For years now, I have been preaching that stacking LH boosting agents upon other agents has little to no tangible benefits for boosting testosterone. The creation of testosterone in the testicular organelles is a far more complicated process than most supplement companies understand.
With this, they constantly and consistently over stimulate the same pathway, because to be honest this is all that most “arm chair” scientists understand.
These people just keep looking to the same pathways of Lutenizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormone and products that either boost these (like aromatase inhibitors) or agonize these (bind and activate this receptor) like HcG and it’s analogs.
Unfortunately, this is just one small part of a very complicated pathway which needs to be addressed in order to maximize testosterone levels above 1200ng/dl which seems to be the “normal” ceiling for most men and yet never seems to yield a change in muscle mass (isn’t that the ultimate point for most of these supplements).
LH and FSH stimulate the ledig cells to produce testosterone. We get it, but maybe there are other pathways we should consider!
THE FIRST TWO PATHWAYS
The first thing we do need is to boost LH and FSH levels to get the testes to get the hint that we need more testosterone. To use an analogy of an engine, we need to step on the gas in order to get the engine to run. We can do this with aromatase inhibitors like Novedex XT or Form-XT which contain aromatase inhibitors or with herbal boosting agents like Ashwagahnda and Puererin.
Also, it’s important to take Vitamin D and Calcium which is theorized to boost sensitivity to these stimulus for testosterone production.
Second we need the “substrate” which means the raw materials to create the testosterone and other androgens. If you didn’t know, this is cholesterol. Thus it’s important that we feed the body lots of UNALTERED cholesterol to make our steroid hormones. When I say UNALTERED, I mean free from oxidation. If you didn’t know I believe that oxidized cholesterol is what causes the heart disease.
Why do I think this? A very interesting study was done where cheese and butter were compared and the markers of arterial damage were measured. According to the NY Daily News (and the study):
“In their experiment, scientists put 49 men and women on a diet that replaced part of their regular dietary fat intake with 13 percent of energy from either cheese or butter. For six weeks, participants on the cheese diet showed lower LDL and HDL — the good cholesterol — than the six-week butter diet. Nor did the cheese diet increase bad cholesterol levels when compared to their habitual diets, in which total fat and saturated fat intakes were lower.”
The theory is that calcium helped remove fats but I think the anti-oxidants found in cheese and the encasement of the cholesterol, preventing oxidation caused the effect which doesn’t occur in butter fat.
So, eat your eggs hard boiled, your cheese yellow and your meat marinated in soy sauce. These things all help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol which is the basic building block of testosterone.
THE SECONDARY PATHWAYS
Before cholesterol enters the testicles it gets converted to 6,7-dehydro-cholesterol. This pathway seems to involve Vitamin D and that’s one theory on how Vitamin D works to increase testosterone synthesis. Remember that WITHOUT CHOLESTEROL, no new testosterone is made. This is considered a secondary pathway to making testosterone as the process isn’t well understood.
This is why statin drugs like Liptor ® may actually lower testosterone levels. 3500 young men were studied that are on statins. According to WebMD “Corona and colleagues evaluated 3,484 men, average age 51, who visited an outpatient clinic at the University of Florence with complaints of sexual dysfunction between January 2002 and August 2009. Of that total, 244, or 7%, were being treated with statins for their high cholesterol. Most often the statin was simvastatin (Zocor) or atorvastatin (Lipitor).
The researchers calculated the men’s total testosterone as well as free testosterone, the amount of unbound testosterone in the bloodstream. When they compared men on statins to those not, the men on statins were twice as likely to have low testosterone, regardless of which of three commonly used thresholds for low testosterone they looked at.”
So, it’s important to take a minimum of 2000iu per day of Vitamin D in order to maximize calcium absorption and prepare the cholesterol for processing into our hormones. Optimal levels seem to be 10-20,000 iu per day.
THE TERTIARY PATHWAYS
cAMP is short for cyclic adenosine monophosphate, which is a coenzyme for almost all reactions in the body. The body uses cAMP to increase reactions in almost every biological process and testicular function is no different. Luckily one can easily increase cAMP levels by taking standardized coleus forskohlii which is standardized between 10-40% forskolin. Forskolin is the key ingredient that increases cAMP levels and speeds up reactions in the testes which means more conversion of cholesterol into the basic building blocks of testosterone (pregnenolone, progesterone, hydroxyprogesterone and androstenedione).
StaR protein is another key activator which converts cholesterol and its derivatives to testosterone. StaR is arguably the key enzyme needed to increase testosterone production via other androgens. A very good booster of StaR activity is ginger root extract. Luckily if you stack it with Agmatine, you could get an increase in the NO pathway for formation of androgens since ginger blocks the activity of arginase. GINGER EXTRACT IS KEY!
Finally, there are the numerous CYP enzymes which turn the cholesterol into active testosterone. Two most noted are 17bHSD and CYP11A1. CYP11A1 turns the cholesterol finally into pregnenolone and then either into progesterone or testosterone through the various pathways with 17bHSD being the final step.
CYP11A1 can be increased with Ginsing Extract and 17bHSD with epicatechin from green tea. Both well known bodybuilding supplements.
As you know, we make Rise and Swell which has many of these ingredients. RISE AND SWELL contains these ingredients:
- D-Aspartate (As Calcium D-Aspartate)
- Lactate (as Calcium Lactate)
- Agmatine Sulfate
- Ginger Root Extract
- Vitamin D
The libido and testosterone effects are something that has to be felt to believe. It’s great when on cycle and I have personally seen a huge increase in ball and load size!
Throw in some ginsing and epicatechin extract and you have a perfect testosterone boosting routine. You can to be even more effective, throw in a good aromatase inhibitor like Novedex XT from Gaspari and you have a perfect testosterone boosting cycle!