Home 5 Frank's Column 5 Icariin – Potential Super Supplement: Good For Everything?

Icariin – Potential Super Supplement: Good For Everything?

Aging is accompanied by rising pain levels in practically everything in our bodies. Mine happens to be focused on knees and neck. That recently sent me to look into the ingredients of the well-advertised “Relief Factor”. Of the four ingredients, the only one I was not taking meaningful amount of already was Icariin. The formula is proprietary, so they don’t reveal quantities, just that it is one of four.

Next, one of my medical newsletters cited Icariin as powerful support for sexual function, but called for doses that were 500 mg/twice a day – a level exceeding levels found in the popular supplement Epimedium or Horny Goat Weed, which typically has 10% Icariin(s). That leads to needing10,000 mg to get to a 1000 mg dose/day.

That set me looking for suppliers of higher level extracts, and to researching whether it would be worth taking at all. First, I found a 2017 research paper on the powerful impact on everything related to heart disease and other ways of dying young or badly that it radically improves:   Read this – very informative! Here is a summary:

  • Powerful antioxidant; activates AMPK and Nrf2 to ramp up production of our primary anti-ox enzymes, improves metabolism and reduces fat storage
  • Lowers LDL, Raises HDL Cholesterol
  • Prevents Endothelial Cell disfunction, increases ENOS and NO production
  • Inhibits arterial plaque, Foam Cell formation
  • Inhibits vascular Smooth Muscle proliferation and migration
  • Lowers Triglyceride production by the liver
  • Inhibits platelet activation, lowering blood clot potential
  • Improves osteoporosis by increasing osteoblast cell function

All these improve blood flow to body and brain and function like Viagra to boot. I found two high level extracts on the market so far; one a 60% extract costing $70 on the site  and one 50% extract, costing $14.90, but $8.90 shipping on each. I’m trying the later, so will keep you posted. I would love to have my arteries work really well.

Here are the conclusions of a 2020 research report on Icariin as a Modulator of Lipid Metabolism:

  • Conclusions

    More and more studies have proved that icariin has the effect of improving liver steatosis, atherosclerosis, and white fat accumulation by regulating fatty acid synthesis/oxidative decomposition, autophagy inhibiting lipid deposition and fat differentiation. It offers bone preservation effect by promoting osteoblast differentiation and inhibiting adipocyte differentiation. Since icariin will be converted after entering the body, its lipid-regulating effect may be caused by its single or synergistic metabolite. It is now clear that icaritin and desmethylicaritin have lipid-lowering effects. Therefore, this article speculates that various metabolic components may coordinate the role of icariin in regulating lipid metabolism. So, further understanding of the active ingredients will improve the bioavailability of drugs. We presume icariin and its metabolites exist in different cells or different tissues by various devices, thereby exerting overall lipid-regulating effects through integration? Secondly, the lipid-lowering effect of icariin has been confirmed through a variety of signaling pathways, but the target protein of icariin is still unclear. Currently, fundamental research to identify target proteins is underway. If the drug target protein is clarified, the mechanism for icariin and side effects of icariin may become clear. In addition, clinical applications will be more extensive. In short, Icariin or icariin metabolites have shown good curative effects, but the number of studies is small and the mechanism is fragmented. Therefore, it is necessary to deeply study the scientific connotation of icariin and its metabolites in the regulation of lipid metabolism. There exists a positive incentive for exploring the pharmacological mechanism of icariin.

For me, that is enough incentive to test it on myself as one of your lab rats!

To your Greater Health and Fitness,


Frank Wilhelmi

Frank Wilhelmi

Frank Wilhelmi – Retired/consultant electronic engineer researches and reports practical strategies for optimizing health and fitness into advanced age. “I have a passion for living life to the fullest, and helping others to do the same.” A rapidly growing body of knowledge now enables us to extend our health and fitness decades beyond popular expectations.

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