To bodybuilders "testosterone is king". And we are always looking for ways to increase it, particularly natural ways to increase testosterone production after using prohormones or designer steroids (PCT - post cycle therapy). What you tend to find is a lot of in vitro research on cell lines that are completely impractical once applied to a healthy human male. Or if there is some in vivo research it's done in some rarely cited, obscure Indian ayurvedic journal. In other words it's rarely reliable. Still, it gets us all excited that the next natural trenbolone is just around the corner (we all wish!).
In 2008 an interesting study from researchers in Taiwan was published. Now again this study wasn't exactly published in a prestigious journal. It was again another "alternative medicine" journal known as The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. Still the significance of this study remains for one fact. It is the only study on in vivo oral cordyceps militaris supplementation and it's effects on hormonal parameters. In the supplement industry we often have to rely on research such as this particularly when it comes to increasing testosterone. Most research is actually looking for ways to inhibit testosterone (or the effects of testosterone related to prostate cancer). Heavily funded University's and researchers are given dollars to find way to treat disease. Not make us muscle bound freaks.
So what did the Taiwan researchers find?
What was odd is that they found fairly quick increases in estrogen in the first two weeks, while testosterone increased more slowly (and a bit sporadically) until reaching levels of significance in week 6, 7, & 8 (supplementation stopped at week 6). Take a look:
- No impact on LH
- No impact on FSH
- No impact on prolactin
- Significant increases in estradiol
- Significant increases in testosterone
- Improved sperm count (lasting two weeks after supplementation)
In the study rats were fed cordyceps militaris as a percentage of their diet, either 1% or 5%. The 5% diet seemed to elevate estrogen rapidly. Something we may or may not want in the initial weeks of PCT depending upon our testosterone levels. Still there were no significant increases in estrogen in the 1% diet. Testosterone levels between the two different diets varied, but still increased throughout the 8 week testing period. So how do we translate a dose from a percentage of diet? The easiest quick and dirty method would be to take it as a percentage of the human diet. For example a 2000 cal diet assuming Protein/Carb/Fat at 40/30/30 would total about 4 grams at the 1% diet, and 20 grams at the 5% diet.
Considering the small variances between the two diets, 4 grams should be an optimal dose for a healthy male. This could vary quite a bit so use it as a general guideline. Also keep in mind there is other research that exists in relatiion to the benefits of cordyceps on testosterone and even athletic performance. Overall it seems to be a worthy add to your next PCT, or natural testosterone boosting cycle. In the mean time, ForeRunner Labs will continue to keep an eye on this potentially powerful supplement.
1. Effect of Cordyceps militaris supplementation on sperm production, sperm motility and hormones in Sprague-Dawley rats. Chang Y, Jeng KC, Huang KF, Lee YC, Hou CW, Chen KH, Cheng FY, Liao JW, Chen YS. Miaoli, Taiwan. : Am J Chin Med., 2008, Vols. 36(5):849-59.