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Korean Mistletoe

While the name might make you think of Christmas, Viscum album coloratum or “Korean misletoe” may soon be better known for its capabilities to enhance your workouts and physique. Although this extract is still a relative unknown in the sports supplement market, certain up and coming brands have begun to use it more frequently, which more than likely means one should expect to see this ingredient far more often in the upcoming months and years.

What it does

Korean mistletoe first showed the capacity to increase endurance, exercise performance, and reduce parameters of muscle tissue damage in mice[1]. Thanks to promising animal studies such as this, Korean mMistletoe was then studied further on human subjects.

One such example was a somewhat large study performed on 67 elderly subjects (aged 55-75) to see how it could affect the rate of decline in muscle mass and strength in humans. It was found to effectively suppress intracellular pathways related to muscle protein degradation, while stimulating the pathways necessary for muscle growth[2].

In-vitro (cell culture testing) studies on Korean mistletoe have found it to be capable of inducing mRNA expression of SREBP-1c, PGC-1alpha, and GLUT4, all of which have been shown to be positive regulators of muscle hypertrophy or growth[3].

How it works

Korean mistletoe does not currently have enough human data to definitively ascertain concrete mechanisms of action; however, the most likely pathways for benefits come from the extracts purported abilities to increase Akt signaling, enhanced insulin secretion and sensitivity, elevated levels of IGF-1, along with higher levels of mitochondrial activity within skeletal muscle tissue.


The current suggested dosing protocol for Korean mistletoe extract is 2,000mg per day.