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Applied Bodybuilding Research: The Latest News - 07-28-03!

Does andro work, are steroids safe for everybody, what should I know about breast implants, will drinking improve your health, obesity issues and much more.

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Andro Controversy Continues!

A recent study conducted at the University of Tennessee has concluded that Andro supplements don't work.

The study, done on the prohormones androstenedione, 4-androstenediol, 5-androstenediol, 19-norandrostenediol and 19-norandrostenedione, showed that the supplements failed to alter testosterone levels, and failed to live up to manufacturers claims of increased muscle size and fullness. A marked increase in estrogen levels was noted in the subjects that supplemented with Andro.

However, the study was not without its flaws.

As bodybuilders know, muscle gain depends on more than one factor. The factors of diet, genetics, weight training, recovery and supplementation, will determine (to a great degree) how much muscle, if any, one gains. If even one of these factors is less than perfect, muscle gains will be severley compromised.

Typically, studies like this are done on individuals with poor eating habits, by bodybuilding standards. It should be noted that other studies on this issue have reached opposite conclusions.

Let's also not forget that until 1989 physicians around the world were proclaiming that steroids hormones did not enhance athletic performance, despite overwhelming anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

SOURCE: Can J Appl Physiol. 2003 Feb;28(1):102-16.

Steroids: Not For The Unstable!

A study in the Journal Of Forensic Science took 28 weightlifters, 10 of whom were steroid users, 18 of whom were not, and subjected them to a variety of tests. It was hypothesized that very high doses of testosterone were responsible for an increase in aggression (so-called "roid rage") amongst the steroid users.

After being subjected to a variety of tests that measured personality disorders, depression, and susceptibility and aggression, participants submitted blood samples to test for total, free, and weakly bound testosterone.

Although that tests indicated that an increase in testosterone resulted in an increase in aggression, the researchers also discovered that pre-existing personality conditions were chiefly responsible for "roid rage." In individuals without personality problems, the behavioural expression of increases of aggression were less pronounced.

Although steroids may increase aggression, it would appear as though this is an anger management issue more than a steroid usage issue. The results of the study make it clear that individuals with personality problems and anger management problems should stay away from taking anabolic steroids.

SOURCE: J Forensic Sci. 2003 May;48(3):646-51.

Thinking Of Breast Implants?

Many bodybuilders have made the decision to augment more than just their muscles. And who can blame them? In a sport where every advantage counts, one cannot afford to overlook the details.

A recent online-publication created by the British Government highlights the types of breast implants available on the market, and the dangers associated with each. Male and Female bodybuilders would be well advised to consider their long-term health when considering cosmetic surgery of any type.


Will Drinking Improve Your Health?

Yes, but with conditions.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has concluded that consuming half of a beer, wine cooler or whiskey every other day can reduce your risk of heart attack by 33 percent.

The twelve-year study examined over 40,000 men between the ages of 40 to 75 and found that frequency of drinking was the key to cutting the risk of heart attack.

This study, however, stresses moderation. It does not provide binge drinkers with an excuse to enjoy a free for all. The "more is better" mindset does not apply in this situation.

SOURCE: The New England Journal of Medicine (vol 348, p 109)

Obesity Solution? Treat The Problem Early.

Obesity in North America is a huge problem (no pun intended). Recent studies suggest that over 61 percent of North Americans are overweight and that the problem is going to continue to get worse.

What is the best way to treat the obesity pandemic? According to researchers in Spain, the answer is to treat the condition early before it gets out of control.

A study conducted at the University of pediatric endocrinology in Pamplona, Spain has concluded that obesity is a multi-determined condition, and therefore should be treated by reducing caloric intake, increasing energy expenditure (through exercise), and public education on proper and healthy eating habits.

The researchers suggest that treatment begin in youth, when signs of the condition first begin to manifest. By doing this, the likelihood that a person will carry the condition into adult life is drastically reduced.

Bodybuilders have known for years that eating correctly and exercising does wonders for overall health. It is about time that science has finally arrived at the same conclusion.

SOURCE: An Sist Sanit Navar. 2002;25 Suppl 1:127-41.

Do You Suffer From Anemia?

Are you always tired, short of breath and pale looking? You may suffer from anemia.

A recent report by the BBC has claimed that up to 14 percent of middle-aged women may suffer from anemia.

Anemia is a condition that is caused by a lack of iron in the blood. Although they are not middle-aged women, vegetarian bodybuilders may suffer from this condition, as rich dietary sources of iron are typically meat based.

Obtaining your daily iron requirements is not difficult. Supplement with a good multivitamin, eat iron fortified foods, and eat a lot of green leafy vegetables. If you do not eat meat (red meat in particular) taking these steps will ensure that you meet your daily iron needs.


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