A small group of doping users combine antioxidants such as vitamin C and E with their anabolic steroids. The idea behind this supplementation is that the antioxidants protect the testes while steroids are being taken, helping the body’s own testosterone to kick in faster at the end of the course. Not such a crazy idea, according to the results of an animal study that researchers at the Comenius University in the Slovak Republic are about to publish in Andrologia.
A small group of doping users combine antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E with their anabolic steroids. The idea behind this supplementation is that the antioxidants protect the testes while steroids are being taken, helping the body’s own testosterone to kick in faster at the end of the course. Not such a crazy idea, according to the results of an animal study that researchers at the Comenius University in the Slovak Republic are about to publish in Andrologia.
When athletes put anabolic steroids into their body, they reduce their natural testosterone production. When done in an intelligent way, the effect is temporary. Long-term use of high doses without breaks is another matter… and not intelligent.
Endocrinologists regularly see older men who have become infertile after years of using steroids, or whose testosterone production has become exceedingly low, despite the improved post-cycle therapy forms now popular in the steroids scene.
The researchers at Comenius University performed experiments with rats to try and better understand what happens in the testes during a course of androgen supplementation. They gave a group of rats an injection containing 5 mg testosterone isobutyrate [structural formula shown above] per kg bodyweight [TST] every other day.
Other groups of rats were given injections containing the anti-androgen cyproterone [CYP] or injections containing both testosterone isobutyrate and cyproterone [TST+CYP], or injections containing no active ingredients at all [CTRL].
After two weeks the researchers analysed the rats’ testes. As you’d expect, the rats that had been given testosterone isobutyrate produced less of their own testosterone.
Administering testosterone, with or without cyproterone, boosted the concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances in the testes. These are released when aggressive molecules attack unsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes.
At the same time, the total amount of antioxidants in the testes of the rats that had been given testosterone had decreased, and the amount of advanced glycation end products had increased.
Advanced glycation end products [AGEs] are created when glucose attaches itself to amino acids, forming inactive complexes. The tissues are often incapable of clearing up the AGEs, and as a result the AGEs impede the tissues’ functioning. This effect may have something to do with the lasting negative long-term effects of steroids use we mentioned above. We’re just hazarding a guess here.
The notion of consuming vitamin C and E antioxidants or super foods with a high ORAC value during a course of steroids isn’t such a strange idea at all after reading the Slovakian study. What’s more, you wonder to what extent a low-carb diet might also protect steroids users’ testes.
Effect of exogenous testosterone on oxidative status of the testes in adult male rats.
Tóthová L, Celec P, Ostatníková D, Okuliarová M, Zeman M, Hodosy J.
The aim of this study was to investigate the testosterone-induced changes in the oxidative status of testes in adult male rats treated either with testosterone or after blockade of androgen receptors with cyproterone acetate. A total of 40 intact rats were divided into four groups: a control group receiving sterile oil, the testosterone group receiving testosterone isobutyras, the cyproterone group receiving cyproterone acetate and the combination group receiving both testosterone isobutyras and cyproterone acetate. Treatments were carried out for 2 days by intramuscular application. Parameters of oxidative stress and the expression levels of the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) gene were measured in testes. Significantly increased TBARS and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) levels were found in the testosterone group when compared to the control group. The °1 ferric-reducing ability of the tissue and total antioxidative capacity were lower in the testosterone group in comparison with the control group. Gene expression analysis revealed significant downregulation of the StAR gene in the testes of rats in the testosterone and combination groups with respect to control animals. In conclusion, administration of exogenous testosterone influences the lipid peroxidation and carbonyl stress and decreases the antioxidant defence in the testes. These data might have implications for male fertility in humans.
© 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.
PMID: 23121168 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]