Applied Bodybuilding Research - 2-15-04!

Learn about the potential deadly effects of overtraining, the latest information about testosterone, the limits of creatine and much more!
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Overtraining: More deadly than you might think!

Over-training. Every experienced bodybuilder knows the signs: muscular weakness, depression, and zero training desire.

Because overtraining leads to total body inflammation, and as a consequence stops muscular growth, it has become public enemy #1 for bodybuilders worldwide.

New research on depression, however, has shown that the effects of overtraining can go much further than simply stopping the ability to add muscle to ones frame.

A study by researchers in Chicago, Illinois has demonstrated that depression and heart disease positively correlate.

While the study was performed on women, it is expected that continuing research will demonstrate similar results for men.

Avoid overtraining at all costs. The depression it brings can literally break your heart. SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine. February 2004.

Testosterone: The latest information!

"Exogenous testosterone, good for you? Are you crazy?"

These are the words that doctors in the United States would have uttered a mere 15 years ago, had the suggestion that excess testosterone was good for you, arisen.

This is not surprising as testosterone was vilified by the United States government, in an attempt to silence critics of the governments ban.

Fortunately though, it appears that at least some of the special-interest fear-mongering rhetoric is withering in the face of genuine scientific research.

New research has suggested that testosterone has a protective effect on the brain. Specifically, this research suggests that testosterone may play a preventative role when it comes to the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's in males.

Alzheimer's is a condition that comes about as a result of amyloid plaques in the brain. These neural plaques are tangled proteins, or neurofibrillary tangles, and they interfere with the transmission of neural signals.

It is theorized that the free testosterone that flows through the brain may help prevent apoptosis, or cell death.

As more science mounts on the beneficial effects of the governments former devil-substance (most recently usurped by Ephedra and its soon-to-be villain cousin prohormones), testosterone will once again win back deserved respect, and the governments ban will suffer even more embarrassment.

Perhaps the recent ban on Ephedra was timed to distract the public from the governments failed testosterone policy in particular, or its failed drug war in general. This method of distracting the public would, at least, be consistent with past and present government actions on other issues.

Hopefully, as more testosterone research emerges, people will broaden their outlook on this miraculous, life-improving, substance.

SOURCE: United Press International via COMTEX.

Does creatine have its limit?

Creatine monohydrate is an amazing supplement. In fact, it would not be a stretch to call it the most amazing bodybuilding supplement ever, to date.

Study after study has demonstrated that creatine monohydrate is safe in most persons. Creatine is so widely used, that the populations that can benefit range from the very young to the very elderly.

Science being science, however, has always tried to understand the specific conditions under which a substance or drug works, and those conditions under which it will not.

So, not surprisingly, science has been looking for populations and conditions under which creatine is ineffective. It appears that one population has been found.

A study by researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada has shown that for some persons with muscular dystrophy, a dosage of 5g of creatine daily does not have any significant effect on muscle strength, body composition or activities of daily living.

It is well known that there exists a population of creatine non-responders. It is also known that the symptoms of muscular dystrophy vary across the population. It would be interesting to investigate the so-called non-responders out there, and see if any symptoms of mild muscular dystrophy are present in this population.

Thus, if you are a creatine monohydrate non-responder, and if every other aspect of your lifestyle is ideal (diet, exercise, etc), consider seeing a physician. It may be indicative of a higher problem of which you are unaware.

Do not panic, though. Most non-responders report no symptoms consistent with MS. It is, however, prudent to be sure.

SOURCE: Tarnopolsky M, Mahoney D, Thompson T, Naylor H, Doherty TJ. Creatine monohydrate supplementation does not increase muscle strength, lean body mass, or muscle phosphocreatine in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1. Muscle Nerve. 2004 Jan;29(1):51-8.

Female bodybuilders and implants: Can breast implants hide tumors?

Many female bodybuilders have breast implants. The cut-throat nature of todays female bodybuilding demands them.

Aside from aesthetic purposes, breast implants for female bodybuilders are often necessary. Breast tissue is adipose tissue and, when reducing bodyfat as much as possible, breast tissue can shrink drastically. This can leave the pectoral area asymmetrical. It is common knowledge that bodybuilders of both sexes are graded on the basis of symmetry, among other things.

Recent concern has been raised because it is speculated that breast implants may affect ones ability to self-screen for tumors. This idea is not unreasonable. With natural breast tissue it can be difficult finding an abnormality. How much more so would it be difficult to find an abnormality with implants?

Well, rest at ease. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that breast augmentation DOES NOT impact on the ability to detect tumors in breast tissue.

SOURCE: Miglioretti DL, Rutter CM, Geller BM, Cutter G, Barlow WE, Rosenberg R, Weaver DL, Taplin SH, Ballard-Barbash R, Carney PA, Yankaskas BC, Kerlikowske K. Effect of breast augmentation on the accuracy of mammography and cancer characteristics. JAMA. 2004 Jan 28;291(4):442-50.

Growth hormone: Is it really anti-aging as some claim?

Aging. It is an inevitable part of life. Organisms are born, they live, and then they die. Humans are no exception to the rule.

But some people, most notably those that run anti-aging clinics, are of the opinion that the effects of aging should be postponed as long as possible, so as to maximize quality of life. We would be in agreement with these folks.

As a person ages, hormone levels being to decline. These hormonal fluctuations can result in the onset of depression, and various emotional and sexual disorders.

Not surprisingly, the entrepreneurial spirit of supplement manufacturers has led them to develop and design a wide variety of so-called "growth hormone boosters." Usually, these boosters are nothing more than a concoction of various somatropin precursors.

The hit-and-miss success rate of these so-called growth-hormone supplements has led to skepticism and scorn. Many have dismissed these products while also making the category mistake of dismissing genuine growth hormone as usueless and ineffective. But science clearly contradicts this position.

Growth hormone pre-cursors and growth-hormone are worlds apart. While one depends on surviving first-pass effect, re-uptake and enzymatic or chemical conversion, the other exerts its effects immediately, and the effects can be drastic.

Recent research has shown, once again, that growth hormone is the key to vitality and youth. Not only can it enhance ones mood and sexual abilities, it can also increase protein synthesis, and body fat reduction. We think this is a good thing.

Comparing growth-hormone precursors to growth hormone is like comparing the destitute Iraqi Army to the massive American Military Machine; like comparing a flyswatter to a nuclear bomb; like comparing every other bodybuilding company out there to Like comparing?well, we think you get the idea. Real growth hormone is where it's at.

Stay tuned to for more breaking research on this issue.

SOURCE: Ariznavarreta C, Castillo C, Segovia G, Mora F, Azcoitia I, Tresguerres JA. Growth hormone and aging. Homo. 2003;54(2):132-41.

Growth hormone and IGF-1: A homerun!

Growth hormone has long been known as an anti-aging compound. Amongst bodybuilders it's also been known to be a powerful muscle builder and fat loss agent. IGF-1, too, has anecdotally been known to be effective when used in conjunction with growth hormone.

The idea that growth hormone is effective even for those without existing medical conditions has not been disputed by credible sources. IGF-1 use, on the other hand, has not been endorsed by recognized medical officials as useful or beneficial. Many bodybuilders have used IGF-1 for years, swearing to its effectiveness. Many doctors have scorned the idea.

Science has recently investigated the issue and has, finally, begun to shed some light on the effects of combining IGF-1 and growth hormone. The results have been astounding to say the least!

A study (n=19) examined the effects of stacking Growth hormone and IGF-1 on protein synthesis and utilization in ill persons. The results were consistent with what bodybuilders have been, as applied scientists, observing for years.

To quote the study directly "Therapy with GH/IGF-I + TPNGLN, unlike nutrition alone, resulted in net positive protein balance?" Once more, we find science playing catch-up with bodybuilding.

Maybe, in the future, governments should begin seeing the bodybuilding community for what it is: A community rich in knowledge, and full of intelligent and adventurous, willing, experimental human subjects.

Without bodybuilders who are willing to voluntarily try new drugs, supplements and procedures, studies like this (and many others) would never have been done. Why so? Simply because the unique application and methods discovered by bodybuilders would never hit the radar screen of academic science.

Bodybuilding truly is "science in the trenches", and as such is a rich resource for formal academia.

Because of bodybuilders, human health on the planet has, in some measure, improved. Lawmakers should keep this in mind and stop passing laws that stifle innovation and human inquiry - measures like the ban on ephedra and the potential ban on prohormones, being two of MANY.

It is quite hypocritical for the government to say, for example, that pharmacological bodybuilding activities should be illegal, and then to use government dollars to sponsor research that is created to test anecdotal evidence taken from bodybuilding communities, just so that some pharmaceutical companies can develop better drugs.

It seems like, in many cases, the government wants to eat its cake and have it, too.

Regardless of what is happening on the Hill, bodybuilding is always on the leading edge of human health and athletic performance. And, as usual, is the #1 source for this emerging knowledge!

SOURCE: Carroll PV, Jackson NC, Russell-Jones DL, Treacher DF, Sonksen PH, Umpleby AM. Combined growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor I in addition to glutamine-supplemented TPN results in net protein anabolism in critical illness. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jan;286(1):E151-7.

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Copyright ? Clayton South, 2004 All rights reserved.

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