Icariin as A Testosterone Mimetic

Icariin is a flavonoid found in the tissues of the Epimedium species of plants. Icariin in the form of whole Epimedium plant tissue is used in traditional medicine as a treatment for reproductive problems. However, it is also thought to have an anti-fatigue effect, and may also improve the efficiency of the liver and the immune system. In animal experiments icariin is also able to increase the weight of the pituitary, testes and epididymis, suggesting that it may have significant hormonal effects. In experiments involving rats, icariin has been shown to improve the condition of the reproductive organs and increase circulating levels of testosterone. There was also evidence from studies that icariin may promote bone formation. Therefore icariin may have testosterone mimetic properties as the effects seen matched those of improved testosterone levels. However, it is unclear how these effects may occur or whether the effect would translate into improved exercise performance. 

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Zhang, Z. B. and Yang, Q. T. 2006. The testosterone mimetic properties of icariin. Asian Journal of Andrology. 8(5): 601-605

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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