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Elliot R. Cooper, Kristine C.Y. McGrath, XiaoHong Li and Alison K. Heather

, reported instances of sport supplements intentionally adulterated with undeclared substances ( Geyer et al., 2000 , 2004 , 2008 ; Judkins & Prock, 2012 ; Kamber et al., 2000 ; Maughan et al., 2011 ). Androgens have well-described ergogenic effects. All androgens, including designer androgens, are

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Blair Crewther, Zbigniew Obminski and Christian Cook

Purpose:

To examine the steroid hormone effect on the physical performance of young athletes during an Olympic weightlifting competition.

Methods:

26 boys and 26 girls were monitored across 2 weightlifting competitions. Pre- and post-competition testosterone (T), cortisol (C) and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-s) were measured in blood, with pre-event free T (FT) and the free androgen index (FAI) calculated. Body mass (BM) and weightlifting performance were recorded.

Results:

The boys had a larger BM, superior performance with more T, FT and a higher FAI than girls (p < .01). Although C (32%) and DHEA-s (8%) levels were elevated across competition, no sex differences in hormone reactivity were seen. In boys, DHEA-s correlated with performance (r = .46), but not after controlling for BM (r = .14). For girls, T correlated with performance (r = -0.51) after BM was controlled.

Conclusion:

The sex differences that emerge during puberty were observable, whereby the boys were larger and stronger with a more anabolic profile than girls. Individual DHEA-s (boys) and T (girls) levels were related to performance, but BM appeared to be acting as a mediating (boys) or suppressing (girls) variable. This adds new insight regarding the hormonal contribution to competitive performance in young athletes.

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Lisa Dawn Hamilton, Sari M. van Anders, David N. Cox and Neil V. Watson

The association between androgens and competition in women has been understudied compared with men. The current study examined the link between testosterone (T) and competition in elite female athletes, using a sample of female wrestlers that included athletes competing at both the national and international level. In a repeated-measures design, saliva samples were collected before and after wrestling bouts, with comparable samples of wins and losses, and subsequently analyzed for T. Study results showed a 22% increase in circulating bioavailable T from pre-to postbout, F(1, 12) = 9.71, P = .009. There was no significant difference in T between win or loss outcomes. These findings—showing a link between individual head-to-head competition and T in women—demonstrate that women’s androgenic responses to environmental contexts are dynamic and may be an important factor to address in research on competitive performance.

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Blair Crewther, Konrad Witek, Paweł Draga, Piotr Zmijewski and Zbigniew Obmiński

D-aspartic acid (DAA) is promoted as a testosterone (T) enhancing supplement by mechanisms involving the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis. Here, we investigated the short-term effects of DAA on serum biomarkers of the HPG-axis in male climbers. Using a single-blinded, placebo-controlled design, 16 climbers were randomly assigned to either a DAA (3 g/day) or placebo (3 g/day) supplement for 2 weeks. The reverse treatment commenced after a 2-week washout, with all conditions administered in a balanced manner. The subjects maintained their normal weekly training across this study. Serum samples taken before and after each treatment were analyzed for T, luteinizing hormone, sex hormone binding globulin, and cortisol (C), and free T was calculated (cFT). The DAA supplement did not significantly affect serum T, cFT, and luteinizing hormone levels. Only a main effect of time on sex hormone binding globulin (6.8% increase) and C (13.6% decrease) emerged (p < .03). Significant negative associations were identified between pretest values and changes (%) in T, cFT, luteinizing hormone, and C levels with DAA and/or placebo, but these relationships did not differ between treatments (p > .46). Additional measures of physical function and serum hematology also failed to respond to DAA. In summary, a daily dose of DAA during a short training period did not influence T and selected indicators of the HPG-axis in male climbers. Other parameters linked to athletic performance and health status were also unaffected. Our findings support evidence showing that DAA (including DAA-blended supplements) at either recommended or higher dosages does not afford any ergogenic benefits for athletic males.

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David R. Hooper, William J. Kraemer, Rebecca L. Stearns, Brian R. Kupchak, Brittanie M. Volk, William H. DuPont, Carl M. Maresh and Douglas J. Casa

would be considered as suggestive of androgen deficiency (<8 nmol·L −1 , 231 ng·dL −1 ) by today’s standards, 10 although McColl et al 9 did report testosterone concentrations that fall under a “gray zone” classification (8–12 nmol·L −1 , 231–346 ng·dL −1 ). In terms of cortisol, however, many cross

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Gregory A. Brown, Matthew D. Vukovich, Tracy A. Reifenrath, Nathaniel L. Uhl, Kerry A. Parsons, Rick L. Sharp and Douglas S. King

The effects of androgen precursors, combined with herbal extracts designed to enhance testosterone formation and reduce conversion of androgens to estrogens was studied in young men. Subjects performed 3 days of resistance training per week for 8 weeks. Each day during Weeks 1,2,4,5,7, and 8, subjects consumed either placebo (PL; n = 10) or a supplement (ANDRO-6; n = 10), which contained daily doses of 300 mg androstenedione, 150 mg DHEA, 750 mg Tribulus terrestris, 625 mg Chrysin, 300 mg Indole-3-carbinol, and 540 mg Saw palmetto. Serum androstenedione concentrations were higher in ANDRO-6 after 2,5, and 8 weeks (p < .05), while serum concentrations of free and total testosterone were unchanged in both groups. Serum estradiol was elevated at Weeks 2, 5, and 8 in ANDRO-6 (p < .05), and serum estrone was elevated at Weeks 5 and 8 (p < .05). Muscle strength increased (p < .05) similarly from Weeks 0 to 4, and again from Weeks 4 to 8 in both treatment groups. The acute effect of one third of the daily dose, of ANDRO-6 and PL was studied in 10 men (23±4years). Serum androstenedione concentrations were elevated (p < .05) in ANDRO-6 from 150 to 360 min after ingestion, while serum free or total testosterone concentrations were unchanged. These data provide evidence that the addition of these herbal extracts to androstenedione does not result in increased serum testosterone concentrations, reduce the estrogenic effect of androstenedione, and does not augment the adaptations to resistance training.

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Alan D. Rogol

Most hormonal agents used for nonmedical purposes in athletes have legitimate medical uses. This review introduces each compound by its pharmacology, clinical pharmacology, and legitimate medical use and reviews information on its abuse. Human growth hormone is presently available in virtually unlimited quantities due to its production by recombinant DNA technology. Its use in athletes is considered for its muscle-building, fat-depleting properties. Erythropoietin is a kidney hormone that increases red cell mass. It is used for renal dialysis patients to avoid blood transfusions. Its use in athletes is to raise red blood cell mass in an attempt to augment maximal oxygen capacity and the ability to do endurance work. Human chorionic gonadotropin has the biological activity of luteinizing hormone to increase testosterone synthesis and to maintain (partially) testicular volume when exogenous androgens are taken. Clenbuterol is a beta2 adrenergic agonist with muscle-building properties that are seemingly specific to striated muscle; clenbuterol may cause reduction in body fat.

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S. Nicole Culos-Reed, John L. Robinson, Harold Lau, Kathleen O’Connor and Melanie R. Keats

The purpose of the current study was to examine the viability of conducting a theory-based physical activity (PA) intervention on men with prostate cancer, and the impact of PA on quality of life (QOL). Participants were 31 men, average age of 67 years, with localized or metastatic prostate cancer undergoing androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Global QOL, fatigue, and PA measures were conducted at baseline and following the 12-week intervention. An additional follow-up testing was conducted 4 months following the intervention (n = 18). Both moderate and strenuous bouts of exercise, as well as functional capacity, increased significantly from pre- to posttest. Both fatigue severity and resting heart rate decreased significantly at posttest. A trend toward improved global QOL was also noted. It was concluded that a 12-week home-based PA intervention may provide health and QOL benefits for prostate cancer patients undergoing ADT. Practitioners are encouraged to promote PA for prostate cancer survivors.

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Darryn S. Willoughby, Colin Wilborn, Lemuel Taylor and William Campbell

This study examined the effects of an aromatase-inhibiting nutritional supplement on serum steroid hormones, body composition, and clinical safety markers. Sixteen eugonadal young men ingested either Novedex XT™ or a placebo daily for 8 wk, followed by a 3-wk washout period. Body composition was assessed and blood and urine samples obtained at weeks 0, 4, 8, and 11. Data were analyzed by 2-way repeated-measures ANOVA. Novedex XT resulted in average increases of 283%, 625%, 566%, and 438% for total testosterone (P = 0.001), free testosterone (P = 0.001), dihydrotestosterone (P = 0.001), and the testosterone:estrogen ratio (P = 0.001), respectively, whereas fat mass decreased 3.5% (P = 0.026) during supplementation. No significant differences were observed in blood and urinary clinical safety markers or for any of the other serum hormones (P > 0.05). This study indicates that Novedex XT significantly increases serum androgen levels and decreases fat mass.

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Jussi Kosola, Markku Ahotupa, Heikki Kyröläinen, Matti Santtila and Tommi Vasankari

Purpose:

We hypothesized that lower androgen status together with poor physical fitness associates with atherogenic lipid profile and oxidative stress.

Methods:

Volunteered young men (N = 846, mean age 25.1 ± 4.6 years) were categorized into unfit, average fit, and fit groups according to tertiles of maximal oxygen uptake, series of muscle endurance tests, and maximal upper and lower body strength. Furthermore, concentrations of serum testosterone (TT) and free testosterone (FT) were determined to divide participants into lower and higher testosterone (loTT, hiTT) and free testosterone (loFT, hiFT) subgroups, using medians as cut-off points. The participants were divided into subgroups according to Fitness × Testosterone (Unfit/Average Fit/Fit × Low/High TT/FT), and the concentrations of serum lipids and ox-LDL were measured. Results: The loTT/unfit cardiorespiratory subgroup had 29% higher concentration of ox-LDL compared with the loTT/fit cardiorespiratory subgroup (p = .044). The loTT / unfit cardiorespiratory subgroup had a significantly higher ratio of ox-LDL/HDL-cholesterol compared with the other five TT subgroups (p < .05, in all). While ox-LDL showed a gradual form of decrease from unfit to fit in loTT cardiorespiratory subgroups, no differences were seen in muscular fitness or maximal strength (upper and lower body) subgroups.

Conclusions:

Young men with poor cardiorespiratory fitness together with lower levels of TT have higher concentrations of ox-LDL. Good cardiorespiratory fitness combined with lower androgen levels is not related to atherogenic lipid profile. The combination of poor muscular fitness, or maximal muscle strength, and lower TT levels does not cause atherogenic lipid profile.