Laxogenin: The Plant-Based Secret for Gaining Lean Mass
One of the most exciting steroidal compounds undergoing research and development is 5-alpha-hydroxy laxogenin (ie. laxogenin), a plant-based anabolic compound with tantalizing possibilities specifically for lean mass gains. Laxogenin is derived from plant steroidal saponins, which are natural molecules which show a wide range of pharmacological effects and biological activities.
Ongoing research is illuminating the unexpected ways in which laxogenin exerts its anabolic effects, possibly via undiscovered steroidal receptors in the human body:
- Synergizing with endogenous (ie. body-produced) testosterone
- Keeping serum lipid levels low
- Activating genes involved in growth
Laxogenin has become popular in bodybuilding circles due to its ability to dramatically increase anabolic muscle growth, which was first discovered in preclinical studies showing that plant steroidal saponins can mimic the effects of testosterone and even synergize with testosterone to produce lean mass gains. Similar to animal steroid hormones, plant steroidal saponins regulate the activation of specific genes and complex physiological responses involved in growth , , partly via interactions with other hormones .
Laxogenin is one of the most fascinating molecules in a class called Brassinosteroids (BRs), a class of plant-specific steroid hormones, which control many of the developmental and physiological processes like their animal steroid counterparts, including regulation of gene activation, cell division and expansion, differentiation, and homeostasis. Recent studies have indicated that these hormones have antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, neuroprotective and immunomodulatory properties in animal system. Moreover, laxogenin analogues have been reported to have antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) .
Preclinically, Brassinosteroids like laxogenin increase lean body weight, leg muscle mass, and physical fitness. In muscle cells, laxogenin and its related derivatives promote protein synthesis and reduced protein catabolism . Skeletal muscle is dynamic and can undergo conversion between different fiber types in response to exercise training, modulation of motoneuron activity. Intriguingly, preclinical research shows that 10 days of oral administration of laxogenin led to substantial increases in the total number of muscle fibers and the cross-sectional area of oxidative type I and type IIa muscle fibers which are essential for increased physical performance and endurance .
In addition to anabolic effects, plant steroidal saponins like laxogenin also decrease blood serum lipids (ie. fats in the circulatory stream) which is especially important for individuals seeking to gain lean mass without bulking. In fact, studies have shown that lower serum lipid levels are strongly correlated to lower total body fat , which is why maintaining a diminished serum lipid profile is crucial to maintaining a lean physique while simultaneously building muscle.
Lastly, the future of laxogenin research is bright, as emergent studies have shown that Brassinosteroids inhibit the growth of several human cancer cell lines without affecting the growth of normal cells. Crucially, these include prostate cancer cells and breast cancer cells . Thus, laxogenin and other structurally related plant steroid saponins are promising leads for potential anticancer drugs.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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