Androgens are the unquestioned kings for building muscle mass and strength. However, their potency and far-reaching effects throughout the body also have their downsides. Before we begin, readers should be aware that this is not a look at HPTA dysfunction, legality, morality, or any such related issues concerning androgen use. Instead we will focus on visceral adipose tissue (‘roid gut or ‘VAT’), lipid profiles (cholesterol, blood triglycerides), heart disease, and liver toxicity — and why SesaThin™ should be a staple of any androgen cycle (particularly with methylated androgens, which are notoriously more liver-toxic than non-methylated androgens). This situation is even worse if the androgen is non-aromatizing, as estrogen exerts a protective effect on blood lipid profiles (1,2,3).
It is well established in the literature and the real world that heart disease (4,5,6) and abdominal fat accumulation (7,8,9) occurs far more often in males than in females. The reason for this is sex-steroid/hormone testosterone (8,9). And, lest we not forget, synthetic androgens like Trenbolone, 1-Testosterone, et cetera are not only structurally similar, but also activate the same pathways, predominately through their interaction with the androgen receptor, or ‘AR’ (10,11,12,13).
Testosterone, for all its anabolic cash-money-ness, does its damage in several ways—by increasing angiotensin II (14,15,16) and cellular beta adrenergic receptor density (17,18,19), by decreasing 5alpha reductase activity (20,21), and by decreasing 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11betaHSD) activity (22). These processes work in concert to increase activity of cortisol and the stress axis (20,23,24,25,26,27,28), a process intimately linked with visceral adipose tissue accumulation (26,28,29,30), elevated blood lipids (31,32,33,34), oxidative stress/inflammation (35,36,37), and heart disease (28,38,39,40). And while hopefully your wife or girlfriend (or maybe just the judges at your next Mr. Olympia show) will be willing to shrug off your Test-tummy as ‘kind of cute,’ there’s nothing cute about a self-perpetuating condition that differentiates (re: creates new) fat cells even as it sends your overall health prospects a’-plummeting… pronto. Or, as Larsson and colleagues put it rather tellingly in their 1984 study on abdominal adipose tissue distribution, obesity, and their related health risks, “[Our] results indicate that in middle aged men the distribution of fat deposits may be a better predictor of cardiovascular disease and death than the degree of adiposity” (28). They’re talkin’ VAT gentlemen.
For a full, intricate elaboration on this process, please refer to our article “Ab-Solved Science”, by Par Deus. For the quick, simplified gist, it goes a little something like this. All of the aforementioned dynamics (increased ANGII, increased beta adrenergic receptor density, decreased 5alpha reductase and 11betaHSD activity—coupled with high testosterone/synthetic androgen levels) creates a nasty scenario where cortisol becomes over-active locally in visceral fat depots (and can’t be adequately metabolized/reduced), causing them to perpetually dump their nasty contents into the blood stream to cause oxidative damage and screw over your glucose tolerance. To make matters worse, this very same VAT starts literally spreading itself like a pathogen, setting one up for a host of health-related problems later in life as things keep getting worse and worse until something hits critical.
But have no fear, because this is a new age, and we’ve got one helluva remedy.
SesaThin™, a naturally-occurring, damn-near-miracle sesame lignan, might just be nature’s tailor-made protector against all these problems and pathologies. First and foremost, Sesathin markedly decreases triglyceride (TG) formation and increases TG uptake and fatty acid oxidation (41,42), while decreasing cholesterol levels (43,44). Well, actually, it’s even a little better than that, because Sesathin seems to actually increase HDL cholesterol (the good stuff), while taking your LDL (the bad stuff) out back to the woodshed for a good ‘ole-fashioned ass-whuppin’ (43,44,45). It also just happens to be a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory (as well as an inhibitor of the metabolism of the anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory, vitamin E) (46,47,48,49).
In addition to these health benefits, Sesathin’s potent thermogenic and anti-lipogenic properties will stop hormone-induced VAT accumulation dead in its tracks, allowing you to get hyooge, while keeping your gut from ballooning up alongside your massive guns. In other words, for any aesthetically cognizant steroid user who wants to build his or her physique while maintaining (if not improving) definition and/or athletic functionality, Sesathin is like the milk to your highly anabolic and questionably edible ‘goodies’. In fact, it’s not hard to speculate that androgens and Sesathin will be synergistic for improving body composition, since hormones like testosterone are lipolytic in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and adipogenic in VAT, whereas Sesathin would increase the oxidation of the free-fatty acids liberated from the SAT, and prevent the formation of the VAT. Plus, Sesathin’s potent insulin sensitizing and activation of PPARalpha will only enhance the already-badass repartitioning power of steroids, creating a metabolic scenario where your muscles are getting first dibs on damn-near everything being eaten.
Oh, but it gets better, because in addition to the above, Sesathin also protects another part of the body frequently besieged by steroids: the liver.
Although methylated androgens like Stanazolol (Winstrol) and Oxandrolone (Anavar) have been around for decades, they are certainly a hot topic on the block these days. By carbon-alkylating a steroid (usually at the 17th, 7th, or 1st position, as well as the occasional 2nd or 6th) and protecting the 17b-hydroxy group from being oxidized into a 17keto group, it can be rendered immune to metabolic deactivation, a process which occurs in the liver (13). Unfortunately, this very same alkyl group that makes the steroid orally bioavailable is also responsible for the androgen’s deleteriously taxing effects on the liver, a property known as hepatoxicity (13). Some methylated steroids, like Anavar for instance, are relatively benign. Others, like the infamous 17alpha-methyl-17beta-hydroxy-androst-1-ene-3-one (‘Methyl-1-Test’), are exceedingly, if not dangerously, hepatotoxic (50).
For those of you who do decide to take the plunge however, Sesathin’s got your back, and should be the cornerstone of any true liver-protection stack.
For one, the actives in Sesathin have been shown to potently protect the liver from damage induced by both alcohol (ethanol) and the toxic chemical carbon tetrachloride (51). By providing anti-oxidant activity, improving blood parameters, decreasing nutrient output and one’s hepatic delta5 desaturation index (52), and inhibiting lipid accumulation, Sesathin provides livers with a multi-pronged defense against the types of stress that can arise from the (ab)use of methylated steroids (41,42,48,51).
Need we pitch more?
So, the next time you delve into androgens, don’t forget SesaThin™, your all-in-one on-cycle-therapy provider, compliments of good ole’ Mother Nature and Avant Labs.
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