The Human Skeletal Muscle Transcriptome in Response to Oral Shilajit Supplementation

J Med Food. 2016 Jul;19(7):701-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2016.0010.


The objective of the present study ( NCT02026414) was to observe the effects of oral supplementation of a purified and standardized Shilajit extract on skeletal muscle adaptation in adult overweight/class I obese human subjects from the U.S.

Population: Shilajit is a mineral pitch that oozes out of Himalayan rocks. The study design consisted of a baseline visit, followed by 8 weeks of 250 mg of oral Shilajit supplementation b.i.d., and additional 4 weeks of supplementation with exercise. At each visit, blood samples and muscle biopsies were collected for further analysis. Supplementation was well tolerated without any changes in blood glucose levels and lipid profile after 8 weeks of oral supplementation and the additional 4 weeks of oral supplementation with exercise. In addition, no changes were noted in creatine kinase and serum myoglobin levels after 8 weeks of oral supplementation and the additional 4 weeks of supplementation with exercise. Microarray analysis identified a cluster of 17 extracellular matrix (ECM)-related probe sets that were significantly upregulated in muscles following 8 weeks of oral supplementation compared with the expression at the baseline visit. This cluster included tenascin XB, decorin, myoferlin, collagen, elastin, fibrillin 1, and fibronectin 1. The differential expression of these genes was confirmed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The study provided maiden evidence that oral Shilajit supplementation in adult overweight/class I obese human subjects promoted skeletal muscle adaptation through upregulation of ECM-related genes that control muscle mechanotransduction properties, elasticity, repair, and regeneration.

Keywords: Shilajit; adaptation; extracellular matrix; skeletal muscle.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Exercise
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular / drug effects
  • Minerals / administration & dosage*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Overweight / physiopathology*
  • Resins, Plant / administration & dosage*
  • Transcriptome / drug effects*
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Minerals
  • Resins, Plant
  • mumie

Associated data