O.K., why now? There are two reasons. First, have you seen any recent pro bodybuilding shows? Yes, the musculature is impressive but what about those swollen, blimped out abdominal cavities and round pumpkin faces. Trust this; the Proís have more mirrors than most folks and they can see what is happening with prolonged multi-stack steroid abuse. Secondly, for the first time ever, there are legal, natural alternatives that actually convert to powerful physique enhancing hormones that are relatively symptom free.
After all the crap you have been fed in print ads and shameless magazine hype over the years, you are probably more than slightly skeptical. So letís discuss the science of natural hormone conversion. Pay attention; what you learn here can help speed you to your mass gain goals or perhaps even save your buddyís sorry steroid bombarded liver and kidneyís. If nothing else, at least, youíll be smarter than the average grunt training next bench over who has been in the gym every night for years and has never gained an ounce.
Let’s talk natural hormone conversion. The first product that was made legal for sale, logically, is the least powerful and most potentially damaging; DHEA. DHEA is Dehydroepiandrosterone; a hormone that is chemically refered to as a 19-carbon steroid. It is produced in the adrenal glands of both men and women and in the gonads of men. DHEA converts in the body to the powerful anabolic hormone testosterone. Normally the conversion process takes three to four intermediate metabolic “steps.” Unfortunately, DHEA also simultaneously converts to a couple of other weak estrogens. Due to the conversion to estrogen and itís relatively weak testosterone enhancing properties, DHEA cannot be recommended.
The second substance, Androstenedione, is a metabolite of DHEA but is a huge improvement biochemically. The purest and most potent Androstenedione is pharmaceutical grade 4-androstene 3, 17-dione. It is a direct precursor to testosterone, meaning, there is only one enzyme needed to change Androstenedione to testosterone. Better yet, Androstendione does not convert to estrogen so there are no unwanted secondary side effects. Scientific studies on Androstenedione have shown that doses as small as 100-200 mgs. can increase blood levels of testosterone as much as 400 percent. The conversion occurs rapidly so unfortunately blood levels of testosterone peak and drop within hours of ingestion. Although an excellent product for stimulating muscle gain, by itself, it is often not enough to mimic the muscle enhancing effects of artificial, anabolic steroid type drugs.
The third and newest type of natural hormone enhancing supplement is called 19-Norandrostenedione (nor = “not”). Simply stated, it is an androstenedione molecule without any carbon at the 19th position. Whatís more, the dehydrogenase enzyme in the liver will not add any carbon to the 19th position, only a hydrogen at the 17th position. Without carbon added, norandrostenedione cannot be converted to testosterone. Instead, it is converted to nortestosterone, in other words, nandrolone. You may recognize nandrolone as being the chemical base for the steroid substance Deca-Duroblin (nandrolene deconate).
Nandrolone is an extremely anabolic substance with a very high anabolic to androgenic ratio and will not convert to estrogen. As a result, users can expect big muscle gains without any of the unwanted negative effects of either androgenic or estrogenic compounds. Further, nandrolone has a high affinity for steroid receptors meaning it stays attached much longer. As a result, itís nitrogen retentive and muscle enhancing effects last far longer than does androstenedione.
Currently, those using norandrostenedione report rapid increases in muscle mass and strength, less post workout muscle soreness (remind you of Deca?), faster recovery and a loss of bodyfat without significant dietary changes.
Further, as an aside, there is much research being done on many of the natural plant sterols. Substances such as tribulus terresteris or pure yohimbine alkaloids may add additional punch to a personís natural hormone conversion ability. Tribulus increases the pituitary glandís production of luteinizing hormone, which signals the body to produce more testosterone. And yohimbine alkaloids have been used pharmaceutically provide hormonal support to combat impotency and increase sexual labido.
Finally, cutting edge bodybuilders and competitive strength trained athletes are trading in their whey based protein powders in favor of soy protein powders that are rich in the phytoestrogens and isoflavones. Soy protein can be a key to muscle development and physique improvement as it provides the body with a rich source of nitrogen and phytoestrogens which bind to estrogen receptors thereby virtually eliminating any side effects possible from the aromatazation process indigenous to any androgenic substances. Further, the isoflavones contained in soy have been proven in double blind scientific studies to lower the risk of hypertension, battle mutagenic cell process and various forms of cancer as well as to increase anabolic hormone production and lean tissue gain.
Athletes wishing to improve their physiques legally, quickly and safely should consider products containing Androstenedione, 19-Norandrostenedione and perhaps a proven effective plant sterol such as Tribulus or Yohimbine. Further, they would be wise to increase their intake of soy protein rich in isoflavones such as quercetin and daidzein.