Hordenine health benefit
November 23 2015 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Hordenine is an ingredient of some plants used as feed for animals, such as sprouted barley and certain grasses. Hordenine is an indirectly acting adrenergic substance available without a prescription. Hordenine is known as N,N-dimethyltyramine.

Hordenine supplement use
As a supplement, it has been promoted as a weight loss agent with the claim that it stimulates the central nervous system.

Q. Why is hordenine HC more expensive than hordenine? What is the difference between hordenine and gordenine HCL?
   A. There is little difference in application and stability between these two products. The HCL form is more water soluble and more easily absorbed by the body due to its acidic character; thus making it more expensive. However, some people may not tolerate the HCL form and hordenine is their best choice.

Hordenine Research
Food Chem. 2013. Hordenine, a single compound produced during barley germination, inhibits melanogenesis in human melanocytes. Melanin plays an important role protecting skin against ultraviolet light injury. However, increased production and accumulation of melanin results in a large number of skin disorders. Here, we identified hordenine as an active compound from germinated barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and investigated the effects of hordenine on melanogenesis and its mechanisms of action in human epidermal melanocytes. We measured melanin content, tyrosinase activity, expression of melanogenesis-related proteins, and cAMP production. Melanin content was significantly inhibited by hordenine. The intracellular cAMP level was also reduced by hordenine. In addition, expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), an upstream transcription factor of tyrosinase as well as tyrosinase, tyrosinase related protein (TRP)-1, and TRP-2, was inhibited by hordenine. Taken together, these results show that hordenine inhibited melanogenesis by suppressing cAMP production, which is involved in the expression of melanogenesis-related proteins and suggest that hordenine may be an effective inhibitor of hyperpigmentation.

Phenylalkylamine alkaloids from Stapelia hirsuta.
Nat Prod Res. 2006. Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
Four alkaloids of the phenethylamine derivatives have been isolated from the n-butanol fraction of the aerial parts of Stapelia hirsuta L. The structures of the isolated alkaloids were determined as N-acetyl hordenine (a new natural compound), hordenine, candicine and hordenine -1-O-beta-D-glucoside, in addition to luteolin-7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside.

Galanthindole: a new indole alkaloid from Galanthus plicatus ssp. byzantinus.
Planta Med. 2003. Faculty of Pharmacy, Ege University, Bornova, Izmir, Turkey.
A new indole alkaloid, galanthindole, was isolated from Galanthus plicatus ssp. byzantinus (Amaryllidaceae), a plant native to northwestern Turkey. Incorporating a non-fused indole ring, galanthindole may represent the prototype of a new subgroup of the Amaryllidaceae alkaloids. Two other bases, 11-hydroxyvittatine and hordenine, are also reported from the same plant.

Pharmacological effects of hordenine
Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 1995. Institut fur Pharmakologie, Toxikologie und Pharmazie, Tierarztlichen Hochschule Hannover.
After ingestion of plants with hordenine may be detected in blood or urine of horses. Hordenine liberates norepinephrine from stores. In isolated organs and those structures with reduced epinephrine contents the hordenine effect is only very poor. Experiments in intact animals (rats, dogs) show that hordenine has a positive inotropic effect upon the heart, increases systolic and diastolic blood pressure, peripheral blood flow volume, inhibits gut movements but has no effect upon the psychomotorical behaviour of mice. All effects are short and only possible after high doses which are not to be expected after ingestion of hordenine containing feed for horses. A measurable increase of the performance of racing horses is quite improbable.

Hordenine: pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and behavioural effects in the horse.
Equine Vet J. 1990. Kentucky Equine Drug Research Program, Graduate Center in Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington
We investigated the pharmacological actions of hordenine in the horse. Hordenine (2.0 mg/kg bodyweight [bwt]) was administered by rapid intravenous (iv) injection to 10 horses. Typically, dosed horses showed a flehmen response and defecated within 60 seconds. All horses showed substantial respiratory distress. Respiratory rates increased about 250 per cent and heart rates were approximately double that of resting values. All animals broke out in a sweat shortly after iv injection, but basal body temperature was not affected. These effects were transient, and the animals appeared normal within 30 minuntes of dosing. Treated horses were tested in a variable interval responding apparatus 30 mins after dosing and no residual stimulation or depressant effects of hordenine were apparent. Animals dosed orally with 2.0 mg/kg bwt of hordenine showed no changes in heart rate, respiratory rate, basal body temperature or behaviour. After iv injection of hordenine, (2.0 mg/kg bwt) plasma reached a maximum value of about 1.0 micrograms/ml, and declined thereafter in a biexponential fashion.