Borassus aethiopum for bodybuilders?

If you’ve made the effort to read this post, you may well have a pitch-black bottle of BPI’s Solid in your kitchen. One of its ingredients is an extract of Borassus aethiopum, which according to the manufacturer has an anabolic effect that is comparable with that of the steroid fluoxymesterone. Interesting for bodybuilders who are after strong, hard and well-defined muscles. With prominent veins running over them.

The ingredients of Solid are indeed ‘fancy’. The most important is an extract from the shoots of the African fan palm Borassus aethiopum. Exactly how much of this extract the Solid capsules contain is not divulged on the label.

In 2010 Nigerian researchers published the only study on the anabolic effect of Borassus aethiopum that we’ve been able to find, in an obscure scientific journal. It’s an animal study that compares the anabolic effects of Borassus aethiopum with those of the anabolic steroid fluoxymesterone [the active ingredient in Halotestin].


We’ll not beat about the bush: we find the article a little hard to believe, and we wonder whether the experiments described in the article were actually carried out.

The researchers gave rabbits 62 mg Borassus aethiopum extract every day for four weeks [curve B in the figures below], and observed that these rabbits grew faster than rabbits that were not given the active ingredient [curve C].

The extract reduced the amount of broken down protein [Urea] in the blood, which is an indication of improved protein metabolism.


The growth-promoting effect of Borassus aethiopum was similar to that of fluoxymesterone, the researchers write [curve A]. The administered the fluoxymesterone dissolved in water: they dissolved 25 mg steroid in 100 ml water.

That’s pretty strange: fluoxymesterone doesn’t dissolve easily in water. It’s possible to dissolve 6.7 mg fluoxymesterone in 100 ml water, and no more. [] So how did the Nigerians managed to get 25 mg of the stuff into 100 ml water?