Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 177–183 | Cite as

Dietary supplement with a combination of Rhodiola crenulata and Ginkgo biloba enhances the endurance performance in healthy volunteers

  • Zhang-jin Zhang (张樟进)
  • Yao Tong (童 瑶)Email author
  • Jun Zou (邹 军)
  • Pei-jie Chen (陈佩杰)
  • Ding-hai Yu (虞定海)
Original Article



To determine whether the ingestion of a herbal supplement called Rhodiola-Gingko Capsule (RGC) would enhance the endurance performance of healthy volunteers and change relevant hormones in a favorable manner.


Seventy healthy male volunteers (age ranges from 18 to 22 years old) were randomly assigned to RGC group (35 cases, each capsule containing 270 mg herbal extracts, 4 capsules per day) or placebo group (35 cases, equivalent placebo preparation) for 7 weeks using computerproduced digital random method. The endurance performance, serum testosterone and cortisol levels were measured at the baseline and the endpoint.


Sixty-seven subjects (34 in the RGC group and 33 in the placebo group) completed a 7-week treatment. The RGC group displayed a significantly greater baseline-toendpoint increase in maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) than placebo group in both absolute (P=0.020) and relative values (P=0.023). At the endpoint, the serum cortisol level was unchanged in the RGC group compared with the baseline, but it was significantly elevated in the placebo group (P<0.05). The endpoint ratio of testosterone to cortisol, a surrogate for overtraining and fatigue in endurance exercises, was also indifferent compared with the baseline in the RGC group, but significantly decreased in the placebo group (P<0.05).


The combined herbal supplement of Rhodiola and Gingko could improve the endurance performance by increasing oxygen consumption and protecting against fatigue.

Key Words

herbal supplement endurance maximal oxygen uptake cortisol testosterone clinical trial 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Association of the Integration of Traditional and Western Medicine and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhang-jin Zhang (张樟进)
    • 1
  • Yao Tong (童 瑶)
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jun Zou (邹 军)
    • 2
  • Pei-jie Chen (陈佩杰)
    • 2
  • Ding-hai Yu (虞定海)
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Chinese Medicinethe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  2. 2.College of Exercise and Sports ScienceShanghai University of SportShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Wushu CollegeShanghai University of SportShanghaiChina

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