Epicatechin Supplementation Inhibits Aerobic Adaptations to Cycling - Human Study

aaronuconn

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Interesting human study done on (–)-Epicatechin. It would be nice to see this done on anaerobic exercise in healthy humans as well.

Abstract:
The purpose of the study was to determine if cycling exercise combined with (–)-epicatechin supplementation was more effective at increasing training adaptations than cycling combined with a placebo. Blood and muscle samples were obtained at rest before and after training to determine the effects of (–)-epicatechin supplementation on total serum antioxidant capacity, skeletal muscle mitochondrial protein content, and skeletal muscle myostatin gene expression. Participants (n = 20) completed two testing sessions separated by 4 weeks of cycle training, with supplementation of 100 mg (200 mg total daily) of (–)-epicatechin or a placebo, twice daily. Data were analyzed using a two-way mixed model ANOVA for each variable and the alpha level was set at p ≤ 0.05. A significant increase was observed for time for relative peak anaerobic power (p < 0.01), relative anaerobic capacity (p < 0.01), and fatigue index (p < 0.01). A significant increase was observed for time for absolute peak VO2 (p < 0.01) and peak power output obtained during the peak VO2 test (p < 0.01). A significant interaction between group and time for relative peak VO2 was observed (p = 0.04). Relative peak VO2 significantly increased over time in the placebo group (p < 0.01), but not in the (–)-epicatechin group (p = 0.21). A significant increase was observed for time for total serum antioxidant capacity (p = 0.01). No interaction or main effect of time was observed for myostatin (p > 0.05). Likewise, no interaction or main effect of time was observed for cytochrome C or citrate synthase (p > 0.05). A significant interaction effect was observed for succinate dehydrogenase (SDH; p = 0.02). SDH content increased significantly for the placebo group (p = 0.03, partial η2 = 0.59), but not for the (–)-epicatechin group (p = 0.81). Further, whereas no difference existed between the groups for SDH at baseline (p = 0.23), SDH content was significantly greater in the placebo group at the post time point (p = 0.01). Results indicate that (–)-epicatechin supplementation does not affect myostatin gene expression or anaerobic training adaptations but inhibits aerobic and mitochondrial SDH adaptations to cycle exercise training.

Full Text:
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2018.00132/full
 
Monte Brogan

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Fascinating study. Thank you for taking the time to post this.

I'm surprised more people aren't talking about the conclusion. Does anyone have any theories they would like to share? I immediately wondered about bioavailability since that is an issue that must be addressed with oral supplementation.
 

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That’s interesting. I always wondered whether this would be the case.

Does anyone have a clue if not getting adaptations would actually be beneficial for fat loss, if the problem with aerobic exercise to lose fat in the long term is due to adaptations that make you more efficient in aerobic energy production?

I.e. I just want to run without ever getting better at it to lose more fat.
 
BCseacow83

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Well we know anti-oxidants taken peri-workout decrees training adaptations, at least a few other studies I have seen over the years have born this out. Epi is an anti-oxidant so perhaps taking away from training would be advantages?????? As usual, we need far more research before we come to any strong conclusions.
 

TheIronAsylum

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soo epi is only an antioxidant supp?

if were sposed to take it away from lifting or cardio why do we get a boost in cardio output when using it
 
Cheeky Monkey

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I say they should try higher doses for a better comparison. They tried 200mg, so now they should have three groups and try 500mg, 1g, and 3g to see any differences in effect.
 
LeanEngineer

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I say they should try higher doses for a better comparison. They tried 200mg, so now they should have three groups and try 500mg, 1g, and 3g to see any differences in effect.
Agreed. It would definitely be interesting to see some more studies done at higher dosages.
 

BUILDFASTFORM

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In a year or so we'll look back on Epicatechin as we did with Urosolic acid.
 
BCseacow83

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soo epi is only an antioxidant supp?

if were sposed to take it away from lifting or cardio why do we get a boost in cardio output when using it
No, it is not only an antioxidant. Boosting performance does not necessarily equal an increase in adaptation. To make an extreme example: Meth would boost performance and obviously would NOT boost adaptation lol. With only this one study I would not stop taking Epi preworkout if you find it helps. I like the stuff personally and am not going to change a thing based on this one study. Like I originally stated more research is needed. Long term the ability to train harder due to the increase in performance should outweigh any decrees in adaptation due to the antioxidant effects.
 
Monte Brogan

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Just bumping for some other opinions on this. This is a human study with a conclusion that we were not expecting, so I find this particularly interesting.

Curious about thoughts from some of the epi experts here.
brundel justhere4comm
 

ttortman78

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It works fantastic for me and has been a staple for awhile. Sometimes studies say one thing and personal experience is completely different. The map is not always the territory. Are you gonna live your life according to what someone else says or experience it for yourself?

There is only one way to find out. Give it a shot yourself. We are all based on the same design, yet there is so much variance within the schematic. Epicatechin does have some non responders, but for those that do respond, you will know immediately.
 
justhere4comm

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Just bumping for some other opinions on this. This is a human study with a conclusion that we were not expecting, so I find this particularly interesting.

Curious about thoughts from some of the epi experts here.
brundel justhere4comm
I just read the study through and shoudl have begun at the end.

"The EPI group consumed one capsule containing 100 mg of 98% pure (–)-epicatechin twice daily (200 mg total). Participants were instructed to consume one 100 mg capsule in the morning and one 100 mg capsule in the afternoon or evening."

Straight -(-epi) alone is not very bioavailable. What did they use for absorption? Answer: Nothing. How does a mouse consume a capsule?
Further, the 15 day experiment proved successful in improvement but the 30 day did not?"Mice bread for..." is not quite indicative of a human response. How many humans are bread for a lack of aeorbic capacity?

Personally, if anyone has followed my previous logs knows how can a 50 plus year old do what I did in 30-35 minutes would be crazy. I'll give the nod to Follidrone 2.0 for endurance and capacity. Did they also increase the carb intake prior to exercise? Probably not. Can you tell if a mouse is feeling hypoglycemic because if this mouse didn't eat his carbs prior to working out, he would.

I don't see the value in this study, like others as there is a more complex issue here.
Finally, and until I think of something else, I'd say, look at the unsponsored logs of ours and others.
 

Resolve10

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Well we know anti-oxidants taken peri-workout decrees training adaptations, at least a few other studies I have seen over the years have born this out. Epi is an anti-oxidant so perhaps taking away from training would be advantages?????? As usual, we need far more research before we come to any strong conclusions.
This study didn’t have them take it pre-workout though. They took 100mg (or placebo) twice daily.

They even mentioned that maybe results would be different had it been taken prior to training due to possible NO benefits proposed.

As usual though it would be nice to see more studies and continue to gather more information.

I just read the study through and shoudl have begun at the end.

"The EPI group consumed one capsule containing 100 mg of 98% pure (–)-epicatechin twice daily (200 mg total). Participants were instructed to consume one 100 mg capsule in the morning and one 100 mg capsule in the afternoon or evening."

Straight -(-epi) alone is not very bioavailable. What did they use for absorption? Answer: Nothing. How does a mouse consume a capsule?
Further, the 15 day experiment proved successful in improvement but the 30 day did not?"Mice bread for..." is not quite indicative of a human response. How many humans are bread for a lack of aeorbic capacity?

Personally, if anyone has followed my previous logs knows how can a 50 plus year old do what I did in 30-35 minutes would be crazy. I'll give the nod to Follidrone 2.0 for endurance and capacity. Did they also increase the carb intake prior to exercise? Probably not. Can you tell if a mouse is feeling hypoglycemic because if this mouse didn't eat his carbs prior to working out, he would.

I don't see the value in this study, like others as there is a more complex issue here.
Finally, and until I think of something else, I'd say, look at the unsponsored logs of ours and others.
Dude what are you even rambling about?

This wasn’t a mouse study? And it’s bred not bread.

They weren’t 50 year olds either.

Why would they increase carb intake prior to training that would become a conflicting variable to the study.

I’m just confused at what you are looking at.
 
Aleksandar37

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I just read the study through and shoudl have begun at the end.

"The EPI group consumed one capsule containing 100 mg of 98% pure (–)-epicatechin twice daily (200 mg total). Participants were instructed to consume one 100 mg capsule in the morning and one 100 mg capsule in the afternoon or evening."

Straight -(-epi) alone is not very bioavailable. What did they use for absorption? Answer: Nothing. How does a mouse consume a capsule?
Further, the 15 day experiment proved successful in improvement but the 30 day did not?"Mice bread for..." is not quite indicative of a human response. How many humans are bread for a lack of aeorbic capacity?

Personally, if anyone has followed my previous logs knows how can a 50 plus year old do what I did in 30-35 minutes would be crazy. I'll give the nod to Follidrone 2.0 for endurance and capacity. Did they also increase the carb intake prior to exercise? Probably not. Can you tell if a mouse is feeling hypoglycemic because if this mouse didn't eat his carbs prior to working out, he would.

I don't see the value in this study, like others as there is a more complex issue here.
Finally, and until I think of something else, I'd say, look at the unsponsored logs of ours and others.
I agree with Resolve10, what paper are you reading? You seem to be talking about a mouse paper that they cite in the introduction and not the human study results. Of course that other study would use mice bred for low running capacity as it would be easier to see any significant changes in performance.

Furthermore, this is a placebo-controlled study in which they saw a significant effect. On what scientific basis (not your personal opinion or marketing) are you saying this study has no value, but you do believe in completely uncontrolled supplement logs?
 

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I'd love to see more studies that correlate to how most people would take -(-epi) for performance purposes. I know that I definitely see improvement in my cardio output and endurance, but I also am taking 600mg 45-60 min prior to activity.
 

Resolve10

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I'd love to see more studies that correlate to how most people would take -(-epi) for performance purposes. I know that I definitely see improvement in my cardio output and endurance, but I also am taking 600mg 45-60 min prior to activity.
I’d be interested as well, mostly because I as well feel like I’ve seen benefit!
 
Monte Brogan

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I'd love to see more studies that correlate to how most people would take -(-epi) for performance purposes. I know that I definitely see improvement in my cardio output and endurance, but I also am taking 600mg 45-60 min prior to activity.
Any strength or lean mass gains at 600 mg per day?

Anyone else taking 600 mg and seeing anything, good or bad?
 
Jiigzz

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It works fantastic for me and has been a staple for awhile. Sometimes studies say one thing and personal experience is completely different. The map is not always the territory. Are you gonna live your life according to what someone else says or experience it for yourself?

There is only one way to find out. Give it a shot yourself. We are all based on the same design, yet there is so much variance within the schematic. Epicatechin does have some non responders, but for those that do respond, you will know immediately.
People are prone to placebo, even when they know it's a placebo.

A study takes a group of people and objectively measures different variables and then plots them for statistical significance.

The argument you posted is exactly the rationale people use for various voodoo medicines like healing crystals - none of which are actually supported by evidence, all of which people stand by - often to their own demise.
 

ttortman78

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People are prone to placebo, even when they know it's a placebo.

A study takes a group of people and objectively measures different variables and then plots them for statistical significance.

The argument you posted is exactly the rationale people use for various voodoo medicines like healing crystals - none of which are actually supported by evidence, all of which people stand by - often to their own demise.
I wasn't arguing anything just my own personal experience. Been using epicatechin for several years straight. I know what it does for me. Yet now that I read your comment, the "light" has gone off for me, how could I have not seen it. I will never use epicatechin again. Thank you so much.
 
HIT4ME

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I agree with Resolve10, what paper are you reading? You seem to be talking about a mouse paper that they cite in the introduction and not the human study results. Of course that other study would use mice bred for low running capacity as it would be easier to see any significant changes in performance.

Furthermore, this is a placebo-controlled study in which they saw a significant effect. On what scientific basis (not your personal opinion or marketing) are you saying this study has no value, but you do believe in completely uncontrolled supplement logs?
I was thinking this...did I read the wrong study? lol.

Also - justhere4comm - this study saw a significant impact in humans, so if there were no absorption enhancers the study kind if negates the bioavailability angle a little. If you take something orally and it has an impact - then that is the impact. The bioavailabilty then becomes more of an MOA issue to some degree.

People are prone to placebo, even when they know it's a placebo.

A study takes a group of people and objectively measures different variables and then plots them for statistical significance.

The argument you posted is exactly the rationale people use for various voodoo medicines like healing crystals - none of which are actually supported by evidence, all of which people stand by - often to their own demise.
This isn't directed at anyone, but it has always struck me how the people who think they are not effected by something are often the most effected.

I personally haven't ever thought epi had the impact many claim. But on the other hand, I wouldn't put too much into this one study either. It is certainly useful, especially since it has an unexpected result. It may actually turn out to have more to do with our beliefs about stress/adaptation than our beleifs about -epi itself.

It is kind of like how everyone for a long time acted as if antioxidants were all good with no downside, or inflammation was all bad with no upside.
 
GreenMachineX

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Bump here. How many mgs is everyone taking when taking it solo?
 
Renew1

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Bump here. How many mgs is everyone taking when taking it solo?
A lot of guys run Apex-Alchemy's TD Epichaos at 100mgs.
It always gets terrific reviews:

 

kisaj

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I’m taking 400mg of ND epi, and all I can say is that “study” is bunk. I used to take BLR epi and this feels the exact same, I can go forever and never get tired and have zero soreness. Hands down, no argument, the best pre I’ve ever used.
 
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GreenMachineX

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I’m taking 200mg of ND epi, and all I can say is that “study” is bunk. I used to take BLR epi and this feels the exact same, I can go forever and never get tired and have zero soreness. Hands down, no argument, the best pre I’ve ever used.
Glad to hear this Because that's exactly the brand I bought.
 
BigGame84

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I’m taking 200mg of ND epi, and all I can say is that “study” is bunk. I used to take BLR epi and this feels the exact same, I can go forever and never get tired and have zero soreness. Hands down, no argument, the best pre I’ve ever used.
They are coming out with tabs soon. Maybe in a month. Which should be better.
 
GreenMachineX

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They are coming out with tabs soon. Maybe in a month. Which should be better.
Excellent. I just measured out 7 caps with a scale at 100mg each. That junk takes forever lol.
 

kisaj

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Glad to hear this Because that's exactly the brand I bought.
I actually updated my post- it is 400mg I am taking. I didn't realize my scoop I bought was larger than my old 100mg one. I just take 2 scoops and put it in a shot of orange juice. No taste at all.

I keep blasting past plateaus and yesterday did 90 min of legs, came home and took the dog on a 5 mile run and this morning feel like I didn't do anything. It is crazy- forgot how much I love epi.
 
GreenMachineX

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I actually updated my post- it is 400mg I am taking. I didn't realize my scoop I bought was larger than my old 100mg one. I just take 2 scoops and put it in a shot of orange juice. No taste at all.

I keep blasting past plateaus and yesterday did 90 min of legs, came home and took the dog on a 5 mile run and this morning feel like I didn't do anything. It is crazy- forgot how much I love epi.
Gotcha. Sounds awesome. I'm having similar benefits with citrulline malate at 9g pre-workout (1 tbsp of powder), but really want to take it up a notch now that I'm cutting again.

Why with orange juice though? Just for flavor or is the oj strategic preworkout?
 
Vitruvian Man

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I’m taking 400mg of ND epi, and all I can say is that “study” is bunk. I used to take BLR epi and this feels the exact same, I can go forever and never get tired and have zero soreness. Hands down, no argument, the best pre I’ve ever used.
Highly agree with this. I have use BLR, CEL, OL, and now a Ghost product with epi and nothing has ever come close to the endurance I get.

Ghost product is only at 200mg so it’s not quite as noticeable. But around 300-400mg I literally get to the end of my workouts and feel like I could go all over again. Giant sets, triple drop sets, etc.
 

kisaj

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Highly agree with this. I have use BLR, CEL, OL, and now a Ghost product with epi and nothing has ever come close to the endurance I get.

Ghost product is only at 200mg so it’s not quite as noticeable. But around 300-400mg I literally get to the end of my workouts and feel like I could go all over again. Giant sets, triple drop sets, etc.
Yep! I said this when I was testing and using the BLR epi that there needs to be some serious attention on this product and more studies done on it. It is highly underrated and when people see a study like the one mentioned, they really have no idea how good it is. I'll repeat what I have said numerous times and that is- epi won't make you stronger like some expect, but it increases your ability to train longer and with higher capacity for progressive load, with faster recovery- which in turn can turn into an increase in strength and size.
 
GreenMachineX

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Yep! I said this when I was testing and using the BLR epi that there needs to be some serious attention on this product and more studies done on it. It is highly underrated and when people see a study like the one mentioned, they really have no idea how good it is. I'll repeat what I have said numerous times and that is- epi won't make you stronger like some expect, but it increases your ability to train longer and with higher capacity for progressive load, with faster recovery- which in turn can turn into an increase in strength and size.
So you've found it also enhanced recovery? Going by everything everyone said so far, increased endurance, work capacity, etc sounds like it could also lead to overtraining if feeling like superman but not recovering like superman...
 

kisaj

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For me, I notice that it helps with recovery a lot. I imagine there is a possibility of overtraining if someone wasn’t paying attention.
 
GreenMachineX

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For me, I notice that it helps with recovery a lot. I imagine there is a possibility of overtraining if someone wasn’t paying attention.
Gotcha. I'll test it out lol.
 

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I'd be more concerned with things like s7 in a lot of products taken preworkout. Antioxidants can also inhibit the effect of training adaptation
 
Wedgylx

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This is good stuff thanks for sharing. I had used Follidrone in the past and liked it, I'm considering grabbing some EpiPlex from CEL to try out and compare.
 
Renew1

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Rumor has it that Epichaos TD Epicatechin (and other assorted goodness) will be going on BOGO FREE at Apex-Alchemy at any moment.

 
aaronuconn

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Here’s a good recent read on the topic:

Just a few lines that gave a little pause for concern. Those guys put out a good pod. Just finished the protein study one today on my walk.

Collectively, these studies have indicated that pre-exercise antioxidant supplementation does interfere with signaling pathways related to mitochondrial biogenesis, which is a key adaptation by which training enhances endurance capacity.

As demonstrated in Figure 3, antioxidants prevent the conversion of nitric oxide to peroxynitrite, which may therefore reduce the magnitude of mTOR activation in response to mechanical loading, if we extrapolate the findings of Ito and colleagues.

Acutely, antioxidant supplementation interfered with anabolic signaling,

In the second study, Bjornsen et alevaluated the effects of vitamin C (1000mg) and E (400 IU) on adaptations to a 12-week training program with three resistance training sessions per week in 34 untrained elderly males. They measured muscle thickness of the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, and arm flexors at 4, 8, and 12 weeks. There were no between-group differences at any time point for the vastus lateralis or arm flexors. For the rectus femoris, the groups had statistically similar values at weeks 4 and 8, but the placebo group achieved significantly more growth by week 12 (+3.4mm for the placebo group versus +1.9mm for the antioxidant group). After 12 weeks, the placebo group experienced larger gains in total lean mass (2191g versus 867g) and lean mass of the legs (727g versus 343g). Changes in the placebo group were also larger for arm lean mass and trunk lean mass

The researchers concluded that the placebo group experienced significantly larger peak torque and total work improvements than the antioxidant group

The authors concluded that the placebo group increased fat-free mass to a greater degree than the antioxidant group
 
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BigGame84

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I’m taking 400mg of ND epi, and all I can say is that “study” is bunk. I used to take BLR epi and this feels the exact same, I can go forever and never get tired and have zero soreness. Hands down, no argument, the best pre I’ve ever used.
FYI 200 mg tabs now available. Coated with 6mg piperine. I just bought a 90ct bottle.
 

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Just a little heads up ND is 10% off all "new products" ie epi/ta and a bunch others right now with new10
 
aaronuconn

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Just a little heads up ND is 10% off all "new products" ie epi/ta and a bunch others right now with new10
They usually always have a 10% off FYI. There’s a Reddit code I’ve seen around
 

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