Objective: The root and stem barks of Eleutherococcus senticosus have been used to treat
emotional and physical fatigue in China, Russia, Korea, and Japan. The effects of E. senticosus on
recovery from physical fatigue and the expenditure of energy currently remain unclear. We herein
examined the effects of E. senticosus extract on recovery from physical fatigue after the forced
swimming test as well as fatty acid β-oxidation in the liver and skeletal muscle of mice.
Methods: 1) Physical fatigue; E. senticosus extract (500 and 1000 mg/kg, twice daily) was administered
orally to ICR male mice for 7 consecutive days. After swimming had been performed for 15 min, each mouse was placed
on the cover of a 100-mm culture plate, and the time for each mouse to move away from the cover was measured. 2) Fatty
acid β-oxidation in the liver and skeletal muscle; E. senticosus extract (500 and 1000 mg/kg) was administered orally twice
daily to C57BL/6J male mice for 21 consecutive days. The initial and final body and liver weight were measured, and then
fatty acid β-oxidation activity in the liver and skeletal muscle was measured by methods using [1-14C] palmitic acid.
Key Findings: Recovery times after forced swimming were shorter in E. senticosus extract (500 and 1000 mg/kg)-treated
mice than in vehicle-treated mice. The body and liver weight had no effect by the oral administration of E. senticosus
extract, vitamin mixture and L-carnitine. Fatty acid β-oxidation activity in skeletal muscle was increased by E. senticosus
extract (500 and 1000 mg/kg).
Conclusion: E. senticosus may enhance recovery from physical fatigue induced by forced swimming by accelerating
energy changes through fatty acid β-oxidation in skeletal muscle.