Turkesterone is a plant-based steroid extract, also called ‘Phytoecdysteroid’, obtained from the epigeal part of the plant Ajuga turkestanica (Marla root, Luezia plant). This compound has received attention as it is plant-derived and naturally present in arthropods. Steroid-like compounds also make up our sex hormones, most notably, the male sex hormone, testosterone. [1]

Using steroids that bind to this hormone has direct anabolic effects on the human body. But unlike testosterone, turkesterone produces anabolic effects by binding at the estrogen receptors and bypassing the mechanism proposed for testosterone, preventing steroid side effects. 

As a result, research favors these compounds, which promote muscle growth and improve athletic performance. [1]

In this article, we’ll take a look at the possible benefits and side effects of turkesterone.

In-Between ‘Ecdysone’ and ‘Testosterone’

Ecdysone is an ecdysteroid that is present in arthropods, which are invertebrate insects that have exoskeletons to support and protect themselves.  The compound is found during the process of molting or the shedding of their exoskeleton. 

Similarly, the A. turkestanica, a wild plant native to Africa and Central Asia, produces phytoecdysteroids. It is a plant compound responsible for cell growth, repair, and development. 

Phytoecdysteroids from this plant have antioxidant analgesic, anti-inflammatory, liver protective, anabolic, antibacterial, and antihypertensive activities. Turkesterone is the major steroid found in A.turkestanica, related to the insect steroid hormone, ecdysteroid, found in arthropods. [2]

Turkesterone is growing in popularity among plant-based supplements for muscle gain, as it is free from the negative side effects involved in using testosterone. Some of these side effects include hair loss and breast development in males or gynecomastia. 

Turkesterone does not bind to androgen receptors as it has been proven to exert its effects on the estrogen receptors only. More research will ultimately shed light on the full spectrum of activity of phytoecdysteroid turkesterone in the human body. But as anecdotal reports circulate online, there has been an increased interest in bodybuilders and gym fanatics to use turkesterone supplements. [3]

Turkesterone Supplements Recommended Dosages

The recommended dosage is 250-500mg of dry powder in two separate doses for a period of 6 to 12 weeks, depending on your body goal.

The typical dosage is 500-600mg, or you can also take 30-50mg per day. It also does not require any post-cycle therapy. 

Athletes often take up to 1000mg/day or even 1g/day. However, it is advisable to start with the lowest dose and observe the changes in your body first. Once you hit the gym regularly and follow a proper diet, you can increase the dose as per your bodily need. People who have taken this supplement often report better performance and vitality. [7]

Most users claim to see results within one week, but that can vary for different people. A long-term administration is also beneficial as it can make your body adjust to muscular changes. 

If you have difficulty deciding whether you should take the supplement or not, you can ask a specialist for more information about it and read product labels and leaflets. Many people who took the supplement are highly satisfied with the results, and you can help bring your experience to the public view. Turkesterone can also be taken with

Comparing ecdysterone to turkesterone, ecdysterone has ample human studies and research evidence to support it. Some users have even reported that results are much better with ecdysterone. Both products are effective, so it is up to you to choose which one you prefer better and what will suit your body’s requirements.

Turkesterone Benefits and Advantages

Turkesterone benefits side effects

1. Comes from a Plant Source

The first benefit of this compound is that it is completely plant-based and equally effective with its animal variant. It is also found in small amounts in spinach, chestnut, quinoa, and yams. Since plant-based products are mostly organic, they are safer compared to medicated grade products. 

Also, it has a lesser risk of causing direct side effects. When we talk about natural substitutes for anabolic supplements, only a few products are available. Turkesterone is also a vegan and vegetarian-friendly alternative, making it an inclusive option for all types of muscle builders. [4]

2. Augments Lean Muscle Gain

Turkesterone safely enhances muscle protein synthesis, improving muscle endurance and energy output while strengthening individual muscle fibers. It increases amino acid protein synthesis and also aids in muscle repair after an intense workout. Users of this plant anabolic supplement have stated that it increased lean muscle mass, which is beneficial when aiming for a lean body type with minimal fat. [3]

3. Aids in Muscle Recovery and Reduces Fatigue

Ecdysteroid compounds promote cell growth, differentiation, and repair processes through the PI3K /Akt/mTOR pathway at the cellular level, which is a direct switch to multiple metabolic processes and maintaining their balance. This specific pathway slows down with age and does not perform as fast as it did in young people. [6]

Phytoecdysteroid turkesterone can boost and regulate this magic pathway to aid in muscle recovery and repair the myofibrils faster. This supplement can also benefit older people who want to maintain their muscular strength for normal daily work. Users have observed that it enhances the functionality, as they could handle more workload. [6]

4. Boosts Strength

Anecdotal reports from active users suggest that turkesterone significantly increases the amount of load you can lift as ecdysteroid enhances muscle growth efficiently and is ergogenic. Combined with the right diet and regular exercise, you can easily increase your kettlebell weight and train better.

5. Lacks Steroid Side Effects

As mentioned above, turkesterone lacks troublesome steroid side effects like mood swings, acne, hair loss, and gynecomastia. It works by alternative pathways to aldosterone receptors.

If you have acne-prone skin or have struggled with acne in the past, you can safely take turkesterone. However, it is always preferable to consult your general practitioner for advice before taking any medication.

6. Offers Metabolic Protection

Turkesterone is best to manage diabetes, and it offers cardioprotective and hepatoprotective effects. Overall, it helps restore the natural balance of metabolism. Ultimately, keeping the odds of obesity to a minimum. You can lose weight faster with turkesterone than any other supplement as it prefers to build lean muscle weight. 

Also, using androgenic anabolic steroids may result in adverse effects on the liver. Turkesterone, on the other hand, offers protection to hepatocytes as it has antioxidant properties. Also, it balances the hormonal outputs from the adrenals, the pituitary, and hypothalamic glands. It also decreases the stress hormone cortisol produced in the body.[5]

Currently, it is permissible and legal to buy or sell turkesterone, as well as to advertise it. However, during the Olympics, they do not allow athletes to use it.

Turkesterone Side Effects

Turkesterone benefits side effects

Studies on the side effects of turkesterone are rare. Only a minor side effect profile is available currently as there are only a few human studies on turkesterone. And even though it is a plant-derived supplement, It can still have the potential to cause side effects. Some that users have reported include the following:-

  • stomach disturbances
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • lethargy
  • headaches

These effects are only minor and have usually been resolved on their own. Only research will highlight the side effect and adverse effect profile of turkesterone. Also, it is a steroid but with a plant-arthro twist, which renders it safe to use. If you have developed any history of side effects related to steroid use, consult a medical professional.

Also, remember to tell your doctor about the current medications you’re taking and if these can interact with supplements or not. Consult a physician or a dietician for advice on dosage if you do not know what dose is appropriate for you. Your gym trainer can also help you with selecting a proper dosage. [8]

To summarize, turkesterone and other ecdysteroids do not bind to androgen receptors. It means they won’t cause side effects and are safer than anabolic steroids in general. Since they are free of steroidal side effects, they won’t affect a person’s appetite, daily mood, and sleep.

But in very rare cases, turkesterone side effects may occur, such as nausea, bloating, lightheadedness, and other digestive problems. Do not take it on an empty stomach, and always follow the dosage recommendations to avoid adverse reactions. [8]

The Bottomline: The Benefits and Side Effects of Turkesterone

Turkesterone is a plant-based ecdysteroid, sister to ‘ecdysone’, and it promotes muscle mass and strength through mechanisms independent of Androgen receptors. There is a balance in the metabolic processes and is free from troublesome side effects associated with steroid use.

However, there is still a need for more research. Despite the lack of research, its positive effects have made it a favorite among the public, making them relatively safe to use.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Parr, M. K., Botrè, F., Naß, A., Hengevoss, J., Diel, P., & Wolber, G. (2015). Ecdysteroids: A novel class of anabolic agents?. Biology of sport32(2), 169–173. https://doi.org/10.5604/20831862.1144420
  • Dinan, L., Bourne, P., Whiting, P., Tsitsekli, A., Saatov, Z., Dhadialla, T. S., Hormann, R. E., Lafont, R., & Coll, J. (2003). Synthesis and biological activities of turkesterone 11alpha-acyl derivatives. Journal of insect science (Online)3, 6. https://doi.org/10.1093/jis/3.1.6
  • Gorelick-Feldman, J., Maclean, D., Ilic, N., Poulev, A., Lila, M. A., Cheng, D., & Raskin, I. (2008). Phytoecdysteroids increase protein synthesis in skeletal muscle cells. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry56(10), 3532–3537. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf073059z
  • Rharrabe, K., Sayan, F., & Lafont, R. (2010). Dietary effects of four phytoecdysteroids on growth and development of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella. Journal of insect science (Online)10, 13. https://doi.org/10.1673/031.010.1301
  • Guibout, L., Mamadalieva, N., Balducci, C., Girault, J. P., & Lafont, R. (2015). The minor ecdysteroids from Ajuga turkestanica. Phytochemical analysis : PCA26(5), 293–300. https://doi.org/10.1002/pca.2563
  • Gorelick-Feldman, J., Cohick, W., & Raskin, I. (2010). Ecdysteroids elicit a rapid Ca2+ flux leading to Akt activation and increased protein synthesis in skeletal muscle cells. Steroids75(10), 632–637. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.steroids.2010.03.008
  • Syrov, V. N., Iuldasheva, N., Égamova, F. R., Ismailova, G. I., Abdullaev, N. D., & Khushbaktova, Z. A. (2012). Eksperimental’naia i klinicheskaia farmakologiia75(5), 28–31.
  • Báthori, M., Tóth, N., Hunyadi, A., Márki, A., & Zádor, E. (2008). Phytoecdysteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids–structure and effects on humans. Current medicinal chemistry15(1), 75–91. https://doi.org/10.2174/092986708783330674
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Dr Andleeb Asghar, Pharm.D

Dr Andleeb is a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) graduate with real-life experience working in health and wellness-related companies. She has also published various research papers in the health and medical field. Currently, she takes joy in creating health-related content for a wide range of audiences, which is a craft she has been perfecting for over five years. She enjoys diving deep into published research papers and journal articles to source helpful content for her readers. LinkedIn

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  • Dr Andleeb is a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) graduate with real-life experience working in health and wellness-related companies. She has also published various research papers in the health and medical field. Currently, she takes joy in creating health-related content for a wide range of audiences, which is a craft she has been perfecting for over five years. She enjoys diving deep into published research papers and journal articles to source helpful content for her readers. LinkedIn

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Dr Andleeb is a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) graduate with real-life experience working in health and wellness-related companies. She has also published various research papers in the health and medical field. Currently, she takes joy in creating health-related content for a wide range of audiences, which is a craft she has been perfecting for over five years. She enjoys diving deep into published research papers and journal articles to source helpful content for her readers. LinkedIn