Turkesterone has made inroads in the bodybuilding community as a natural alternative to lab-made anabolic steroids. It has a history in traditional medicine and uses in Tadzhikistan and Uzbekistan.
What does the research say about it? Are there safety concerns, and is turkesterone a steroid? Read on to find what our research uncovered for these questions and more.
What is Turkesterone?
The information in this turkesterone review examines the derivative found in plants like Ajuga turkestanica, Rhaponticum acaule, and some Vitex species. It has traditional uses in regions where these plants grow, but what do studies say about them?
- Research Journal of Pharmacognosy: One study published in 2021 looked at using the ecdysteroid-containing Ajuga cream with burns. The trial used a 3% cream vs. placebo. Data concluded it showed a beneficial effect as a remedy for burn wounds because it improved healing time and pain reduction.
- Annals of Phytomedicine: One 2020 review article looked at the growing popularity of the ecdysteroid turkesterone and the harvesting of Ajuga turkestanica. It discussed biologically active secondary metabolites and highlighted traditional uses of the plant and its ecdysteroids for blood sugar, dysentery, fever, and high blood pressure.
- Handbook of Dietary Phytochemicals: A 2021 reference work examined the various potential health properties and future uses in dietary phytoecdysteroids. The article discussed the positive effect of the compounds on high serum glucose, improved muscle mass, and other health-related uses across several trials.
Is it a Steroid?
Is Turkesterone a Steroid?
Turkesterone is an ecdysteroid (a natural steroid compound). Ecdysteroids are steroid hormones found in arthropods, some fungi, and plants. These organisms use it to promote growth, molting, and perhaps a minor role in reproduction.
Do ecdysteroids function like traditional anabolic–androgenic steroids you have heard of before? Ecdysteroids like turkesterone provide potential benefits to humans through a different pathway than synthetic anabolic steroids that imitate testosterone.
Does ecdysteroid supplementation help you increase muscle hypertrophy (increase in muscle cell size)? In June 2015, the journal Biology of Sport published the outcome of a rodent trial comparing ecdysteroids to other compounds. The data showed that ecdysteroids exhibited a noticeable hypertrophic effect. These outcomes were more than those from metandienone (Dianabol), estradienesdione (trenbolone), and SARM S 1 when applied at a similar dosage.
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Supplemental products claim that turkesterone can increase lean muscle mass, strength, and power. Some state that it has the potential to help reduce weight when used. Traditional use supposedly helped with antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antiproliferative activities. In the past, users suggest that it can help support wound healing and provide an immunostimulant effect, among others.
Does Turkesterone Work? Benefits
Studies in Natural Products Chemistry looked at ecdysteroids in plants and how they affected vertebrates and humans in 2015. It noted that phytoecdysteroids like 20E, cyasterone, and turkesterone have an anabolic effect. It also says these compounds appear to be non-toxic to mammals.
Turkesterone works by targeting estrogen receptor B. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology states evidence suggests estrogen receptor signaling is involved in regulating skeletal muscle growth and regeneration through anabolic pathways. That might explain the anecdotal outcomes experienced by those using turkesterone.
Unlike some synthetic products, it appears that turkesterone could require some activity for hypertrophy. The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health discussed a rodent study in 2021 using sedentary aging mice. It states that intake of A. turkestanica extract did not alter muscle fiber.
Current athletes and those looking to enter competitive sports should be aware of their governing agencies’ stance on naturally-derived steroids like turkesterone. It might be an indicator of the ecdysteroid’s success that Food Additives and Contaminants published the development of a method to determine and quantify these compounds, including turkesterone.
Turkesterone and Weight Loss
Can turkesterone help with weight loss? Nutrients published data of a rodent trial looking at combining phytoanabolic extracts from plants like Ajuga turkestanica with exercise. The information shows that the ecdysteroids affected muscle mass, adiposity, strength, fatigue, and lipid profile. That sheds light on turkesterone’s potential in weight management.
Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B conducted an updated review on 212 phytoecdysteroids. It looked at several health parameters, including metabolism-modulatory effect and sugar control, which play a role in fat reduction. It notes a potential role for these compounds but points out that human data is lacking.
Potential Turkesterone Side Effects
Little current data is discussing turkesterone side effects. Most advocates feel it is safer than anabolic steroids because it does not bind to androgen receptors. That would mean turkesterone lacks the typical changes associated with anabolic steroids like shifts in appetite, hair growth, libido, mood, skin health, and sleep.
Looking for possible risks from the ecdysteroid data is no help here. There are currently no known risks from using plant-based ecdysteroids.
Due to a lack of available health information, users tend to share their experiences on social media sites like Reddit or Youtube. They discuss possible benefits, turkesterone before and after images, and potential safety issues. There is no clear consensus about negative side effects. The most commonly mentioned effects in posts are skin discolorization or breakouts.
It is worth noting that any naturally occurring herb or its derivatives can produce unwanted side effects. These can include allergies, drug interactions, body pains, digestive issues, emotional changes, and others.
Can I Take With...
Can I Take Turkesterone With…
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve or regulate dietary herbs and their derivatives, including turkesterone. Consult your healthcare team before adding dietary herbs or natural supplements to your diet. That is especially important if you have underlying health conditions or take prescription medications.
How to Take Turkesterone: Directions
Due to a lack of research on the herbal supplement, there are no generally recognized limits for turkesterone dosage or daily intake totals. Supplement companies vary in the serving size and number of daily servings. The average appears to be 250-500mg doses once or twice daily.
For example, the turkesterone Gorilla Mind offers come in 500mg capsules. The manufacturer does not indicate the maximum number of servings daily. The research finds that bodybuilding forums and websites recommend starting with a low dose to see how the body reacts to treatment. Dosages can be increased based on your desired goals.
Need to Cycle?
Do You Need to Cycle Turkesterone?
Ecdysteroids like turkesterone do not bind to androgen receptors. Users believe that this means your body will not build resistance to them as it does with anabolic steroids.
Still, users and supplement manufacturers favor cycling turkesterone to give your body a break. Consumers say you can notice the effect of turkesterone within a week of starting, so most cycling ranges are between 6-12 weeks.
Sources like Reddit, Facebook groups, and bodybuilder webpages state that a longer cycle allows turkesterone levels to build up and will provide better outcomes. The compound does not require a PCT (Post-Cycle Therapy).
What About Stacking Turkesterone?
The research for this turkesterone review found that supplement manufacturers suggest their turkesterone products are safe to stack with other supplements. Some of the combinations discussed on various sites include:
- With testosterone boosters
- With growth hormone boosters
- With Oestrogen blockers
Some also combine it with different fat loss supplements for potential benefit with carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
Where to Buy
Where Will You Find Turkesterone?
You will find ecdysteroids (including turkesterone) in foods like quinoa, spinach, and yams. The amount of the compound is minimal, however. Those looking to use it for wellness and muscle gains need to obtain it through supplementation. A glance online provides several sources, including:
- Turkesterone Gorilla Mind – 500mg capsules (10% turkesterone) 60 count for $59.99
- Turkesterone RAW Nutrition – 500mg capsules (10% turkesterone) 60 count for $49.99
- Turkesterone Double Wood – 500mg capsules (10% turkesterone) 120 count for $39.95
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
- A turkesterone supplement might offer a natural alternative to synthetic anabolic–androgenic steroids
- It does not appear to have the same negative impact on health as anabolic steroids
- Anecdotal turkesterone before and after outcomes appear positive
- There is little human research that backs up anecdotal claims
- Bodily reactions and drug interactions have yet to be established
- Current dosage levels for potential results are vague
Bottom Line on Turkesterone Results
Taking a turkesterone supplement appears to be a natural alternative to synthetic steroids. It might produce increases in muscle size, but the evidence is anecdotal at this time. There is not a lot of human research into muscle growth using this compound, including potential negative side effects and safe turkesterone dosage levels. It also appears that for every turkesterone supporter, there is a detractor that claims it is a waste of time and money.
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