Monday, May 7, 2012

Natural Hormone Optimization Made Simple & Cheap: Avoid These 10 Anti-Androgens to Boost Testosterone & DHT

Image 1: I am not aware of the effect the process of making yourself up has on androgen levels, but the PCPs in many cosmetics could in fact lead to hormonal imbalances.
One of the things you hear and read increasingly often, when it comes to topics such as detoxification, the use of anti-inflammatory supplements or simply increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids to counter the "hazardous omega-6 overload in your diet", is the analogy of somebody banging his head against a wall asking for a helmet, instead of simply stopping this stupid practice. Likewise, it does not really make sense to invest $50 into an already more or less worthless natural testosterone booster, when, at the same time, you are eating or even supplementing one of the items on the following list of proven anti-androgens:
  • anti-androgenic drugs - cyproterone acetate, spirolonactone, flutamide, ketoconazole, finasteride & co.: It stands to reason that your doctor will have had good reason to prescribe you one or the other of the aforementioned drugs; and at least as far as the DHT blocker dustasteride is concerned, diligent SuppVersity students will be aware that it does not compromise testosterone-replacement-therapy induced changes in body composition. In this regard, it should however be mentioned that the pertinent study, I discussed on March 12, 2012 (cf. "Dustasteride Does Not Hamper Changes in Body Composition on Supraphysiological Doses of Testosterone") was not a training study and that, given DHT's hitherto not fully elucidated role in satellite cell recruitment and proliferation, it is well possible that we would have seen differences in weight training athletes.To use these drugs as a means to bolster up your testosterone levels is therefore not just risky and irresponsible, but plain out stupid.
  • ATD (1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione): Yes, surprisingly the potent anti-estrogen (aromatase inhibitor) and much-touted testosterone-booster ATD is a relatively potent anti-androgen. You can read all about ATD's anti-androgenic effects in an older blogpost here at the SuppVersity: "Anti-androgenic effect of ATD"
  • Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus): Also sold to help your testosterone levels along, yet even more to counter the scientifically hitherto non-established phenomenon of "progesterone gyno", Vitex is another relatively commonly used supplement of which a 2007 study by Nasri et al. shows that it will probably reduce, not increase your luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone levels in parts, but not exclusively via dopaminergic pathways (Nasri. 2007)
  • Green Tea (Camellia sinensis): As a diligent student of the SuppVersity you will already be aware of the differential effects of green tea and its catechins on serum testosterone levels; if you are interested, in the details you can read them up in "5 Cups of Green Tea Can Reduce Testosterone by Up to -20%"
  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): The phytoestrogens in licorice have been shown to reduce testosterone levels in women; glycyrrhizin and glycrrhetic acid exhibit anti-androgen effects in healthy (Armanini. 2003) and diabetic men (Fukui. 2003)  - there is yet also counter-evidence coming from Josephs et al., who were "unable to reproduce" previous results showing a licorice reduced reduction in the conversion of androstenedione to testosterone (Josephs. 2001), since the latter does yet reference a previous study by Armanini et al. the results of which the latter were able to repdroduce in 2003 (Armanini. 2003), it is save to assume that licorice does in fact reduce testosterone levels in diabetic and healthy men and women; and that despite the fact, that a more recent study shows that its corticosteroid (cortisol) modulating effects are probably of greater relevance than its impact on the androgens and other sex steroids (Sigurjonsdottir. 2006)
  • Red clover: Extracts from red clover exhibit potent binding affinity to the androgen and progesterone receptor and "theoretical estrogenic activity expressed as equivalent E2 concentration is in the same range as recommended for synthetic estrogen" (Beck. 2003)
  • Reishi (LinghZi): Red reishi is supposed to be the mushroom with the greatest anti-androgenic activity. A methanol extract from Ganoderma lucidum has been found to decrease testosterone-to-DHT conversion by up to 80% in a 2005 study by Fujita et al. (Fujita. 2005)
  • Spearmint (M. spicata): At least in women spearmint tea has been shown to increase estrogen and luteinizing hormone in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle (Aktodgan. 2007). In a 2004 study that was conducted on male rodents, on the other hand, the daily administration of peppermint tea (M. spicata) for a period of 30days lead to significant increases in luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormone and increases in serum testosterone, yet with the serious downside of "extensive degenerative changes in the germinal epithelium and spermatogenesis arrest compared with the findings in the testicular biopsies of the control group" (Aktogan. 2003)
  • Soy and soy phytoestrogens: It goes without saying that you won't take your girlfriends pill, right? So why do you even remotely consider eating soy, let alone supplementing soy phytoestrogens? "I've seen soy consumption cause impotency in numerous patients." - Dr. John Crisler (male hormone expert) on my facebook wall in response to Jefferson. 2012; avoid feeding soy to your male offspring at all costs (Sherill. 2010; Leraiki. 2011; Siepmann. 2011)
  • White Peony (Paeonia lactiflora): Also known as Chinese Peony, the ornamental plant has been shown to contain at least two compounds, 6'-O-galloylalbiflorin and pentagalloylglucos, which bind to the androgen receptor and thusly inhibit its activation by testosterone, DHT and weaker androgens (Washida. 2009).
  • Xenoestrogens & Co - BPA (Bisphenol A as in plastics), PCPs (as in cosmetics), etc.: Can inhibit testosterone production by reducing the conversion of cholesterol to androgens (Feng. 2012) and estrogen-like effects (Nakamura. 2010); similar effects have been reported for all sorts of so-called "xenoestrogens", these are synthetic compounds that act as (mostly weak) estrogens in the human body and can induce permanent damage to the endocrine system and resproductive system, specifically in young boys and adolescents. In grown up men and women they have been linked to the development of various forms of cancer (Donovan. 2007).
I know, "avoid this... avoid that..." does not sound half as sexy as "with just three caps of our product you can boost your testosterone levels by up to 123.741%!... but you know what? Other than those red gren, blue, yellow, red and white caps in their mostly black, as of late yet often white (probably to suggest "drug-like" effects) boxes, it's totally free and, more importantly, it works!