The above poster above was hypogonadic (the ADAM I mentioned in my previous post).
For various reasons, their testosterone levels drop below what is the normal range.
The normal range in biomedical tests (lab work) usually consists of 2 margins, upper and lower margins. Generally speaking, these limits are placed after testing a great, great number of apparently healthy people. Then you look at the test scores and usually you say that the normal range will consist of 95% of these test results. So basically what your saying is that all the time 5% of the normal healthy people are going to score above or under the limits while they would be fine.
This is done to have an idea of what is high, what is low and what is probably due to disease or a problem. So if you get someone under the margin, sure it could be due to his normal levels, but statistically, there is much more chance that it is due to something else and is not normal. Of course, we also investigate the levels of ''sick'' people to see what they look like. If we get a level of 5000!, we will look for androgen producing tumors, and endocrine problem or Steroid Abuse?
In the case of hypogonadism, the range of 220-860 says to the doc that if you score under 220, this might be ok for you and you feel no ill effects of this or your testosterone production dropped from what you used to produce to 220.
The above poster was saying he was around 109. This is pretty low. Now, I don't know specifically how low you can go without feeling effects, but medicine being based on study evidence and statistical models, you can rarely know exactly what is low for one person if you haven't done the test on that person before. Therefore you assume that 109 is, statistically, due to a problem.
At 109, most men probably experience effects of low testosterone; he was given Test Enanthanate to get back in the physiological rage (which is the range that 95% of men are in or something close to that). So in a way, he became ''Normal'' again.
You lost me here. If someone had low libido, struggled with ED, bone loss, etc., why would he call himself a High-T man?? Again, I'm not trying to attack - I just want to understand what you're saying. Are you essentially suggesting that most middle aged T-Nations are probably very much struggling? If you are, that's great - I'm just wondering what you're thinking...
You are right, I wasn't the clearest here in my explanation.
We were talking about the normal ''physiological'' range of testosterone levels being around 220-860. Here at T-Nation, there is a cult that great strong men are full of testosterone, that they are more predatory, have wolfish grins, score more chicks and so on and so forth, basically everything that you read in one of TC's great editorials.
Being a T-Man on T-Nation.com, is basically saying you're a Man's man, a real masculine individual, a warrior, the last stand of human masculinity in this effeminate world in which we live in.
So what I meant by saying that every guy here sees himself has being one of those guys, strong, powerful, manly and so on and so forth and THEREFORE, big Testosterone machines.
But the reality is that most men in the world (and here on T-Nation) have testosterone levels that near the lower end of the normal physiological levels. So if you looked at a graph of the test results of testosterone levels of a 100 men what you would find is probably something like this:
3 people would be under 220
10 would be between 220 and 300
70 would be between 300 and 400
10 would be between 400 and 700
5 would be between 700 and 860
2 would be above 860
What I am trying to illustrate is that 80% would be between the margin of 220 to 400. And because the way the scores are distributed and we want to include 95% of the normal people in the margin we get a range that extends up to 860, where in reality not many people go that high (but they do fit in the ''Normal'' range because they are OK, it doesn?t look like it is due to a disease and they feel fine)
So here we are stuck with people who might not understand what the range mean and say :
I'm in the lower end, I must have a problem. It is like when you take an exam, you get your result and you got 65%. But the range of results (without the one guy who cheated and got 110% because he even got the bonus question) is between 60% to 95%...but the average is 63% and the median is 63%. You look at the scores of every body, and you have the 2nd highest mark in the class (except for the guy who cheats of course!), the other guy above you is a genius and got 95%. Someone who doesn't have the results of everybody would say: Hum, 65%, this guy is not really good, in fact, he's pretty much at the bottom of the rage of 60% to 95%. That is why some schools/universities/faculties grade on a curve so that the person who reads the transcript knows if the student was very high above average, just above, under average and so on.
Testosterone range are like this, what basically everyone thinks is the low end is pretty much where everybody is at. The guys higher than 400 for example, are pretty rare. (I actually don't remember the exact numbers but I do remember being suprised at how ''low'' the average of testosterone levels was).
So we are all pretty much in the ''low'' end of the range and most of us are doing fine. Hell, I had mine done, when I was 22 and it was nothing to brag about and I don't have any problems (personality, aggressiveness, libido...too much of it even and so on).
As for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, they are still being tested on rats and mice. But they seem to offer a lot of good things in bone maintenance/increase and increased muscle mass, with very little androgenic properties (it was assessed with prostate growth)
In one of the studies I saw, they took 5 groups of mice.
(they = the researchers)
1 group they didn't touch (intact)
1 group they cut of their testicules + Placebo (just the injection vehicule, no active compound)
1 group without testicules + DHT (Di Hydro Testosterone)
1 group without testicules + Low dose SARM
1 group without testicules + Higher dose SARM.
Basically, the SARM brought muscle mass back to the original level of the intact mice. DHT brought it higher. It would have been nice if the SARM had induced greater muscle mass, but it was still very good from a medical perspective (you want people to either keep or gain back what they had, not make them highly muscular, but this is just the beginning of the research, maybe one day we will get SARMs that are very good at building more muscle).
For bone, the SARMs group did better than the DHT group, so they made more bone, which would be great for the treatment of osteoporosis.
The great thing about the SARMs however was its effects on the prostate. When they removed the testicules of the mice, their prostate glands, without the androgens, atrophied. This is because androgens promote the growth of the prostate gland, which is why we use finasteride or dutasteride and even androgen blockers sometimes in the treatment of Benign Prostage Hypertrophy.
The group that got the placebo kept a small prostate relative to the intact group (No androgens, small prostate). The group that got the DHT, got a prostate that grew to twice its original size! Not a good thing!
The group that got the SARMs only grew back their prostate just a little which is great (the less your prostate grows, the better it is, the older we get, the more the prostate grows generally).
So in a way, the SARMs are giving us good benefits with very limited (prostate) side effects. Of course, studies will go on to look into other good and bad effects that androgens are known to have and then they will compare whether SARMs are better or worse in each respect.
We will have to wait a long while until these come out of the pharmaceutical companies, with all the red tape, the human studies, dosing and so on and so forth.
In a way, you were right when you said that testosterone decline is not that great a deal as everyone here is making it seem. For the moment that's what the research states. Androgens supplementation (for people who have ''normal'' testosterone) does not really seem to help much in the study areas that I mentioned above (bone loss, muscle, blood cells...).
For people who are hypogonadic, its a whole different story. That is why the guys above felt so great after the injections.
I hope this clarifies a bit, if not, ask away.