Any self-respecting endurance athlete no longer even dreams of taking EPO. EPO is sooo 1995. 2012 men and women use stuff like the PPAR-delta-agonist GW501516. Interesting? According to an animal study published in PLoS ONE, there's a supplement that does exactly the same. Have you ever heard of Artemisia iwayomogi?
Let's refresh our memories. Cells contain the molecule PPAR. PPAR does a thousand and one things, but anabolic bulls in the scientific china shop like us can summarise these into one sentence: PPAR is a fatty acid sensor. The more stimuli a cell receives via PPAR, the more fatty acids it burns. The PPAR variant that's most relevant for muscle cells is PPAR-delta.
GW501516 is an experimental substance dreamt up in the GlaxoSmithKline labs. If you give it to mice and get them to train you'll notice that GW501516 is an effective endurance drug. [Cell. 2008 Aug 8;134(3):405-15.] So it's no wonder that you can buy GW501516 on the black market.
Researchers at the Korean AmorePacific Corporation [amorepacific.com] discovered that the concentrated [95 percent] alcohol extract of the plant Artemisia iwayomogi [95EEAI] has the same effect as GW501516. It contains substances that activate the PPAR-delta. The figure below, which is based on in-vitro research, shows this.
The Koreans fattened mice by giving them food to which extra fat had been added [HFD]. The animals put on weight more quickly than the mice on a normal diet. When the researchers gave HFD mice a daily 200 mg of Artemisia iwayomogi extract per kg bodyweight, then they put on less weight than you’d expect [below left]. Their muscles burned almost twice as much fat as those of the fattened mice that were not given extract [below right].
Giving Artemisia iwayomogi reduced the growth of fat reserves in the HFD mice [above left]. In addition, the extract boosted the activity in the muscle cells of enzymes that help convert fatty acids into energy [above right].
Asian traditional healers use Artemisia extracts to treat diabetes. So it's not surprising that the Koreans also discovered that Artemisia iwayomogi boosted the muscle cells' glucose uptake.
"Our data provide experimental evidence that 95EEAI is a natural PPARdelta agonist that robustly induces genes involved in fatty acid metabolism and activates fatty acid oxidation in vitro and in vivo, suggesting its potential as interventive and preventive measures for the treatment of metabolic disorders", the Koreans summarise.
We'd just like to add that Artemisia iwayomogi may have other uses, but that will already be clear to you.
PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33815.