Fadogia Agrestis causes toxicity and shut down? Needtogetaas brings light to the propaganda, lies and misunderstandings.
Posted by Needtogetaas | July 11th, 2011
Lately there’s been a lot of renewed interest in the testosterone-boosting herb, Fadogia agrestis. Although it’s been on the market since 2005, the stuff has been growing in popularity since then, and never been more in-demand. And why not? The original University of Ilorin in vivo study on Fadogia showed an incredible 600% testosterone increase over control values.
One of the very first people to have purchased and used this herb as a bodybuilding supplement (which also contained zinc and vitamin E) posted his blood tests online, exhibited a 10x increase in testosterone. You read that right – basically a thousand percent! And he wasn’t some supplement-industry shill, either – just a regular guy who wanted to boost his testosterone levels, bought a Fadogia product, and shelled out his own cash for blood work to see if the stuff was actually working.
A follow-up study to that original one, aimed at investigating the relative safety of the herb, found that there Fadogia use didn’t cause any clinical toxicity symptoms and that organ to body weight ratios of the test animals were similar to those of the control group (meaning that the extract did not cause any swelling, shrinking, or growth of the kidney or liver).
It was first used in Africa, hundreds of years ago, to improve libido fertility – not an insignificant consideration during a time when the population of a tribe would have been directly proportional to its ability to survive. In fact, that’s usually the first thing users report – a strong, sustained increase in sex drive. Judging from user feedback on the popular message boards, Fadogia seems to have one of the best success rates for users, and easily one of the highest customer loyalty rates.
Honestly, there are tons of herbs on the market that can boost sex drive, although very few of them do it through increasing testosterone levels. With Fadogia use, users not only get an increase in testosterone that obviously helps with libido, but it can also help them get stronger, build fat, and burn muscle.
It’s probably a fair assumption that most guys who use Fadogia agrestis are primarily concerned with the muscle building and libido enhancing effects. However, a recent study published in the September, 2010, issue of Neurophysiology, has also shown that the herb has potent analgesic (pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties. So if you’ve ever taken a couple of aspirin after a hard workout or game, you might find that your regular dose of Fadogia is more than enough to keep you from getting too sore. This is, as far as I know, a property unique to Fadogia among all test-boosters, and it’s actually a great one-two punch for intense athletes. You see, the testosterone boosting properties of the herb will help you get more aggressive with your training in the gym, and move more weight (ultimately leading to more gains), while the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the herb will help keep you coming back, day after day, without getting overly sore.
This added recovery effect is probably one of the reasons we see users getting in the gym, day after day, week after week, on a Fadogia cycle, and still not feeling beat up. All of the extra testosterone in the world isn’t going to help if you’re too sore to train.
But what happens when you stop taking Fadogia? It’s relative safety on the internal organs has been well documented, as has its ability to boost testosterone and libido, but what actually happens to the ol’ testosterone factory (yes, your testicles) when you stop using the herb? Most testosterone boosters don’t have a lot of data available on the post-use effects, but this one does, in the form of a published, peer-reviewed study, and it’s very promising.[From Nate: Of course, you may think that I’m a bit biased, since I was one of the first people to offer Fadogia in a product, and am not only friends with, but have also worked with all of the original sources and people who brought the very first one out]
To assess the post-use effects of Fadogia administration on testicular function, scientists gave three different doses to a group of rodents, exactly matching the doses found to increase testosterone, while comparing them to a fourth group of rodents (the control group) who did not take the herb. Each of the four groups were subject to the same environment and conditions for 28 days, at which point they stopped giving it to the three test groups for ten days. The four different groups were compared to each other during (while on Fadogia) and ten days after the test groups stopped their use.
One of the first areas they looked at was testicular size. Testicular size is a pretty good indicator of whether the testicles are doing what they’re supposed to do, i.e. producing testosterone. That’s why steroid users complain of shrunken testicles on a cycle – because their body is getting testosterone from an outside source and no longer needs to produce it. The result? Smaller testicles. It’s also why men who use human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) report an increase in testicular size – HCG kickstarts the testicles into pumping out more testosterone.
In fact, what the scientists found was that ten days after stopping Fadogia, their testicles (testes/bodyweight) measured 15% bigger than the control group.
This gives us pretty good evidence to think that Fadogia provides results that appear – at least in some ways – to be similar to HCG. In fact, that’s why we named our product HCGenerate!
The next area the scientists looked at was the concentration of testicular cholesterol. Although we’ve been conditioned to think of cholesterol as “bad,” it’s actually the building block of testosterone. From cholesterol, your body is able to form different steroid metabolites in various tissues of the body (for example, enzymes found in the adrenal glands convert cholesterol into cortisol). And in the gonads we find the enzymes that convert cholesterol to Testosterone.
The more cholesterol available in your testes, the more potential testosterone you have, and an increase in this level with Fadogia is thought to imply the stimulation of steroidogenesis, and increased androgen (testosterone) levels.
As you can see, these levels remain slightly elevated even ten days afterwards (for each of the following charts, the four colored bars grouped on the left 1/3rd of the graph are control/baseline levels, the four bars in the middle 1/3rd represent levels found after 28 days of Fadogia agrestis use, and the four bars on the far right indicate values found ten days after cessation of use – inside each group of four, they run from lowest dose to highest dose in that order, with the red bar being the control values, the purple bar being 18mgs/kg/day, the blue bar being a 50mgs/kg dose, and the green bar being the highest tested dose, or 100mgs/kg/day).
So it appears that even though you may have stopped taking Fadogia, your body still has a bit of extra fuel to produce testosterone with, in the form of intratesticular cholesterol. (Remember: in this instance we’re not talking about serum levels of cholesterol – the stuff you get measured on a blood test – we’re only talking about the actual level of cholesterol found inside the testes)
But testicular cholesterol is only one of the ways to determine the functional capacity of the testicles. Glycogen levels in the cell are an indicator of energy storage and have been found to have a direct correlation to testosterone production. In other words, the more glycogen you have at your disposal, the more likely it is that your body will have the fuel to respond with extra testosterone production.
As you can see from the Testicular proteins insure the maturation of spermatozoa, and the total level of these proteins go down with Fadogia use which is to be expected, because that protein is more likely to be synthesized, meaning the Fadogia may cause increased synthesis. In other words, the level might go down, but that’s because it’s being used at an accelerated rate.
However, ten days following the cessation of Fadogia use, what we see is a very rapid trend towards the return to baseline. While testicular protein levels started at a baseline of 205(mg/ml), they recover to the 180s at the end of ten days post-use for the highest examined dose.
Sialic acid was also examined in this study. This is an enzyme that decreases with age, and is very important as an intratesticular lubricant – it allows sperm to move more freely and enhances the structural integrity of the surrounding membranes.
Post-use, with regards to sialic acid we see a very strong trend towards a return to baseline, although it remains slightly elevated. The elevated levels, however, indicate a potential increase in the fertilizing potential of the sperm. User feedback supports the idea of increased fertility, as I’ve heard more than one – ahem – report of conception while using Fadogia. And remember, this is what the stuff was originally used for in folk medicine, so it’s not a huge surprise that it’s got the potential to increase fertility in males.
Alkaline phosphatase is also elevated with Fadogia use, as we see with many tissues (bone, for example) that are experiencing a surge in growth or during earlier stages of the life cycle (puberty). This enzyme is involved in the mobilization of carbohydrates and lipids within the cells of the accessory sex organs as well as in spermatozoa and seminal fluid. As you can see from the following chart, the 18mg/kg dose showed a complete recovery after ten days post-use, and the other dose levels showed a trend towards recovery as well.
Actually, if we’re looking at a trend towards the return to baseline, there is literally no area that Fadogia appears to have permanent (or overly-long-lasting effects). And since users don’t report that “crash” feeling when they come off, we’ve got good reason to think that the all of these intratesticular enzymes and proteins return to pre-use levels at a gradual, natural, pace.
Another important marker of testicular function is , y-glutamyl transferase , but as you can see, it showed a strong trend towards the recovery of control value, with only the highest dose remaining somewhat elevated :
While we don’t necessarily want these levels to be elevated, it’s fairly obvious that they rapidly begin their return to normal once Fadogia use has been discontinued. Remember, we’re looking at a study where 28 days of Fadogia was measured, with another ten days allowed for recovery. And literally every single area showed a return to control values. What would happen if we looked at 28 days of use, and then examined these same markers when we’ve been off for 28 days (i.e. the old time on = time off)?
I think we have pretty good evidence to say that our testicular function would look identical to the way it looked prior to use. That means we don’t have the testosterone boost when we stop using Fadogia, but it also means we get our body back to homeostasis.
Elevated levels of acid phosphatase are also found with Fadogia, but as you can see, they return to normal within ten days, and only with the highest dose are they still above normal (but again, even that dose shows a very rapid trend towards complete recovery):
It’s important to remember that scientists, and especially the scientists who performed this study, will often use language in a way that you and I wouldn’t – they talk about “normal” as if it’s a good thing. In this particular study, the language makes it appear that there could be a lot of dangerous stuff going on with Fadogia use, but in truth, they’re just talking about “normal” to mean average. But we don’t want to be “average” or “normal” – that’s the whole reason we train, eat right, and take supplements! If we wanted to be normal, we could eat McDonalds and sit on our couches all day!
Acid Phosphatase levels can be used to determine fertility, among other things. The general rule is that high levels of this enzyme are strongly correlated with a high sperm count. I can’t stress this point enough, but Fadogia was used in Africa for hundreds, if not thousands, of years as a fertility enhancer and erectile dysfunction remedy, and it was highly effective.
Glutamate dehydrogenase is the final enzyme that was measured in this study, and it’s a marker for cell activity. It’s no surprise that it decreases with the use of Fadogia, but once again, we’re not shocked to see a trend towards the return to baseline with all doses. In fact, even the highest dose (100mgs/kg/day), it’s noteworthy that this enzyme doubles within ten days after discontinuation of the herb.
Granted, we don’t want to elevate all of our testicular enzymes and biomarkers for an extended period of time, whether it’s with Fadogia agrestis, or injectable testosterone, or HCG…because that wouldn’t be good. You can only fool the body for so long, but I think these figures give us a good idea of some rules to govern our use. At the lowest dose, where we see the test animals getting a 200% testosterone boost, we probably don’t need to come off for very long…but at the highest dosages, where we get the huge testosterone boost (600% according to the rodent data), we’re going to want to do a time on = time off kind of thing.
This herb has been used traditionally for a very long time, and since 2006 in the sports nutrition field, with no reports of ill-effects that I know of – and I’ve had spoken to hundreds of men about their experiences, and read literally thousands of online user reports. It really doesn’t get much better than Fadogia agrestis for boosting testosterone.
Some further reading:
Aphrodisiac potentials of the aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis (Schweinf. Ex Hiern) stem in male albino rats.Yakubu MT, Akanji MA, Oladiji AT.
Asian J Androl. 2005 Dec;7(4):399-404.
Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of an Extract of Fadogia agrestis in Rats. O. A. Oyekunle, A. K. Okojie and U. S. Udoh. Neurophysiology
Volume 42, Number 2, 124-129, DOI: 10.1007/s11062-010-9140-x
Effects of oral administration of aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis (Schweinf. Ex Hiern) stem on some testicular function indices of male rats.
Yakubu MT, Akanji MA, Oladiji AT.J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jan 17;115(2):288-92. Epub 2007 Oct 9.