Black Lion Research Follidrone Launches

Earlier this week a company called Black Lion Research launched a new product called Follidrone.  Complete with pictures of genetically altered myostatin deficient animals, and the following claims:


 

“Follodrone decreases Myostatin levels 49%+ as well as increasing markers of muscle growth.”

“Follidrone Increases strength dramatically and quickly.  Treatment for 7 days yielded a bilateral increase in hand strength of 7%, which was accompanied by a significant decrease (-49%) in myostatin.”

“In addition our internal testers reported serious strength gains including

follidrone

  • 100lb increase in Deadlift in 4 days
  • 20lbs per arm on DB incline press in 10 days.
  • 6 inch gain on vert jump to 53 inches.
  • one user compared the strength increase to halotestin.
  • Increases in mass were also reported by our internal testers including 10lbs weight gain in 10 days with what appears to be 0 BF% increase.
  • Users have also been reporting significant physique changes. Harder, leaner, and overall larger.”

 

Impressive right?  Well my first assumption (a poor one) was that this product was actually tested in a controlled research environment.  I mean they do claim “Follodrone decreases Myostatin…” (they literally spelled their own product name wrong, I am not doing that on purpose).  So I looked up the study they referenced because it was surprising to see that a small supplement company funded some actual research.  Of course upon finding the study the supplement used was not Follidrone [1].  It was however purchased from Sigma Aldrich in the form of (-)-epicatechin or simply epicatechin.  Epicatechin is a flavanol found in things like green tea, and cocao.  Sigma Aldrich sells a handful of different epicatechin extracts ranging from 90% pure to 98% pure extracted from green tea.

Okay so the study they reference didn’t actually use Black Lion Research Follidrone, but it did use epicatechin which is an ingredient in Follidrone.  The Follidrone label states it includes the following ingredients:

follidrone

  • So it’s essentially a prop blend of epicatechin and carb based food additive.  The problem of course with prop blends is that we have no idea how much of the active ingredient it contains.  Which means it could be 1 mg or 499 mg’s.Serving Size – 1 capsule
  • Servings Per Container – 60 capsules
  • Proprietary Blend – 500 mg’s
  • Epicatechin, Maltodextrin

So “Follodrone” didn’t decrease myostatin, but does Epicatechin?

Back to the study that showed a decrease in serum myostatin.  The study was partially funded by Cardero Therapeutics Inc. who is currently conducting clinical studies on epicatechin for the use in a muscle wasting disease.   They tested epicatechin in six humans over the course of 7 days, giving them 1 mg of epicatechin per kilogram of bodyweight, or what would translate to about 90 mg’s per day for a 200lb male.  There was no control group, and strength was tested with a hand grip dynamometer.  After 7 days of supplementation strength increased 7%, which was not statistically significant.  It did however increase serum follistatin to myostatin ratio by 49%, although no data was given on how much it actually increased follistatin, and decreased myostatin (it’s possible it did one but not the other).  Note how this makes both claims I initially note above mis-leading.

At the end of the day these are fairly lackluster results, on an ingredient that needs more human research to truly say if it’s worth your money or not.  For comparison purposes an in vitro study on Vitamin D showed the myostatin response was decreased by 70% (thanks Deeb for this study) [2].

Leap of Faith

There are a lot of supplements that make claims that certainly are a leap of faith.  But this is perhaps one of the more egregious in a while.  I would not be so bothered by the claims of Black Lion Research if it weren’t for the use of genetically altered myostatin deficient animals, follistatin based references (which had no use of epicatechin), and the leap of faith that this would be an effective muscle builder based on one non-controlled study in non-training people.  To top it all off, it’s a product composed a prop blend with a food additive.  This indicates the only reason it is a prop blend is to hide the low dose of actual epicatechin your getting by purchasing this product.

For that reason, amongst others listed, if you are truly interested in epicatechin for other purposes I would suggest spending your money on a cocao powder, which has an average content of 158 mg’s of epicatechin per 100 grams of powder.  Don’t believe me?  I would encourage you to look it up on the Phenol-Explorer which is a databased of flavanol content in foods built off of scientifically validated references (it also gives you those references).  Here’s the search results for (-)-epicatechin – Epicatechin by Food Source.

By Travis DeGraff


 

17 thoughts on “Follidrone a Natural Follistatin – Is this legit?

  1. Brundel says:

    I own Black Lion Research.
    Research studies were done on (-)-epicatechin.
    We use the same compound, doesnt matter where we get it from. Its like saying caffeine from sigma aldrich is different from caffeine from other suppliers. Also we dont tell you where we obtained it from so it doesnt make any sense to make unfounded observations regarding origin.

    There is more (-)-epi in our product by a good deal than was used in the studies. We used a prop blend to prevent other companies from copying the ingredient profile. This is why prop blends exist.

    I cant imagine how you could possibly think 7% strength increase in a week is statistically insignificant.

    The images used were clearly labeled and did not reference our product but the article explaining myostatin and follistatin and how they work.

    (-)-Epicatechin is the only ingredient in Follidrone aside from Maltodextrin filler although this is only on the test label. The finished product may use another filler.

    I dont suggest you try eating 100g of cocoa daily although you would only get 21mg mixed epicatechin which is more than 10 times less than is in Follidrone. In addition the isomer matters and there is even less than 21mg (-)- Epi per 100g cocoa.

    http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/25/original/9evuhajy.jpg

    Also…often Epicatechin is removed from cocoa as its very bitter.
    So youll likely get close to none. Before you eat 1000g -2000g to try to meet the dose in our product remember that theobromine poisoning might kill you first.

    • Degraff says:

      The studies used a tested extract from Sigma Aldrich. They did not use Follidrone. That is all I was saying. It’s not standard practice to say “[Name of supplement] increased [x] in this study, if the actual supplement was not used.

      You have one active ingredient in your product. It’s not hard for the competition to figure out what works in your product, it’s not the maltodextrin. You are not protecting anything. You are simply hiding the dose for reasons already stated.

      7% is not statistically significant when your sample size is only 6 people, with no control group. This is pretty much science 101, so no it’s not statistically significant.

      100g of cocoa powder per day contains an average of 158 mg’s of (-)-epicatechin. Please see this resource and it’s multiple references – http://www.phenol-explorer.eu/contents/polyphenol/125?utf8=%E2%9C%93&options%5Blist_format%5D=list&options%5Bsort_by%5D=by_average&options%5Bempty_rows%5D=off&options%5Bunit_type%5D=weight

      All of this is besides the point. A 49% increase in the ration of follistatin/myostatin will not result in lean body mass gains in young healthy men.

  2. Trex says:

    Really excited for this product. Already pre ordered 3 bottles. Hoping to put 300 lbs on my DL in the next 12 days.

    Question
    Should I also run an AAS cycle along side this product? Maybe test/tren/dbol.

  3. jordan says:

    so HOW MUCH (-)-Epicatechin is in the proprietary blend then??? more than 100mg?

    What are the chances of buying from sigma directly?

  4. RK says:

    Thanks for opening it up Degraff. Point well taken. You’re absolutely right about there being no control group. This is BS.

  5. Mchine says:

    Ive been following the logs on anabolic minds…Sure looks like the product is working.
    I bought 2 bottles at the sale price.
    Ill keep you posted on results.

    • Anonymous says:

      LMAO, because of logs on supplement based forum where BLR is sponsor, all the “results” are positive. LOGS- What a joke.

  6. Mchine says:

    Its funny though….lots of people have eaten it now. Not just at anabolic minds. All over the internet. In Europe even. Every single person is having the same results the manufacturer is talking about. Not just in logs…there are hundred page threads with everyone posting their results. Sure looks like its working. This being the case….Travis what do you think? It looks like your assessment us incorrect?

    • Degraff says:

      Why are people eating capsules? I think you should re-read what I wrote, I don’t feel like summarizing it all again. I did not assess the logs brah.

      • Jimmy90210 says:

        Funny… at AM, Brundel uses “eat” instead of “take”… Anyway… I am going to test it just because it doesn’t cost much to try.

        • Anonymous says:

          I am considering buying this. However, after looking at someone who says eaten the capsules and from Brundels post on AM, I am more apprehensive.

  7. TK says:

    Not sure why you would spend so much time trying to discredit a product without ever taking it anyways. Seems like you have some sort of agenda. Every person I have read about who took it says it works. Also now it looks like other companies are making the same thing. Does this mean everyone else is making a bad product? Seems like alot of people have read this blog. Considering every other post or report about it contradicts what you said here Im surprised you still support your position which appears to be invalid. I bought a bottle and Im starting next week. Ill make sure to let you know if it works or doesnt.

    • Degraff says:

      Thanks for commenting TK. I think you are misinterpreting some things I was attempting to communicate. I have no agenda towards follidrone itself. And to answer your question, no I don’t believe based on currently available research that ANY epicatechin product is worth your money if you think it’s going to add any appreciable lean body mass. It’s great that anecdotal evidence has been positive thus far. However with all anecdotal evidence it remains both biased and influenced by thousands of other factors in an uncontrolled environment.

      I still support my opinion because there has been no research published that would change my mind.

      I hope it works for you though. Feel free to post a review when you’re done with it. And I’ll promise to write about any new science on epicatechin that might be relevant to bodybuilders.

  8. Ryan says:

    We have no reason to hide the miiligrams of Epicatechin 90% extract in our new product “EPICAT 200 max” by Gun Show Supplements. You will not find us all over the internet as we do not blog our own products but we sell internationally and have been in business for over two years now, EPICAT 200 max contains 200 milligrams of Epicatechin 90% extract. We dont hide behind proprietary blends.

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