Most people who follow sports nutrition or take supplements intended for the sports nutrition market, have probably heard of methoxyisoflavone or "methoxy" for short. Methoxy is a plant based compound in the family of compounds known flavanoids, which includes isoflavones, naphthoflavones, as well as others.
This is a very large family of compounds, such as alpha-naphthoflavone, catechin, daidzein, equol, beta-naphthoflavone (BNF), quercetin, rutin, chrysin, genistein, Ipriflavone, baicalein, Quercetin, galangin, and biochanin.
Amazingly, there are far more of these compounds that I am not even listing! These plant based compounds have a great range of effects, ranging from anticancer, anti-oxidant and a thousand other potential uses still being elucidated by researchers as we speak.
A Hungarian company called Chinoin in the 70s originally studied Methoxy. The company has a patent on methoxy and lists its many effects on metabolism, including increased protein synthesis, increase lean mass, reduced body fat, promoted endurance, lowered cholesterol levels and an improvement in the body's ability to use oxygen.
The patent and the many subsequent companies now selling methoxy claim this plant-based supplement has anabolic effects, working through non-hormonal pathways. That is, it achieves the above without using/affecting hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone, etc. Sound too good to be true? Does to me too.
Bodybuilders and other athletes have come to use the term "anabolic" to mean the building of muscle exclusively. This is only partly true. For example, physiology texts book will normally define anabolic or "anabolism" as the phase of metabolism in which simple substances are synthesized into the complex materials of living tissue or a process by which larger molecules are formed from smaller ones.
What does this mean to the reader in English? It means that making new bone, or even fat, is in fact technically an anabolic endeavor.
Several companies have done research with the isoflavones and found they may increase bone mass in animals and people. Does this mean methoxy effects bone and not muscle? Well, there is very little research with methoxy on healthy active adults that looked at muscle mass, other than the old Hungarian research, so it's hard to tell right now.
Several isoflavones, including methoxy, have been shown to increase the weight of many animals, but again, that effect appeared to be mostly increases in bone density. It should be noted that there is a great deal of research going on right now with hundreds of different plant based compounds and the flavanoids are perhaps some of the most interesting and promising.
However, at this time, methoxy is far from the wonder anabolic supplement it's being portrayed as.
Is methoxy a waste of money? Perhaps not, but what its exact role is in sports nutrition remains unclear at best.
Considering the total lack of data showing any effects on muscle mass of healthy athletes, methoxy gets a thumb's down at this time.
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