Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Phyllanthus amarus is a widespread tropical plant, traditionally used for general liver health. However, few studies have assessed the effects of Phyllanthus amarus, and none have examined its effects in relation to hangovers. In this study, Phyllpro, a standardized freeze-dried water extract of Phyllanthus amarus leaves, was evaluated for hangover symptoms and liver protection against temporary stress induced by alcohol consumption.
Who can participate?
Men and women of general good health, aged 21-50 and regularly consuming at least five servings of alcohol per week.
What does the study involve?
Participants received both of the following two treatments in a random order: Phyllpro or an identical placebo (dummy) drug twice daily for 10 days. We then measured hangover symptoms and the ability of the drug to protect the liver from oxidative damage and inflammation.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Not provided at time of registration.
Where is the study run from?
The study was conducted at the Staywell Research clinical research site located in Northridge, CA, USA.
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study ran from July 2010 to October 2010.
Who is funding the study?
Biotropics Malaysia Berhad, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Who is the main contact?
Jay Udani, MD
Tel: +1 (0) 818 882 9442
Phyllantus amarus for the protection of liver heath: a randomized controlled trial
The purpose of this study is to assess the ability of Phyllantus amarus to protect the liver against temporary stress induced by alcohol consumption.
Initial IRB approval of the protocol was granted on 12/05/2010 by the Copernicus Group IRB (Cary, NC). Protocol Amendment was approved on 16/09/2010 by the Copernicus Group IRB (Cary, NC).
Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet
Temporary liver stress induced by alcohol consumption
PhyllPro, a propriety extract of Phyllanthus amarus 375 mg to be taken orally, one tablet twice daily for 10 days.
The placebo was a combination of inactive components, including microcrystalline cellulose, and it was also to be taken as one tablet twice daily for 10 days. There was an 11-day washout period between the two treatment periods.
Primary outcome measure
1. High Sensitivity C-reactive Protein (HS CRP)
2. Inflammatory Cytokine Panel [including TNF alpha, IL-1Beta, IL-2 , IL-4 , IL-5, IL-6 , IL-7, IL-8, IL-10 , IL-12p70, IL-13 , IL-17A, TNF-alpha , G-CSF , Eotaxin, MIP1Beta, IFNgamma, VEGF, MCP- 1, FGF-BASIC, GM-CSF]
3. Liver function tests [AST and ALT, total bilirubin, albumin, International Normalized ratio (INR), aspartate amino transferase, alanine amino transferase and alkaline phosphatase]
Secondary outcome measures
1. Hangover severity score: 7-point scale from none (0) to six (6). Healthy subjects should have a score of 0
2. Profile of Mood States (POMS)
3. Cognitive performance tests (CNS Vital Signs System)
4. Sleep Quality Scale
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Healthy male or female 21-50 years of age, inclusive
2. Subject consumes at least five servings of alcohol per week on a regular basis. Liquor vs wine or beer
3. Minimum Profile of Mood States (POMS) score of 15
4. Access to a computer and internet
5. Subject is willing to maintain his or her habitual food and beverage intake (other than substitution of study food for similar products) and physical activity patterns throughout the study period
6. Body mass index (BMI) between 20 and 30 kg/m2
7. Subject is willing and able to comply with the alcohol consumption requirements
8. Subjects willing to stay in the clinic for two overnight stays
9. Generally healthy
10. Agree to all visits and study procedures
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
1. Any liver condition including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, fatty liver and liver disease
2. Liver function greater than three times the upper level limit of normal
3. History or record of aggressive or violent behavior
4. Evidence of liver disease
5. Presence of ascites
6. Family history of alcoholism
7. Any significant gastrointestinal (GI) condition that would potentially interfere with the evaluation of the study product [e.g.,ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, clinically significant gastritis, celiac disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), history of upper GI bleed (bleeding ulcer), chronic constipation (defined as <3 bowel movements per week), history of frequent diarrhea, history of surgery for weight loss, gastroparesis, clinically important lactose intolerance]
8. Clinically significant renal, hepatic, endocrine (including diabetes mellitus), cardiac, pulmonary, pancreatic, neurologic, or biliary disorder
9. Known allergy or sensitivity to any ingredients in the study products
10. Extreme dietary habits (e.g., vegan, Atkins Diet, etc.)
11. Recent (within two weeks of visit 1, week -1) episode of acute gastrointestinal illness such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
12. Uncontrolled hypertension (systolic blood pressure _160 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure _100 mm Hg at visit 1, week -1)
13. History or presence of cancer in the prior two years, except for non-melanoma skin cancer
14. Any major trauma or surgical event within three months of visit 1, week -1
15. Recent use of antibiotics (within 6 weeks)
16. Females who are pregnant, lactating, planning to be pregnant during the study period
17. Recent history of (within 12 months) or strong potential for alcohol or substance abuse
18. Alcohol abuse will be defined as >14 drinks per week (1 drink =12 ounces beer, 5 ounces wine, or 1 ½ ounces distilled spirits)
19. Participation in a clinical study with exposure to any non-registered drug product within 30 days prior
20. Individual has a condition the Investigator believes would interfere with his or her ability to provide informed consent, comply with the study protocol, which might confound the interpretation of the study results or put the person at undue risk
21. Current active respiratory illness at the time of screening
22. Any immune system disorders
23. Subjects with a history of perforation of the stomach or intestines
24. Subjects who have had gastric bypass surgery
25. Untreated hypothyroidism
26. Subjects with active eating disorder including anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and/or obsessive compulsive eating disorders
27. Spinal cord injuries
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
United States of America
Trial participating centre
18250 Roscoe Blvd. Suite 220
United States of America
Biotropics Malaysia (Malaysia)
Jalan Pantai Baharu
Medicus Research (USA)
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Not provided at time of registration
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Not provided at time of registration
Basic results (scientific)