As governments crack down on designer steroids, the makers of sports supplements are looking more and more to anabolic herbals, like Anacyclus pyrethrum. Extracts from this plant are found in Gaspari Nutrition's Anatropin and Physique Enhancing Science's Anabeta. An animal study soon to be published in Phytotherapy Research suggests that these supplements may be effective.
Anacyclus pyrethrum also goes by the name of Spanish chamomile. Ayurvedic healers use extracts of the roots of the plant as a treatment for infertility and impotence. In 2010 researchers at the Hari Singh Gour University in India published the results of an animal study in which Anacyclus pyrethrum stimulated the sexual behaviour of rats in a way that resembled the effect of testosterone. [Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2010 Aug;8(8): 767-73.]
The researchers have already described how Anacyclus pyrethrum boosts the synthesis of testosterone and sperm cells in the testes, but only in obscure scientific journals, [Sci Pharm. 2009; 77:97–110.]. The new article appears in a journal that is more highly regarded by the scientific community.
The researchers gave male rats nothing [Control], testosterone injections [TG] or increasing doses of alcohol based Anacyclus pyrethrum [EE]. The researchers gave the rats the extracts orally for four weeks.
During this period the number of sperm in the rats' testes increased. In addition, the sperm became more motile and viable.
The Anacyclus pyrethrum extracts boosted the concentration of testosterone, LH and FSH. The testes and prostate of the rats that were given Anacyclus pyrethrum also became heavier. The animals' bodyweight increased.
The researchers analysed the extracts and found that they contained N-alkylamides. These substances, the researchers believe, are behind the androgenic, libido-enhancing and anabolic effects of Anacyclus pyrethrum.
The lowest dose that the researchers used was 50 mg/kg/day. If you convert that dose to human proportions using the official formula you arrive at 8.1 mg/kg/day. If you weight 90 kg, then you need 730 mg daily. A daily dose of Physique Enhancing Science's Anabeta contains 800 mg. This might work.
Gaspari's Anatropin contains a mix of Brassaiopsis glomerulata, Mucuna pruriens and Anacyclus pyrethrum. The exact quantities are not listed on the label.
The Indian researchers were not financed by supplements manufacturers but by an Indian government research fund.
Phytother Res. 2012 Apr 4. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4697. [Epub ahead of print].