Mucuna Pruriens For Growth Hormone and Testosterone
Mucuna pruriens, also known as Velvet Bean, is typically extracted for its l-dopa content. Mucuna pruriens extracted for l-dopa has many benefits, including maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and boosting both growth hormone and testosterone in humans. (4, 2, 3, 5, 1) The effects of l-dopa on growth hormone levels are well documented, and it exerts these growth hormone boosting effects by stimulating the release of hypothalamic GHRH. (5)
Boosting growth hormone and testosterone can provide benefits in terms of energy, sex drive, and perhaps most important to the bodybuilder or strength athlete are its benefits of increased sleep quality and performance in the gym. More restful sleep due to increased growth hormone levels leads to improved recovery, and higher testosterone levels lead to improved gains in terms of both size and strength.
So is mucuna worth a shot? In my opinion, absolutely! Even if the only benefit gained is improved sleep quality, isn’t that alone enough for a mucuna supplement to earn its keep? Think of the three most important cornerstones of progression: diet, sleep, and training. There is plenty of research supporting the benefits of mucuna pruriens and l-dopa, so I give it a thumbs up in terms of both safety and effectiveness.
1. Shukla KK, Mahdi AA, Ahmad MK, Shankhwar SN, Rajender S, & Jaiswar SP. (2009). Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. Fertility and Sterility. 92(6), 1934-40.
2. Chihara K, Kashio Y, Kita T, Okimura Y, Kaji H, Abe H, & Fujita T. (1986). L-dopa stimulates release of hypothalamic growth hormone-releasing hormone in humans. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 62(3), 466-73.
3. Pinter EJ, Tolis G, & Friesen HG. (1975). L-dopa, growth hormone and adipokinesis in the lean and the obese. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Biopharmacy. 12(1-2), 277-80.
4. Akhtar MS, Qureshi AQ, & Iqbal J. (1990). Antidiabetic evaluation of Mucuna pruriens, Linn seeds. JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association. 40(7), 147-50.
5. Hanew K, & Utsumi A. (2002). The role of endogenous GHRH in arginine-, insulin-, clonidine- and l-dopa-induced GH release in normal subjects. European Journal of Endocrinology / European Federation of Endocrine Societies. 146(2), 197-202.