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L.) extracts on adults with CFS in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

    A total of 190 subjects (35–60 years old, non-obese) with CFS were randomized to receive one tablet of a low dose (120-mg ginkgo and 300-mg cistanche), a high dose (180-mg ginkgo and 450-mg cistanche) or a placebo once daily for 60 days. Blood samples and responses on the Chalder fatigue scale (CFQ 11), the World Health Organization's quality of life questionnaire (WHOQOL), and the sexual life quality questionnaire (SLQQ) were collected at baseline and post-intervention. CFS symptoms of impaired memory or concentration, physical fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, and post-exertional malaise were significantly improved (p < 0.001) in both of the treatment groups.

    The botanical intervention significantly decreased physical and mental fatigue scores of CFQ 11 and improved WHOQOL and SLQQ scores of the subjects (p < 0.01). Levels of blood ammonia and lactic acid in the treatment groups were significantly lower than those of the placebo group (low-dose: p < 0.05; high-dose: p < 0.01).

    In addition, the change in lactic acid concentration was negatively associated with the severity of CFS symptoms (p = 0.0108) and was correlated with the change in total physical fatigue score of the CFQ (p = 0.0302).

    Considering the trivial effect size, the results may lack clinical significance. In conclusion, this botanical product showed promising effects in ameliorating the symptoms of CFS. Clinical trials with improved assessment tools, an expanded sample size, and an extended follow-up period are warranted to further validate the findings.


    Hutan, Peter Trewhitt and DokaGirl like this.
  2. CRG

    CRG Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I have major trust issues with this paper.

    Author affiliations:
    • 1Nutrilite Health Institute, Shanghai, China
    • 2Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University, Kannapolis, NC, United States
    • 3Nutrilite Health Institute, Buena Park, CA, United States
    • 4School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
    Nutrilite https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrilite
    NUTRILITE™ Health Institute is a part of the Amway MLM operation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amway
    Jaybee00, Michelle, Lisa108 and 10 others like this.
  3. 5vforest

    5vforest Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    San Francisco, CA
    Interesting, thanks for posting.

    I’m sure someone will pick out all the details.

    The thing that struck me post is that the study was conducted 5 years ago.

    It actually looks quite rigorous in design, especially compared to some of the junk that gets published.

    They used Fukuda, unfortunately.

    The difference between the treatment and placebo groups was very striking.

    I know many people who have taken Gingko Biloba, myself included. Not sure about Cistanche tubulosa, but looks like it’s sold as a supplement and may be worth a try too.
  4. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    What a very odd choice of the third questionnaire -the sexual life quality questionnaire (SLQQ).
    The questions are shown in a table in the paper. It's all sorts of intrusive stuff asking details of the individual's sex life and satisfaction with it.

    Edit: They explain the choice on the basis that one of the herbs is supposed to improve sexual function in men. So nothing to do with ME/CFS itself.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  5. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    They admit that thier results were statistically significant but not clinically significant. On the Chalder questionnaire, the between group difference was less than 1. Here's what they say:
  6. FMMM1

    FMMM1 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Yea and if you read @Trish posts below, you'll see that it's the usual approach of assessing outcomes based on questionnaires (mind ou some of them are a bit different!).

    Check out @strategist post here* looks like these folks have managed to provide evidence that homeopathy works and without GRADE! Mind you a few more of these studies, and a GRADE systematic review, and you'd have all of the evidence you need to recommend it as a treatment!

    EDIT - OK I've just (briefly) checked and it is a double blinded study. However, I still think that it's pretty inexcusable not to include objective activity measurement (actimetry - FitBit type devices) and if that showed something then that would be more informative.

    @Caroline Struthers

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  7. Solstice

    Solstice Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I saw a shampoo here with Ginkgo extracts and took a spoonful, gotta say it did the trick.
    Tia, Michelle, Lisa108 and 5 others like this.

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