Turkesterone - good supplement or another scam?
written by Philip Stefanov | SEPTEMBER 6, 2022
Turkesterone is one of the new kids on the supplement block, claimed to deliver all sorts of unique benefits. The question is, should we buy into the hype?
What is Turkesterone?
Turkesterone is a type of ecdysteroid––a steroid hormone primarily found in insects and certain plants.
Like testosterone and other androgens, turkesterone possesses qualities that promote the development of various characteristics. So, given these anabolic properties, scientists decided to study the effects of ecdysteroids on humans.
These days, many people recognize turkesterone as a steroid-like substance that leads to amazing fitness results with no drawbacks. Unfortunately, we all know the saying: “If it sounds too good to be true…”
Does Turkesterone Work?
Researchers have been looking at turkesterone for decades, examining it, forgetting about its existence, and revisiting it years later. The first actual data we have comes from the 1970s in the form of a rodent study. Data wasn’t promising, and researchers only noted a slight increase in liver protein synthesis.
A few other studies were carried out in the 1980s and 90s. Unfortunately, their results don’t matter because these were also rodent studies that lasted for brief periods.
We finally got an actual study on humans in 2006 (1). In it, researchers split 45 healthy men into four groups. The subjects in three of the groups took potentially anabolic substances with a structure similar to that of turkesterone. Folks in group four were given a placebo.
After four weeks of following a structured training plan, researchers found no difference in lean mass or strength gain among the subjects.
A more recent study from 2019 set out to examine the effects of ecdysteroids on gains (2). The study had 46 subjects that were given a placebo or Peak Ecdysone supplement (two or eight capsules daily), labeled to contain 100 mg of ecdysterone per capsule.
Interestingly, the two ecdysterone groups saw decent muscle and strength progress on a 10-week structured program, whereas the placebo group experienced muscle loss. One likely explanation is the use of single-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis, which is notoriously inaccurate in measuring body composition.
Researchers did a lab analysis of the supplement and found something interesting (2):
“The quantiﬁcation of ecdysterone in the supplements revealed an amount of 6mg per capsule, which is considerably lower than the amount labeled on the bottle (i.e., 100mg per capsule).”
Huh? So the participants in both ecdysterone groups saw great results despite only getting 12 or 48 mg of the active substance daily? One likely explanation is that the results were a false positive.
The Bottom Line
At the time of writing this newsletter, there isn’t a single turkesterone study on humans. Plus, given the results from the two studies on ecdysterone, you should save your money and not bother.
Thank you for taking the time. Until next week,
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