There is a lot of folk history using Avena Sativa or “swiss green oats” for improved sexual function and increased testosterone, but we find absolutely no data in the scientific literature that supports Avena Sativa Extract to have any effect on sex drive, testosterone levels, free testosterone or sperm quality.
Avena Sativa seems to have been a total “legend” based supplement for boosting testosterone. It has been implicated in releasing free testosterone from SHBG, but there is no evidence that we could find in the scientific literature for this effect. The only paper we could find showing any activity of Avena Sativa is a paper that shows it has anti-stress effects in rats and may reduce the effect of certain stimulants like nicotine (1,2,3).
This really doesn’t do anything for the bodybuilder. If you see a formula that contains Avena Sativa, you can bet that the company that makes the product is just trying to cash in on the historical use for Avena Sativa. Like Tribulus, Avena Sativa has no use as an herbal testosterone booster or testosterone activator.
1. Phytother Res. 2009 Oct;23(10):1371-7. An extract from wild green oat improves rat behaviour. Schellekens C, Perrinjaquet-Moccetti T, Wullschleger C, Heyne A.
An extract of wild green oat (Avena sativa L.), was tested in vivo in rats for its behavioural effects after chronic oral administration via extract-admixed food. Thirty six male Sprague-Dawley rats received (A) standard diet (controls), (B) 10 g/kg extract-admixed food or (C) 100 g/kg extract-admixed food. The following behavioural tests were performed: elevated plus maze, forced swimming, conditioned avoidance response and tetradic encounter. Body weight, food and fluid consumption were measured and apparent physical appearance was determined twice a week. Apart from a slightly decreased food and fluid intake in the high dose group there were no side effects observed during the treatment. The low dose led to an improvement of active stress response, an enhancement of shock avoidance learning and an increased synchrony in social behaviour. It may be concluded that the wild green oat extract is suitable to improve behavioural initiative in different situations.
2. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1975 Feb;27(2):92-8. The pharmacology of Avena sativa. Connor J, Connor T, Marshall PB, Reid A, Turnbull MJ.
The pharmacology of Avena sativa has been investigated in laboratory animals following a report that tincture of Avena sativa reduced the craying for cigarettes in man. The tincture, evaporated to dryness, craving for cigarettes in man. The tincture, evaporated to dryness, re-constituted in an equal volume of water and administered by stomach tube or intraperitoneal injection, antagonized the antinociceptive effect of morphine in two separate test (hot-plate and tail flick). Compared with animals made depedent on morphine alone, mice pretreated with repeated injections of morphine plus extract passed a smaller number of stools and tended to jump less after administration of nalorphine. The pressor response to intravenously administered nicotine in urethane-anaesthetized rats was also antagonized by prior administration of Avena sativa. However, the aqueous extract prepared from the tincture did not affect the seizure threshold to bemegride or nicotine or the sleeping time induced by barbitone sodium.
3. Int J Clin Pharmacol Biopharm. 1976 Oct;14(3):214-6. Pharmacotherapy with avena sativa – a double blind study. Schmidt K, Geckeler K.
Hundred non-hospitalized smokers with an average consumption of 20 cigarettes per day were treated with an alcoholic extract of Avena sativa for disaccustoming. The study was double blind. By using query-sheets personal contact was excluded. The first result was a placebo-effect of 35% for disaccustoming of smokers and no statistically significant effect of the extract of Avena sativa. The second result was a difference of disaccustoming between light and heavy smokers. It was shown, that the rate of disaccustoming was higher for light smokers than for smokers with a high consumption of cigarettes.
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