USP Labs Pink Magic is marketed as a natural testosterone booster. It consists of a proprietary blend of the three herbs listed below. The basic idea of this product is that the herbs listed below are supposed to boost testosterone levels within the body. According to USP Labs marketing they are claiming that the product will build significant amounts of muscle while reducing body fat (almost sounds like magic). USP labs also claims that this product would do all of this without the side effects associated with steroid compounds.
USP Labs Pink Magic
Massularia Acuminate (Stem)
Nelumbo Nucifera (Seeds And Leaves)
Rhamnus Nakaharai (Stem)
In the following paragraphs we will try and break down each component of the product to show you what it actually is and to give you an idea of what you can expect if you do decide to purchase this product.
Massularia Acuminata – Compound number 1 in Pink Magic
Back in 2008, a study was conducted on Massularia Acuminata (Massularia Accuminate = alternate spelling) and its effects on testosterone. The abstract was published online, and was reposted on several websites. In late 2009 and early 2010.
If you read the full study you can see this herb has ZERO potential to be used in a testosterone boosting nutritional supplement. It simply doesn’t raise testosterone very high, and even then, it can’t do it without taking impossibly high mega doses.
But, since most supplement buyers don’t purchase and read studies full studies (*when the abstract is available for free), the door was (and is) left open for it to be used in a nutritional supplement. I’ll tell you why it’s not going to work in a second, but first; I want you to check out the abstract:
Keep in mind that Massularia Acuminate is the most promising ingredient of the three in this product and it shows no real promise of producing results.
Study on Massularia Acuminate and Testosterone
J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Aug 13;118(3):508-13. Epub 2008 May 28. Androgenic potentials of aqueous extract of Massularia acuminata (G. Don) Bullock ex Hoyl. stem in male Wistar rats. Yakubu MT, Akanji MA, Oladiji AT, Adesokan AA. Medicinal Plants Research Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria. firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract The use of medicinal plants in the management of several ailments is gaining popularity nowadays. Massularia acuminata, one of such plants is commonly used as chewing sticks due to its antimicrobial activity and the aqueous extract of its stem as an aphrodisiac. Aphrodisiac activity in some plants may be due to androgen increasing property of its phytochemicals. AIM OF THE STUDY: This study therefore sought to assess the androgenic potentials of aqueous extract of Massularia acuminata stem in male rats for 21 days. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Male rats weighing between 220 and 260 g were completely randomized into four groups: A, B, C and D. Group A, the control received orally 1 ml of distilled water (the vehicle) while groups B, C and D were orally administered with 1 ml each corresponding to 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight of the plant extract, respectively for 21 days. Rats were sacrificed 24h after 1, 7 and 21 days. RESULTS: Compared with the control, extract administration at all the doses produced significant increase (P<0.05) in testes-body weight ratio, testicular protein, glycogen, sialic acid, cholesterol, testosterone, luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormone concentrations throughout the period of administration. Testicular gamma glutamyl transferase activities were decreased significantly (P<0.05) after the first dose and was sustained throughout the experimental period. CONCLUSION: The available evidence in this study suggests that aqueous extract of Massularia acuminata stem has androgenic potential which may stimulate male sexual maturation and enhance normal testicular function. PMID: 18602232 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
So, at first blush, it looks vaguely promising, right? But check out the dose required…the lowest dose examined in the study was 250mgs/kg! On a kg/kg (simple comparative bodyweight) basis you’ll need about 25 grams of the stuff per day for a 100kg (220lb) bodybuilder, going off the absolute lowest dose. The highest dose would require 100g/day based on a 220lb (100kg)human bodyweight. However, this is based on human weight versus rodent weight. Now, if we convert the rodent dose to the human dose equivalent using the accepted body surface area formula, we find that we need just over 4 grams per day. And that’s at the lowest dose examined – we’d double that dose for the 500mgs/kg (over 8 grams per day) and double it again for the 1,000mgs/kg dose (over 16 grams per day). Currently, only two companies (that I know of) are using this herb in a product, and the dose per serving is (at best) on par with (but likely lower than) even the lowest dose examined in the study (250mgs/kg), translated to anything resembling a human equivalent. The daily suggested dose (all of the daily servings added up) contained in the proprietary blends currently being sold on the market still isn’t likely to be equivalent to the lowest dose in the study.
In fact, even if the 250mg/kg equivalent dose were being used (and it isn’t), the testosterone boost provided would be 12%. But since nowhere near this dose is being used…have I made my point yet? The full study is much more interesting, because when we crunch the numbers, we find out that the rodents were being given an ungodly amount of this stuff, and barely getting any kind of decent test boost!
So how much of a boost in serum testosterone did the herb provide? Well, we don’t know, because the study doesn’t tell us. Wait…what? Yeah, you read that correctly, the study doesn’t actually look at serum testosterone levels. So what about free testosterone levels? Well, the study doesn’t look at that either. The study examines intratesticular testosterone, LH, and a bunch of other stuff (testicular glycogen, testicular sailic acid concentration, etc…) but provides no hard data on how much of a real test boost the herb provided.
As the saying goes, there’s a sucker born every minute, and no shortage of supplement manufacturers looking to scam them.
Nelumbo Nucifera – Compound Number 2 in Pink Magic
The second ingredient in Pink Magic is Nelumbo Nucifera. Unfortunately for USP Labs there is not evidence to support this ingredient as a muscle builder or testosterone booster. There are a couple studies available for review if you search hard enough but they are in know way strong enough to back up the claims USP Labs is making for Pink Magic and they where not conducted on humans.
Study number one on Nelumbo Nucifera:
If you follow the link above you will find a study on Nelumbo Nucifera which concludes that Nelumbo Nucifera will act as an anti estrogen for Female Wistar rats. There really isn’t any data to determine what effect this stuff may have in humans. Assuming it could reduce estrogen in humans this still would not produce the results that USP Labs claims for this product. There is also the major issue of dosing. Pink Magic uses a proprietary blend for this product so it is doubtful the dosing in the product would be appropriate to produce any significant effect in humans.
Study number two on Nelumbo Nucifera:
The link above brings you to an abstract on Nelumbo Nucifera which relates to its potential anti-obesity effect for individuals eating a high fat diet. This study doesn’t deal with individuals who are working out and trying to improve body composition. I don’t see anything in it which would lead me to believe that It can have the kind of effect that USP Labs is talking about in its promotional material.
Rhamnus Nakaharai (Stem) – Compound Number 3 in Pink Magic
Study number one for Rhamnus Nakaharai
This study deals with the antioxidant potential of Rhamnus Nakaharai. This may be good for general health but isn’t really related to what the product is supposed to do.
Study number two for Rhamnus Nakaharai
Nothing relevant to the USP Labs claims in this study. Check it out at the link above.
Study number three for Rhamnus Nakaharai
This study discusses the anti platelet potential of Rhamnus Nakaharai but does nothing to support the claims USP Labs is making for Pink Magic.
These guys are great marketers but just don’t have the science to back their products.
The studies cited in this blog are from Pubmed and much of the content relating to the herb was borrowed from Anthony Roberts June 16, 2010 article posted online on Muscle Evolution.