i'm considering using this herb to improve my insulin sensitivity, since it contains guanidine. i'm male. i notice some of the supplement sites are marketing it as galactogogue. Have any males used this for an extended period of time, and if so, did you experience any undesirable side effects, such as breast enlargement. thanks.
The active substances are not guanidine but guanidine derivitives such as galegine (isoamylene-guanidine) and other related substances.
Guanidine was chemically modified to create metformin, which is a first-line pharmaceutical medication for diabetes. Metformin has also been touted as a caloric restriction mimetic, though the theory that lowering one's blood sugar levels will increase longevity is far from proven. It may work for some people. The papers claiming metformin was a CR mimetic were shown as a slide presentation at a conference several years ago but as far as I know were never published. I would hesitate to to use goat's rue, even if you could find a standardized extract. It's hard to know how strong the herb is and how much active ingredient you are getting, and it will vary significantly from batch to batch. Metformin is not a galactogue like goat's rue, it is inexpensive, and is available from many sources, though a doctor's prescription is usually required. If you have diabetes the prescription will be forthcoming. If you want to experiment with metformin anyway by purchasing it from some overseas source, at least invest in an inexpensive glucose meter so you know your blood sugar levels. If they do not change it is unlikely that insulin sensitivity was a problem for you. The most common side effects with metformin are nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, diarrhea. A rare side effect, about 1 in 30,000, is lactic acidosis which is fatal in 50% of cases. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are weakness, trouble breathing, abnormal heartbeats, unusual muscle pain, stomach discomfort, light-headedness and feeling cold. Risks for lactic acidosis include reduced kidney or liver function, congestive heart failure, severe acute illnesses, and dehydration. Watch those extreme workouts. (Water can be fatal too in large doses.)