The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Brief Talk on Pro hormones

There is a part of the fitness industry that is a bit dark and scary. When people want something bad enough they are willing to experiment with all options available. I completely understand the curiosity and the drive to get to the next level and when someone presents to you a bag of promises, it's hard not to wonder if it could at all be true.
Performing Enhancing Drugs (P.E.D's) are illegal in the United States. Things like testosterone are illegal to sell to the general public and you need a prescription from your doctor in order to get Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
However, that does not stop supplement companies from trying to sell you things that can promise the benefits of drugs without selling you drugs. Things such as testosterone boosters are more or less just a complete waste of money and space in your cabinet. However, people ask for them, believe in them and spend thousands of dollars on them every year.
T-Boosters don't bother me. They're pretty much harmless to the majority and if you have issues with your current testosterone levels, you should know better than to exacerbate these issues.
However, I do have a big issue with a part of the industry which scares the piss out of me.

Designer Steroids/Pro-hormones:


"Colloquially referred to by various misleading monikers ('pro-hormones', 'natural steroids', 'testosterone boosters', etc.) designer anabolic steroids have been popular now for over a decade as a way to achieve classic anabolic steroid-like results from products sold in the legal marketplace. Recent evidence suggests that anabolic steroid use may be the most common cause of hypogonadism in men of reproductive age. Despite recent regulatory efforts that have banned specific compounds, many anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) remain available in over-the-counter dietary supplements that are legally sold in the United States. Severe side effects including hepatotoxicity, cholestasis, renal failure, hypogonadism, gynecomastia, and infertility have been reported secondary to the use of these products. While some of these side effects may be reversible, more aggressive use may result in more permanent end-organ damage as has been previously described for the case of aggressive AAS users (Rahnema et al., Fertil Steril, 2014). Designer AAS remain easily available for purchase in over-the-counter bodybuilding supplements and these products appear to be increasingly popular, despite the known health risks associated with their use. We conducted a systematic search to identify the designer steroids that are most commonly sold in dietary supplements as of April 2014 and review what is known regarding their potency and toxicity. We propose that the impact of AAS use on the reproductive and hormonal health of men is underestimated in the literature owing to previous studies' failure to account for designer steroid use. Lastly, we make clinical recommendations to help physicians steer patients away from potentially harmful supplements, and summarize key regulatory obstacles that have allowed potent androgens to remain unregulated in the legal marketplace.
© 2015 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology."

"However, within the framework of the research reviewed, over-the-counter oral pro hormone supplementation is ineffective at increasing muscle mass or athletic performance. As a result of the potential health concerns that have been raised, the risk to benefit ratio of using these substances orally seems unfavorable."
To sum up these two studies, you receive all of the potential negatives of steroid use (shrinking balls, developing puffy nipples, not being able to have children, and potentially organ damage) without a huge performance benefit.
I don't claim to be an expert or a chemist about these kinds of drugs, I barely know any actual labels or brands, nor do I care to say their names just in case someone decides to use them. These kinds of supplements ride the very edge of being legal and I can't in good conscious recommend them to anyone.
If you feel that the use of anabolics is necessary for your goals, I recommend that you give these two podcasts a listen and reevaluate.
I don't judge anybody for wanting to use drugs to benefit their performance and or physique. But, I can't be of any help in this department. I'm completely natural (as if it wasn't clear in my mediocre lifts and physique) and I don't like needles. I will say that the best thing you can do is to go about your journey naturally as long as you can and to only add things like steroids to your life if you feel it absolutely necessary and are willing to have them as a part of your life forever. Do your research and make informed decisions.
Until next time,
Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.
The Opera Bro

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