Research on Anabolic Arsenal ingredients

Research on Tribulus Terrestris

In Ayurveda, the herb Tribulus terrestris has been used in promoting genito-urinary health, supporting sexual activity, and as a general tonic for centuries. An Ayurvedic preparation containing Tribulus terrestris was used to treat fifty patients complaining of lethargy, fatigue and lack of interest in day to day activities. The results showed an overall improvement (45%) in symptoms.[1] Of greater significance are the studies where the standardized extracts of Tribulus terrestris were found to have a stimulating effect on the libido.[2] After conducting a study of Tribulus terrestris in rodents, researchers concluded, “Tribulus terrestris extract appears to possess aphrodisiac activity probably due to androgen [i.e. testosterone] increasing property of Tribulus terrestris.”[3] Similar findings were found in another study on primates, where researchers noted that tribulus increased testosterone in the animals, and another later study on rodents.[4] [5] [6] An extract of Tribulus terrestris (Tribestan; Sopharma, Sofia, Bulgaria) has gained recent interest following promotional presentations of English language translations of Bulgarian pharmaceutical company research. Reportedly, the Tribulus extract elevated circulating testosterone and luteinizing hormone amounts that were depressed in men who were part of infertile couples.[7]

Research on Eleutherococcus Senticosus

The aim of this study[8] was to examine the effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus (ES) supplementation on endurance capacity, cardiovascular functions and metabolism of recreationally trained males for 8 weeks. Nine recreationally trained males in college consumed 400mg of ES (standardized to contain eleutheroside B 0.11% and eleutheroside E 0.12%) twice daily or starch placebo (P) for 8 weeks according to a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled and crossover design with a washout period of 4 weeks between the cycling trials. Subjects cycled at 75% VO2 peak until exhaustion. The examined physiological variables included endurance time, maximal heart rate during exhaustion exercise, VO2, rating of perceived exertion and respiratory exchange ratio. The biochemical variables including the plasma free fatty acid (FFA) and glucose were measured at rest, 15 min, 30 min and exhaustion. The major finding of this study was the VO2 peak of the subjects elevated 12% (P < 0.05), endurance time improved 23% (P < 0.05) and the highest heart rate increased 4% (P < 0.05) significantly. The second finding was at 30 min of 75% VO2 peak cycling, the production of plasma FFA was increased and the glucose level was decreased both significantly (P < 0.05) over 8-week ES supplementation. This is the first well-conducted study that shows that 8-week ES supplementation enhances endurance capacity, elevates cardiovascular functions and alters the metabolism for sparing glycogen in recreationally trained males. Eleutherococcus has been touted as the herb that builds Russian athletes. In his review of the Russian scientific literature, Farnsworth notes a single 4 mL dose of a 33-percent ethanolic liquid extract given to five male skiers 1-1.5 hours before a 20-50 kilometer race increased skier resistance to hypoxemia and enhanced their ability to adapt to increased exercise demands. In another summary of the Russian studies, Halstead cites research on runners given either 2mL (n=34) or 4 mL (n=33) of the extract 30 minutes before participating in a 10-kilometer race. The results were compared to 41 participants who did not take the herb (control). Those who took either 2 or 4 mL of the extract completed the race in an average time of 48.7 minutes and 45 minutes, respectively, compared to 52.6 minutes for the control group. After establishing baseline maximal work loads (control) using bicycle ergometry, six healthy male athletes (ages 21-22) were given 2 mL (150 mg of the dried material) of a 33-percent ethanol extract of Eleutherococcus or a comparable placebo in the morning and evening 30 minutes before meals for eight days. Compared to control, individuals who took the herb had significant increases in overall work performance, including maximal oxygen uptake (p<0.01), oxygen pulse (p<0.025), total work (p<0.005), and exhaustion time (p<0.005). The Eleutherococcus group experienced a 23.3-percent increase in total work and a 16.3-percent increase in time to exhaustion compared to only a 7.5-percent and 5.4-percent increase in respective placebo values (p<0.05).[9]

Research on Maca

Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp) is consumed both as a sports supplement by strength and endurance athletes, and as a natural stimulant to enhance sexual drive. However, whether or not the postulated benefits of maca consumption are of scientific merit is not yet known. The aim of the study[10] was therefore to investigate the effect of 14 days maca supplementation on endurance performance and sexual desire in trained male cyclists. Eight participants each completed a 40 km cycling time trial before and after 14 days supplementation with both maca extract (ME) and placebo, in a randomised cross-over design. Subjects also completed a sexual desire inventory during each visit. ME administration significantly improved 40 km cycling time performance compared to the baseline test (P=0.01), but not compared to the placebo trial after supplementation (P>0.05). ME administration significantly improved the self-rated sexual desire score compared to the baseline test (P=0.01), and compared to the placebo trial after supplementation (P=0.03). 14 days ME supplementation improved 40 km cycling time trial performance and sexual desire in trained male cyclists. These promising results encourage long-term clinical studies involving more volunteers, to further evaluate the efficacy of ME in athletes and normal individuals and also to explore its possible mechanisms of action. This study[11] was a 12-week double blind placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel trial in which active treatment with different doses of Maca Gelatinizada was compared with placebo. The study aimed to demonstrate if effect of Maca on subjective report of sexual desire was because of effect on mood or serum testosterone levels. Men aged 21-56 years received Maca in one of two doses: 1,500 mg or 3,000 mg or placebo. Self-perception on sexual desire, score for Hamilton test for depression, and Hamilton test for anxiety were measured at 4, 8 and 12 weeks of treatment. An improvement in sexual desire was observed with Maca since 8 weeks of treatment. Serum testosterone and oestradiol levels were not different in men treated with Maca and in those treated with placebo (P:NS). Logistic regression analysis showed that Maca has an independent effect on sexual desire at 8 and 12 weeks of treatment, and this effect is not because of changes in either Hamilton scores for depression or anxiety or serum testosterone and oestradiol levels. In conclusion, treatment with Maca improved sexual desire.

Research on Glutamine

To determine whether glutamine can stimulate human muscle glycogen synthesis, researchers studied in groups of six subjects the effect after exercise of infusion of glutamine, alanine+glycine, or saline. The subjects cycled for 90 min at 70-140% maximal oxygen consumption to deplete muscle glycogen; then primed constant infusions of glutamine (30 mg/kg; 50 or an isonitrogenous, isoenergetic mixture of alanine+glycine or NaCl (0.9%) were administered. Muscle glutamine remained constant during saline infusion, decreased 18% during alanine+glycine infusion (P < 0.001), but rose 16% during glutamine infusion (P < 0.001). By 2 h after exercise, muscle glycogen concentration had increased more in the glutamine-infused group than in the saline or alanine+glycine controls (+2.8 +/- 0.6, +0.8 +/- 0.4, and +0.9 +/- 0.4 mumol/g wet wt, respectively, P < 0.05, glutamine vs. saline or alanine+glycine). Labeling of glycogen by tracer [U-13C]glucose was similar in glutamine and saline groups, suggesting no effect of glutamine on the fractional rate of blood glucose incorporation into glycogen. The results suggest that, after exercise, increased availability of glutamine promotes muscle glycogen accumulation by mechanisms possibly including diversion of glutamine carbon to glycogen.[12] The objective of this study[13] was to investigate whether supplementation of carbohydrate together with peptide glutamine would increase exercise tolerance in soccer players. Nine male soccer players (mean age: 18.4 +/- 1.1 years; body mass: 69.2 +/- 4.6 kg; height: 175.5 +/- 7.3 cm; and maximum oxygen consumption of 57.7 +/- 4.8 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1)) were evaluated. All of them underwent a cardiopulmonary exercise test and followed a protocol that simulated the movements of a soccer game in order to evaluate their tolerance to intermittent exercise. By means of a draw, either carbohydrate with peptide glutamine (CARBOGLUT: 50 g of maltodextrin + 3.5 g of peptide glutamine in 250 ml of water) or carbohydrate alone (CARBO: 50 g of maltodextrin in 250 ml of water) was administered in order to investigate the enhancement of the soccer players’ performances. The solution was given thirty minutes before beginning the test, which was performed twice with a one-week interval between tests. The results were that a great improvement in the time and distance covered was observed when the athletes consumed the CARBOGLUT mixture. Total distance covered was 12750 +/- 4037m when using CARBO, and 15571 +/- 4184m when using CARBOGLUT (p<0.01); total duration of tolerance was 73 +/- 23 min when using CARBO and 88 +/- 24 min when using CARBOGLUT (p<0.01). Researchers concluded that the CARBOGLUT mixture was more efficient in increasing the distance covered and the length of time for which intermittent exercise was tolerated. CARBOGLUT also reduced feelings of fatigue in the players compared with the use of the CARBO mixture alone. Blood ammonia concentration increases during endurance exercise and has been proposed as a cause for both peripheral and central fatigue. We examined the impact of glutamine and (or) carbohydrate supplementation on ammonemia in high-level runners. Fifteen men in pre-competitive training ran 120 min (approximately 34 km) outdoors on 4 occasions. On the first day, the 15 athletes ran without the use of supplements and blood samples were taken every 30 min. After that, each day for 4 d before the next 3 exercise trials, we supplemented the athletes’ normal diets in bolus with carbohydrate (1, glutamine (70, or a combination of both in a double-blind study. Blood ammonia level was determined before the run and every 30 min during the run. During the control trial ammonia increased progressively to approximately 70% above rest concentration. Following supplementation, independent of treatment, ammonia was not different (p>0.05) for the first 60 min, but for the second hour it was lower than in the control (p<0.05). Supplementation in high-level, endurance athletes reduced the accumulation of blood ammonia during prolonged, strenuous exercise in a field situation.[14] High-intensity and prolonged exercise significantly enhances the levels of plasma ammonia, a metabolite with toxic effects on the central nervous system. The main purpose of the present study[15] was to evaluate the metabolic response of athletes to glutamine (Gln) and alanine (Ala) supplementation, since these amino acids have a significant influence on both anaplerosis and gluconeogenesis. Professional football players were assigned to groups receiving either Gln or Ala supplementation (100 mg kg(-1) body weight); this supplementation was either short-term or long-term and was given immediately before exercise. The players were evaluated using two exercise protocols, one with intervals (n = 18) and the other with continuous intensity (n = 12). Both types of exercises increased ammonia, urate, urea and creatinine in blood. Chronic Gln supplementation partially protected against hyperammonemia after a football match (intermittent exercise: Gln -140 (SEM 13)% vs Ala -240 (SEM 37)%) and after continuous exercise at 80% of the maximum heart rate (Gln -481 (SEM 44)% vs placebo -778 (SEM 99)%). Urate increased by 10-20% in all groups, independently of supplementation. Glutamine once a day supplementation induced a greater elevation in urate as compared to alanine at the end of the game; however, long-term supplementation provoked a lesser increment in urate. Exercise induced similar increases in creatinine as compared to their respective controls in either acute or chronic glutamine administration. Taken together, the results suggest that chronically supplemented Gln protects against exercise-induced hyperammonemia depending on exercise intensity and supplementation duration. Eight male subjects performed leg press exercise, 4 x 10 repetitions at 80% of their maximum. Venous blood samples were taken before, during exercise and repeatedly during 2 h of recovery. From four subjects, biopsies were taken from the vastus lateralis muscle prior to, immediately after and following one and 2 h of recovery. Samples were freeze-dried, individual muscle fibres were dissected out and identified as type I or type II. Resistance exercise led to pronounced reductions in the glutamate concentration in both type I (32%) and type II fibres (70%). Alanine concentration was elevated 60-75% in both fibre types and 29% in plasma. Glutamine concentration remained unchanged after exercise; although 2 h later the concentrations in both types of fibres were reduced 30-35%. Two hours after exercise, the plasma levels of glutamate and six of the essential amino acids, including the branched-chain amino acids were reduced 5-30%. The data suggest that glutamate acts as an important intermediate in muscle energy metabolism during resistance exercise, especially in type II fibres.[16]


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