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Thread: What is T3?

  1. #1
    sublang's Avatar
    sublang is offline Junior Member
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    Dec 2002

    What is T3?

    I'm not sure where to post this question since I don't even know what it is. However, I am under the impression it is a supplement. Any advice or links is appreciated.

  2. #2
    956Vette is offline AR-Elite Hall of Famer
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    T3 is a thyroid hormone, not a supplement. I believe there is a good thread or two in the educational forum about t3/cytomel /cynomel etc.

  3. #3
    Warrior's Avatar
    Warrior is offline AR-Hall of Famer
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    Rather than reinvent the wheel - here is a good article for you to read over...

    The Thyroid Handbook
    by Cy Willson

    Take a minute and look around your house, apartment, dorm room or prison cell. If youíve been involved in the iron game long enough, youíll probably have dozens of informational guides scattered around: books, copies of T-mag, your nutrition and training logs, a worn out VHS tape of Pumping Iron, a pair of lacy panties that are, for some inexplicable reason, stuck to the ceilingÖ no wait, thatís my apartment. Nevermind.

    So why not add a handbook about one of your favorite glands to your collection? After all, the olí thyroid gland is pretty darned important. In this handbook, Iíll give you a rundown on thyroid function and a few related areas. Why is this so important? Well, the thyroid plays a huge role in your endeavor to get that lean look. If your thyroid levels arenít optimal, losing fat can be one hell of a challenge. But it goes even further than that because the thyroid hormones play important roles throughout the body.

    So, after you finish reading this, print it out with that handy-dandy new text feature our web gurus have provided. Use that good, glossy paper too, you know, the kind you use to print off naked pics. After youíve it printed out, store it along with your most prized bodybuilding possessions. Here we go!

    The Big Picture

    Just so you know, the thyroid gland is located just below the larynx. Itís responsible for the release of both T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). If your thyroid gland is inactive for one reason or another, your metabolic rate could drop as much as 40% below normal (hypothyroidism). On the other hand, an excess of thyroid hormone can increase your metabolic rate by 60 to 100% above normal (hyperthyroidism).

    So how are these thyroid hormones synthesized in the body? Glad you asked. In order to form thyroid hormones, you need two very important raw materials, one being tyrosine and the other being iodide. A large glycoprotein called thyroglobulin contains a lot of the tyrosine within it. It then allows oxidized iodine to enter within the thyroglobulin where iodine binds to some of the tyrosine. This is called the iodination of tyrosine. This process causes the formation of monoiodotyrosine and then forms diodotyrosine. Then the diodotyrosine couples with another diodotyrosine, forming a thyroxine molecule. Just think of it like this, di(2) plus di(2) equals T(4). Clear as mud? Good, letís move on.

    The same thing occurs in the formation of triiodothyronine (T3), except it in this case, one of the monoiodotyrosine molecules couples with one of the diodotyrosine molecules. Essentially, the difference between the two is simply the addition or lack of an iodine molecule. Remember, this occurs within the thyroglobulin molecule. Once this has happened and the T3 and T4 (mostly T4) have been formed, the glycoprotein molecules are stored in the follicles of the thyroid.

    So, now what happens? Well, when some type of situation occurs in which you need to increase thyroid hormone levels in the blood, your hypothalamus secretes Thyroid Releasing Hormone(TRH), which in turn causes the pituitary to release Thyroid Stimulating Hormone(TSH). TSH "breaks down" the thyroglobulin in the follicles and causes the release of the hormones into the bloodstream.

    When thyroid levels get too high, a negative feedback occurs to both TRH and TSH, thus reducing the amount of thyroid hormone thatís secreted. When thyroid levels are too low, then TRH and TSH increase, thus increasing thyroid hormone levels. This is all part of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis.

    I should also note that very little T3 is actually secreted, and in fact, most of the active T3 that affects various tissues (liver, kidney, and others) is formed via the deiodination of T4 by an enzyme(deiodinase) in the tissues themselves. In other words, the enzyme rips off an iodine molecule from T4, forming T3. This again occurs with T3 to form diiodothyronine or T2, but weíll talk more about that later.

    In the following sections, Iím going to go over each thyroid hormone and give you some brief facts. Iíll do this quickly, as we have more important things to discuss.

    L-thyroxine (T4)

    This drug is normally used as a replacement therapy in congenital or acquired hypothyroidism and itís also used to suppress TSH in cases where a person is suffering from hyperthyroidism. Itís released in a 20/1 ratio in respect to T3. T4 is less potent than T3, metabolically speaking, and has a half life of six to seven days in euthyroid humans. (Thatís where a personís thyroid gland is enlarged but itís not associated with inflammation or cancer. Also called goiter.) The brand name of T4, when itís bought from the pharmacy, is Synthroid .

    L-triiodothyronine (T3)

    This drug is also used to treat hypothyroidism and is even used to determine if someone has hyperthyroidism. Itís said to be three to five times more metabolically potent than T4 and has a half-life of £ 2.5 days. Brand names are usually Cytomel or Cynomel. The usual dosages used to treat hypothyroidism are 5 to 25 mcg daily and gradually increasing the dosage to 60 to 75 mcg daily. Some people need as much as 100 mcg daily ó 20 to 25 mcg of T3 is approximately the same as 100 mcg of T4.

    Everything You Want to Know about Thyroid Hormones (And I Do Mean Everything!)

    Thyroid hormones exert their effects upon most organ systems and also play a role in development. They increase oxygen consumption and therefore the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). They also increase the metabolism of all macronutrients, carbohydrates, lipids, and protein. T3 increases aerobic mitochondria function or respiration, but another thyroid hormone, T2 may actually be responsible for this action.

    So, why would bodybuilders want to use thyroid hormones? Simple, they increase the rate at which lipids are oxidized. Hence, more lipid oxidation and less body fat. Sounds great, huh? The problem? Well, thyroid hormones, more specifically T3, also increase protein oxidation. Still, the body ultimately wants to hold on to muscle tissue so you end up losing fat at a greater ratio than muscle.

    This has been demonstrated in lab studies involving healthy human males. In one study, seven healthy men were given a low dose of T3 for 63 days and body composition measurements were taken during this time. At six weeks, there was an average weight loss in about a 3/1 ratio in favor of fat mass. (1) So, in essence, for every three pounds of fat, youíll lose around one pound of muscle. Not too bad. Of course, these guys werenít following bodybuilding routines, nor were they trying to hold on to muscle tissue by eating large amounts of proteins.

    Another way to attenuate these negative effects on muscle tissue is to use anabolic steroids . One study made a great case for this practice. Ten healthy males were given 50 mcg of T3 per day for 28 days. Six of them received a 200 mg/week injection of Testosterone enanthate while the other four received a placebo. Those that received the Testosterone injection saw no loss of lean body mass.(2)

    I guess that if you really want to be a "thyroid expert," you should know what else thyroid hormones do. To name just a few things, they play a role in mood, cognitive function, development and growth as a child, and even your blood profile. They decrease LDL levels and even potentiate the effects of adrenergic hormones on lipolysis.(3,4) T3 has even been shown to cause a five-fold increase in the amount of beta 3-adrenergic receptors in white adipose tissue. (The stuff that covers your muscle.) (5) This increase in beta-3 number means that it can increase the effectiveness of norephedrine and ephedrine.

    In order to have hopes of controlling these hormones, you need to know exactly what things can affect them. For instance, growth hormone can increase the conversion of T4 to T3. Beta agonists, like norephedrine and ephedrine, may also increase the conversion of T4 to T3. (6,7) The amount of carbohydrates in your diet can have a profound effect, too. It seems that, depending on the person, anywhere from 50 to 120 grams of carbs are needed in order to prevent the decline in T3 during a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Any lower than that, and T3 plummets substantially.(8,9,10) Itís likely this effect is simply dependent on glucose levels in the blood. (11)

    I know some of you may be thinking that if you simply provide more substrates (iodine and tyrosine) then you could possibly increase thyroid hormone levels. Unfortunately, this just isnít so. While dieting, taking in extra tyrosine could possibly provide some support, but iodine will actually have negative effects even while on a low-carb diet. (12)

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