Lifters are always in pursuit of bigger and better gains. If there’s something they can eat, drink, or sleep on, athletes will pay hand over fist to get their hands on it. But there comes a point when many lifters give pause - injectable anabolics, a.k.a. steroids.
Sure, when advised to take creatine, betaine, beta alanine, and BCAAs, athletes are all for it. But when the thought of embracing the unnatural means of getting huge is on the table, more than a few shun the prospect.
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And there’s nothing wrong with that. Not everyone is comfortable injecting themselves with some type of synthetic pharmaceutical compound just for the sake of growing a bigger bicep or outer quad sweep.
In recent years, there’s been word of an all-natural alternative to designer steroids that carries with it the increased growth and recovery of injectable anabolics, but without the concerns of altered hormone production and shrunken testicles. That alternative is laxogenin.
It’s received some mighty high praise, billed as the next supreme muscle builder. But does it actually deliver on its hype? Let’s dig down a little deeper into this mysterious sounding compound and see what it has to offer those in pursuit of endless gains.
What Is Laxogenin?
Laxogenin is short for 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin. It’s a naturally occurring steroidal sapogenin taken from Smilax Sieboldii, a plant related to asparagus, and is similar in structure to ecdysterone, another widely supplemented plant-derived anabolic compound.
Laxogenin belongs to a family of plant-based steroids collectively known as brassinosteroids, which are present in varying quantities in the seeds, leaves, and pollen of a number of plants and foods. Interestingly enough, it’s also found in high amounts in mustard oil.
Interest in laxogenin was initially sparked after researchers discovered it demonstrated growth-promoting properties in plants. Upon seeing this, researchers began to dig deeper into the plant steroid and were astonished to learn that laxogenin actually possesses an anabolic/androgenic ratio similar to that of Anavar (Oxandrolone), one of the popular and powerful steroids of all time!
However, unlike the synthetic steroid, laxogenin is all natural and non-hormonal, which means it doesn’t put you at risk for the potential liver damage and other health consequences that come with anabolic steroid abuse.
How Does Laxogenin Work?
So, you’re probably thinking that since laxogenin touts a similar anabolic/androgenic ratio to that of Anavar, the two probably work fairly similarly, right?
Remember, laxogenin is a naturally-occurring, plant-derived substance, not a synthetic steroid concocted in some pharmaceutical laboratory. On top of that, there has been a substantial lack of research surrounding the actual mechanism behind laxogenin’s mechanism of action.
In other words, scientists still don’t know exactly how laxogenin does what it does. But, what it does do, according to the initial studies conducted in Russia, is significantly increase muscle protein synthesis, as much as 200! Laxogenin has also been found to substantially reduce protein breakdown. 
Additionally, some other info about the effects/actions of laxogenin can be gleaned from the patent application for the ingredient.  Specifically, the patent application states that laxogenin can exhibit adaptogenic traits, helping your body “normalize” its stress response. 
Additionally, it also claims laxogenin can synergize with other anabolic compounds, including anabolic steroids.  On top of that, it’s also stated that the potent plant steroid can improve injury recovery, reduce pain, and improve cholesterol levels. 
Suffice it to say that laxogenin has the potential to be some pretty incredible. The problem is, is that there is a severe lack of readily available scientific research demonstrating this wealth of benefits.
Jumping back to anavar for a minute. It’s MOA is actually known. Research notes it lowers Sex Binding Globulin (SHBG) hormone and enhances nitrogen retention, which leads to greater free testosterone levels. This all results in significantly greater anabolism (muscle growth).
Additionally, anavar has been documented to activate lipolysis, the body’s natural fat burning mechanism, as well as enhance thyroid hormone T3 utilization. Anavar also increases red blood cell count, promoting greater muscular energy and endurance, and lowers thyroid-binding globulin, which supports optimal thyroid function.
Benefits of Laxogenin
Suppose you’re not interested in the inner workings of laxogenin, and couldn’t care less about its similarity to Anavar. You’re just interested in what it can offer you. So, here’s a list of the purported benefits attributed to laxogenin usage:
- Increased protein synthesis and lean mass
- Decreased stress
- Enhanced recovery
- Greater strength & power
- Regulates cortisol levels
- Analgesic (relieves pain)
- Improves blood sugar regulation
- Reduces LDL “bad” cholesterol
- Improves thyroid function
- Limits protein breakdown
- Combats inflammation
Due to the lack of human research on laxogenin, researchers have yet to identify a recommended daily dose of laxogenin to get the benefits listed above. That being said, anecdotal accounts of laxogenin supplementation report that benefits begin to show when consuming 100-200mg per day.
Note that it’s best to split your doses up throughout the day (morning and night) as taking over 100mg laxogenin at one time has been known to give users headaches.
Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) is NOT required with laxogenin as it is non-hormonal.
Should you be interested in purchasing a laxogenin supplement, one thing to be aware of is that not all laxogenin supplements are created equally. In fact, there is a rampant use of cheap raw materials by many supplement companies, with some laxogenin products containing as little as 20-55% of the compound.
For this reason, it’s imperative to source your laxogenin supplement from a company that provides 3rd party lab tests and/or uses the HPLC-tested Laxosterone form of laxogenin which is guaranteed to contain 98% pure laxogenin.
Laxogenin also suffers from the same problem as many other plant-based muscle builders, such as epicatechin, poor bioavailability when supplemented orally. In other words, your body isn’t really utilizing all of what you’re putting in it.
A way to enhance the bioavailability of laxogenin is to use a microencapsulated form, such as Laxosterone, or a laxogenin supplement that uses some form of delivery technology, such as liposomes or Cyclosome.
Since laxogenin is non-hormonal, it can be seamlessly woven into any natty muscle building stack, and can be used alongside any/all of the following natural muscle builders:
- Beta alanine
- Phosphatidic acid
- Natural testosterone boosters
Laxogenin offers some pretty intriguing benefits according to the preliminary studies conducted on the compound. However, the lack of substantial research and the questionable bioavailability of the ingredient keep it from being a bonafide home run.
Is it a “must have” ingredient? Not at all.
But, if you’ve run the course with the likes of creatine, betaine, and all the other natty muscle builders and looking for something else to ratchet up your gains, laxogenin is worth trying once or twice. Then, you can decide for yourself if it’s a stud or a dud!
References1) Kubo S, Mimaki Y, Sashida Y, Nikaido T, Ohmoto T. Steroidal saponins from the rhizomes of Smilax sieboldii. Phytochemistry. 1992;31(7):2445-2450.
2) Esposito D, Komarnytsky S, Shapses S, Raskin I. Anabolic effect of plant brassinosteroid. The FASEB Journal. 2011;25(10):3708-3719. doi:10.1096/fj.11-181271.
3) Syrov, V. N., & Kurmukov, A. G. (1975). [Experimental study of the anabolic activity of 6-ketoderivatives of certain natural sapogenins]. Farmakologiia i toksikologiia, 39(5), 631-635.
4) Fasciola, Andre Armel; “Phytosterol spirostane and spirostene derivatives having a wide variety of utilities in humans and other animals”; US Patent & Trademark Office; September 18, 2014;
5) Fasciola, Andre Armel; “Phytosterol spirostane and spirostene derivatives having a wide variety of utilities in humans and other animals”; Google Patents; September 18, 2014;