Special Offers & Promotions



Latest News



View Channel

New Products



View Channel

Video Presentations



View Channel

Separation Science



View Channel

Microscopy & Image Analysis



View Channel

Laboratory Automation & IT Solutions



View Channel


Popeye was right: Scientist of FU Berlin detected a performance-enhancing substance in spinach

publication date: Sep 13, 2019
author/source: Agilent Technologies

Freie Universität Berlin uses company's cutting-edge tools to examine effects of ecdysterone

Agilent Technologies Inc., has announced that its instruments and expertise contributed to a groundbreaking study commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA.

Researchers at Freie Universität Berlin used gas and liquid chromatography instruments, along with high-resolution mass spectrometry systems—all from Agilent—to study to the strength-building characteristics of ecdysterone, the main component of spinach extracts.

The study, which included researchers in Berlin, Cologne, Rome, and Sydney, found that the substance has a strong effect on muscle cells—stronger, in fact, than anabolic androgenic steroids, which are prohibited in sports. Performance in exercises increased significantly in comparison to a control group.

Professor Maria Parr, who specializes in pharmaceutical analytics and metabolism at Freie Universität Berlin, is among the researchers who recommend that ecdysterone be added to WADA’s list of substances it prohibits athletes from using. Additionally, she and her team have developed LC/MS/MS and GC/MS methods to enable doping-control laboratories to integrate ecdysterone into their testing procedures.

"Most of the work in finding ecdysterone in spinach and spinach extracts, quantitating the contents, purifying metabolites, and so on has been done with Agilent instruments," said Bernhard Wüst, Agilent’s global marketing manager for sports doping.

Wüst lent his expertise in mass spectrometry and metabolite identification to the project. He notes that the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor (popular in the 1960s) was right to eat spinach for strength, but that a person would have to eat up to 4 kilograms of spinach per day for ten weeks to consume the same amount as one of the low-dose athletes in the study.


Watch a short video about the study, "Popeye was right"



download paper


About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global leader in life sciences, diagnostics, and applied chemical markets. With more than 50 years of insight and innovation, Agilent instruments, software, services, solutions, and people provide trusted answers to customers' most challenging questions. The company generated revenues of $4.91 billion in fiscal 2018 and employs 15,500 people worldwide.


View Company Profile and Recent News

If you have not logged into the website then please enter your details below.


Subscribe to any of our newsletters for the latest on new laboratory products, industry news, case studies and much more!

Newsletters from Lab Bulletin


Request your free copies HERE




Popular this Month

Top 10 most popular articles this month



Today's Picks



Looking for a Supplier?

Search by company or by product


Company Name:






Please note Lab Bulletin does not sell, supply any of the products featured on this website. If you have an enquiry, please use the contact form below the article or company profile and we will send your request to the supplier so that they can contact you directly.

Lab Bulletin is published by newleaf marketing communications ltd.


Media Partners


Exhibitions & Events