Formula: C20 H32 O2
Molecular Mass: 304.46688 [g/mol]
Arachidonic acid (AA) is a naturally occurring omega-6 essential fatty acid. Its the principle building block for the synthesis of dienolic prostaglandins, which are intimately involved in post-workout protein synthesis and muscle hypertrophy, as well as numerous peripherally related operations.
Arachidonic acid is stored within the cell membrane, and is responsible for signaling adaptive changes in the response to muscle damage and related stimuli. Routine exercise can reduce both arachidonic acid levels and the production of anabolic prostaglandins, creating the need for AA supplementation during intense weight training and athletic performance. Arachidonic acid is most commonly used by bodybuilders and weight-trained athletes in sports where enhanced anaerobic (short, rapid burst) performance is required. Reduced AA levels are associated with training stagnation, declining ability to stimulate muscle growth, and delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after exercising.
Arachidonic acid comes as a stand-alone product in 250 mg capsules, and is listed as an ingredient within numerous nutritional supplements.
As the principle building block for the synthesis of dienolic prostaglandins including PGE2 and PGF2 AA it is specifically correlated with: improved insulin sensitivity; enhanced satellite cell activation and proliferation; augmented uncoupling proteins for a thermogenic effect; increased muscle cell regeneration and repair; better lean muscle to fat body composition; amplified IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor) signaling; increased androgen receptor synthesis; enhanced nitric oxide formation and; improved vascularity via stimulation of angiogenesis (ability to repair blood vessels) in trained muscles. Arachidonic acid is optimally administered at 500-1000 mg/day for 7-8 weeks.
Other than headaches which are associated with vasodilation, and typically alleviated by increasing water consumption, AA is safe and largely free from side effects.
Those who maintain sedentary (inactive) lifestyles should not supplement with Arachidonic acid unless a dietary need has been medically identified, as deficiency in this group is uncommon. AA is an "as needed" pro-inflammatory, thus localized pain or soreness may accompany injuries. Additionally, AA supplementation is not recommended during pregnancy, or if there is a history of high cholesterol, arthritis, cancer, prostate enlargement, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, or any inflammatory disease.
Bodybuilders and athletes typically employ Arachidonic acid during their fat-burning phase of training. Dieting is often fat restrictive, thus Arachidonic acid is supplemented to maintain proper fat consumption. It's a standard pre-contest and cutting bodybuilding ancillary that's usually taken for the duration of anabolic steroid cycles which generally include Anavar, Stanozolol, Primobolan, testosterone (cypionate, propionate, and enanthate), Trenbolone, Deca-Durabolin, and Oral Turinabol.