(Known as Cyanotis Vaga, Ecdisten, Ecdysone, Isoinokosterone, 20-hydroxyecdysone, Beta-Ecdysterone, Brazillian ginseng, Suma, Maral root)
Supports the immune system
What is it?Beta-Ecdysterone
is a naturally occurring Plant Stanol Ester (plant sterol) found in herbs or roots such as Maral root, Suma root or Cyanotis vaga. Plant sterols are found in various functional foods, the most well known being the cholesterol lowering margarine called Benecol sold in the UK and Ireland.
Who is it used for?Beta-Ecdysterone
is suitable for anyone wanting to gain lean muscle mass without excess body fat. Rugby players, athletes, bodybuilders, boxers and some martial artists will benefit from added lean muscle tissue. It is, however, important to remember that Beta-Ecdysterone
will only enhance muscle growth when combined with resistance exercise (weight training) and the correct diet.
How does it work?Beta-Ecdysterone
has been tested for its effects on work capacity, immune function, lean body mass and fat loss in a number of scientific studies. The vast majority of research indicates an increase in lean mass, when combined with resistance training. Results were further improved when Beta-Ecdysterone
was consumed with protein.
Russian scientists believe that Beta-Ecdysterone
leads to a stimulation of protein metabolism, which in turn leads to a positive nitrogen balance in the body. Think of your muscles like the tyres on a car. When you fill a tyre with air, it gets bigger. The same thing happens to your muscles. When they fill with protein, they grow in size. Scientists call this process protein synthesis. Without an increase in protein synthesis, your muscles won't grow at all. Beta-Ecdysterone
has a dramatic and powerful effect on increasing protein synthesis, leading to faster gains in muscle size and strength.
In one study conducted by B. Ya. Smetanin in 1986, 117 speed skaters were tested for work capacity, body weight, and lung capacity. Ecdysterone supplementation resulted in an increase in all of the aforementioned parameters. In another study conducted by S. Yu. Simakin, 78 highly trained athletes were either given a placebo, protein, or Ecdysterone with a protein supplement. Results were best for the group consuming Ecdysterone with a protein supplement. In this group, a 6 to 7% increase in lean muscle mass was observed after just 10 days, and fat content was reduced by an average of 10% for males and females.
What about side effects? As you already know by now, research studies show no negative side effects, no hormonal interactions, and a very low toxicity level for Ecdysterone. When tested by ICN Biochemicals on December 31, 1998, a complete safety test was performed to determine the toxicity. The data showed the amount of Ecdysterone one would have to take in order to reach toxicity. The amount? 6400 mg/kg. In other words, an average 170lb person would have to take 494g of the compound to reach this point! This is 4,121 times as much as the recommended dose.
It is documented as very safe with very low toxicity. Endocrine testing showed that Ecdysterone caused no effect whatsoever on the mammalian hormonal system. Testing was measured on testosterone, cortisol, insulin, ACTH, growth hormone, and leutinizing hormone and therefore has no physiological effect and because it will only work in conjunction with a weight training programme and high protein diet it is not classed as a medicine. The data shows Ecdysterone to be extremely safe, but effective as well. Be sceptical though of some companies making outlandish claims for this product, although it a popular training aid, it is not a steroid and does not act or work like one.
There are many different versions of Beta-Ecdysterone
. Some are more effective than others. Look for a product containing at least 50% Beta-Ecdysterone
. Although products containing this superior form of Beta-Ecdysterone
are slightly more expensive than others, they're usually far more effective and make it more likely that you will be able to duplicate the results obtained by the Russian researchers.
Although Ecdysterone is found in insects, it is never made or extracted from insects as has sometimes been wrongly reported. It is however extracted from the herbs Rhaponticum carthamoides (maral root), Leuzeae, Cyanotis vaga, or most commonly the popular Suma root (Brazillian ginseng). Recent extraction methods have been able to create high quality ecdysterone standardized to 97%. Suma is known as an adaptogen because of its ability to promote endurance and increased vitality throughout its overall physiological effects. It′s individual ingredients have further gym enhancing properties as highlighted in this report, one of the most popular being Ecdysterone. The product is popular in the US and is sold in the EU, as a culinary herb, this is because the plants Maral and Suma root are used in various Asian/Eastern European food preparation and has the benefit of having been sold for decades as a herbal tonic, tea and food supplements, across the US, UK and EU.
How do I use it?
Depending on what other nutrients it is taken with, a daily dose of between 40 and 300 milligrams of Beta-Ecdysterone
(50% extract or above) has been shown to be highly effective at promoting the growth of lean muscle tissue. No side effects are reported with up to 800 milligrams daily.
What results can I expect?
Expect to see faster gains in muscle size, with greater recovery between workouts. Several Russian scientists testing Ecdysterone also report that subjects experienced less fatigue, more motivation, and improved strength.
What can it be combined with?
Because of its positive effects on protein synthesis, Beta-Ecdysterone
should be combined with extra protein. Some experts believe that Beta-Ecdysterone
has a synergistic effect with Tribulus Terrestris. Synergy means that the combination of two or more nutrients may yield better results than any one of those nutrients by itself. However, double-blind placebo controlled studies of this combination have yet to be completed. Still, anecdotal reports from several top Eastern European athletes who have used Beta-Ecdysterone
and Tribulus Terrestris remain impressive.
1. Chermnykh, N.S., et.al. (1988). The action of ecdysterone on the physical endurance of animals and on protein metabolism in the skeletal muscles. Farmakol. Tok. (USSR). 51, 57-60
2. Simakin, S. Yu., et al., (1988). The Combined Use of Ecdisten and the Product 'Bodrost' druing Training in Cyclical Types of Sport. Scientific Sports Bulletin, No. 2
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