The use of gamma-oryzanol and phytosterols is gaining popularity among various athletic populations. These compounds are being consumed in the belief that they elicit anabolic effects ranging from increased testosterone production and release to stimulating human growth hormone release. However, published scientific studies suggest that these compounds are poorly absorbed. Furthermore, animal studies indicate that when these compounds are injected subcutaneously or intravenously, they induce antianabolic or catabolic activity. Normally, less than 5% of orally consumed phytosterols are absorbed from the Intestinal tract, with the majority being excreted in the feces. Intravenous or subcutaneous injections of gamma-oryzanol in rats have been shown to suppress luteinizing hormone release, reduce growth hormone synthesis and release, and increase release of the catecholamines, dopamine and norepinephrine, in the brain. Although it hasn't been directly measured, this metabolic milieu, if accurate, may actually reduce testosterone production.
The authors are with the Medical Department, 105000, Ross Laboratories, Columbus, OH 43216.