Is Ecdysterone a Steroid? | What You MUST Know

TRT Trey

Last Updated September 2, 2022

TRT Trey

 September 2, 2022

Curious… is ecdysterone a steroid?

Are you looking for a verified source to thoroughly answer your questions about ecdysterone supplements?

Then you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we detail exactly what this over-the-counter supplement is and why athletes love it.

We also answer your most important questions, including:

  • What is ecdysterone?
  • Where does ecdysterone come from?
  • What are the benefits of ecdysterone?

…And much more!

We’ll be going into detail about how to take ecdysterone, whether ecdysterone is safe or not, what an ideal bodybuilding dosage of ecdysterone looks like, and what to watch out for when considering which ecdysterone supplement to take.

After reading this in-depth guide, you’ll have all the information you need to start using this “legal steroid alternative” to increase your gains in the gym.

Now let’s get started!

Disclaimer: The contents of Testosterone.org are for informational and educational purposes. We do not provide legal advice. Likewise, we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician prior to consuming any over-the-counter supplements, like a natural testosterone booster, and/or getting a prescription for a pharmaceutical medication. Your access to Testosterone.org is subject to our full disclaimer and terms of use.


What is Ecdysterone?

Ecdysterone, otherwise known as 20-Beta-Hydroxyecdysterone, is a compound classified as a phytoectosteroid.

These are hormones which naturally occur in plants such as quinoa and spinach, as well as certain fungi and certain insects called arthropods. In fact, more than 300 different ecdysteroids have been isolated from animal and plant sources [1].

In terms of structure, ecdysterone is almost identical to testosterone [2].

As a result of numerous studies claiming that ecdysterone not only enhances strength, stamina, recovery, and overall athletic performance, ecdysterone has been marketed as an over-the-counter sports supplement which confers the benefits of typical anabolic androgenic steroids, without incurring the negative hormonal side effects associated with them.

Ecdysterone has actually been around for quite a while.

The first pharmacological tests related to it were done on rats and mice in the 1960s, with the intention of monitoring possible adverse effects of ecdysteroids on vertebrate organisms.

Research like this paved the way for further investigation into how ecdysterone and other ecdysteroids, like turkesterone, could be used to enhance athletic performance, and even combat cancer [3].

In recent years, interest and scrutiny into ecdysterone and its usage in professional sports has increased. A study funded by WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) was conducted in 2019 by German scientists.

While they found more evidence corroborating the fact that ecdysterone is a powerful performance enhancing substance with potency on par with traditional steroids, such as Dianabol, the research team recommended that ecdysterone be added to the list of banned substances.

Although this hasn’t happened yet, ecdysterone has been added to the list of substances in the WADA monitoring program in 2020.

Whether it actually gets banned in professional sports or not remains to be seen [4].


Ecdysterone


Is Ecdysterone a Steroid?

It’s important to always be able to determine the validity and precision of any claims made when sports supplements are being marketed, especially if the product in question is compared to steroids, or is even labeled as a ‘legal, natural steroid’.

In the case of ecdysterone, it’s pretty cut and dry.

While it’s typically marketed as a ‘legal steroid alternative’ or ‘natural steroid’, ecdysterone is not legally considered to be an anabolic androgenic steroid. Marketing messages presenting ecdysterone as such can be misleading and misrepresent the product.

It’s easy to see why, though – after numerous tests, trials, and experiments, it’s been proven that ecdysterone induces anabolic effects in human subjects, such as improved strength, increases in muscle mass, heightened stamina, and expedited recovery.

These effects are achieved by increasing the activity of polyribosomes – the cytoplasmic parts in cells where protein synthesis occurs [5].

However, ecdysterone does differ from regular anabolic steroids in a few ways.

Ecdysterone Side Effects

For starters, it doesn’t increase blood pressure [6]. In fact, studies have shown that ecdysterone can actually help ease high blood pressure, and prevent dilated cardiac hypertrophy [7].

It also doesn’t come with the harmful side effects of steroids, such as decreased testosterone production or liver toxicity [8]. This is because, while the structure of ecdysterone is similar to other anabolic compounds, it does not bind to vertebrate steroid receptors.

Why is ecdysterone labeled as a ‘natural steroid’?

Ecdysterone belongs to a family of over 200 substances called phytoecdysteroids, and is a naturally occurring hormone found in various plants, fungi, and arthropod insects [9].

Ecdysterone And Muscle Growth

In regards to plants, the production of ecdysterone along with other phytoecdysteroids serves the purpose of stimulating or impairing the growth and development of neighboring organisms [7]. When it comes to arthropods, ecdysterone serves the purpose of regulating their moulting – a process otherwise known as ‘ecdysis’ – such as when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly [9].

It makes sense that ecdysterone and other ecdysteroids like turkesterone are often lumped into the same category, due to how effective edcysterone has been found to work on both animal and human test subjects.

For example, one study found that ecdysterone extracted from Rhaponticum carthamoides (a herbaceous perennial plant that grows wild throughout alpine meadows in Kazakhstan and Siberia) lead to a body mass increase of 115% in some test subjects [10].

Other animal research sought to analyze comparisons between ecdysterone and the anabolic steroid methandrosternolone.

It was found that both compounds induced biosynthesis of contractile proteins in the skeletal muscles.

One difference noted by the researchers in this study was that methandrosternolone’s effects only appeared in slow contracting muscles, whereas ecdysterone produced anabolic effects in many types of skeletal muscle [7].

In short, the answer to the question “is ecdysterone a steroid”, is “not exactly.”

While ecdysterone has often been compared to anabolic steroids in terms of its effects and molecular structure, it does differ in some major ways, which has led to it being classified as separate from anabolic androgenic steroids.


Ecdysterone and Bodybuilding

In today’s competitive global arena, serious bodybuilders aren’t the only ones looking to get an edge on their competition.

Even casual gym-goers and recreational athletes tend to be open to trying a new protein powder or pre-workout supplement here and there, if they feel that it will benefit them. After doing some digging, we can confidently say that ecdysterone is definitely worth trying.

It’s not just the fact that it poses little to no side effects that can be enticing, but also, that a growing number of both researchers and consumers are reporting incredible improvements in their athletic pursuits as a result of taking this ‘natural steroid alternative’.

However, one obstacle that tends to deter people from trying compounds that show promise, is the method of consumption.

Traditionally, many anabolic androgenic steroids are injected multiple times a week, which is not only an uncomfortable experience, but can also be expensive. In this regard, ecdysterone possesses yet another advantage over traditional anabolic steroids, in that it is ingested orally – typically, in the form of capsules or raw powder.

As a result, it’s much more accessible and practical to use.

While there’s no clinically proven ideal dosage for ecdysterone usage in athletes due to limited data, bodybuilders will tend to take it in a similar fashion.

On a day-to-day basis, most strength athletes will take their allotted dose of ecdysterone in the morning on an empty stomach.

Others will prefer to break up the dose into two portions – one in the morning, and one in the evening. However, due to the limited data available on ecdysterone in humans, we would recommend cycling this substance for 8-12 weeks at a time, and no more than twice per year [6, 11].

Although most supplement vendors dose a serving of ecdysterone at about 500 mg, research has found that the effects can be noticed at far lower quantities.

One study from 2021 carried out over a period of 12 weeks sought to determine the effects of an ecdysterone dosage of 2 grams per day. As with nearly every study conducted on the subject, there was a notable increase in the participants’ lean muscle mass and strength, with no side effects being reported [12].


Ecdysterone


Is Ecdysterone Safe?

Out of the many studies conducted on ecdysterone throughout the years, not one has concluded that ecdysterone is harmful.

In fact, it was determined that ecdysterone’s level of liver toxicity for mammals hovers around 7 grams per kilogram of bodyweight… a dose which would probably be impossible to take all in one go [8, 13].

One of the major advantages of ecdysterone, is that unlike commonly used steroids like Dianabol and Trenbolone, it does not cause hormonal imbalances in humans.

In other words, it won’t crash testosterone levels in males once a cycle is over, which therefore also eliminates the need for a post-cycle therapy, or PCT [14].

Of course, new research is always being carried out, and so experimenting with a relatively new supplement like ecdysterone should be done with caution.


Is Ecdysterone Legal?

Ecdysterone is currently legal and available as an over-the-counter supplement.

This is an important distinction to make between ecdysterone and traditional anabolic and androgenic steroids. As mentioned in this guide, ecdysterone is not classified as an anabolic steroid, and is therefore completely legal to purchase, possess, or consume in the United States.

Even if ecdysterone is added to the list of banned substances by WADA, this would only prohibit athletes competing in professional sports from using ecdysterone or beta-ecdysterone, and would not be grounds for arrest or legal prosecution if someone is found selling, buying, possessing, or consuming ecdysterone.

Of course, a number of bodybuilding supplements have eventually been deemed illegal, especially when they see a surge in popular use.

One example of this would be Superdrol, a pro-hormone which was being marketed in various forums and supplement stores as a ‘legal steroid’, was made illegal according to both the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 and Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2012 [15, 16, 17].

Whether ecdysterone will be added to the list of controlled substances by the DEA is currently unknown.


Ecdysterone


Best Ecdysterone Supplements | 2022 Edition

There are currently over 150 different ecdysterone supplements on the market.

However, many of them are produced using clandestine practices, which can result in consumers using ineffective and possibly even dangerous products.

Fortunately, we’ve taken the time to conduct thorough research on the various ecdysterone supplements available on the internet. We’ve identified two online vendors who stand out from the rest and are committed to selling only the highest quality products.

We also ensured that these vendors offer numerous reliable shipping options for ecdysterone capsules, that their products are lab-tested and safe to use, that their prices are fair, and that they already have a number of positive reviews from verified customers who have purchased their products and reported that they worked properly.

With that said, our top recommendation for a reliable and legitimate vendor to purchase Ecdysterone from, would be Huge Supplements.

Here’s why Huge Supplements is our favorite ecdysterone vendor:

  • High quality products. All of their products are manufactured in a facility in the United States that is FDA-approved.
  • Great shipping options. Also, apart from countries located in the European Union, they offer worldwide shipping. Plus, domestic shipping within the United States is free for orders over $100.
  • Superior customer service. With Huge Supplements, we were pleased to find out that not only was there little wait time involved, but the representatives we spoke to were able to answer all our questions in-depth, and address all of our concerns.
  • Enhanced absorption. As an added bonus, the ecdysterone sold at Huge Supplements also includes cyclodextrin, which is a polysaccharide that speeds up and enhances absorption of the ingested ecdysterone into the body.

As you can see, there’s a number of reasons why Huge Supplements is our #1 recommended source for buying quality ecdysterone.

You can visit them here to purchase a bottle of 98% pure ecdysterone capsules:

Order the best Ecdysterone from Huge Supplements...

In addition to Huge Supplements, we also recommend making your next ecdysterone purchase from Intelligent Elephant.

Not only does Intelligent Elephant have competitive prices for their products, but they also provide the option to pay for your order via cryptocurrency. If you’d prefer to use Ethereum or Bitcoin to buy ecdysterone capsules, then Intelligent Elephant would be a good choice.

In order to purchase ecdysterone, you can visit their site here:

Order the best Ecdysterone from Intelligent Elephant...


What are the Benefits of Ecdysterone?

The hype surrounding ecdysterone supplements over the past few years has definitely surged, but could it be misplaced?

Is it possible it’s just another trend in the supplement industry… or could it be that ecdysterone really is what most marketing claims it to be – a naturally-occurring substance that can actually yield anabolic effects comparable to “real” steroids?

While that’s audacious claim to make, it certainly is possible that ecdysterone really is as some anabolic steroids, such as dianabol.

For starters, strength and stamina gains were reported in numerous studies involving both animal and human subjects. This is owed in part to the enhanced protein synthesis stimulated by ecdysterone, which in some cases was as high as 20% [6].

When it comes to reported positive effects on stamina, one study from Russia stands out in particular, where two groups of trained athletes were monitored for twenty days.

One group of athletes took Dianabol every day, while the other group was taking a daily dose of ecdysterone.

Their data then showed that the athletes on the ecdysterone protocol saw a 10-15% increase in their stamina [15].

As if that weren’t enough, numerous studies have reported enhanced fat loss, improved sleep, and even cancer-fighting properties in ecdysterone [5, 7, 10].


Is Beta-Ecdysterone a Steroid? | Verdict

In conclusion….

In light of all the evidence analyzed in this guide, we can conclude that beta-ecdysterone is not technically a steroid.

While ecdysterone has been proven in multiple research studies to have anabolic and androgenic effects on par or even greater than some steroids, such as Dianabol or Trenbolone, it actually belongs to a distinct category of naturally-occurring plant and insect hormones called phytoecdysteroids.

It’s easy to understand why there would be confusion about whether ecdysterone is a steroid or not, based on the name of the class of substances it’s a part of.

At the end of the day, buying, selling, possessing, and consuming beta-ecdysterone is completely legal, whereas traditional anabolic steroids are regulated as part of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Ready to get started with ecdysterone?

If so, we strongly recommend you check out Huge Supplements. They manufacture all of their ecdysterone in FDA-regulated facilities, so you know you are getting a high-quality product with pure ingredients.

So what are you waiting for?

Get your hands on some Huge Supplements ecdysterone today and watch your gains shoot through the roof!


References

  1. SLAMA, K., & LAFONT, R. (1995). Insect hormones – ecdysteroids: their presence and actions in vertebrates. Eur. J. Entomol., 92(1), 355-377
  2. R. Lafont, L. Dinan, Practical uses for ecdysteroids in mammals including humans: and update, Journal of Insect Science, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2003, 7, https://doi.org/10.1093/jis/3.1.7
  3. Dinan, L., & Lafont, R. (2006). Effects and applications of arthropod steroid hormones (ecdysteroids) in mammals, Journal of Endocrinology, 191(1), 1-8. Retrieved Feb 15, 2022, from https://joe.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/joe/191/1/1910001.xml
  4. Isenmann, E., Ambrosio, G., Joseph, J.F. et al. Ecdysteroids as non-conventional anabolic agent: performance enhancement by ecdysterone supplementation in humans. Arch Toxicol 93, 1807–1816 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-019-02490-x
  5. 20-Hydroxyecdysone: The pro-anabolic, plant steroid. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www.huhs.edu/literature/20-Hyroxyecdysone.pdf
  6. Parr MK, Botrè F, Naß A, Hengevoss J, Diel P, Wolber G. Ecdysteroids: A novel class of anabolic agents?. Biol Sport. 2015;32(2):169-173. doi:10.5604/20831862.1144420
  7. Phytoecdysteroid. Phytoecdysteroid – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/phytoecdysteroid
  8. Wilborn, C.D., Taylor, L.W., Campbell, B.I. et al. Effects of Methoxyisoflavone, Ecdysterone, and Sulfo-Polysaccharide Supplementation on Training Adaptations in Resistance-Trained Males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 3, 19 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-3-2-19
  9. Dinan, L. (2001, April 30). Phytoecdysteroids: Biological Aspects. Phytochemistry. Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031942201000784
  10. Syrov VN, Kurmukov AG. Ob anabolicheskoĭ aktivnosti fitoékdizona-ékdisterona, vydelennogo iz Rhaponticum carthamoides (Willd.) Iljin [Anabolic activity of phytoecdysone-ecdysterone isolated from Rhaponticum carthamoides (Willd.) Iljin]. Farmakol Toksikol. 1976 Nov-Dec;39(6):690-3. Russian. PMID: 1030669.
  11. Simakin SY: The Combined Use of Ecdisten and the Product ‘Bodrost’ during Training in Cyclical Types of Sport. Scientific Sports Bulletin. 1988, 2:
  12. Pérez-Piñero S, Ávila-Gandía V, Rubio Arias JA, Muñoz-Carrillo JC, Losada-Zafrilla P, López-Román FJ. A 12-Week Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial, Evaluating the Effect of Supplementation with a Spinach Extract on Skeletal Muscle Fitness in Adults Older Than 50 Years of Age. Nutrients. 2021 Dec 6;13(12):4373. doi: 10.3390/nu13124373. PMID: 34959924; PMCID: PMC8706266.
  13. Gorelick-Feldman J, Maclean D, Ilic N, Poulev A, Lila MA, Cheng D, Raskin I. Phytoecdysteroids increase protein synthesis in skeletal muscle cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 May 28;56(10):3532-7. doi: 10.1021/jf073059z. Epub 2008 Apr 30. PMID: 18444661.
  14. Cahlíková, L., Macáková, K., Chlebek, J., Hošt’álková, A., Kulhánková, A., & Opletal, L. (2011). Ecdysterone and its activity on some degenerative diseases. Natural Product Communications, 6(5). https://doi.org/10.1177/1934578×1100600527
  15. Anabolic steroids. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubs/brochures/steroids/public/
  16. Steroids. DEA. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/steroids
  17. Rules – 2011. 2011 – Proposed Rule: Classification of Two Steroids, Prostanozol and Methasterone, as Schedule III Anabolic Steroids Under the Controlled Substances Act. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2011/fr1123.htm
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