Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Two Weeks on Burdock Root Extract Increase Testosterone by +126% and Make Bucks as Horny as Viagra

Image 1: Burdock root has not only been used to treat skin problems such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis, but alsoas a blood purifier and it is part of the asian cousine.. what? You mean this is why Asia is the most populous continent?
By now, you should actually be aware that the SuppVersity is the place to go to get the news first. Assuming you did not win in the lottery, this is particularly important when it comes to the latest herbs from the deepest jungles in the greatest "natural" supplements in the "new products" section of your favorite local or online supplement store. Today, I am giving you another headstart on a soon to be released Burdock based testosterone booster... what? How I am supposed to know that? Well, you my dear reader and supplement consumer are not the only one who is reading these blogposts and if there is not already someone working on a respective product, it won't take very long from the moment I hit the "publish" button to the first alibaba search for Arctium lappa L.

Better than viagra and testosterone gel together 

The  Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine is a mine of information, when it comes to the latest, yet rarely greatest on the funkiest herbs from all around the word. In one of the recent issues a pretty non-descript paper on the sexual behavior of male rats caught my attention (for those of you who have not noticed that as of yet, there is a category "sex" in the main navigation of the SuppVersity, yet unfortunately, the number of interesting studies to report is... well, it is not exactly large, to say the least). In a two-week study, a group of scientists from the School of Life Sciences at the Shandong University in Jinan in the People's Republic of China (love that name ;-) 75 male albino rats on identical diets supplemented with either (JianFeng. 2012)
  • viagra (sildenafil): 10mL/kg body weith per day, or
  • burdock (extract): 300mg/kg, 600mg/kg, 1,200mg/kg per day
Compared to the fifth control group which received nothing but distilled water, the rats in the viagra group showed the expected increased horniness (as measured by significantly increased mount, intromission, and ejaculation frequencies; p < 0.05) when the lucky bucks were put into a cage with three receptive does (each!) on day 3, 7 and 15 of the experiemntal period (cf. figure 1).
Figure 1: Intromission and mounting frequency and latency on the 3rd, 7th and 15th day of supplementation with 300, 600 and 1,200mg/kg burdock root extract or viagra; data expressed relative to control (based on JianFeng. 2012)
If you take a closer look at the data in figure 1 you will yet notice that the burdock extract, which had been prepared by aqueous extraction from fresh roots of Arctium lappa L., a biennial thistle from the family of Asteraceae, was about as "sexually ergogenic" as the pharmacological PDE-5 inhibitor - or for the muscleheads out there: The number of "sets" the rodents were able to perform in a cage with three females increased and the necessary "rest" between "sets" decreased to almost the same degree in the 1,200mg/kg burdock and the 10mL/kg sildenafil (viagra) group.
How much is that in human terms? While it is alway questionable, whether or not the results we see in rodents will be mirrored in human studies, at all, the "standard calculation" (cf. "Ask Dr. Andro: What are Human Equivalent Doses and How to Calculate Them" yields a human equivalent of 49, 97, and 195mg/kg - assuming you bought 500mg caps that would mean that you would have to pop somewhere between 27 and 39 caps per day, unless some clever marketing guy tells you that their extract is 10x more potent, and you would get along with 3-4 caps (and and even slimmer chance of seeing any results ;-)

"Horny is nice, but I already have my viagra handy. What's more?"

While the increased horniness qualifies this blogpost to be filed in the "sex" category, I am almost tempted to actually file it under "build muscle" and "performance", as well.
Figure 2: Ejaculatory frequency, latency and post-ejaculatory interval (left) and increases in testosterone (right) on the 3rd, 7th and 15th day of supplementation with 300, 600 and 1,200mg/kg burdock root extract or viagra; data expressed relative to control (based on JianFeng. 2012)
After all, the testostorone boosting "side effects" the scientists observed are so profound (+39%, +87% and +126% in total testosterone after 15 days on 300mg/kg, 600mg/kg and 1,200mg/kg burdock extract) that, assuming that...
Table 1: In 2000 Tamayo et al. compared the anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and anti-microbial properties of burdock and a whole host of other relatively well-known herbs (++ strong evidence; + evidence; Tamayo. 2000)
  • the testosterone boosting effects also occur in humans,
  • the effects are not simply a result of increased binding of testosterone to SHBG and the free testosterone levels are still identical, and that
  • these levels are sustainable without the potentially damaging bulbine, tinosporia cordifolia and piper nigrum could exert on your testes (cf. "Protect Your Testes! Beware of These Plants and Plant Products"),
it could actually be that you would see an increase in performance not only beneath the sheets, but also beneath the squat bar and actual hypertrophy in addition to the temporary "growth effects" the extract exerts on certain other body parts... so, I guess the chance of seeing an effect qualifies it to be filed as "performance" and "build muscle" news, right? And if you take a look at the "strong evidence" Tamayo et al collected on burdock's effect anticarcinogenic, antioxidant and antitumor effects (cf. table 1), I guess I could evenfile it under "health".

Now you tell me how long, till we see the first "revolutionary" product hit the market?

I am now accepting bets on how long it is going to take until someone figured out how he could fool... ah, I mean convince customers (not the well-educated majority to which you belong, obviously) that his product delivers the same results we are seeing in the rodent study at hand, yet at a much lower dose, because it contains "burdockadrol the most impotent", ah... sorry, I mean "burdockadrol, the most potent burdock extract on the market" - what do you think?