T Nation

Arachidonic Acid?


Does anyone know waht this is and if its even legit stuff or a marketing ploy??


Arachidonic acid is a type of fatty acid found naturally in foods like flax seeds and flaxseed oil. I can't imagine why anyone would want to buy it on its own, though. It can lead to hormonal imbalance if you take it out of proportion with other essential fatty acids.


No really it is in beef etc. TC also wrote something about this recently I think.

Do a search.


Well I had to do a search and yup he did mention it in here


Do an article and/or site search they turn up a LOT.


lol thanks alot guys it was in a product called X factor and i guess it recieved a patent from the Us for producing muscle mass in humans .. just cought my eye


I tried another brand supplement of Arachidonic Acid..... and the claim that it can increase muscle soreness is definitely true. Whether this is a good thing or not, I guess is a personal decision of the user.


Wow, flaxseed has AA?

how much AA does it have?


Dave Barr has mentioned this stuff but does not recommend it. Not enough research done as yet but once the bugs are ironed out he thinks it could be big!

He seems to know a thing or two about supplements.

Hope that helps,


I read somewhere that you should avoid Arachidonic Acid in order to promote the production of the right kinds of eicosanoids (I guess arachidonic acid is a prime component in some 'bad' eicosanoids).

IIRC Eicosanoids are like message flags that the endocrine system passes around to tell the rest of the body what to do.. 'good' eicosanoids promote good health, 'bad' ones the opposite of course. It seemed to make sense that to be healthier it would help to stack the deck in your favor, so to speak.

I also heard that egg yolks were especially high in Arachidonic Acid, and so one should avoid them.

Anyway, who knows - I still eat egg yolks and have never had a problem. I'm not 100% how well verified this science was.


I've never heard about that downside of AA before. However, I have spoken to/know a few guys who say it works well for putting on muscle and leaning out. I'm going to most likely run it for 50 days in the next month or so. I'll let you all know.

Anyone on this board use it?


For those who dont understand fatty acid metabolism.

AA is the n-6 equivilant of EPA.

AA is genearlly classified as pro-inflammatory vs EPA being anti-inflamatory (not exactly true but easier to say that way)

Supplementing with AA is a good way to increase inflammation in the body, increasing your risk of a variety of diseases including heart disease.

There is evidence that AA linked prostaglandins are associated with protein synthesis, but there is no evidence that increasing AA increases protein synthesis. Nor the fact that fish oil suppementation decreases protein synthesis (which it definately could do)

AA is a shitty supplement


Hhhmmm. I'm not going to argue that. However, how can you explain the muscle gains from using AA?


Increased inflammation = increased 'damage ' = increaed repair = increased growth.

Long term use is far from healthy but at the 50 day recommended cycle of X-factor, there is far less chance for side effects than taking a designer OTC steroid.

The important thing on AA is while using it to greatly reduce Omega 3s, and try to avoid aspirin and ibuprofen, since they all work against AA. But you dont have to cut all Omega 3s.


Yeah ski, I pretty much caught all those instructions too. Have you tried it?

Btw for the issue of hear disease? Did you come across something in regards to the actual inflamation that the aa cause leading to heart disease? Or are you just speculating?


This is grossly oversimplified. The majority of inflammation is catabolic. To my knowledge, the only anabolic stimulus is PGF2, which may be countered by the co-production of the catabolic PGE series -we just don't know.

We can't possibly begin to know that right now.

Not trying to be inflammatory, merely factual.


The "inflammatory" response is thought to be an underlying issue in a lot of human health issues...

Generally, we take antioxidants and Omega-3's to counter the "inflammatory" response and other damage markers associated with aging and disease.

However, obviously, the inflammatory response is important in some processes... so there is at least a theoretical possibility. As someone getting a little older, I think I'd be cautious about promoting inflammation.


so all of the people with CVD, who are chronically inflammed, are massive?


Cyco, I'm wondering how you can make what seems to be such a blanket statement?


cyco stated:

"AA is genearlly classified as pro-inflammatory vs EPA being anti-inflamatory (not exactly true but easier to say that way)".

"Supplementing with AA is a good way to increase inflammation in the body, increasing your risk of a variety of diseases including heart disease".

Cyco is right on the mark with everything he's posted (even with my very limited understanding of things!)

I think that you guys are really confusing the acute, local muscular inflammation and repair (that is beneficial for growth), with the chronic inflammation of chronic disease.

Cyco can correct me if I'm wrong; but supplementing with AA seems to make as much sense as supplementing with trans-fatty acids and High Fructose Corn Syrup. (HFCS)



I'm pretty sure I'm not confused. What you're saying is that AA causes inflamation ALL over not just in the muscles which could lead to heart disease and other inflamatory related illness. I'm just still kinda wondering is this really THAT much of a risk? I mean when compared to the average joe who is probably already in an inflamed state due to his terrible diet, and lifestyle.

WOuld being using AA for the prescribed 50 days while still maintaining a good diet and healthy lifestyle followed by fishoil and other efa style "pct" if you will along with perhaps some bromelian, celerey seed, COQ10, and a few other things to help ensure optimal heart condition be as harmful as say running a steroid cycle for the same amount of time and then having to run nolva, clomid, and letro for your pct ON TOP of all those other natural things I mentioned above ie. celery seed, red yeast rice, milkthistle, fish oil (btw I take that year round as we all should but I up the dose at times)?