Penta-acetylquercetin, a new testosterone booster?
The regular readers of this free web magazine are familiar with EMIQ: a semi-synthetic analogue of quercetin, which, according to a Japanese human study, blocks muscle breakdown. In an in vitro study that Canadian biologists from the University of Moncton published two years ago, we found another interesting semisynthetic analogue of quercetin. Its name is penta-acetylquercetin, and it may increase testosterone production.
Bottom right you see the structural formula of penta-acetylquercetin, bottom left that of quercetin. You can describe penta-acetylquercetin as an analogue of quercetin in which all hydroxyl groups have been replaced by acetyl groups.
After ingestion, those acetyl groups will drop off sooner or later, but until then the acetyl groups make the molecule more stable.
And yes, that might be interesting for producers of natural testosterone supplements.
See, quercetin injections increase testosterone release in healthy test animals. [Asian J Androl. 2008;10(2):249-58.] That sounds nice, but in animal studies in which the researchers imitate the effect of oral administration of quercetin, quercetin damages the testes. [Andrologia. 2013;45(1):56-65.]
In the right concentrations, quercetin can probably increase the production of testosterone due to its antioxidant effect. But quercetin can also turn into a pro-oxidant, and then damage the testes cells. And if you know that, you'll understand why more stable versions of quercetin are interesting.
In test tubes, the researchers exposed Leydig cells from mice to various quercetin analogues. The concentration was 10 micromoles - higher concentrations had an averse effect. The cells were simultaneously stimulated by 10 micromoles of forskolin. Forskolin imitated the effect of hormones such as LH. [Sort of...]
In particular, penta-acetylquercetin stimulated the production of progesterone, a direct precursor of testosterone.
Above you can see how pentaacetyl quercetin increases the testosterone manufacture. The quercetin analogue increases, among other things, the activity of Creb1, STAR and CYP11a1. What these proteins do, is shown below.
"Penta-acetylquercetin effectively increased cAMP-dependent accumulation of progesterone from MA-10 Leydig cells, possibly through activation of Star and Cyp11a1 transcriptions", the Canadians summarize. "Thus, dietary supplementation of penta-acetylquercetin may be effective to maintain testosterone production within aging males."
"However, although there is a correlation between increased Star and Cyp11a1 expressions and stimulation of steroidogenesis within testicular Leydig cells, more research will be required to clearly define the regulatory mechanism of penta-acetylquercetin on testosterone synthesis."
Toxicol In Vitro. 2017;44:111-21.
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