|Estrogens are not for women, only!?|
Ok, we are talking about yet another rodent study with all the usual downsides and one major advantage - you can do a full analysis of all effects and possible underlying mechanisms! In the case of the study at hand this analysis included dissecting the prostate, weighing the muscles, and a lot of other stuff that would have required killing a human subject if it had been done in a human study.
|Figure 1: Size of soleus muscle fibers in rodent study and effects of ecdysterone vs. dexamethasone, DHT, IGF1 in a previous in-vitro experiment (Parr. 2014)|
Beware of the details! The increases in muscle fiber size did not translate into increased muscle mass. In fact the soleus muscle from Figure 1 was lighter for the rodents in the ecdysterone: 0.16g in the control vs. 0.15g in the ecdysterone group - non-significant, obviously, but certainly not the impressive gains the various product descriptions of ECDY products promise, ha?One thing that appears to be pretty certain, though, is the fact that ecdysterone will have some estrogenic activity in humans, as well. The latter, i.e. the ability of ecdysterone to bind to the both estrogen receptors quite potently, sounds like news right from nightmare of the bro next door. In the end, it does yet explain how Ecdy, the anabolic activity of which is believed to be androgen receptor independent (Grolick-Feldmann. 2008), could perform its muscle building job in humans, as well: via its estrogenic activity! And the fact that the levator ani muscle, which is plastered with androgen receptors (Joubert. 1994), did not react to the treatment only confirms this hypothesis.
|Figure 2: Serum levels of cortisol, IGF-1 and 17b-estradiol (Parr. 2014)|
- Gorelick-Feldmann, J., MacLean, D., Ilic, N., Poulev, A. et al., Phytoecdysteroids increase protein synthesis in skeletal muscle cells.J. Agric. Food Chem.2008,56, 3532–3537.
- Joubert, Y., Tobin, C., Lebart, M. C., Testosterone-induced masculinization of the rat levator ani muscle during puberty. Dev. Biol.1994,162, 104–110.
- Parr et al. Estrogen receptor beta is involved in skeletal muscle hypertrophy induced by the phytoecdysteroid ecdysterone. Mol. Nutr. Food Res.2014,00,1–12