Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New "Gold Standard" For "Natural" Testosterone Boosting: 10x Increase in Plasma Testosterone After Subcutaneous Gold Chloride Injections in 2004 Rodent Study

Image 1: The world's first "all natural" test booster that is worth every penny... even if, just like the competition, it does not turn your muscles into granite hard stone ;-)
I guess, by now, it is an "open secret" that I am no particular fan of "natural test boosters", simply because the effect of these products on the revenue of their producers is usually several orders of magnitudes larger than their effect on the testosterone levels of their credulous customers. And while even the "product" today's blogpost is about has nothing but a single rodent study to back its efficacy, it certainly would be a valuable investment in these days of permanent financial crisis: gold! I honestly don't remember exactly how I happened onto this study, but the results are so extraordinary, that I thought it was worth a post despite the fact that it was originally published in 2004 and thusly does not qualify as part of "latest research" - after all, this would be the first test booster that would be worth its money, even if it did not work!

Gold chloride: The new gold-standard in natural testosterone boosting?

Over the course of a 26-day study period, N.M. Biswas and his colleagues from the Department of Physiology at the University College of Science and Technology in Calcutta India, injected a group of immature Wistar rats with 0.3 mg or 0.5 mg of gold chloride (46.7% pure gold!) per 1 ml sterile distilled water/kg body weight per day. The injections were subcutaneous, which - given the profound effects the procedure (cf. figure 1) - obviously did not hinder the gold choloride molecules from getting down to the testes (or working systemically from the brain?):
Figure 1: Body weight, testes weight, weight of seminal vesicle and prostate (left) and plasma testosterone levels after 26-days of subcutaneous injection with 0.3 and 0.5mg per 1 ml sterile distilled water/kg body weight per day of gold chloride per day (data adapted from Biswas. 2004)
As you can see in figure 1 (right) the increase in testosterone was literally "earth-shattering" - and in this case, this is still an understatement, I guess. If we assume that the corresponding +20% increase in Δ5-3β-HSD and 17β-HSD the scientists measured in the testes of the animals in the 0.5mg AuCl group, and considering the fact that both enzymes are regulated "centrally" via the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland, it appears reasonable to assume that the subcutaneous gold chloride injections exhibited central effects on the amplitude or pulsatile frequency of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone production in the hypothalamus, which would be in agreement with the morphological changes of the testes, about which the researchers write:
The weight of the testes and accessory sex organs are the other indicators of a possible alteration in androgen status. An increase in testicular weight in gold treated rats is possibly due to increased level of circulating testosterone, as androgen exerts its major role in sex organs. Testicular size and weight are normally regulated by fluid secretion from Sertoli cells and the production of sperm in the seminiferous tubules. The higher testicular weight in gold treated rats than the controls suggests less degeneration of germ and Sertoli cells that normally occur in immature rats.
This hypothesis in turn corresponds to the -41% reduction in degenerated step 7 spermatids (immature sperm that did not make it to the elongated, let alone the mature state) and the overall profoundly stimulated spermatogenesis in the immature rodents of the high dose gold chloride group.

Impressive results with a couple of non-negligible caveats

Yet, even if we disregard any potential risks, acknowledge the scientists' conclusion that "the beneficial effect of gold may play a significant role in the prevention of infertility" and interpreted the +18% increase in body weight in the high dose gold chloride group as experimental evidence that - contrary to your usual herbal testbooster - the profound effects of the subcutaneously injected gold chloride solution would actually produce visible increases in lean mass, I strongly advice against experimenting with this "ayurvedic panacea"! And that despite the fact that similar solutions are already used clinically as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and regardless of the results of a 2001 study by Sharma et al., which showed that subjects who ingested 2x100mg gold per day (orally) for 40 days did not show any symptoms of toxicity (Sharma. 2001).
Did you know that some of the ingredients of commercially available test boosters and other OTC supps, like piper longum, tinospora cardifolia, garcinia cambogia (HCA) or bulbine natalensis can induce testicular damage at high doses? If not, I suggest you go back to a SuppVersity post from 2010 and read up all the details on the results of a study by D'Cruz et al.: "Protect Your Testes! Beware of These Plants and Plant Products".
Aside from the health issues, the oral supplement regimen (at 200mg/day) would be pretty costly. At the current price of gold ~5$ per day... but hey, if you think about it, that money would probably still better spent than for a 30 months supply of any of the useless and partially likewise not very healthy (cf. red box above) herbal test booster. After all, you can just put the powder back into the box or wherever you store it and wait for the next stock market crash, the occurrence of which is - all pun intended - as safe as the Bank of England ;-)