ECDYSTERONE FOR SEXUAL ENHANCEMENT, MUSCLE-BUILDING & HEALTH
By Robert Schinetsky
Ecdysterone (20-hydroxyecdysone) is a phytosteroid — a steroid that occurs naturally in plants (spinach, quinoa, etc.) and arthropods. Ecdysterone belongs to a class of compounds called ecdysteroids.
Ecdysteroids play a key role in both growth and reproduction as well as a defense mechanism against predators.
They share structural similarities to testosterone and are viewed as the most similar “testosterone-like” compound present in arthropods.
Based off this knowledge, previous research investigated the mechanisms of ecdysterone and found it was shown to increase protein synthesis in skeletal muscle and physical endurance in rodents.[2,3]
We’ve covered the anabolic potential of ecdysterone at great length, previously in our article -- The All-Natural Muscle-Building Powers of Ecdysterone.
But, as with most things, research continues to be published (which is a very good thing!), and that brings us to today’s article -- an update on some of the latest findings surrounding this intriguing phytosteroid.
Let’s get rolling!
The main reason individuals choose to supplement with ecdysterone these days is due to the research regarding its anabolic potential.
We’ve discussed this rather in-depth in the article we mentioned above, but as a quick recap…
Preliminary studies (in vitro and in vivo studies in cell cultures and animals) found that ecdysterone was able to significantly increase muscle hypertrophy both in vitro and in vivo.
What really caught the attention of researchers (and supplement enthusiasts) was that ecdysterone actually outperformed anabolic androgenic steroids (such as metandienone or estradienedione) as well as the selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) S-1.
Rat models and cell cultures are all well and good, but those findings don’t always translate to real-world effects when a supplement is ingested orally in humans.
A follow-up study conducted in humans found that ecdysterone supplementation led to significant increases in bench press strength.
At the end of the study, researchers concluded:
“These data underline the effectivity of an ecdysterone supplementation with respect to sports performance. Our results strongly suggest the inclusion of ecdysterone in the list of prohibited substances and methods in sports in class S1.2 “other anabolic agents.”
Essentially, the increase in muscle size and athletic performance observed with ecdysterone supplementation was significant enough for the researchers to suggest that ecdysterone should be added to the list of WADA’s banned substances!
Subsequent studies have identified that ecdysterone’s beneficial impacts on muscle growth (hypertrophy) is mediated by estrogen receptor-beta (ERβ) activation.
This is important to note as ERβ signaling is involved in the regulation of skeletal muscle growth and regeneration via stimulating certain anabolic pathways, activating satellite cells, and modulating immune function.
Ecdysterone has also been proposed to boost muscle protein synthesis via direct or indirect stimulation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.
Most recently, a 2020 study using cell cultures discovered that ecdysterone inhibits myostatin gene expression in a dose-dependent manner.
Myostatin is an autocrine regulator that inhibits muscle growth in mammals.
From a mechanistic standpoint, inhibiting myostatin may allow for greater muscle growth! It also means ecdysterone could be a viable option for older individuals looking to combat sarcopenia -- an age-related degeneration of skeletal muscle characterized by a loss of muscle mass, strength, and balance as well as the ability to walk and/or stand.
As we noted in our original article, it would be great to see more studies conducted using ecdysterone in combination with resistance training to replicate these findings or add to the existing body of knowledge regarding ecdysterone and muscle building.
Until that time, let’s shift our attention to some of the other potential benefits that may come with ecdysterone supplementation
Beyond its anabolic properties, ecdysterone also has a number of other alluring effects, particularly regarding metabolic health.
For starters, cell cultures and animal models have found that ecdysterone exerts hypoglycemic[8,9] and anti-obesity effects.[10,11]
Animal studies also note that ecdysterone may help prevent hyperglycemia in insulin-resistant subjects by decreasing hepatic glucose consumption.
Other animal studies where subjects had high-fat-diet-induced obesity found that oral administration of ecdysterone for 13 weeks prevents insulin resistance and hyperglycemia by decreasing adipose depots, upregulating adiponectin expression in adipocytes, and modulating inflammatory adipokine expression.[10,14]
Ecdysterone also exerts protective effects against lipid peroxidation from free radicals.
These findings could have significant relevance as more than ⅔ of the population is considered to be overweight or obese. Significant portions of the world’s population also present with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Supplements are not enough to combat a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, but finding a natural compound that can complement and enhance lifestyle adjustments to improve health outcomes and reduce the prevalence of chronic lifestyle diseases is quite intriguing (if not almost necessary given the skyrocketing rates of unhealthy individuals around the globe).
A recently published study by Buniam & colleagues suggests that ecdysterone may also be a useful option in combating the progression of cardiometabolic syndrome.
Cardiometabolic syndrome (CMS) is a collection of conditions characterized by several cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, including:
- Central obesity
- Compensatory hyperinsulinemia
- Glucose intolerance
Buniam et al. noted that ecdysterone may help combat cardiometabolic syndrome by controlling whole-body glucose homeostasis by activating protein expression in the liver as well as helping to control serum LDL cholesterol levels and maintain arterial blood pressure.
Ecdysterone may also benefit those dealing with systemic inflammation and inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.
A 2017 study collagen‑induced rheumatoid arthritis (CIA) rats noted that treatment with ecdysterone (20mg/kg) may effectively abolish the inflammatory cascade and oxidative stress process, thereby conferring anti‑rheumatoid arthritis effects.
Again, more research needs to be carried out to fully elucidate the multi-faceted actions of ecdysterone as well as see how the compound works when administered orally to human subjects, but the preliminary mechanistic data in cell cultures and animal models is very intriguing.
Despite sharing a structural similarity to testosterone, ecdysterone does not appear to have any binding affinity for, and thus cannot activate, the androgen receptor.
That being said, despite having no direct influence on testosterone itself, ecdysterone may be able to exert testosterone-like effects via signal transduction pathways (although the exact mechanism has yet to be fully elucidated. This may ultimately result in the same biological significance as testosterone.
Even if ecdysterone may not be able to directly increase testosterone and/or activate androgen receptors, there are other supporting mechanisms by which it may aid sexual health.
Being overweight or obese verweight has been identified as a risk factor for a number of diseases including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and some forms of cancer.
It’s also been known to lead to sexual dysfunction, including infertility, in both men and women.
As we mentioned above, ecdysterone has been shown in animal models to help reduce inflammation, improve glucose tolerance, and exert anti-obesity effects -- all of which serve to support sexual health!
Is Ecdysterone Safe?
One of the best things about ecdysterone is its safety profile.
Research to date has shown it does NOT increase biomarkers for liver or kidney toxicity was noticed.
Furthermore, ecdysteroids do not increase blood pressure, nor do not possess androgenic, estrogenic, or anti-estrogenic effects.
AML EcdySterone + Post Workout for Maximum Results
Is your interest in ecdysterone piqued?
Are you looking to boost the results from your diet and training program?
Then, you may want to check out AML EcdySterone, which contains 500mg beta-ecdysterone (derived from Cyanotis Arachnoidea) to support muscle protein synthesis and lean mass gains.
For added benefit, Advanced Molecular Labs recommends consuming 1 serving of Ecdy Sterone with 1 serving of AML Post Workout immediately after exercise before eating a post-workout meal.
AML PostWorkout contains 5 grams of pure leucine, 5 grams of creatine monohydrate and 2.5 grams of betaine.
Combining AML EcdySterone and AML PostWorkout supports muscle growth from multiple pathways, ultimately helping individuals recover faster, build more muscle, and achieve better results from their time spent in the gym.
For more information on AML ECDYSTERONE go to advancedmolecularlabs.com
©Published by from Advanced Research Media, Inc. 2020
©Reprinted with permission from Advanced Research Media, Inc.
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- Cheremnykh NS, Shimanovskii NL, Shutko GV, Syrov VN. The action of methandrostenolone and ecdysterone on the physical endurance of animals and on protein metabolism in the skeletal muscles. Farmakol Toksikol. 1988;51(6):57–60.
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- Overweight & obesity statistics. (2017, August 9). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity
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