Benefits of Nettle Extracts (Urtica dioica), also known as stinging nettle, is a flowering perennial plant which is native to Asia, Europe, North America and the northern part of Africa. Nettle supplements are usually extracted for the main active ingredient, 3,4-divanillyltetrahydrofuran, which is responsible for most of the benefits of nettle. Extracts of nettle as high as 95% 3,4-divanillyltetrahydrofuran are available, and are included in many sports and testosterone boosting supplements.
Nettle extracts are able to boost free testosterone levels. Free testosterone, as opposed to bound testosterone, is active, useable testosterone. This is what provides the benefits typically associated with elevated testosterone levels such as increasing strength and muscle mass. When testosterone binds to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), it changes from free to bound, and becomes useless. Nettle extracts elevate free testosterone levels by binding to sex hormone-binding globulin in place of testosterone, so that a higher percentage of the bodies testosterone is free. (1, 3)
Nettle extracts can also prevent prostate enlargement(1, 2, 3), as well as help you keep your hair! Prostate growth and balding are both stimulated by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a natural metabolite of testosterone. Nettle extracts prevent prostate enlargement and hair loss by inhibiting DHT from binding to the prostate membrane, and also by inhibiting certain enzymes which cause testosterone to convert to DHT. (1)
A standard dosage of Nettle extract for boosting free testosterone levels is 400-1200mg/day of a 95% extract. Nettle extracts are included in many natural testosterone boosting supplements at this safe yet effective dosage range.
1. Hryb DJ, Khan MS, Romas NA, & Rosner W. (1995). The effect of extracts of the roots of the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) on the interaction of SHBG with its receptor on human prostatic membranes. Planta Medica. 61(1), 31-2.
2. Konrad L, Müller HH, Lenz C, Laubinger H, Aumüller G, & Lichius JJ. (2000). Antiproliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells by a stinging nettle root (Urtica dioica) extract. Planta Medica. 66(1), 44-7
3. Chrubasik JE, Roufogalis BD, Wagner H, & Chrubasik S. (2007). A comprehensive review on the stinging nettle effect and efficacy profiles. Part II: urticae radix. Phytomedicine : International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology. 14(7-8), 568-79.