Showing posts from July, 2010

Want to Increase Your Testosterone? Better Have Your Right Answers

Although this is not a typical SuppVersity-study, it is yet related to both education and endocrinology: Flegr and Priplotova from the Charles University in Praha found that testosterone and cortisol levels in university students reflect actual rather than estimated number of wrong answers on written exam ( Flegr. 2010 ). The scientists measured testosterone and cortisol levels in response to a written exam in students of the undergraduate biology program of their university. The results were surprising: "The number of wrong answers was a better predictor of the hormonal changes (increase in successful, decrease in unsuccessful students) than the self-estimated number of wrong answers or a subjectively opinionated impression from the exam." ( Flegr. 2010 ) So, while high testosterone to cortisol ratios before the exams did correlate negatively with self-estimated number of wrong answers, the bodies of the subjects reacted to what I suspect was an increased feeling of distres

Body Fat Measurement by Hand to Hand Impedance Underestimates Fat Mass

I have been preaching that for years: "Do not trust in body fat monitors". Those things will give you one of their random numbers for a six-pack of beer. Now, a study by Esco (Esco. 2010) scientifically validated my scepticism (which in part is rooted in the knowledge I acquired in the course of my university studies in physics): [...] When compared with the DEXA [dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry], the mean values for BIA [Body Impedance analysis] were significantly lower for BF% (DEXA = 27.6 +/- 5.3%, BIA = 22.5 +/- 3.5%, p < 0.01) and higher for FFM (DEXA = 47.2 +/- 4.5 kg, BIA = 50.6 +/- 4.6 kg, p < 0.01). The results of this investigation indicate that hand-to-hand BIA significantly underestimates BF% and overestimated FFM in college-age female athletes when compared with the criterion DEXA. Practitioners should use caution when analyzing body composition with hand-held BIA in a population of athletic women. Although the scientists restrict their con

Exercise! Beneficial Effects of Resistance Training on Variables of General Health

A recent investigation by Croymans ( Croymans. 2010 ) confirms, what I keep preaching day by day. There is nothing like exercise when it comes to improving general health . In this study the effects of resistance training (RT) on 12 sedentary, overweight, young adult males (body mass index, BMI=32.2±3.1 kg/m2), randomized in a 3:1 fashion to a RT group (12 wks of training at 3/wk) or a control group (C, 12 wks of no training) was investigated. The positive results speak for themselves. Other than those who continued sitting on their asses, the members of the RT group experienced "a significant increase in lean body mass (LBM) (RT: 69.1±7.7 vs.71.7±8.5, C: 66.2±3.1 vs. 66.0±3.5 kg, p<0.03) and leg press 1-RM (RT: 298±32 vs. 365±32, C: 279±56 vs. 279±46 kg, p<0.03), chest press 1-RM (RT: 80±15 vs. 102±19, C: 77± 25 vs. 79±29 kg, p<0.01), and seated row 1-RM (RT: 88±13 vs. 106±12, C: 86±17 vs. 81±11 kg, p<0.03). There was a trend towards an improvement i

Exercising in Warm Environment is More Stressing As Measured by Cortisol And TNFα

As Hosick found ( Hosick, 2010 ) the exaggerated core temperature response to exercise in warm water environment triggers a significant increase in cortisol and TNFα , both parameters of increased metabolic stress in the 8 male subjects (men age 24y) who participated in "two 40 min trials of cycle ergometry at 65% of VO 2 peak immersed to chest level in cool (25 °C) and warm (38.5 °C) water". Cortisol & TNF-alpha values for subjects before and after 40min exercise immersed in cool or warm water ( Hosick, 2010 ) With a score of 16 (warm ) vs. 16 (cool) the rating of perceived exertion (Borg scale 6-20) was also significantly elevated and correlated with the heart rate (180BPM, warm vs. 144BPM, cool) of the subjects. The researchers conclude that: "[...] this finding is of importance to individuals, coaches, and fitness professionals attempting to understand ideal training load and design in warm or hot environments." ( Hosick, 2010 ) Just another

Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Low-Intensity Exercise

A novel study by Yakeu ( Yakeu. 2010 ) found beneficial effects of an 8 week low-intensity exercise program on 17 sedentary individuals walking 10,000 steps/day, three times/week: "Exercise was associated with upregulation of M2 markers, PGC-1 α and PGC-1 β , and with downregulation of M1 markers. Moreover, plasma levels of Th2 cytokines increased after exercise, while those of Th1 cytokines decreased. However, other PPARs (PPARα; PPARβ/δ) did not undergo marked exercise-induced activation or upregulation. Thus, participation in low-intensity exercise may prime monocytes for differentiation towards an M2 macrophage phenotype via PPARγ/PGC-1 α/β . [...] Given the similarities between these effects and pharmacologically-induced M2 polarisation, we propose that exercise-induced PPARγ/PGC-1 α/β -mediated M2 polarisation may constitute a novel anti-inflammatory benefit of low-intensity exercise ." ( Yakeu. 2010 ) It is reasonable to assume that those positive eff

D-Aspartic Acid-"Inventors" Say: It Is Safe For Long Term Use

Although this is no official statement of PharmaGuidia, the producers of DadaVit and the financiers of the study ( Topo. 2009 ) that started the craze about D-Aspartic Acid supplementation for LH and testosterone elevation, their answer to a private inquire from Chaos Theory , an active contributor to the highly recommended supplement discussions on the Mind And Muscle bulletin board , is certainly worth being (re-)quoted: You can use Dadavit for 90 or more days without problems. We have trials that show it. D-Aspartic Acid is sure [what the Italien correspondent meant was "safe"] also if you use 5.2 g everyday for a long time.   D-Aspartic Acid is an endogenous amino acid found in the nervous and endocrine system of various invertebrates and vertebrates. Lh and testosterone are significantly increased in 12 days,but if you use D-aspartic to improve spermatozoa you have to use it for 90 days . On a side note: Predator Nutrition is to my knowledge the first Europ

Want to Improve Strength and Power Performance? Beet-Root or Rather Betaine Is the Way to Go!

Molecular structure of betaine ( HMDB, v2.5 ) Two month ago, another out of a handful currently available studies on the positive effects of beet root juice on exercise performance was published ( Bailey. 2010 ). Most scientists hitherto speculated that its positive effect on exercise performance is solely/mostly related to he high amount of dietary nitrate. A recent study by Lee, ( Lee. 2010 ) found another plausible explanation for the ergogenic effects of beet root: Beet root is very high in betaine of which the researchers were able to show that following supplementation with 1.2g betaine twice a day ... "bench throw power (1779 90 and 1788 +/- 34 W, respectively) and isometric bench press force (2922 297 and 2503 +/- 28 N, respectively) were increased [and that] compared to pre-supplementation, vertical jump power and isometric squat force increased (p < 0.05)" These results confirm those of a number of previous studies ( Hoffmann. 2009 ; Armstrong, 2008

Sodium Bicarbonate: An Ergogenic Supplement From Your Cupboard

Fig. 1: Chemical structure of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) ( In a recent post I informed you about the cumulative effect of sodium bicarbonate + beta-alanine on exercise performance. While the latter is a very popular ergogenic aid and information on dosing schemes (ranging from 1.5-6g/day, mostly in divided doses of 800mg) is readily available, the former is much less known and most of you probably think of baking soda only in the contexts of cakes and other non-fitness foods. That is why I take Tanners comment as an invitation to post some additional information on "baking soda", sodium bicarbonate or NaHCO3 on exercise performance. The study ( Craig. 2010 ) cited in Beta-Alanine: Positive Effects on Exercise Performance Augmented by Sodium Bicarbonate , on Friday, is only the latest of a long list of studies investigating the effect this alkalizing compound on endurance and peak performance. One of the first studies was the one by Jones (

Further Evidence: High Intensity Exercise Elevates Plasma Testosterone and Growth Hormone

A recent study by Shark, ( Shark. 2010 ) found that a 30 minute (or time to exhaustion) submaximal 55' climbing route significantly increased plasma testosterone (T) and growth hormone (GH) in ten male rock climbers at the age of 21-30 years: T concentrations significantly (p < 0.05) increased from Pre (6.04±0.31 ng/mL) to IP (7.39 ± 0.40 ng/mL), and returned to baseline at P15 [=15 minutes post exercise] (6.23 ± 0.33 ng/mL). Cortisol levels did not significantly change during the protocol. GH significantly (p < 0.01) increased from Pre (0.63 ± 0.17 ng/mL) to IP (19.89 ± 4.53 ng/mL) , and remained elevated at P15 (15.03 ± 3.89 ng/mL) . In short: If you want to achieve an optimal anabolic endocrine response to exercise, keep the exercise duration short and the intensity high .

16 Weeks Vitamin D @ 2.000 IU per Day Effective Against Artherial Stiffness, But Without Effect on Body Composition

Although news on possible benefits from Vitamin D supplementation crowd in on a daily basis, trials, not done with post-menopausal women, are still scarce. It is therefore worth a SuppVersity post that Dong, et. al. will publish a paper ( Dong. 2010 ) on in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism , which investigates the effects of 16 week supplementation of 2.000 IU Vitamin D3 on 25-hydroxyvitaminD[25(OH)D] status, adiposity and arterial Stiffness in 49 Black Youths. Fig. 1: Vitamin D supplementation @2.000 IU raised 25(OH)D levels significantly more than supplementation @ the RDA, i.e. 400IU ( Dong. 2010 . Fig.1) While supplementation did raise 25(OH)D levels by 183% (vs. 87% raise in the group that was given 400IU VitD3/day) and had beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk measured by "carotid-femoral PWV, the 'gold standard' measurement of arterial stiffness in the central vasculature (e.g. aorta)", significant improvemen

Getting Old? Try Some HMB Against Loss of Lean Body Mass

While the effectiveness of the leucine metabolite b-hydroxy-b-methylbutyrate (HMB) in athletes is debatable, its usefulness in geriatric scenarios becomes more and more obvious. On July, 2 2010, Kim ( Kim. 2010 ) presented the results of a study investigating the effect of HMB (0.46 g/kg/d, similar to 6 g/d in humans) to old rats for 16 wks prior to being sacrificed. The beneficial effects on the retention of lean body mass speak for themselves: "The LBM decline from 60 to 102 wks was only observed in the Non-HMB group (p<0.05). There was a main group x time effect (p<0.01) in the lean/total body mass (LBM/TBM) ratio, indicating an improved ratio only in the HMB group between 86 and 102 wks (+35%). A group x time effect in fat mass (FM, g) revealed a significant loss in FM (-55%) only in the HMB group between 86 and 102 wks (p<0.01)." ( Kim. 2010 ) The reason why I mention these results on a blog directed mainly to athletes and younger people is that

American Ginseng: Mediocre Effects on Markers of Oxidative Stress After Downhill Run

In the West ginseng is by now almost more popular than in China, where it has been part of the traditional medicine for hundreds of years. In a recent study Hsu investigated the effect of 4 weeks American ginseng supplementation on oxidative stress following acute downhill running ( Hsu. Ginseng. 2010 ). The results are far from earth-shattering and might save you a few bucks you might have (mis-)invested in American ginseng, otherwise: No group differences were observed in plasma TNF-a, IL-1b, and IL-10 . However, 4-wk AG supplementation resulted in a significant increase in plasma IL-4. Furthermore, serum lipid peroxidative biomarker, 8-iso-PGF2a concentration of the AG group was significantly lower than that of the PL group at immediately, and 1, 2, and 72 hr after exercise. AG group showed a less muscle soreness than that of PL group at 72 hr after exercise. Eventually, these figures are pretty meaningless. While they might indicate that ginseng had an effect, we are way to

Caffeine Activates Mainly AMPK-alpha1

The ergogenic effects of caffeine (structure, see image on the right; HMDB v2.5 ) have in parts been established to be AMPK-dependent. AMPK protects cell from ATP, i.e. energy deffiency, and its activation by caffeine has been shown to improve time to exhaustion as well as overall performance. Hypothalamic AMPK also plays a critical role in hormonal and nutrient-derived anorexigenic and orexigenic signals and in energy balance ( Minokoshi. 2004 ). A recent study by Egawa, ( Egawa. 2010 ) did now reveal that caffeine, at least at lower doses, is a relative specific activator the alpha1 variant of AMPK: "Incubation of isolated epitrochlearis muscle with 1 mM [and injection of 5mg/kg) of caffeine for 15 min increased AMPKα1 activity, but not AMPKα2 activity; concentrations of ATP, PCr and glycogen were not affected." ( Egawa. 2010 ) Higher doses of 3 mM of caffeine did however activate AMPKα2 and reduced PCr and glycogen concentrations. Although caffeine is certain

The OxyElite-"Scandal"? USP Labs Responds

USP Labs refutes the rumors of Oxy Elite Pro being spiked After yesterday scare about USP Labs' newest fat burner Oxy Elite Pro being "contaminated" with alpha-methyl-synephrine, USP Labs has posted counter-evidence (thanks to Alex from the PN-Pinwall for letting me know) in form of a lab reported from 07/23/2010. According to the new data the sample that's been tested contained no methyl-synephrine at all. This, however, neither tells us whether the original lab report (cf. yesterday's news ) was real or just a mischievous attack on the companies good name ;o) As far as the "underdosed" herbs are concerned the USP Labs official puts forward exactly the same arguments, I've used in yesterday's blog , i.e. 'weight of extract is not supposed to be weight of active ingredient'. So, what? In spite of the counterstatement, USP Labs' credibility suffered and their competitors who keep tricking consumers into buying useless "

GlycoCarn Alone Beats the TOP PreWorkout-Matrices by Lengths

Primordial Perfomance , among others, has been selling GlycoCarn (R), i.e. Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine, for some time now. Recently, Bloomer ( Bloomer, 2010 ) published a study on the effects of 1 6 grams of maltodextrin (Placebo) or 16 grams of maltodextrin + 4.5 grams of GlycoCarn ® (GPLC) , as well as three different commercially available pre-workout formulas (supplement 1 = Gaspari Nutrition SuperPump 250 , 2 = BSN NO XPLODE , 3 = MuscleTech NanoVapor ) on exercise performance and related blood parameters. The results (cf. table, below) are impressive, except from the bench press performance, where Gaspari Nutrition's SuperPump 250 won the race, nothing beat the 4.5g of GlycoCarn: Exercise performance data of 19 resistance trained men receiving placebo or supplement in a cross-over design. (best values marked by author, Bloomer. 2010 . Table 3) Although the scientists did not provide us with the names of the respective products (supplements 1-3), it was

Vitamin D Deficiency in Athletes: Stress Fractures & Cancer

A very recent investigation by Naama ( Naama. 2010 ) found that, even in the sun-blessed middle east, there exists a high prevalence of vitamin D defeciency in athletes and dancers. Out of the 98 athletes and dancers (age 14.7±3.0 yrs, range 10-30 yrs, 53% males) who participated in the study, 73% of participants were vitamin D insufficient, and 25% were vitamin D deficient (insufficiency was defined as a serum 25(OH)D level below 30 ng/mL and deficiency below 20 ng/ml). This leaves a very small margin of 2% with sufficient 25(OH)D levels. Although the scientists did not evaluate the individual dietary habits of the participants, the observed correlation of low ferritin (iron storage) levels with vitamin D status suggests a major dietary influence on 25(OH)D levels. This is in accordance with Naama's observation that there was no difference between athletes competing indoors and athletes who exercise outdoors. This strongly suggest that even with adequate sun exposur

Beta-Alanine vs. L-Taurine: Study Establishes Inverse Relationship

Image 1: Beta alanine It is not new that there exists an antagonistic relationship between muscle carnosine (M-Carn, which is increased via beta-alanine supplementation), on the one hand, and muscle taurine (M-Tau) levels on the other.  The study by Harris, (Harris. 2010) is however the first to report on the immediate effect of supplementing with 2x800mg of a time-released beta-alanine (structure, cf. image 1 on the right. HMDB v2.5 ) formula on muscle taurine content in seven male subjects after four weeks of daily supplementation. A realistic scenario as these dosages can be found both in stand-alone, as well as an kitchen-sink approach supplements such as NO-Xplode & Co : Pre and post supplementation M-Carn was 25.9 ± 4.3 and 41.3 ± 5.5 -1 dry muscle and M-Tau 28.1 ± 7.1 and 22.6 ± 7.0 -1 dry muscle . Despite the 20% fall in M-Tau , values of M-Tau remained within the normal physiological range . Before supplementation M-Tau was negatively c

OxyElite Pro: Anonymous User Posts Lab Report at BB.COM

Normally this would not be a topic for SuppVersity, but with my personal OxyElite Pro -experience being surprisingly productive (i.e. far more than one would expect from a combination of the ingredients on the label), I considered this LabReport worth posting: If you compare the lab-analysis with the ingredient list on the label of OxyElite Pro there is one compound which should not be in there, which is alpha-methylsynephrine; I will comment on the low does of Cirsium, Bacosides & Bauhinia in the body of this blogpost Originally, it appeared on the BB.COM forum where both poster, as well as image have been removed within hours. With about 17,000 visitors and more than 600 contributions the thread literally exploded within the first 24h. In spite of that, I could not find any of the otherwise (over-)active USP-Labs-Reps comment or at least refute the results of this lab analysis. If you have a closer look at the label of OxyElite Pro and compare what you read to the lab

Beta-Alanine: Positive Effects on Exercise Performance Augmented by Sodium Bicarbonate

Every fitness enthusiasts knows that beta-alanine via an increase of muscle carnosine, a major H+ buffer, increases time to exhaustion and other parameters of exercise performance. A study by Craig ( Craig. 2010 ) recently found that concomitant supplementation of sodium bicarbonate augmented the positive effect of beta-alanine on four bouts of high intensity cycling performance in twelve males (age 25±3 yrs; height 1.79±0.05 m; body mass 81.2±9.8 kg): "[Total work done] TWD during the [capacity test at 110% maximum power] CCT 110% was increased in all conditions post-supplementation, with the largest increases being shown with b-alanine (+7.9% PP, +4.1% PSB, +11.1% BAP and +17.6% BASB). Supplementation with [beta-alanine + sodium bicarbonate] BASB resulted in significantly greater TWD during the CCT 110% than during the other conditions (P < 0.05)." ( Craig. 2010 ) Obviously two H+ buffers are better than one. The further increase in exercise performance

Positive Effect of L-Glutamine on Insulin Sensitivity

A recent review on the effects of glutamine in obese and diabetic subjects Molfino ( Molfino. 2010 ) cite (among others) the results of a study, in the course of which "type 2 diabetes patients, obese individuals, and obese nondiabetic control subjects were given oral Gln supplementation. Gln increasedcirculating glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1),  glucosedependent insulinotropic polypeptide, and insulin concentration (43). Interestingly, the GLP-1 response to Gln was not different in the diabetic group compared with the obese and the lean control subjects, suggesting that it might be possible to circumvent the diabetes-associated GLP-1 secretory defect with agents that target alternative pathwaysin the L-cells releasing GLP-1 (43). " ( Molfino. 2010 ) Based on this interesting, yet hitherto mostly ignored influence of L-glutamine supplementation on insulin sensitivity and other recent findings, the researchers conclude: "Considering the results of these exper

Cirsimarin: An Almost Completely Overlooked Lipolytic Agent

It is interesting that, with the exception of USP Labs , who happen to have a talent to find "unorthodox" ingredients for their products, no supplement company has yet sourced an extract from Microtea debilis . After all, a similar extract ("similar" to the one used in USP Lab's Recreate ) was found to exert strong lipolytic properties being 20 times more potent than caffeine in a 2005 study by Girotti (cf. Girotti, 2005 Fig.1, below) Although the mechanism of action has not yet been fully investigated, a previous study by Hasrat found an antagonistic interaction with adenosine receptors similar to that of caffeine ( Hasrat. 1997 ). The exact effect of Cirsimarin differs however from that of caffeine and the less pronounced effects Gingko biloba, so that the researchers conclude: "This suggests that [...] the lipolytic activity of cirsimarin is related to another mechanism. [...] Studies to identify the precise mechanism of action of cir

Glutamine: Alanyl-Glutamine or L-Alanine + L-Glutamine - Is There a Difference?

Some athletes, mostly bodybuilders, swear by it, yet the results of studies on the ergogenic effect of l-glutamine supplementation are quite unequivocal. A recent study ( Petry. 2010 ) investigated the effect of alanyl-glutamine (DIP, at 1.5 g/kg, n=8) , L-glutamine + L-alanine (GLN+ALA, at 1 and 0.61 g/kg, respectively; n=8 ) or water (CONTR, n=8 ) supplementation on various exercise-related parameters in rats after 21 days of training. The results are promising, yet far from earth-shattering: "Supplementation with DIP or GLN+ALA increased plasma glutamine concentration by 23% and 21% respectively , as compared to CONTR group (p<0.0001). Plasma ammonia concentration was lower in both supplemented groups (DIP, 3.8 ± 0.1 μM and GLN+ALA, 4.1 ± 0.2 μM), compared with CONTR group (5.3 ± 0.2 μM) (p<0.0001). DIP and GLN+ALA groups exhibited in the soleus muscle high glutamine (33.4% and 28%), glutamate (21.7% and 10.8%) and glutathione (GSH, 52.2% and 48.4%), compar

DHEA: Overlooked or Overrated?

With DHEA (structure of DHEA-S, see image on the right; HMDB. V2.5 ) having been mentioned in a few of the last posts as a precursor to other androgens, I thought it might be interesting to have a brief look at the effect of DHEA supplementation on mood, body composition, sex life and human endocrine balance. Lately, a 1988 study by Nestler ( Nestler. 1988 ) has caught my attention. The researchers investigated the effect of 28 days of 1600mg/day (no, this is no typo) orally supplemented DHEA in 5 normal men (+5 men on placebo). The results were simply amazing. Apart from a 2.5x-3.5x increase in DHEA-levels, the researchers found: "In the DHEA group the mean percent body fat decreased by 31% , with no change in weight. This suggests that the reduction in fat mass was coupled with an increase in muscle mass ." ( Nestler. 1988 ) In addition mean serum low density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased by 7.5% (3.21 +/- 0.11 vs. 2.97 +/- 0.14 nmol/L; P less than 0.01

USP Labs "Pink Magic": Ingredient Write-Up

Although USP Labs has a long history of using strange or at least unorthodox herbals in their products. Their recently released testosterone booster "Pink Magic" surpasses everything. The following write-up is a revamped version of the one I posted at the Mind & Muscle Forum a few days ago. I will give scientific references for all the ingredients and comment on their use in a product designed to "naturally" boost testosterone levels and muscle growth. Ingredient 1: Massularia acuminata has androgenic potential - ok, this is probably the reason to include this stuff in the pinkies J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Aug 13;118(3):508-13. Epub 2008 May 28. Androgenic potentials of aqueous extract of Massularia acuminata (G. Don) Bullock ex Hoyl. stem in male Wistar rats. Yakubu MT, Akanji MA, Oladiji AT, Adesokan AA. Medicinal Plants Research Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria. Abstract The

Vitamin D Defiency Linked to Allergies

There is hardly any "nutrient" (actually, vitamin D is rather a hormone, cf. Normann. 2008 ) that is so frequently investigated in contemporary nutrition and medical science as vitamin D. No wonder that almost every day studies suggest new beneficial effects of vitamin D on whatever medical condition you might imagine. The hypothesis of Vassallo and Carmargo, which is available online since 10 July 2010, is yet particularly interesting ( Vasallo & Carmargo. 2010 ). The scientists propose a “multiple-hit” model in which VDD [vitamin D deficiency] in a developmentally critical period increases susceptibility to colonization with abnormal intestinal microbial flora and gastrointestinal infections, contributing to abnormal intestinal barrier permeability and excess and inappropriate exposure of the immune system to dietary allergens . A compounding effect (and additional “hit”) of VDD is the promotion of a pro-sensitization immune imbalance that might compromise im

Pre- & Post Workout Leucine Supplementation Worthless?

Last Wednesday Stocks ( Stocks. 14 Jul 2010 ) published a study on "The Effects of Adding Leucine to Pre and Postexercise Carbohydrate Beverages on Acute Muscle Recovery From Resistance Training" . For many of my readers it may come as a surprise that they did not find any improvement in " acute muscle recovery and squat performance during both initial testing and during a subsequent exercise bout 72 hours". This is contrary to all advertised effects of leucine-supplementation , with leucine (structure see image at the right; source: HMDB ) being praised as the no.1 among the ergogenic branched chain amino acid (BCAAs). Although the dose (22.5mg/kg body weight > ~ 1.7g for a 150 pound athlete) used in this study was relatively low, it is yet remarkable that there was no observable effect on performance or recovery. Past studies mostly done with BCAA formulations (leucine, isoleucine, valin) provided more encouraging results. Thus, the question

LG Natadrol: A Short Write-Up

A few weeks ago, LG released Natadrol , a product containing a new, self-proclaimed  "potent muscle-building androgen found naturally occurring in our environment". Sounds like an invitation for a "SuppVerSive" investigation into its somewhat exotic ingredients .* So lets see what we have here * Tinospora Cordifolia (TC) has androgenic activity, established exclusively in the prostate ( Kapur. 2009 );  lowers blood sugar ( various studies );  good for immune system ( various studies );  potent antioxidant ( Singh. 2006 );  good for the heart ( Rao. 2005 );  hypolipidemic, i.e. it lowers blood fats ( various studies ) Overall: If TC is androgenic in the prostate it might as well work as an androgen elsewhere, other than that there is no evidence that apart from being "healthy" (outside the prostate) it might in itself be anabolic . Note: LG is honest and lists it under "androgenic factor" < so their claim holds true, yet it has

Taurine Another Overlooked Fat Loss Supplement?

The osmoregulative effect of taurine has been long established and is also well-known in the community of fitness-enthusiasts and bodybuilders who consume taurine mostly for its "cell-volumizing" effect on skeletal muscle. "Juicers", i.e. (pro-)hormone consumers, also appreciate its ability to reduce the painful back- and chin-pumps associated with some of the so-called "dry", i.e. non-aromatizing, steroids. As in the case of arginine (cf. Arginine as a Fatburner ) taurine does yet appear to have beneficial effects on weight loss and body fat reduction, as well. Apart from positive effects on the lipid profile of the participants, a study ( Zhang. 15 Dec 2003 ) published in Amino Acids , found what they call a "significant" weight-loss effect (-2% body weight, without other dietary interventions or exercise programs) of 7 weeks of taurine supplementation at 3g/day in 15 obese, but otherwise healthy Japanese college students - cf. Table 2

Afraid of Prostate Cancer? Eat Your Broccoli!

Fitness enthusiasts know: Broccoli is among the no.1 foods for health conscious dieters. It is low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals and it is said to exhibit anti-estrogenic and (probably related) anti-cancerous effects. A few days ago, Trakka published a study ( Trakka. 13 Jul 2010 ) which found a possible explanation of the beneficial effect of broccoli consumption on cancerous growth of the prostate (and hypothetically other organs as well). The scientist demonstrated, that sulforaphane , a dietary isothiocyanate derived from broccoli, keeps phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), a tumor-suppressor gen , intact. With PTEN being responsible for programmed cell-death, its conservation by broccoli isothiocyanate prevents cells from growing and dividing too rapidly and may thus be a corner-stone in cancer prevention.

Androsterone a Major Factor in Sexual Desire

A 2006 study ( Bloch. 2006 ) (re-)published in Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006;63:450-456 had a closer look on the effect of neurosteroids on sexual function in men. The results clearly indicate that androsterone (ADT, chemical structure on the left; source: HMDB: Androsterone ), a potent neurosteroid,  some "bros" mis understand as a precursor or pro-hormone to testosterone and estrogen (actually it is a testosterone metabolite), has a regulative effect on sexual function in men. The scientists measured cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of several steroids and monoamine metabolites and found low androsterone levels to be the major correlate of decreased sexual desire : "...the change in CSF androsterone levels was correlated with the change in the severity of decreased sexual interest between testosterone-replaced and hypogonadal conditions (r=−0.68; P<.05)." In this context the following table, summarizing the correlation of ADT, DHT and T and selected sympt

Greater Dietary Fat Oxidation in Obese Men: Finally an Advantage of Being Fat

Some good news for all fat, yet healthy students of the SuppVersity. Scientists at the University of Oxford cooperated with some colleagues from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute ( Hodson. 12 July 2010 ) and found that The contribution of fatty acids from splanchnic sources was higher (P<0.05) in the abdominally-obese group. Ketogenesis occurred to a significantly greater extent in abdominally-obese compared to lean males largely due to lessened down-regulation of postprandial ketogenesis (P<0.001). Not only does this tell us, that our bodies try to protect themselves from fat-deposition in the liver and other organs. It might also shed additional light onto the effectiveness of low-carb diets in obese individuals.

Is DHT Really the 'Bad and the Ugly'?

Fellow men, common (bro-)science tells us that dihydrotestosterone (DHT, molecular structure see image on the right. HMDB ) will make your hair fall out and trigger cancerous growth of your prostate. Current research, however, suggests that Estrogen might just as well be the real culprit when it comes to unwanted growth a few inches above your testes. This is, as Williams (2010) phrases it, part of a "controversial break-through" achieved by scientists in the course of the last months and the results of which he sums up as follows: "The synergistic action of unopposed oestrogen and leptin , compounded by increasing insulin, cortisol and xeno-oestrogen exposure directly initiate , promote and exacerbate obesity, type 2 diabetes, uterine overgrowth, prostatic enlargement, prostate cancer and breast cancer ." It was thus certainly no bodily injury caused by negligence, when Konnelius 2002 administered 125-250mg transdermal DHT to 60 subjects (age range, 50

Resveratrol Increases Metabolic Rate in Monkeys

It has become relatively silent around resveratrol in the past months. Many of its purported health benefits turned out to be less pronounced than early studies suggested and the availability of cheap high-quality supplements is still low. A new study published in BMC Physiology 2010, 10:11 ( Dal-Pan. 09 July 2010 ) did however find a significant effect of resveratrol supplementation at 200 mg/kg/day on the body weight gain of grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) during the winter month. The researchers found "a decreasing energy intake by 13% and increasing resting metabolic rate by 29% ". The reduced weight gain may thus in parts be ascribed to the anorexic effect of resveratrol supplementation. Of greater importance is yet the finding that ... "resveratrol activates energy expenditure by inducing an increase in resting metabolic rate and a decrease in torpor patterns that play key roles in energy saving in this primate." So before you "fatten up" in

Arginine as a Fatburner: Recent Evidence

Last week Tan, et al. ( Tan. 8 July 2010 ) published the results of a study on the effect of arginine supplementation on porcine adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. The results shed some light on the purported fatloss effects of an amino acid many of you may know exclusively as a nitric oxide (NO) precursor in various preworkout products. The scientists found that ... "Arg supplementation up-regulates expression of lipogenic genes in skeletal muscle . In contrast, the Arg treatment down-regulates expression of lipogenic genes and increases expression of lipolytic genes in white adipose tissue . Such changes in expression of lipid-metabolic genes favor the storage of lipids in skeletalmuscle but the loss of fat from subcutaneous adipose tissue in growing-finishing pigs." Also of interest is the marked increase in oleic acid concentration in skeletal muscle : "Such a physiological effect of Arg is beneficial for humans, because oleic acid stimulates glucose uptake by sk

Vitamin D - Moderate Sun Exposure is not Enough

A recently published study ( Diffey, 13 Jul 2010 ) revealed that "[...] current advice about modest sun exposure during the summer months does little in the way of boosting overall 25(OH)D levels , while sufficient sun exposure that could achieve a worthwhile benefit would compromise skin health." Without directly suggesting dietary supplementation, Diffey concludes: " Failure to understand the nature of human exposure to sunlight has led to misguided advice concerning the sun exposure necessary for an adequate vitamin D status." There is so much going on along the lines of Vitamin D research that it will be hard for me to keep you up-to-date. Nevertheless, I'll do my very best. So stay tuned!

Are Micronized DHEA and Similar "More Bioavailable" Preparations Worth It?

The scientifically mostly unbacked attention the micronized preparations of DHEA and Pregnenole receive all over the web raised my interest in whether the claims of higher bioavailability are warrantable. It turned out to be difficult to find conclusive answers (apart from the webpages of the producers and retailers, of course ;-), but I came up with the results of a 1996 study on the delivery of micronized preparations of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) to premenopausal women [ Casson. 1996 ]. The researchers conclude: Micronization increased the area-under-the-curve ratios for dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate/dehydroepiandrosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate/testosterone. Or in other words: A significantly lower amount of DHEA is converted to androgens , upon administration as a micronized preparation (cf. Fig.3 from Casson. 1996 , to the left) . The inclusion of a lipid matrix, like some companies have it, may further potentate this effect. However, scientifical validation

Chelated Copper: A Forgotten Lutenizing Hormone (LH) Booster

The release of a new PCT-supplement by Fusion Supplement ingeniously called " Post Cycle Matrix " triggered my interest in the biological functions of L-histadine. According to the producer L-histadine will "compliment the increase of LH production from the Cordyceps, this compound acts to increase the responsiveness of the Leydig cells which use the LH to produce testosterone. These two components work together to jumpstart the Testosterone Feedback Loop back into production and finding your body's delicate balance. L-Histadine is a direct precursor to histamine which is an important component in the production of the testosterone activators and has been shown to increase the responsiveness of Leydig cells." Although there is no scientific evidence that oral L-histadine (according to my research this is identical to l-histidine, cf. ) supplementation will increase LH and thus the release of androgens, there is scientific evidence for reduc

VPX Clenbutrx Hardcore - Brief Overview

Being asked by a member of a Facebook page I visit regularly (hi Paul!) I thought I could publicly go into some detail on this purported " hardcore fat destroying formula ". So what do we have? Obviously, a proprietary blend , i.e. except from the person who mixes the product, nobody knows the exact dosage of the ingredients. The only thing they tell you is that the whole blend weighs 449mg and of these 165mg are caffeine (that stuff that has its name from coffee, you know!?). This is about the amount some of the milder pre-workouts carry as well and equals 2 smaller cups of coffee. The standard for thermogenics is about 200mg caffeine per serving and the fact that VPX cuts back on that is promising, because they must be convinced people will see results even without high amounts of caffeine (a very cheap ingredient) that might give some people the shivers. Overall, the formula is very similar to other VPX products. As far as scientifically proven thermogenic or adipolytic
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