Nova-X is Gaspari’s new Test-Booster which essentially seeks to be the product that injects new life into the brand. It contains both traditional alleged test-booster ingredients as well as some that are highly speculative and not very well-known…
3α-hydroxy-5α-androstan-17-one, also known as Androsterone, is a metabolite of Testosterone which is significantly less potent (about 1/7th) in terms of Androgen signaling. Gaspari acknowledges that Androsterone is more or less ineffective as a strength/body-composition enhancer, but claims that this is merely due to poor bioavailability following oral ingestion.
It may be true that Androsterone is poorly absorbed, but it also isn’t anywhere near as potent as Testosterone to begin with. So, it’s not clear whether the LipoAbsorb “technology” that Gaspari uses in Nova-X actually makes a world of difference, as the brand claims it does.
Ultimately, it seems unlikely that Androsterone will boost your Testosterone to any sort of pro-hormone-like degree.
A 2008 study found that “Treatment with Mucuna Pruriens regulates steroidogenesis and improves semen quality in infertile men.” In addition to increased levels of Dopamine, Adrenaline, and Noradrenaline, the subjects who recieved Mucuna Pruriens also experienced elevated Testosterone levels.
However, Mucuna Pruriens has never been shown to increase Testosterone levels in healthy individuals, so it’s efficacy in the Nova-X formula will probably depend on the individual’s initial Testosterone status (people with low Test will benefit more).
Toxicodendron vernicifluum is tree native to parts of Asia which contains, among other things, a polyphenol called Butein which has Aromatase Inhibiting (AI) properties.
A 2005 in vivo study published in “Life Sciences” found that Butein was able to prevent the (Testosterone-induced) proliferation (spread) of Breast Cancer cells.
Butein, as a stand-alone compound or in the form of Toxicodendron vernicifluum, is starting to pop up in supplements (such as Nova-X) aimed at boosting Testosterone and limiting Estrogen, but it’s important to understand that the research is still in preliminary stages. Definitive conclusions cannot be drawn at this time due to a distinct lack of human trials.
DIOSCOREA NIPPONICA MAKINO
Dioscorea nipponica Makino (brand name Diosterol) is another Aromatase Inhibitor which, like Toxicodendron, has not been studied extensively enough to draw conclusions about how it might affect muscle growth.
That said, it does appear to have implications for over body-composition. A 2003 study from in “Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry” found that rats who consumed Dioscorea nipponica Makino in addition to a high-fat diet gained significantly less fat than the high-fat control group that did not receive Dioscorea nipponica Makino.
The researchers in this study concluded that this was likely due to the inhibition of Lipase, the enzyme responsible for breakdown/absorption of fat.
These effects have not been studied in humans at this time, but the preliminary evidence does warrant further study. In the context of Nova-X, Dioscorea nipponica Makino may encourage favorably body-composition (less fat vs. muscle).
Pygeum africanum has been studied primarily as a treatment for Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) which is caused by out of control levels of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a metabolite of Testosterone. Reducing the conversion of Testosterone to DHT is the primary goal when it comes to treating BPH, but is also of interest to bodybuilders/athletes who want to maintain higher Testosterone levels.
A 1998 review which looked at 18 randomized controlled trials involving Pygeum africanum in the treatment for BPH concluded that it may ultimately be effective. However, Gaspari’s claim that Pygeum africanum inhibits the conversion of Testosterone to DHT and therefore boosts Testosterone levels is a bit unsubstantiated at this time. It’s certainly possible, but far from proven.
Saw Palmetto is a widely used supplement for treating BPH (discussed above) as well as overall prostate health. One cause of BPH is thought to be excess dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a byproduct of Testosterone itself. Testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone by the enzyme known as 5-alpha-reductase.
While Saw Palmetto does appear to act as a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor in animal models, human studies directly testing its effects on Testosterone are non-existent.
The mechanism of action here is perfectly plausible but there just isn’t enough evidence to determine how effective Saw Palmetto really is at reducing Testosterone-DHT conversion.
N-METHYL-D-ASPARTIC ACID (NMDA)
N-methyl-D-Aspartic Acid (NMDA) is the end-product of supplemental D-Aspartic Acid (DAA), so it is generally alleged to be much more potent on a gram for gram basis. The general claim attached to NMDA is that it is approximately 100 times more potent than standard DAA.
A recent (2014) study, published in the “Journal of sports science & medicine “ found that 28 days of NMDA supplementation did not influence Testosterone or muscle-mass when compared to placebo. While more studies are certainly needed with varying doses, these results clearly do not lend credibility to the notion that NMDA increases Testosterone.
In the context of Nova-X, we’d consider NMDA a pretty speculative ingredient. We feel the formula may actually have benefited more from the use of plain DAA, which actually has been shown to increase Testsoterone, though only for a week or two before normalization occurs.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Overall, Nova-X is a pretty speculative formula. It does contain certain ingredients which could potentially increase Testosterone (to some degree) and decrease/normalize Estrogen, but the evidence for most of the ingredients is far from concrete. It’s more of a “try and see” type formula than anything.
If you’re looking for something that will actually help you gain lean muscle, check out our Best Muscle Builders List!
[expand title=”REFERENCES” tag=”h5″]
- Wang, Yun, et al. “The plant polyphenol butein inhibits testosterone-induced proliferation in breast cancer cells expressing aromatase.” Life sciences 77.1 (2005): 39-51.
- Balunas, Marcy J., et al. “Natural products as aromatase inhibitors.” Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry 8.6 (2008): 646.
- Chien, Ming-Hsien, et al. “Dioscorea nipponica Makino inhibits migration and invasion of human oral cancer HSC-3 cells by transcriptional inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-2 through modulation of CREB and AP-1 activity.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 50.3 (2012): 558-566.
- Kwon, Chong-Suk, et al. “Anti-obesity effect of Dioscorea nipponica Makino with lipase-inhibitory activity in rodents.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 67.7 (2003): 1451-1456.
- Wilt, Timothy J., and Areef Ishani. “Pygeum africanum for benign prostatic hyperplasia.” The Cochrane Library (1998).
YAMADA, Shizuo. “Isolation and pharmacological characterization of fatty acids from saw palmetto extract.” Analytical Sciences 25.553 (2009).
- Suzuki, Mayumi, et al. “Pharmacological effects of saw palmetto extract in the lower urinary tract.” Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 30.3 (2009): 271-281.
- Willoughby, Darryn S., Mike Spillane, and Neil Schwarz. “Heavy Resistance Training and Supplementation with the Alleged Testosterone Booster NMDA Has No Effect on Body Composition, Muscle Performance, and Serum Hormones Associated with the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis in Resistance-Trained Males.” Journal of sports science & medicine 13.1 (2014): 192.