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Ecdysteroids

Ecdysteroids are a class of hormones that are the androgens of insects; they are involved with reproduction and molting, but human ingestion might be healthy or increase muscle mass. Human interventions are lacking and problems with ecdysteroid ingestion exist.

Our evidence-based analysis on ecdysteroids features 66 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by and reviewed by the Examine team.
Last Updated:

Summary of Ecdysteroids

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Ecdysteroids are a class of compounds (polyhydroxylated ketosteroids, with various tails) that are structurally similar to androgens. They are well studied as plant and insect growth factors, and derived their name (ecdy-) from the process of molting in insects, called ecdysis.

Ecdysteroid is a category, and popular ecdysteroids include 'ecdysone', 'ecdysterone', 'turkesterone' and '20-hydroxyecdysone'. These four are the most commonly studied, but each ecdysteroid shares the same general properties although varies in potency and effects slightly. Turkesterone appears to be the most anabolic.

They have some biological effects in mammals when orally ingested, and have been called by some researchers as "behaving similar to anabolic steroids putatively without the androgenic effect".[1] Due to the lack of androgenicity, their safety profiles are much greater than anabolic androgenic steroids.

Additionally, they seem to have a wide variety of side-effects that are deemed as healthy. Ecdysteroids can lower cholesterol and blood glucose, are seen as healthy for the liver and intestines by increasing protein synthesis rates, and may have protective effects on neural tissue.

There is a lack of trials currently available for humans, but promising evidence is available for in vitro studies on human muscle fibers as well as a multitude of animal models showing enhanced growth rates with ecdysteroid ingestion.

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How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Hypoglycemic effects of ecdysterone and its plant sources seems to be dose-dependent. For athletics, it's unclear which dose is effective in humans. One study found 60 mg daily to be ineffective, though safe over the short period of 8 weeks. Long-term safety concerns and a lack of long-term trials may make short-term use the most sensible policy.

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Human Effect Matrix

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The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Ecdysteroids has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

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Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-c - - See study
No demonstrated changes in cortisol levels with ecdysterone consumption
grade-c - - See study
No differences between ecdysteroids and placebo in improving lean mass accrual during a weight lifting program
grade-c - - See study
No significant alterations in any measured liver enzymes (ALT, AST, GGT)
grade-c - - See study
No difference between improvements in power output between ecdysteroids and placebo
grade-c - - See study
No alterations noted in serum testosterone associated with ecdysterone consumption
grade-c - - See study
In resistance trained males, no significant influence of ecdysterone supplementation on cholesterol
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on triglycerides

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Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Suma extract, pfaffia extract, Brazilian ginseng extract, beta-ecdysterone, turkesterone, ecdysterone

  • Ecdysterone is non-stimulatory.

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Click here to see all 66 references.