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Athletic Edge Nutrition APE Review

APE

 

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APE is a test-booster made by Athletic Edge Nutrition which consists of the usual alleged test-boosting and libido enhancing ingredients (Fenugreek, Maca, etc.)…

VITAMIN D:

Studies investigating the relationship of Vitamin D to Testosterone have found a strong correlation between adequate levels of Vitamin D and normal Testosterone levels, indicating that Vitamin D plays a role in normalizing Testosterone. However, when looking at the research as a whole, nowhere is there an indication that excess Vitamin D supplementation may result in abnormally high Testosterone levels. Individuals who receive the proper amount of Vitamin D, either from direct sunlight or through supplementation, will not experience increases in Testosterone as a result of excess Vitamin D consumption.

ZINC:

Zinc is required for the conversion of cholesterol (and other lipids) into sex hormones, as well as the existence of androgen receptors, as evidenced in a 1996 study, in which rats fed a zinc deficient diet experienced a decrease in androgen receptor sites and an increase in estrogen receptor sites. So while Zinc deficiency can certainly result in low Testosterone, there is no evidence indicating that supplemental Zinc can increase Testosterone above normal.

In fact, there is ample evidence to the contrary. A 2009 study, published in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition”, concluded that Zinc supplementation had no influence on serum testosterone levels in non-Zinc deficient men. A similar failure to influence Testosterone via Zinc supplementation was seen in a 2011 study, the subjects of which were trained cyclists who consumed sufficient dietary Zinc. However, a 2005 study, the subjects of which were wrestlers, demonstrated that Zinc supplementation was able to attenuate exercise-induced declines in Testosterone levels. To put it simply, Zinc supplementation does not boost Testosterone beyond normal levels, but may certainly help maintain optimized levels.

GLYCINE PROPIONYL-L-CARNITINE:

Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine is a formed when L-Carnitine is bound to the amino acid Glycine. A 2007 study, published in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition” found that 3 grams of GPLC was able to increase Nitric Oxide in resistance trained men. A 2009 study published in the “International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research” replicated these findings though the researchers also found that 1 gram did not have the same effect. Ultimately, GPLC does appear to increase Nitric Oxide in most people at a dose of 3 grams. Unfortunately, given a proprietary blend of just 1305mg, APE contains nowhere near 3 grams of GPLC, and multiple servings would have to be consumed to achieve this dose.

FENUGREEK EXTRACT:

Trigonella Foenum Greacum (also known as Fenugreek) is an herbal extract that has gained traction in the supplement industry as a libido enhancer. However, a 2009 study, published in the International Journal of Exercise Science, found that males who supplemented with Fenugreek extract showed no increase in anabolic hormones (i.e. testosterone). A 2011 double-blind, placebo controlled study found that 6 weeks of supplementation with a Fenugreek derived supplement (Testofen) led to scoring 25% higher on a libido test (sexual arousal and orgasm in particular) than the placebo group, but with no increase in Testosterone levels, meaning that the mechanism of action was not an increase in Testosterone.

So if these studies have concluded that Fenugreek does not increase testosterone, then how has this supplement gained traction? Well, one 2010 study, published in “The International Journal of Sports Nutrition”, found that supplementation with 500 mg of Fenugreek extract (Testofen again) resulted in a significant increase in free-Testosterone levels. Ultimately, the results are mixed, with two studies indicating no increase in Testosterone and one indicating increased Testosterone. More research is needed to clear up this discrepancy, but for now it appears Fenugreek is only reliable as a libido enhancer, not a Testosterone booster.

Maca Extract 4:1 (Lipidium Meyenii) (Root):

Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) is a relative of Broccoli, indigenous to Peru, which has historically been used as an aphrodisiac. While frequently included in products aimed at increasing Testosterone, research has confirmed that the aphrodisiac effects of Maca are not caused by an elevation in Testosterone, nor does it have any significant impact on any hormones.

A 2002 study, published in “Andrologia”, found that Maca supplementation increased sexual desires, but that this effect was independent of Testosterone, which stayed the same. These findings were replicated in a 2003 study, published in the “Journal of Endrocrinology”, in which supplementation with 1.5 and 3 grams of Maca extract for 12 weeks had no influence on Testosterone levels in healthy men.

In several human studies, Maca has demonstrated a clear aphrodisiac effect when at least 1.5 grams is consumed. A 2009 study using 2400mg of Maca showed “a small but significant effect of Maca supplementation on subjective perception of general and sexual well-being in adult patients with mild ED.” A separate 2009 pilot study, this time investigating a potential effect on physical performance, found that Maca supplementation effectively improved physical performance (cycling) in trained male cyclists, while simultaneously increasing sexual desires. Overall, it appears Maca supplementation with at least 1.5 grams may increase sexual well-being and possibly improve certain aspects of physical performance, but will not increase Testosterone.

INDOLE-3 CARBINOL:

Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is found mostly in cruciferous vegetables (Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Kale, etc), but has become relatively popular as a dietary supplement for its potential to alter estrogen metabolism, as evidenced in a 1990 study published in the “Journal of the National Cancer Institute” in which 500mg Indole-3-Carbinol administered to humans significantly up-regulated the conversion of estradiol (major estrogen) into its less active counterparts, Estrone and Estriol. It’s important to understand that the term “Estrogen” is really an umbrella term that refers to a group of compounds including Estradiol, Estrone, and Estriol. The type of “bad estrogen” hated by bodybuilders and cancer patients alike is Estradiol. However, Estradiol can be converted into Estrone and Estriol which don’t cause the negative effects “Estrogen” has become known for. Indole-3-Carbinol may in fact help this conversion take place, leaving less “bad estrogen”.

EURYCOMA LONGIFOLIA:

Eurycoma Longifolia, also known as Tongkat Ali has been shown, in various studies, to increase Testosterone in male rats, but there are currently not many human studies in existence. A 2010 study published in the “Asian Journal of Andrology” found that supplementation with 200mg of an extract of Eurycoma Longifolia significantly improved various indications of male fertility (in humans), though the mechanism of action was unknown. A 2012 study published in “Andrologia: Volume 44” (the same researchers from the above mentioned human study) found that men suffering from hypogonadism (diminishing functionality of the gonads) who were treated with a 200 mg daily dose of Eurycoma longifolia extract reached normal testosterone levels after a 30 day period. To be fair, at the start of the study about 35% of the men were showing normal testosterone levels, and at the end about 90% showed normal levels. Still, 35% to 90% is clearly statistically significant.

Unfortunately, while the above mentioned studies certainly indicate that Eurycoma Longifolia can recovery/optimize Testosterone levels, they do not show that supplementation can boost Testosterone levels beyond the normal range.

BLACK PEPPER EXTRACT:

Bioperine is a patented form of Black Pepper Extract which is generally standardized for Piperine. Several studies have found that Piperine can enhance the absorption of various nutrients when co-ingested. This enhanced absorption is due to the inhibition of certain enzymes which breakdown most compounds, as well as the slowing of intestinal transit (increasing the amount of time these compounds are exposed to the possibility of uptake). So, while Bioperine certainly doesn’t have any Testosterone boosting implications, it may enhance the efficacy of the formula in general.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

APE contains a pretty standard array of alleged Testosterone-boosting ingredients, some of which have demonstrated varying degrees of efficacy with regards to “optimizing” Testosterone, but not so much outright boosting it. On top of that, APE contains a few “support” ingredients (such as Maca) which may help enhance libido without actually affecting Testosterone levels directly. Ultimately, APE may be more useful as a libido enhancer (and Testosterone optimizer) than an actual Test-booster, and will likely convey the most noticeable benefit in those with lower than normal Testosterone (as opposed to those will already optimized Test).

FIND ATHLETIC EDGE APE

REFERENCES
  1. Gonzales, G. F., et al. “Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men.”andrologia 34.6 (2002): 367-372.
  2. Gonzales, G. F., et al. “Effect of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a root with aphrodisiac and fertility-enhancing properties, on serum reproductive hormone levels in adult healthy men.” Journal of Endocrinology 176.1 (2003): 163-168.
  3. Broadbent, Thomas A., and H. Smith Broadbent. “1-1. The chemistry and pharmacology of indole-3-carbinol (indole-3-methanol) and 3-(methoxymethyl) indole.[Part I].” Curr Med Chem 5.5 (1998): 337-52.
  4. Marconett, Crystal N., et al. “Indole-3-carbinol triggers aryl hydrocarbon receptor-dependent estrogen receptor (ER) α protein degradation in breast cancer cells disrupting an ERα-GATA3 transcriptional cross-regulatory loop.”Molecular biology of the cell 21.7 (2010): 1166-1177.
  5. Zenico, T., et al. “Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) extract on well‐being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomised, double‐blind clinical trial.” Andrologia 41.2 (2009): 95-99.
  6. Stone, Mark, et al. “A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 126.3 (2009): 574-576.
  7. Bloomer, Richard J., Lesley C. Tschume, and Webb A. Smith. “Glycine propionyl-L-carnitine modulates lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide in human subjects.” International journal for vitamin and nutrition research 79.3 (2009): 131-141.
  8. Bloomer, Richard J., Webb A. Smith, and Kelsey H. Fisher-Wellman. “Glycine propionyl-L-carnitine increases plasma nitrate/nitrite in resistance trained men.”Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 4.1 (2007): 1-6.
  9. Koehler, K., et al. “Serum testosterone and urinary excretion of steroid hormone metabolites after administration of a high-dose zinc supplement.” European journal of clinical nutrition 63.1 (2009): 65-70.
  10. Neek, Leila Shafiei, Abas Ali Gaeini, and Siroos Choobineh. “Effect of zinc and selenium supplementation on serum testosterone and plasma lactate in cyclist after an exhaustive exercise bout.” Biological trace element research 144.1-3 (2011): 454-462.
  11. Kilic, Mehmet, et al. “The effect of exhaustion exercise on thyroid hormones and testosterone levels of elite athletes receiving oral zinc.” Neuro endocrinology letters 27.1-2 (2005): 247-252.
  12. Om AS, Chung KW. Dietary zinc deficiency alters 5 alpha-reduction and aromatization of testosterone and androgen and estrogen receptors in rat liver. J Nutr. (1996)
  13. Bushey, Brandon, et al. “Fenugreek Extract Supplementation Has No effect on the Hormonal Profile of Resitance-Trained Males.” International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings. Vol. 2. No. 1. 2009.
  14. Steels E, Rao A, Vitetta L. Physiological Aspects of Male Libido Enhanced by Standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum Extract and Mineral Formulation. Phytother Res. (2011)
  15. Tambi, M. I. B. M., M. K. Imran, and R. R. Henkel. “Standardised water‐soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late‐onset hypogonadism?.” Andrologia 44.s1 (2012): 226-230.
  16. Ang, H. H., S. Ikeda, and E. K. Gan. “Evaluation of the potency activity of aphrodisiac in Eurycoma longifolia Jack.” Phytotherapy Research 15.5 (2001): 435-436.
  17. Tambi, Mohd Ismail Bin Mohd, and M. Kamarul Imran. “Eurycoma longifolia Jack in managing idiopathic male infertility.” Asian journal of andrology 12.3 (2010): 376-380.
  18. Bhat, Rajeev, and A. A. Karim. “Tongkat Ali (< i> Eurycoma longifolia Jack): A review on its ethnobotany and pharmacological importance.”Fitoterapia 81.7 (2010): 669-679.
  19. Zanoli, P., et al. “Influence of< i> Eurycoma longifolia on the copulatory activity of sexually sluggish and impotent male rats.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 126.2 (2009): 308-313.
  20. Ang, H. H., S. Ikeda, and E. K. Gan. “Evaluation of the potency activity of aphrodisiac in Eurycoma longifolia Jack.” Phytotherapy Research 15.5 (2001): 435-436.
  21. Tambi, Mohd Ismail Bin Mohd, and M. Kamarul Imran. “Eurycoma longifolia Jack in managing idiopathic male infertility.” Asian journal of andrology 12.3 (2010): 376-380.
  22. Badmaev, Vladimir, Muhammed Majeed, and Lakshmi Prakash. “Piperine derived from black pepper increases the plasma levels of coenzyme Q10 following oral supplementation.” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 11.2 (2000): 109-113.
  23. Majeed, Muhammed, and Lakshmi Prakash. “Targeting Optimal Nutrient Absorption with Phytonutrients.” (2007)

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