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Francesco DI PIERRO 1, Stefano TOGNI 2, Federico FRANCESCHI 2, Roberto EGHENHOFNER 3, Luca GIACOMELLI 3
1 Velleja Research, Milan, Italy; 2 Indena S.p.A., Milan, Italy; 3 Department of Surgical Sciences and Integrated Diagnostics, School of Medicine, Genova University, Genoa, Italy
BACKGROUND: Previous studies demonstrated that administration of standardized extract of Ginkgo biloba reduces stress-induced cortisol increase in young healthy individuals. This study investigates the effect of chronic and acute administration of a standardized extract of Ginkgo biloba (GBE) complexed with phosphatidylserine (Virtiva®) on salivary cortisol level and body composition in elite female volleyball players.
METHODS: Ten elite female volleyball players were randomly assigned to Virtiva® or placebo capsules for 8-week. Moreover, 6 female volleyball players were involved in an acute administration study consisting in 7 days of treatment followed by a 7-day wash-out. Concentration of salivary cortisol, body weight and body composition parameters were measured.
RESULTS: Virtiva®-treated athletes showed a significantly lower salivary cortisol level compared with placebo recipients. Furthermore, Virtiva® administration was associated with a significantly greater increase of fat-free mass and with a significantly greater decrease in fat mass. No significant difference was observed on salivary cortisol level with the acute administration of Virtiva®.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that administration of standardized GBE combined with phosphatidylserine (Virtiva®) might exert a beneficial effect on athletes during prolonged intensive training programs, by reducing stress induced-cortisol release.