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Prophylaxis at steroid cycle

If you were to conduct anonymous surveys among the most frequented gyms, most likely the number of people who have ever had contact with anabolic agents would be impressive. As we all know, the use of anabolics is associated with numerous consequences. These are particularly intense when the right approach is not taken, which is a common occurrence. This should not come as a surprise, because the use of doping is a kind of taboo, which translates into a very limited access to knowledge. It can not be overlooked that many people do not even seek this knowledge, but only want good results. However, let’s try to figure out what to look for and what steps can be taken to protect yourself against losing your health when using steroids.

At the beginning, of course, it is worth mentioning that the best prophylaxis is abandonment of steroids, but people strongly determined to achieve good results will reach for doping anyway, in which case it is worth knowing what to look for in order to minimize the damage. We will address here issues of general health, bypassing the monitoring of hormones and proper manipulation of them, because it is a topic worthy of a separate article.

Liver

It is the body that is responsible, inter alia, for the metabolism of hormones. If we significantly increase the number of hormones by administering them from the outside, the intensity of liver actions also increases. It is particularly acute when using oral agents containing a methyl group in the structure, then the increase in liver function tests can reach a level that can not be neglected. Fortunately, liver support is the most common aspect of prophylaxis during treatment, and most steroid users pay attention to it.

Of course, TUDCA [1] [2] and NAC [3] [4] can definitely be mentioned – both measures very effectively support liver function in various unfavorable conditions and allow it to maintain good health even with increased effort.

Lipids

Androgens may disturb the ratio of HDL to LDL lipoprotein, and the most pronounced is in the case of DHT derivatives. The worst fame goes to stanozolol (popular winstrol), which even in small doses causes unpleasant changes [5] [6]. An increase in LDL with a simultaneous decrease in HDL should be alarming because it creates a real increase in the risk of cardiovascular diseases [7] [8].

One of the most effective treatments to improve the lipoprotein ratio is short-term supplementation with high doses of niacin. It is a practice that has long been used in medicine, and the effectiveness of niacin in this aspect is well documented [9]. And short-term, because prolonged use of high doses of this vitamin, unfortunately, is associated with a deterioration of insulin sensitivity. The long-term measures are, inter alia, omega 3 (EPA and DHA) and garlic extract. Especially omega 3 fatty acids are worth to mention due to health-promoting properties and not only during the cycle. As a result of using omega 3, the triglyceride drops are the most pronounced, but you can also count on the increase in HDL “good cholesterol” [10] [11]. In the case of garlic extract, the improvement in HDL / LDL ratio is clearly visible, and the effect on triglycerides is more subtle. It is worth choosing an extract that has been standardized for the content of allicin, for the best effects. Supplementation of 2 mg of allicin for 6 weeks resulted in a 12% decrease in total cholesterol, a 17% decrease in LDL and a 16% increase in HDL [12].

Circulatory system

Here we have several parameters to observe. We are the first to exchange blood pressure. These like to grow while using SAA. What is the reason? Among others, excessive water retention, mainly on the growth of estrogen. So keeping estrogen in the right range should be very helpful.

Garlic extract is one of the first supplements that come to mind when talking about reducing pressure. And rightly so, in fact, garlic is helpful in this aspect [18]. Nitric oxide boosters are also effective, especially arginine and citrulline [19]. The increase in nitric oxide translates into the loosening of smooth muscles from which blood vessels are built, which increases the light of these vessels and facilitates blood flow.

In addition to pressure, it is also important to monitor morphology results. High levels of testosterone (as well as other agents such as boldenone) increase erythropoiesis, and over time red blood cell counts and hematocrit may increase. Unfortunately, there is a limited pool of tools to solve this problem. The most frequent and most effective solution is a periodic donation of blood. However, there is another, little-known method for improving – extending the menu with grapefruit. Yes! A half a grapefruit per day is enough to improve the result of the hematocrit [13]. The reason for this is contained in grapefruit. It is worth mentioning, however, that naringin is not a component that absolutely lowers, but rather modulates, hematocrit. The study found that people with baseline hematocrit had a significant reduction, while participants with a medium level had a more subtle effect, and people with low hematocrit achieved an increase.

Immunity

High testosterone, especially at the beginning, may slightly lower the effectiveness of the immune system. Quite a common occurrence is a cold in the first weeks after the start of cycle. Of course, the disease is not conducive to the development of sports condition, so it is worth protecting against it. Vitamin C seems to be worth attention here. It is true that it has no documented action to improve immunity in the average person, however, in people who are intensively training (exposed to physical stress), it allows to suppress immunity by up to 50% [14]. So athletes are a social group that can benefit the most from vitamin C.

Another supplement is the garlic, mentioned above. This supplement can give immunity to not only athletes but also less physicially active people. Highly concentrated allicin from garlic (180 mg) allows to reduce the incidence of disease by as much as 70% and shorten the time of the disease that already occurs [15]. It is worth considering adding one of these two supplements to supplementation, at least for the first weeks of SAA treatment.

The quality of the skin

Acne and oily skin are the banes of steroid users. People who are particularly susceptible have symptoms so intense that they are often forced to reach for pharmacological agents. However, there are several ways to reduce the intensity of acne. Zinc supplementation is the best here in quite large doses, which is the most commonly used prophylaxis. Research shows that in order to achieve the effect, doses in the 30-130 mg elemental zinc range should be used [16] [17]. The effects are visible, although this is certainly not the highest level of effectiveness. In addition to oral zinc supplementation, it is also worth paying attention to zinc ointments available in pharmacies for topical use.

NAC, used mainly for the protection of the liver, due to the antioxidant effect, it can also reduce the symptoms of acne significantly [18]. Similar effects were also found in the case of silymarin, which in fact is also used to protect the liver. At this point, we need to mention estrogen control again, because their excess will also significantly affect the quality of the skin.

In summary, during the SAA treatment, we have many aspects of health to control to minimize the risk of complications. Fortunately, the package of preventive measures is as extensive as the number of parameters to monitor. Moreover, some supplements have a fairly universal profile of action and support at the same time several aspects, such as for example garlic, which affects immunity, level of concrete lipids fractions concentration, and reduction of excessive blood pressure. An exemplary, simple yet universal set for prophylaxis during the cycle may include NAC, garlic extract, omega 3 and zinc.

 

 

References:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8541578
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9840118
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3270338/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4470061/
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9284885
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6813637
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8228791
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26972566
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24806747
[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22113870
[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21975919
[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1821028/
[13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3243695
[14] http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020168
[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11697022
[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11586012
[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/82356
[18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16335787
[19] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21154265

 

 

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