USP Labs positions as a sleep-aid/muscle-builder. It contains just two ingredients, Chlorophytum Borivilianum, and Velvet Bean…[Skip to the Bottom Line]
CHLOROPHYTUM BORIVILIANUM & VELVET BEAN:
Chlorophytum Borivilianum, while not widely used throughout the supplement industry, has a history of use in traditional Indian medicine as an aphrodisiac. However, USP positions the herb as a sleep-support agent with potential for increasing Growth Hormone secretion. A study, partly funded by USP Labs, found that a combination of Chlorophytum Borivilianum and Velvet Bean Extract totaling 2250mg (3 PowerFULL capsules) resulted in sounder sleep in subjects who normally have trouble sleeping. The same blend was then tested in a separate study, again partly funded by USP, found an overall average increase in GH levels.
However, this overall average increase actually resulted from two out of the fifteen subjects hyper-responding, while the rest of the subjects did not respond. So, while average GH increased, there was actually an 86% failure rate. So, statistically speaking, PowerFULL may certainly improve quality of sleep but most likely will not increase GH.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GH AND SLEEP:
Generally, the majority of GH secretion in healthy individuals occurs during slow wave sleep (stages 3 and 4). Therefore, it stands to reason that the more time spent in slow wave sleep, the more GH secretion may occur. While it cannot be said stated with certainty that PowerFULL will increase slow wave sleep, improving sleep in general may logically increase slow wave sleep as well.
A 2009 study found that treatment with Mucuna Pruriens (found in Velvet Bean) increased Dopamine levels in healthy men. Dopamine, sufficient levels of which are required for REM sleep, is generally believed to play a significant role in the overall sleep-wake cycle, so optimizing levels of Dopamine should theoretically lead to healthier sleep patterns. That being said, most of the studies to test the relation between dopamine and sleep relate to Parkinson’s Disease (characterized by a deficiency of Dopamine), so the implications for healthy people are less clear.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
As a sleep-aid, PowerFULL may be very effective, especially in individuals with slight to moderate sleeping difficulties. As far as the claims that it will raise GH, the evidence is less clear. Rather than piecing separate studies together for each ingredient, we actually have a study on the actual product itself.
As mentioned above, the results of the study indicate that certain individuals may experience significant elevations in GH levels following supplementation, but most won’t. This study used 3 servings of PowerFULL which leaves us with a price of about $1 per serving. At that price, PowerFULL is certainly much more expensive than the average sleep supplement, but for individuals who respond positively (increased GH) it is actually inexpensive relative to other alleged GH-boosters.
[expand title=”REFERENCES” tag=”h5″]
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- Vance, Mary Lee, et al. “Role of dopamine in the regulation of growth hormone secretion: dopamine and bromocriptine augment growth hormone (GH)-releasing hormone-stimulated GH secretion in normal man.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 64.6 (1987): 1136-1141.
- Shukla, Kamla Kant, et al. “< i> Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal axis.” Fertility and sterility92.6 (2009): 1934-1940.
- Van Cauter, Eve, Rachel Leproult, and Laurence Plat. “Age-related changes in slow wave sleep and REM sleep and relationship with growth hormone and cortisol levels in healthy men.” Jama 284.7 (2000): 861-868.
- McCarthy, Cameron G., et al. “A dietary supplement containing chlorophytum borivilianum and velvet bean improves sleep quality in men and women.”Integrative medicine insights 7 (2012): 7.
- Alleman Jr, Rick J., et al. “A blend of Chlorophytum borivilianum and Velvet bean increases serum growth hormone in exercise-trained men.” Nutrition and metabolic insights 4 (2011): 55.