Ecdysterone is quickly becoming one of the most sought after natural bodybuilding supplements on the market. Its popularity is beginning to surge due to its supposed ability to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance without any side effects or suppression.
Many studies have demonstrated that this natural plant and insect extract has anabolic activity in humans, due to having a similar structure to the male hormone testosterone.
This article will provide you with all the information you need to know about Ecdysterone, and how and when to use it.
What is Ecdysterone?
Ecydysterone, Beta-Ecdysterone or sometimes called 20-Hydroxyecdysone is an Ecdysteroid, which is a naturally occurring hormone found in certain plants and insects. Ecdysteroid is a coined term, firstly “ecdy” meaning ecdysis (the moulting process of arthropods), and “steroids” as this compound has a carbon ring polyhydroxylated ketosteroid base structure.
It must be highlighted that German Pharma Beta-Ecdysterone uses ecdysteroids derived from plants. Phytoecdysteroids are synthesised by plants during stress signalling. This chemical compound mimics the hormones that insects produce during ecdysis.
What Does Ecdysterone Do?
Although it is created by insects and plants during moulting and stress, humans have receptors for this compound. The receptor it binds to is estrogen receptor-beta (ERβ), hence the term “Beta” included in the name. Contrary to popular belief, it is this binding to this type of estrogen that has advantageous effects on health and muscle development (1).
Scientists initially tested Ecdysterone as its molecular makeup is similar to androgenic hormones. Once they found that Beta-Ecdysterone does not bind to androgen receptors, interest began to fade. However, despite not acting like an anabolic steroid in terms of binding affinity, Ecdysterone was shown to support muscle protein synthesis (2) and prompt the signalling of other anabolic pathways (3). This research suggests that Beta-Ecdysterone works being a non-androgenic anabolic, that it increases muscle mass without the associated side effects.
Increased Muscle Growth & Improved Athletic Performance
So we’ve seen that science suggests it to help with muscle growth via its ability to bind to estrogen receptor-beta. But is there any proof that it directly helps with bodybuilding and performance?
Researchers in Germany conducted a study which aimed to assess the effects of Beta-Ecdysterone supplementation on human exercise performance. This 10 week intervention found Ecdysterone and resistance training to significantly increase muscle mass and even increase one rep max scores when compared to participants who did not supplement, with no toxicity (4). The data from this study indicates the effectiveness and safety of this supplement in regard to muscle growth and athletic performance.
The scientific evidence has also shown Beta-Ecdysterone to induce hypertrophy of skeletal muscle to a similar degree to that of anabolic androgenic steroids, SARMS & IGF-1 (5). This study suggests that this extract is similar to unnatural hardcore supplements, in regard to its ability to increase strength and muscle mass.
Studies have suggested that ecdysterone and other ecdysteroids may have a variety of other health benefits and medicinal applications (6), including:
- Treating muscle-wasting disorders
- Reducing mental stress
- Treating Alzheimer’s
- Treating Type 2 Diabetes
Ecdysterone vs Turkesterone
Turkesterone is also an ecdysteriod, however it works in a slightly different way to other ecdysteroids. Fascinatingly, research has shown Turkesterone to have the greatest anabolic ability of all ecdysteroids, however no human trials have confirmed this.
If you want to understand the differences between Beta-Ecdysterone and Turkesterone, and information that will help you determine which one is better for you, read our ecdysterone vs turkesterone article. Alternatively, find out more about how turkesterone works if you’re interested in learning more about this popular supplement.
Ecdysterone Frequently asked questions
Does Beta-Ecdysterone have side effects?
Usually, supplements that accelerate muscle growth to such a great extent in a short time frame come with a host of negative side effects. However, unlike anabolic steroids, this extract does not have androgenic or estrogenic effects, and therefore do not cause suppression or hormonal disharmony.
In fact, research has shown this supplement to be an effective all round health booster (7), having positive effects on the cholesterol levels, brain tissue, blood glucose regulation as well as liver, kidney, lung and immune function.
Does Ecdysterone have side effects?
No, Typically Ecdysterone does not have side effects and is in fact very safe for the user to take a long cycle, typically 16 weeks plus if desired. Ecydysterone can actually be taken year round due to its lack of side effects
Is Beta-Ecdysterone legal?
Yes, taking this supplement is legal in all forms. However, due to its ability to increase athletic performance, research does strongly suggest the inclusion of beta-ecdysterone in the list of prohibited substances in sports in class “other anabolic agents” (8).
How long should I Take Beta-Ecdysterone?
It is recommended to take 500mg of Beta-Ecdysterone daily for 8-12 weeks. Ideally should be taken with food for optimal absorption and digestibility.
Where can I buy Ecdysterone?
When looking to buy beta-ecdysterone online, there are many things to consider. You want to find a reputable company with legitimate products. As with any ecdysteroid supplement you intend on purchasing, ensure the active ingredient is stated on the ingredients panel and not just on the front tof the label.