December 15, 2021 1 Comment
Turkesterone has burst into the fitness world with the hype that it’s a natural supplement that’s more effective than anabolic steroids but without all the adverse side effects. Is this ecdysteroid (plant steroid) too good to be true? In this post, we’ll cover what are Turkesterone and ecdysteroids, the benefits of using them, side effects and answer some frequently asked questions.
Turkesterone is a supplement derived from the plant Ajuga Turkestanica from the Lamiaceae family native to mountain ranges of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in Central Asia. This plant and other forms of the Ajuga species of flowers have been used in traditional societies as a healing tonic.
Turkesterone is an ecdysteroid or anabolic substance found in some plants, arthropods, and fungi. Ecdysteroids support molting (shedding of the exoskeleton), development, and reproduction in arthropods. There are numerous ecdysteroids, including ecdysone, ecdysterone, turkesterone, and 2-deoxyecdysone. You might be surprised to learn that plants can also contain phytoecdysteroids to deter insects from eating them.
Even though Turkesterone seems to be a modern discovery in the past few years, it was isolated in 1975 when a Russian scientist published this scientific paper. From the mid-1970s into the 1980s, Russian Olympic athletes were suspected of using ecdysterone (beta-ecdysone), sometimes referred to as the “Russian secret.”
Turkesterone and ecdysterone seem to be the two ecdysteroids that might offer some of the most potential benefits in terms of performance enhancement. There have been multiple studies around turkesterone and the possible uses, but these were done in-vitro or in mice. However, if you open Youtube and do a quick search, you’re bound to see multiple videos that lobby both for and against its usage.
As mentioned above briefly, ecdysteroids are compounds found in plants, arthropods (insects), and fungi. There have been over 250 ecdysteroids isolated, with most of them coming from plants. However, plants produce these compounds as a defense mechanism against hungry insects. The most talked-about ecdysteroids these days are Turkesterone and ecdysterone (20-hydroxyecdysone).
Insects have ecdysteroid receptors where these compounds are found. In mammals where ecdysteroids are located in the muscle tissue, it isn’t completely understood how the compounds got there. However, it’s thought that the source of these ecdysteroids is through food intake, the gut flora or possibly due to infection.
It’s important to know what a steroid is when discussing supplements like Turkesterone. Steroids are chemicals, often in the form of hormones such as testosterone that the body naturally produces. These steroids support healthy organs, tissues, and cell functioning. There are also man-made or synthetic steroids.
There are two main types of synthetic steroids; corticosteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids (anabolics). Corticosteroids are used to ward off inflammation, similar to how the hormone cortisol works. These steroids are taken to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, rashes, and more. Anabolic steroids are used to retain and/or build more muscle mass. While long-term use of either steroid can be dangerous, anabolic steroid usage presents many more severe risks.
Anabolic steroids bind to the androgenic receptor proteins in skeletal muscle tissue cells, thus creating bigger muscles. Anabolic steroids can be harmful to the hormonal system, cardiovascular system, liver, musculoskeletal system, skin, and more. On the other hand, Ecdysteroids have shown no affinity to androgenic receptors while still showing promising muscle-building benefits of anabolics without the adverse effects.
Turkesterone and ecdysterone are similar, but they aren’t the same. Turkesterone is an analog (a compound with a similar molecular structure) of 20-hydroxyecdysone (ecdysterone). Both Turkesterone and ecdysterone are ecdysteroids found in the plant Ajuga turkestanica. Both also seem to avoid spiking liver toxicity and don’t interrupt endocrine activity in humans. Ecdysterone and Turkesterone can be found in multiple plant species, but they’re not always in the same plant as in Ajuga turkestanica.
Turkesterone still needs to be studied further, but it’s thought to work similarly to other ecdysteroids as an estrogen receptor-beta agonist. Estrogen receptor beta is involved with regulating skeletal muscle growth and repair and regeneration through the stimulation of anabolic pathways, activation of satellite cells, and regulation of the immune system. It’s important to note that the estrogen receptor beta isn’t thought to be the sole source of the anabolic effects. It’s believed that G protein-coupled receptor plus AKT pathway activation might be the mechanism as to how ecdysteroids produce these anabolic effects. It’s still not completely understood as to how ecdysteroids work, however it is clear that they show no androgenic impact as they don’t bind to the androgen receptor.
Turkesterone has its fair share of supporters and naysayers. You’re sure to find differing points of view online, but the majority of people who’ve used Turkesterone seem to think there are some benefits as they’ve seen lean muscle gains and reduced fat. Even with limited scientific research on Turkesterone, the findings have been pleasantly surprising.
It’s thought that Turkesterone acts as an agonist for receptors that stimulate anabolic and adaptogenic responses. The added benefits seem promising that Turkestersone also helps with metabolizing lipids and carbohydrates, thus supporting fat loss while maintaining skeletal muscle and body composition.
Note: As of now, these benefits were found in rodents and in-vitro without having many proper studies being conducted using humans.
Some of the expected benefits or anecdotal success stories of Turkesterone center around the following:
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of ecdysteroids and Turkesterone is that there are no reported dangerous side effects that would typically come with ingesting other anabolic substances.
Note: Always consult your doctor before beginning ANY new supplementation.
With the lack of scientific data and few adverse reports we found online, Turkesterone might be an enigma. You’d think that such a potent compound would, without a doubt, have some adverse side effects, but for now, they aren’t so clear. Some minor complaints are that ingesting high amounts of over 2,000mg a day may lead to stomach discomfort or nausea. Perhaps we will see more negative side effects come out over time as more people start using this promising supplement.
The jury’s out on the most effective dosage of Turkesterone as there isn’t enough research that’s been completed looking specifically at it. Some studies have looked at Ecdysterone in regards to usage and results. In this study, athletes took 800mg daily with significant results in lean muscle gain.
The most popular, trustworthy supplement brands are recommending 500mg-1000mg per day. Without thorough research on dosage, companies recommend staying around 10mg of Turkesterone per lean kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs with 10% body fat, you would take around 800mg per day (lean weight 180 lbs/ 2.2 lbs) *10mg=818mg).
Note: High-quality Turkesterone will fall in the range of 10% standardized, so in reality, you’re consuming roughly 10% as a pure form.
Everyone is different when it comes to supplements and their response to them. The studies that have been done surrounding Turkesterone or other ecdysteroids lasted for multiple weeks. With that said, we did see people commenting online about feeling some effects within days after starting supplementation. If Turkesterone works for you, you should feel a difference regarding your lifts and/or appearance within 2-4 weeks. This of course hinges on other vitally important aspects of your life, including sleep quality, diet and training regimen.
The studies that have been done comparing Turkesterone to other anabolic steroids such as Dianabol or SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) have shown some truly astounding results. Keep in mind that studies like this were done with rats, not humans. Still, the conclusion was that ecdysteroids had the anabolic potency was comparable or higher than anabolic androgenic steroids, SARMs, or IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor).
After pouring over the online reviews, Youtube videos, and other anecdotal comments, we didn’t see many people with results that would necessarily compare with anabolic steroid use. Still, there were some hyper-responders that had some great results. Derek from the Youtube channel MorePlateMoreDates, who is well known for being one of the first to start bringing Turkesterone to the masses, compares it to 2.5-5mg of Anavar (anabolic steroid) usage.
Overall, you shouldn’t expect that Turkesterone will pack on slabs of muscle the same way some anabolic steroids are able to. Despite that, if you are that someone looking to break through training or body composition plateaus without resorting to taking steroids that can potentially harm you then you might want to give Turkesterone a shot.
With the rise in notoriety over the past year or two come the hordes of supplements manufacturers looking to cash in on the trend. Here are some tips that can help you narrow down the field for buying a quality Turkesterone supplement online.
We don’t have much to go on in terms of efficacy or the potential risk of stacking Turkesterone with other supplements. However, we see a decent amount of people online who are using both Turkesterone and ecdysterone for possible compounding benefits. There’s little to no proof of adverse side effects from either of these substances but take that with a grain of salt as they both need to be studied more.
Social media has pushed Turkesterone into the spotlight, increasing the demand drastically. It’s been mentioned by Dr. Andrew Huberman on the biggest podcast globally, the Joe Rogan Experience. We believe that you’ll continue to see more and more supplement companies releasing Turkesterone products in the coming years. Before, you might’ve seen ECDY or ecdysterone on bodybuilding supplement labels; however, now you’ll see some companies like Gorilla Mind releasing both an ecdysterone and turkesterone supplement separately.
Turkesterone can be derived from multiple plants from the Ajuga family. Other extracts from plants, sometimes called 20-hydroxyecdysone or beta-ecdysterone, are sometimes marketed as Turkesterone, but they aren’t made from the same Ajuga Turkestanica that’s only found in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Some common ecdysterone you may see these days in bodybuilding supplements are from plants such as Cyanotis arachnoidea, Cyanotis vaga, and Maral root (Rhaponticum carthamoides or Leuzea Carthamoides).
Scientists have been able to extract up to 10% of pure Turkesterone from Ajuga turkestanica. So be aware that if you see claims of much higher numbers, you should be wary of the claims. These days, there are Turkesterone like products coming out of China derived from other plants in the Lamiaceae family. Extracts from these Chinese native plants, Ajuga decumbens, and Ajuga reptans, result in much lower and less potent content.
Yes, one of the most intriguing aspects of supplementing with Turkesterone is that it’s a natural ecdysteroid. This is important for people who want to get an edge but still remain “natty.” Although we don’t think Turkesterone will result in the same level of gains you might see from an anabolic steroid, the upsides of remaining natty while not having to worry about potentially harmful side effects makes this an excellent option for many people.
No, Turkesterone doesn’t require a PCT (Post Cycle Therapy) as we currently understand that it isn’t harmful to our body’s health to warrant a PCT usage. Unlike other anabolic substances that wreak havoc on your organs, such as your liver, heart or your endocrine system.
No, as of writing this post, Turkesterone isn’t on any banned lists that we’re aware of. However, some agencies have placed Turkesterone and other ecdysteroids on their watchlist as they think these substances can enhance performance. In addition, researchers have recommended that ecdysteroids, in general, be on the list of prohibited substances in competitive sports. So, if you’re worried about taking Turkesterone and being banned from a competition of any sort, then you should check with the regulating agency before you begin any supplementation.
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Turkesterone is one of the newer kids on the block when it comes to natural supplements that could give you a potential edge. We’re excited to see more research being done in the world of ecdysteroids, including turkesterone, as the wild world of plants might have a lot more to offer than we initially thought when it comes to muscle building safely and effectively.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve tried Turkesterone or any other ecdysteroids.
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