Athletes are always looking for the next big supplement that will enhance their performance and set them up for success on the field of competition. Chances are that you’ve heard of, and have been using, the "basics" (creatine, beta alanine, betaine, etc.) for some time, and now you’re hunting for the next “it” ingredient to keep a leg up on the competition.
You may have heard of a compound called Laxogenin, and even some references to it touting similar anabolic:androgenic properties to pharmaceuticals.
Ahead, we've got everything you want to know about this robust, plant-based compound that may help unleash new gains in strength and size none of the pitfalls or side effects that potentially lie with other more "aggressive" supplements.
What Is Laxogenin?
Laxogenin is a naturally occurring steroidal sapogenin found in a number of plants, including Dioscorea zingiberensis -- a species of yam that has been grown in China.
Laxogenin is a member of a group of plant-based steroids, known as brassinosteroids, which are readily found in small quantities in the pollen, seeds, and leaves of a number of plants and foods. The compound is similar in structure to ecdysterone, another widely used plant-derived anabolic agent.
Laxogenin was first explored as a possible muscle-building supplement when researchers noted its growth-promoting properties in plants. This led researchers to dig a little deeper into the inner workings of laxogenin and what they discovered was quite astonishing -- laxogenin possesses a similar anabolic/androgenic ratio to Anavar, one of the powerful steroids of all time!
However, unlike anavar and other steroids, which are synthetic derivatives of testosterone and often come with nasty side effects, laxogenin is all-natural, plant-based and non-hormonal, meaning it doesn't carry the same liver toxicity concerns as hardcore anabolics do.
How Does Laxogenin Work?
First, it’s important to remember that laxogenin is a naturally-occurring, plant-based compound, not some synthetic franken-chemical cooked up in a lab.
Second, while some research has been conducted on laxogenin, researchers have yet to come to a general consensus on what the exact mechanism of action is for laxogenin’s growth-promoting properties.
However, research has shown that brassinosteroids can significantly enhance protein synthesis as well as reduce protein breakdown.[1,2,3]
Additional insight into the effects/actions of laxogenin can be gleaned from the patent application for the ingredient which notes that laxogenin possesses some adaptogenic qualities.[4,5]
Adaptogens are plants that help “normalize” and improve the body's stress response.
Lastly, laxogenin is also believed to help reduce cortisol and stress, limit protein breakdown, improve injury recovery, reduce pain, and improve cholesterol levels.[4,5]
Laxogenin vs Anavar
Now, taking a look at anavar (a.k.a. oxandrolone), research notes that it lowers Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) hormones, promoting nitrogen retention, which yields increased free testosterone.[6,7,8]
The result of both of these actions is significantly greater muscle growth (anabolism).
Furthermore, anavar has also been noted to stimulate lipolysis, the body’s natural fat burning mechanism, and increase thyroid hormone T3 utilization. It also reduces thyroid-binding globulin, which promotes optimal thyroid function, and increases red blood cell count, leading to significantly better endurance and muscular energy.
Suffice it to say that the couldn't be more different in how they work in the body, though they do share similar anabolic:androgenic ratios.
Also, remember that laxogenin is plant-based, making it a superior choice for all natural athletes!
Benefits of Laxogenin
Laxogenin has been noted in some research to support[4,5]:
- Protein synthesis and lean mass gains
- reduced stress and cortisol levels
- Enhanced recovery
- Pain relief
- Healthy cholesterol levels (reduces LDL “bad” cholesterol)
- Increased strength
- Stable blood sugar levels
- Improved body composition
While there hasn’t been a conclusive dose established for laxogenin by researchers, anecdotal reports point to needing 100-200mg per day to really see noticeable improvements.
For this reason, Primeval Labs has included an impressive 125mg per capsule of laxogenin (from Dioscorea zingiberensis) in Primavar.
Safe for Women, Too!
Since laxogenin is a non-hormonal muscle builder, that also means that it can be used by female lifters seeking improvements in performance and recovery.
Laxogenin is a great muscle-building compound all on its own, but one of the very special attributes of the ingredient is that it can be stacked with basically any other supplement you could be using, including:
- Beta Alanine
- Natural Testosterone Boosters
- Fat burners (Pyretic Black)
- Phosphatidic Acid
- Whey protein
- Kubo S, Mimaki Y, Sashida Y, Nikaido T, Ohmoto T. Steroidal saponins from the rhizomes of Smilax sieboldii. Phytochemistry. 1992;31(7):2445-2450. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1369386
- Esposito D, Komarnytsky S, Shapses S, Raskin I. Anabolic effect of plant brassinosteroid. The FASEB Journal. 2011;25(10):3708-3719. doi:10.1096/fj.11-181271. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3177571/
- Syrov, V. N., & Kurmukov, A. G. (1975). [Experimental study of the anabolic activity of 6-ketoderivatives of certain natural sapogenins]. Farmakologiia i toksikologiia, 39(5), 631-635. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1028596
- Fasciola, Andre Armel; “Phytosterol spirostane and spirostene derivatives having a wide variety of utilities in humans and other animals”; US Patent & Trademark Office; September 18, 2014; http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=20140274978.PGNR.
- Fasciola, Andre Armel; “Phytosterol spirostane and spirostene derivatives having a wide variety of utilities in humans and other animals”; Google Patents; September 18, 2014; https://www.google.com/patents/US20140274978
- Bianchi V, Marbini A. Neuroregenerative Effect of Oxandrolone: A Case Report. The American Journal of Case Reports. 2015;16:763-767. doi:10.12659/AJCR.893901. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4629627/
- Jeschke MG, Finnerty CC, Suman OE, Kulp G, Mlcak RP, Herndon DN. The Effect of Oxandrolone on the Endocrinologic, Inflammatory, and Hypermetabolic Responses During the Acute Phase Postburn. Annals of Surgery. 2007;246(3):351-362. doi:10.1097/SLA.0b013e318146980e. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1959346/
- Melinda Sheffield-Moore, Randall J. Urban, Steven E. Wolf, J. Jiang, Don H. Catlin, David N. Herndon, Robert R. Wolfe, Arny A. Ferrando; Short-Term Oxandrolone Administration Stimulates Net Muscle Protein Synthesis in Young Men, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 84, Issue 8, 1 August 1999, Pages 2705–2711, https://doi.org/10.1210/jcem.84.8.5923
- Qin, Y., Wu, X., Huang, W., Gong, G., Li, D., He, Y., & Zhao, Y. (2009). Acute toxicity and sub-chronic toxicity of steroidal saponins from Dioscorea zingiberensis C.H.Wright in rodents. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 126(3), 543–550. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2009.08.047