Turkesterone is it Natural?
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
Turkesterone has garnered much interest within the fitness and bodybuilding communities as an aid.
Yet what exactly is it and why has it become such an issue? In this article, we delve deeper into the science surrounding turkesterone by uncovering its natural source and possible benefits.
Turkesterone can be found naturally occurring within Ajuga turkestanica plants.
Turkesterone belongs to a class of compounds called ecdysteroid steroids that play an integral part in insect development and studies suggest similar effects may also exist in human physiology - specifically muscle growth and performance enhancement.
Turkesterone may promote protein synthesis, leading to increased muscle mass and strength gains.
This could potentially increase muscle size. Turkesterone may contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could assist recovery and overall wellness, according to athletes and bodybuilders who have used it successfully.
While research on turkesterone remains limited, anecdotal reports from these athletes and bodybuilders appear to demonstrate its positive outcomes.
Notably, individual experiences may differ; more scientific research must also be completed on this fascinating compound to fully grasp its effects and mechanisms.
Join us as we dive deeper into its science while uncovering natural sources and potential benefits associated with this unique compound!
Is Turkesterone Natural?
Turkesterone, a phytoecdysteroid with an 11a hydroxyl group is also known as phytoecdysteroid. This is an analog of insect hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone.
Turkesterone is an ecosteroid produced from plants that has purported anabolic effects but doesn't bind with androgen receptors, this should provide an increase of protein synthesis without risking hair loss or gynecomastia like steroids might do.
What is Turkesterone?
Turkesterone, found in Ajuga turkestanica plants, is an anabolic phytoecdysterroid that is used because it is thought that it has adaptogenic, hepatoprotective and hypoglycemic properties.
The steroid hormones that arthropods produce and may also be produced by other invertebrate species are called ecdysteroids.
These steroid hormones are also found in plants, and they're called phytoecdysteroids. They are thought to deter invertebrate predators.
They regulate the moulting of insects and their metamorphosis.
As its human equivalent (testosterone), however, there have been no reported toxic side effects at normal dosage levels.
This suggests turkesterone might have the potential to increase muscle growth while improving muscle-to-fat ratio by speeding up metabolism and increasing protein synthesis.
However, this recent animal study published in 2021 demonstrates that turkesterone (Ajuga turkestanica) does not have anabolic effects in skeletal muscle in mice.
The in vivo use of ecdysteroids as inducers taken orally, raises questions about their uptake, metabolism and half-life in mammals including humans, a topic which has not been extensively studied.
In addition, there is rapid catabolism/elimination of ecdysteroids, which means that large amounts would have to be used in order to maintain circulating levels above the concentration required for gene switches systems to be activated.
As such, the hormonal effects of Ecdysteroids are only proven in arthropods as outlined in this 2008 review.
Natural sources of Turkesterone
Turkesterone is a natural compound that is reported to significantly boost muscle growth and strength, as well as promote lipid and carb metabolism, aiding fat burning while keeping the body anabolic.
However, these are merely anecdotal reports, not the result of reputable research papers.
Furthermore, it is reported that Turkesterone functions as an adaptogen, meaning it reduces stress and fatigue relief making it an invaluable aid for bodybuilders and athletes. Again, there aren't any human studies confirming this.
This ingredient comes from Ajuga turkestanica plant and is one of the many phytoecdysteroids present. These phytoecdysteroids resemble testosterone that may provide the benefits without having steroidal side effects like gynecomastia.
Furthermore, they're said to stimulate anabolic pathways which allows users to push past their limits during training sessions and get maximum benefit out of them.
There have been early research documents that have identified a stimulatory effect of turkesterone on protein synthesis. However, heed caution as these effects were seen in a study on mouse liver tissues.
That said, it does seem that turkesterone may help 'restrain adipogenesis'. This means it may help prevent fat cells develop and accumulate as body fat.
Is Turkesterone an adaptogen?
Turkesterone may help repair muscle fibers that have been broken down following intense training sessions and boost glycogen concentrations in muscles to remove lactic acid and support workout recovery, maintaining positive nitrogen balance for muscle growth.
Some individuals report experiencing improved sleep, reduced anxiety or feelings of burnout and enhanced digestion and gut health from using Turkesterone; it is also believed to possess hepatoprotective (there's some evidence in the animal model) and cardioprotective properties.
Some online publications report that turkesterone can also assist in managing cortisol levels, helping prevent them from becoming too high or low and leading to weight gain. However, there's a distinct lack of research papers confirming this.
Chemical composition and properties Turkesterone
Turkesterone, an anabolic compound found naturally in plants and animals such as crabs, is part of a class of compounds called ecdysteroids and known as an effective molting hormone in arthropods. However, its exact chemical makeup and properties remain obscure
Turkesterone and hormone regulation
Supplements that contain turkesterone typically come in capsule or extract form and can be found labeled with names such as Ajuga Turkestanica, Maral Root Extract or Leuzea Carthamoides.
As it's not considered an anabolic steroid or artificial hormone (due to a lack of huma evidence), turkesterone will not show up on drug tests and can legally be used by athletes and bodybuilders.
No scientific evidence demonstrates that turkesterone significantly increases muscle mass or athletic performance; however, its there are some anecdotal reports that it may contribute to improved post-workout soreness relief and recovery time.
How Turkesterone works in the body
Though some studies support turkesterone for building muscle in the animal model, more research must be completed.
Studies indicate it may produce similar effects as androgenic steroids when administered to animals; however, human trials of this medicine remain necessary before conclusive evidence can be provided.
Anecdotal reports from users show it helps promote muscle mass gains while strengthening overall strength levels. However, we do not know whther this is merely a marketing exercise rather than actual honest results.
Side effects and precautions for Turkesterone
Turkesterone, a plant-derived ecdysteroid, is commonly used to facilitate insect molting. Studies suggest it isn't toxic.
Although few studies have been done on turkesterone specifically, many have focused on its related ecdysteroids.
Due to their potential (yet unconfirmed) benefits, turkesterone supplements have quickly become popular among athletes and bodybuilders which has been fueled by companies promoting it on social media.
Is Turkesterone a Placebo?
While no definitive scientific evidence exists to support that turkesterone significantly enhances athletic performance, people who use it may experience a placebo effect.
Most studies that have revealed promising results used in vitro methods or small animal tests that don't accurately represent human performance.
Another factor which makes turkesterone unsuitable as an aid for human performance is that its half-lives are short; large quantities would need to be consumed daily in order for it to have any real effect.
Conclusion: Is Turkesterone Natural?
Turkesterone is the phytoecdysteride found most commonly in plant species such as Rhaponticum Carthamoides, Cyanotis Arachnoidea C.B.Clarke, and Ajuga Turkestanica. As a result, it is natural.
Whilst there is a buzz around turkesterone on social media and the internet for its apparent physical performance benefits, there are no solid, gold-standard studies that confirm these claims.
Therefore, do not expect to see any benefits other than what may be produced by the placebo effect.