Thread: Testosterone and your heart
02-16-2004, 05:46 PM #1
Testosterone and your heart
Origanlly posted by Severed Ties
T and Your Ticker
The Positive Effects of Testosterone on the Heart
by Doug Kalman MS, RD
Steroids will cause your kidneys to implode, your heart to blow a ventricle, and your liver to squirt out of your arse, fly across the room, and knock the cat off the futon. We read it on the Internet and saw an after school special about it, so it must be true, right?
Actually, the more you learn about steroids, the more you come to realize that, like all drugs, there's a difference between their intelligent use and outright abuse. In this article, Doug Kalman takes a look at the effects of Testosterone on the heart. What he found may surprise you.
Over the years we've all heard the repeated mantra that anabolic steroids are bad for the heart. Some physicians will tell you that gear raises your risk of heart disease by lowering your good cholesterol (HDL) and raising your bad cholesterol (LDL). In fact, as some docs will tell you, steroids are known to even induce cardiac hypertrophy (enlargement of the heart). And since you can't flex your heart in an effort to woo women, who'd want that?
But, as in every story, there's more than one side. In fact, let it be said, the dangers of steroids are overstated and, hold onto your seats, may even be good for the heart. Let's examine some of the scientific studies on the positive effects of Testosterone on the heart.
What are the cardiovascular effects of steroids ?
Cardiologists at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia recruited both juicing and non-juicing bodybuilders for a study. Each bodybuilder had various aspects of the heart measured (carotid intima-media thickness, arterial reactivity, left ventricular dimensions, etc.). These measurements indicate whether bodybuilding, steroid usage or both affect the function, size, shape and activity of the heart.
The doctors found some obvious and not so obvious results. Predictably, those bodybuilders who used steroids were physically stronger than those who didn't. What was surprising was that the use of steroids was not found to cause any significant changes or abnormalities of arterial structure or function.
In essence, when the bodybuilders (both groups) were compared with sedentary controls, any changes in heart function were common to bodybuilders. The take home message from this study is that bodybuilding itself can alter (not impair) arterial structure/function and that steroids do not appear to impair cardiac function. (1)
Does MRFIT need a T boost?
A famous cardiac study was published about 10 years ago. It soon became on ongoing study known as the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT). The present study examined changes in Testosterone over 13 years in 66 men aged 41 to 61 years. The researchers determined if changes in total Testosterone are related to cardiovascular disease risk factors.
The average Testosterone levels at the beginning of the study were 751 ng/dl and decreased by 41 ng/dl. Men who smoked or exhibited Type A behavior were found to have even greater decreases in T levels. The change in Testosterone was also associated with an increase in triglyceride levels and a decrease in the good cholesterol (HDL).
The authors concluded that decreases in Testosterone levels as observed in men over time are associated with unfavorable heart disease risk. (2) Sounds to me like a good reason to get T support/replacement therapy in the middle age years!
In a similar study, researchers in Poland examined if Testosterone replacement therapy in aging men positively effected heart disease risk factors. Twenty-two men with low T levels received 200 mg of Testosterone enanthate every other week for one year. Throughout treatment, Testosterone, estradiol, total cholesterol, HDL and LDL were measured.
The researchers determined that T replacement returned both Testosterone and estradiol levels back to normal and acceptable levels. They also found that T replacement lowered cholesterol and LDL (the bad cholesterol) without altering HDL (the good cholesterol). Furthermore, there was no change in prostate function or size.
The take home message from this study is that T replacement doesn't appear to raise heart disease risk and it may actually lower your risk. (3) It appears that more physicians should be prescribing low dose Testosterone to middle age and aging men for both libido, muscle tone and for cardiac reasons.
What about younger men?
It's been long established that men have a higher risk of heart disease. One of the risk factors implicated is Testosterone. Reportedly, the recreational use of Testosterone can alter lipoprotein levels and, in fact, case reports exist describing bodybuilders who've abused steroids and have experienced heart disease or even sudden death. But the question remains, is the causal association one of truth or just an association?
To answer this, researchers at the University of North Texas recruited twelve competitive bodybuilders for a comprehensive evaluation of the cardiovascular effects of steroids. Six heavyweight steroid-using bodybuilders were compared with six heavyweight drug-free bodybuilders.
As expected, the heavy steroid users had lower total cholesterol and HDL levels as compared to the drug-free athletes. What was unexpected was that the steroid users also had significantly lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels as compared to the non-steroid users. In addition, the juicers also had lower apolipoprotein B levels (a marker for heart disease risk). Thus, the authors concluded that androgens do not appear to raise the risk of cardiovascular disease. (4) The take home message from this study is that the negative cardiac side effects of steroids are most likely overstated.
In a little more progressive study, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Boogie Down Bronx (the BDB to those in the know) examined Testosterone as a possible therapy for cardiovascular disease. (5) The researchers note that T can be given in oral, injectable, pellet and transdermal delivery forms. It's noted that injections of Testosterone (100 to 200 mg every two weeks) in men with low levels of T will decrease total cholesterol and LDL while raising the HDL.
In fact, Testosterone therapy has been found to have antianginal effects (reduces chest pain). Low levels of Testosterone are also correlated with high blood pressure, specifically high systolic pressure. The researchers determined that returning T levels back to normal and even high-normal levels have positive cardiovascular effects and should be considered as an adjunctive treatment for maintaining muscle mass when someone has congestive heart failure.
Putting it all together
Strong research demonstrates that the risks of negative cardiovascular effects of steroids are overstated. In fact, a recent paper published in the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology questioned the whole risk of using steroids. (6) Joey Antonio, Ph.D. and Chris Street MS, CSCS published strong data showing that the risks of steroid use are largely exaggerated, much like scare tactics used by your parents while you were a kid. Of course, it goes unsaid that abuse of anything will lead to unwanted consequences.
We know that as we age, circulating Testosterone levels naturally decrease. For most people the Testosterone decrease goes from high-normal to mid to low normal. Data shows that there's an inverse relationship between T levels and blood pressure as well as abdominal obesity (that paunch we see on so many middle age males).
Testosterone replacement lowers abdominal obesity and restores Testosterone back to normal levels. Restored Testosterone is correlated with better mood, better muscle tone, stronger sex drive, lower cardiovascular disease risks, stronger bones and better memory. It's important to note that while conservative use gives a pronounced positive health benefit, higher doses may not necessarily lead to further health benefits.
02-18-2004, 03:34 AM #2New Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
all i can help you with is i had few heart attacks and opened heart bypass surgery.plus type2 diabetes and inactive thyriod.the doc gave 5mg thermal transderm patches.i mywisdom i added 500mg sus......75mg ed.......decca...300mg........feel greatand getting leaner andstronger and the hearts still in my chestfrom old school WHAT DON`T KILL YA MAKES YOU STRONGER.
02-26-2004, 04:00 PM #3Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
the only problem i have with this article is that they are talking about using 100-200mgs every other week. this is kind of different than the 400 to 800mgs a week that many bodybuilders use. i doubt that's benificial for the ol'ticker.
02-26-2004, 04:06 PM #4
All articles are like that. Liablity issues kill research when it comes down to Anabolics and other controlled subtances.
I read a very stupid article in MD that said that 'Steroids don't make your heart bigger, it's the intense exercise'. No **** sherlock. The heart is a muscle too.
02-27-2004, 01:29 AM #5
yeah i like what ross said...i mean one and a half classes of wine a day is good for you...which doesnt mean that a 24 on fridays is also good....
02-27-2004, 06:06 PM #6Originally Posted by ross3814
Thanks for posting that JohnnyB but what I'd really like to see is a study of the effects on the heart of, say, 800mg/test/ten weeks.
02-28-2004, 02:15 PM #7Originally Posted by johnsomebody
02-28-2004, 08:28 PM #8
Meanwhile here we are all experimenting on ourselves and no one is systematically collecting the info. What a waste -if it weren't underground that wouldn't have to be the case.
03-26-2004, 01:20 PM #9Originally Posted by johnsomebody
05-22-2004, 04:01 PM #10Originally Posted by ross3814
so, that's welcome info for me.
02-22-2006, 10:23 PM #11
Go for it.
Last edited by Ufa; 04-03-2006 at 12:29 AM.
02-22-2006, 10:57 PM #12
man were have you dig this, that a 2 year old tread!
04-03-2009, 10:58 PM #13New Member
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- Apr 2009
04-04-2009, 03:20 AM #14
Did you get permission from the system admin to post this? It's his site.
AGThere are 3 loves in my life: my wife, my English mastiffs, and my weightlifting....Man, my wife gets really pissed when I get the 3 confused...
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