Shilajit at 500mg daily helps to increase total (roughly 100-125ng/dl) and free testosterone (19.14%), improve dopamine and sexual function and enhance exercise performance (or at least act as a potent adaptogen and delay overtraining).
There isn’t any direct research on shilajit and SHBG, but shilajit improves liver function. SHBG is produced in the liver and any kind of liver inflammation can drop SHBG, increasing free T and ultimately estradiol.
Shilajit, by improving liver function (R), prevents an excess increase in free testosterone and ultimately estradiol.
On the flip side, shilajit has been shown to increase free testosterone by 19.14%, but this could just be a result of an increase in total testosterone, and not necessarily due to a reduction in SHBG production (R).
Testosterone, DHEA and cortisol
200 to 500mg shilajit daily has been shown to increase testosterone by 100-125ng/dl on average (R, R). It also increased DHEA by 31.35% after 90 days at 500mg daily, which shows that it’s a good adaptogen.
This study showed that shilajit mitigated the effects of chronic fatigue syndrome in rats through the modulation of HPA axis (lowered cortisol and prevented adrenal shrinkage) and preservation of mitochondrial function and integrity ( prevent mitochondrial dysfunction by stabilizing the complex mitochondrial enzymes) (R).
Shilajit administration in humans is quite effective at improving fertility by reducing infection in the testes (reduce pus cells and infected sperm) as well as oxidative stress in the testes (R).
Dopamine and serotonin
Dopamine typically promotes sexual function, whereas serotonin has an inhibitory effect. This study found that shilajit increased dopamine and metabolites and decreased serotonin metabolites in the brain (R).
Shilajit has been shown to increase cortico-hippocampal (area involved in learning and memory) dopamine in mice after alcohol withdrawal (R). Shilajit known for its anxiolytic and nootropic actions may increase neuronal dopamine levels partly responsible for its anxiolytic actions.
Furthermore, shilajit has a parasympathomimetic effect on rat corpus cavernosum, thus improving erectile function (R).
All in all, shilajit boosts dopamine (without affecting serotonin levels) and improves erectile function, all of which can have a good effect on mood and sexual function. From my experience, it’s not the best libido booster, but it does combine well with other aphrodisiacs, such as mucuna or Tribulus.
Shilajit has been shown to have a variety of beneficial effects when it comes to exercise, especially slight overtraining (R).
Prevent drop in ATP and enhance mitochondrial redox state
Training hard for multiple days in a row can lead to a significant drop in ATP (82% in muscle, 33% in the brain and 35% in the blood after 7 days of training), ultimately leading to overaccumulation of fatigue.
Shilajit significantly prevented the drop/depletion in ATP (65% in muscle, 22% in brain and 14% in blood) and prevented fatigue. About 18% rise in the Inosine mono phosphate (IMP) concentration, a marker for energy depletion in muscle, increased by 18% after 7 days. The increase was only 5% in the shilajit group.
Interestingly there is a synergistic effect in the improvement of the energy-related parameters shilajit was combined with CoQ10. The forced exercise in the mice caused a drop in CoQ concentration by 75% in blood and a rise in CoQ by 68% in muscle in exercised control animals on the 7th day of the swimming regime. The fall in CoQ concentration in blood was attenuated to 50% and its rise was arrested in muscle, when the animals were treated orally with shilajit.
Even more interestingly, this study found that administration of CoQ10 alone, in mitochondrial deficiency states, could not restore normal mitochondrial functions. The active components in shilajit, DBPs and also their fatty-acyl and amino-acyl conjugates, work in tandem with CoQ10.
The concomitant targeting of DBPs and CoQ10 to mitochondria would augment energy (ATP) synthesis and protect redox states of CoQ10 from oxidative degradation. “Their probable mechanism of action would involve the three redox states of DBPs (reduced form, semiquinone radical and quinone form) and similar redox states of CoQ10 as a measure to restore normal energy synthesizing ability of mitochondria.” (R)
Human evidence of shilajit on exercise performance
500mg/day of PrimaVie® Shilajit supplementation over 8 weeks resulted in a reduction in fatigue and drop in strength.
“The results of the present study demonstrated that 8 weeks of PrimaVie® Shilajit supplementation at 500 mg·d− 1 promoted the retention of maximal muscular strength following the fatiguing protocol and decreased baseline HYP. Thus, PrimaVie® Shilajit supplementation at 500 mg·d− 1 elicited favorable muscle and connective tissue adaptations.” (R)
On the last part of connective tissue, shilajit might help to prevent collagen degeneration and prevent injury.
“Collagen serves as a major component of the endomysium and is involved in the transmission of force generated by skeletal muscle . Collagen degradation has been examined as a possible explanation for bone , tendon , and muscle -related injuries . The amino acid hydroxyproline (HYP) is commonly used as an indirect biomarker of collagen degradation and the integrity of connective tissue following high-intensity exercise” (R)
Shilajit at 500mg daily helps to increase total and free testosterone, improve dopamine and sexual function and enhance exercise performance (or at least act as a potent adaptogen and delay overtraining).
To get the best ergogenic benefits, combine 500mg shilajit with 200mg CoQ10.
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