Appalachian State

Men Can Receive $300 for ASU Supplements Study

January 11, 2018

The Appalachian State University Human Performance Laboratory at the NC Research Campus is looking for 130 men ages 40 to 70 years old who are interested in participating in a six week research study to test two nutritionally based supplements on their ability to counter age-related changes in muscle size, strength, serum testosterone levels, and sexual function.

David Nieman, DrPH, director of the ASU Human Performance Laboratory

David Nieman, DrPH, director of the ASU Human Performance Laboratory

The study is slated to start February 5. Men who qualify will be asked to visit the Human Performance Laboratory on the Kannapolis campus for an orientation and baseline study. They will return to the lab for 30 to 45 minutes at the third and sixth week of the study. Each study participant will be randomized to one of three groups (two supplements or placebo), and receive a three week supply of the study product to take on a daily basis.  Men who complete the study will receive $300.

There are specific criteria that study participants must meet. Anyone who would like more details should email the ASU Laboratory at for complete study information, including enrollment criteria and consent forms.

About the Supplements

The supplements contain vitamins, minerals and plant extracts such as pomegranate, green tea and grape seed and herbs.  The primary active ingredients in both supplements are magnesium and Rhaponticum carthamoides.

Supplemental magnesium has been linked with improved muscular strength and is also essential for the body’s production of nitric oxide which supports sexual function.  Low serum magnesium has been linked to erectile dysfunction.

Rhaponticum carthamoides

Rhaponticum carthamoides in the wild. Image credit: Wikipedia.

Rhaponticum carthamoides, commonly known as maral root or Russian leuzea, is a perennial herb that grows in South Siberia.  Folklore in support of Rhaponticum carthamoides is based on observations by Russian hunters tha maral deer feeding on the roots of this plant appeared to become energized and stronger. The strength-building qualities of Rhaponticum carthamoides have been thoroughly investigated in Russia, and various preparations have been widely used by elite Russian athletes. Extracts from the roots of Rhaponticum carthamoides are included in various dietary supplements and nutraceutical preparations to promote muscle size and strength, improve sexual function, and counter physical weakness and mental fatigue.  Rhaponticum carthamoides has been used by Russians for centuries to enhance muscular and sexual function, but more evidence from properly designed human trials is needed to determine both efficacy and safety.

One supplement also contains a leaf extract from rhododendron caucasium (Georgian snow rose) that has long been used for a variety of health effects including loss of body fat. The supplement also contains ashwagandha (Withania somnifera, Indian ginseng) that is purported to make people feel more relaxed.  However, more human studies are needed to test these claims.


About The NC Research Campus

The North Carolina Research Campus, located in Kannapolis, NC, near Charlotte, is a scientific community that collaboratively works to empower human health through nutrition. Eight universities, the David H. Murdock Research Institute, global companies and entrepreneurs focus research and development on safer, more nutritious crops, healthier foods and precision nutrition. Learn more at



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