PrimaVie® is a purified shilajit extract clinically shown to boost testosterone and support muscle repair.
Seven Health's TESTO contains PrimaVie®, which is a branded form of the mineral mixture shilajit. This review details its advantages over other shilajit supplements:
- Researched. Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and potential benefits of supplementing with this brand of shilajit.
- Patented. Several international patents protect the supplement’s unique manufacturing process.
- Safe. PrimaVie has been certified as safe for human consumption. This is critical for shilajit extracts, which could be toxic if prepared incorrectly.
Shilajit is viscous, tar-like substance that is indigenous to the Himalayas and loaded with a diverse collection of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Its use to promote various health benefits — such as restoring strength and energy, reducing inflammation, and combating illnesses — dates as far back as the Indus Valley Civilization of 3,000 B.C.1
Among the dozens of bioactive components in shilajit, its primary bioactive components include the following:
- Fulvic acid
- Tirucalloic-type triterpenoids
- Di-benzo-alpha-pyrones (DBPs)
- DBP chromoproteins
What sets the PrimaVie formula apart from that of generic shilajit brands is that it contains a low amounts of heavy metals (less than 1 ppm of lead, 1 ppm of arsenic, and 0.1 ppm of mercury) that could otherwise be harmful to the body, if consumed in high enough concentrations. Furthermore, PrimaVie is standardized to hold at least 60.3% fulvic acid, DBP, and associated chromoproteins.
How PrimaVie Works
PrimaVie may promote a number of health benefits through unclear mechanisms. Current research suggests that its high content of fulvic acid is responsible for most of these effects. For example, fulvic acid is known to facilitate the ATP (energy) cycle as well as stimulate the production of steroids like thyroid stimulating hormone.
For building muscle, recent research has found that oral supplementation of PrimaVie dramatically increases the expression of genes associated with post-workout muscle adaptation and recovery. The supplement was found to elevate the mRNA expression of collagen, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), and other components of the extracellular matrix such as fibrillin and elastin, which suggests that PrimaVie may facilitate muscle repair and regeneration.
At least patents cover Natreon’s proprietary manufacturing technique for its purified and standardized shilajit extract as well as its safe use for supplementation: U.S. patents 6969612, 6440436, and 6558712, and European patent 1387614.
U.S. patent 8894993 further verifies that PrimaVie has antioxidant properties that facilitate the production of CoQ10 — ultimately aiding energy metabolism, specifically for people with mitochondrial dysfunction.
Promoting steroidogenic activity
World patent 2015035358 claims that the bioactive compounds in PrimaVie, namely fulvic acid and the DBPs, can promote the natural production of steroids in the body.
Nutritional Supplement Uses
PrimaVie may support male sexual health by upregulating steroidic genes for compounds such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Increasing TSH production, in turn, can boost testosterone levels in the body.
In addition, PrimaVie can potentially surge masculinity by increasing sperm count and virility.
PrimaVie’s capacity to support muscle repair and regeneration appears to be its most widely sought out benefit, especially for athletes and bodybuilders. Research has found that the supplement can upregulate the expression of genes for synthesizing collagen and other components of muscle cells.
When taken as a pre-workout supplement, PrimaVie may thus activate the muscle restoration pathway during exercise much more quickly than the body is able to on its own.
Early studies have discovered that PrimaVie can act as a mitochondrial energy booster by improving the bioavailability of the vitamin-like molecule coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Through this mechanism, the supplement might indirectly help the body generating energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
There have also been several indications that PrimaVie may be able to help prevent cognitive decline and the negative consequences of aging on the mind. Its neuroprotective and anti-anxiolytic ability is somewhat similar to the effect that nootropic supplements have on the brain.
PrimaVie has several advantages compared with generic shilajit extracts, including the following:
- Clinical research: Multiple randomized, controlled clinical trials have affirmed that PrimaVie can support various health benefits.
- Standardization: PrimaVie is standardized to 50% fulvic acid and 10.3% free DBPs conjugated with chromoproteins. In addition, the extract is chemically stable in solution.
- Safety: Shilajit is naturally full of heavy metal ions, oxidant agents, free radicals, and other compounds that can prove toxic for the body. PrimaVie is a purified version of Shilajit that is safe for human consumption.
- Certification: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted PrimaVie Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status as well as approval even before the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). PrimaVie is also vegetarian, kosher, and halal certified, and does not use genetically modified organisms (GMO) as part of its ingredients.
Clinical trials assessing PrimaVie have shown that it is capable of boosting testosterone levels and increasing muscle strength, among other effects. There are several ongoing trials investigating the extent to which PrimaVie can improve exercise training.
PrimaVie (500 mg) may increase testosterone levels in men (The same amount as 2 capsules of TESTO).
In this double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 96 males between the ages of 45 and 55 took either a placebo or 250 mg of PrimaVie two times a day for 90 days. Blood tests revealed that the PrimaVie group had statistically significant increases in total testosterone, free testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEAS) compared with the placebo group. Luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone levels stayed mostly unchanged.
- The researchers concluded that “purified Shilajit increases the total and free testosterone levels in healthy volunteers.”2
In this investigation, 16 overweight or obese individuals took two servings of 250 mg of PrimaVie everyday for 12 weeks. During the last 4 weeks, they participated in routine treadmill-based exercises. DNA testing of the participants’ muscle revealed that they had elevated levels of proteins and RNA that are critical for repairing and regenerating skeletal muscle.
- The researchers concluded that taking PrimaVie “resulted in skeletal muscle adaptation through upregulation of ECM-related genes that control muscle mechanotransduction properties, elasticity, repair, and regeneration.”3
In this ongoing investigation, 40 individuals took 250 mg of PrimaVie twice daily for a 12-week period. The objective of the study is to determine effect of PrimaVie supplementation on human skeletal muscle adaptation, compared with the effect of supplementation combined with exercise training.
- The researchers hypothesized that “PrimaVie significantly changed the expression of genes related to muscle function … Based on these facts, it was thought of interest to study the effect of PrimaVie and exercise training on human skeletal muscle adaptation.”4
- Clinical trials have consistently used 500 mg of PrimaVie per day.
- Seven Health's TESTO come in serving size of 250 mg per capsule which should be taken 2 times daily.