Beta 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 Beta-Ecdysterone, and how and when to use it.
What is Ecdysterone?
Ecdysterone is a type of ecdysteroid, which is a naturally occurring hormone found in certain plants and insects.
In fact, the name “ecdysteroids” is a coined term: ‘ecdy’ is derived from ecdysis, which is the moulting process of insects before increasing in growth, and ‘steroids’ due to the four carbon ring polyhydroxylated ketosteroid base structure. However, have no fear Ecdysteroid is not an anabolic steroid.
What is Ecdysterone Also Known By?
Many ecdysterone supplements are marketed under different names, despite usually being the exact same extract. If you’re looking for a beta-ecdysterone bodybuilding supplement, these are the common names for them;
- Ecdysterone 20-Hydroxyecdysone
What Does Ecdysterone Do?
So, now we know what it is, we need to know how it interacts with the body.
On a molecular level, ecysteriods are synthesised from dietary cholesterol once metabolised. Then ecysteriods are understood to play an essential role in morphogenesis, which is the process required for tissue development. Fascinatingly, humans also have receptors for ecdysteroids, and when activated promote various health benefits, including muscle growth.
This extract initially caught the attention of scientists due to having similar genetic structures to androgenic hormones, thus having the potential to be used as testosterone replacement therapy. However, there was no evidence of binding affinity to androgen receptors, and most research was then withdrawn.
However this research did show ecdysteroids to accelerate muscle protein synthesis (1), demonstrating this extract to be anabolic (muscle-building) and not androgenic.
Scientists then began to research Ecysteriods to understand how this plant hormone promotes anabolic activity without interfering with natural hormonal activity in the body.
A study discovered that Ecdysterone does not bind to androgen or estrogen receptor-alpha, but to estrogen receptor-beta (ERβ). It may be surprising to hear that the activation of an estrogen receptor is beneficial for muscle growth, but ERβ plays a vital role in skeletal muscle growth (2).
Additionally, Ecdysterone has also been shown to accelerate muscle protein synthesis by stimulating the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway (3). This will also enhance muscle repair and development.
Beta-Ecdysterone and Bodybuilding
So we’ve seen that the 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?
Researchers in Germany conducted a study which aimed to assess the effects of 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 regards 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 regards to its ability to increase strength and muscle mass.
Ecdysterone vs Turkesterone
Turkesterone is also an ecysteriod, however it works in a slightly different way to other ecdysteroids. Fascinatingly, research has shown Turkesterone to have the greatest anabolic ability of all ecysteroids.
It is common for supplement companies to sell any ecdysterone as Turkesterone, however this is a false claim. Although they all work in similar ways, Turkesterone is unique due to its origin and potency.
Genuine Turkesterone is sourced exclusively from the plant species Ajuga turkestanica grown in Uzbekistan, which is then cultivated and processed under the supervision of Uzbekistan government institutions. Other ecysteriods are not as well researched, appear to be less anabolic and can be cultivated worldwide.
Find out more about how turkesterone works if you’re interested in learning more about this popular supplement.
Beta Ecdysterone FAQ
Does 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.
Infact, research has shown this supplement to be an effective all round health booster (6), having positive effects on the cholesterol levels, brain tissue, blood glucose regulation as well as liver, kidney, lung and immune function.
Do You Need a PCT for Ecdysterone?
No post-cycle therapy is required following use, as no unnatural hormonal activity has occurred. Therefore no suppression or hormonal disharmony will be experienced during or after use.
In fact, it is common for athletes andbodybuilders to run ecysteriods during PCT and whilst off-cycle to help maintain gains and reduce the side effects associated with hardcore supplements.
What foods are high in Ecdysterone?
Some foods such as spinach, quinoa and asparagus contain ecdysteroids, usually in the form of 20HE.
The optimum way to take beta-ecdysterone is to take a supplement, as vegetables like spinach only contain a small amount.
Is 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 ecdysterone in the list of prohibited substances in sports in class “other anabolic agents” (7).
How should I use 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 should I buy Beta 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.
At Prohormones UK, we offer German Pharma’s Beta Ecdysterone, which contains 250mg of high potency 95% Ecdysterone in a vegan friendly capsule.