T Nation

Alpha Male w/ ZMA

I currently take ZMA and was thinking of adding Alpha Male to the mix. Is it ok to stack these two, or will I develop breasts and break out in zits? All joking aside, is this a safe/ effective stack?

[quote]speedy5323 wrote:
I currently take ZMA and was thinking of adding Alpha Male to the mix. Is it ok to stack these two, or will I develop breasts and break out in zits? All joking aside, is this a safe/ effective stack?[/quote]

It’s perfectly fine to use the two together.

I’ve used them together and no breast yet knock on wood.

Cy,

Hello, thanks for answering questions tonight. I already asked this of Dr. Lowery, but I just wanted to get your .02 as well. My hair’s starting to thin and I’m debating whether or not to take propecia/finasteride to inhibit the production of DHT and, hopefully, save my hair. I’m wondering what the effect of lowering DHT serum levels (by about 60%, according to one study) will have on me both in terms of being able to put on muscle, and psychologically. Is DHT an important hormone, in your opinion? Should I be worried about this effect? I’ve been doing some reading, and apparently much of the side effects of propecia–decreased libido, etc–go away after continued use. I also found that one study showed a significant, 19% increase in testosterone levels with propecia use. Do you think that the body might compensate for the lack of DHT by upregulating testosterone? If so will that cancel out the effects of low DHT, anabolically and psychologically speaking? Thanks very much for your help.

[quote]illinois492 wrote:
Cy,

Hello, thanks for answering questions tonight. I already asked this of Dr. Lowery, but I just wanted to get your .02 as well. My hair’s starting to thin and I’m debating whether or not to take propecia/finasteride to inhibit the production of DHT and, hopefully, save my hair. I’m wondering what the effect of lowering DHT serum levels (by about 60%, according to one study) will have on me both in terms of being able to put on muscle, and psychologically. Is DHT an important hormone, in your opinion? Should I be worried about this effect? I’ve been doing some reading, and apparently much of the side effects of propecia–decreased libido, etc–go away after continued use. I also found that one study showed a significant, 19% increase in testosterone levels with propecia use. Do you think that the body might compensate for the lack of DHT by upregulating testosterone? If so will that cancel out the effects of low DHT, anabolically and psychologically speaking? Thanks very much for your help. [/quote]

illinois492,

Psychological issues could be argued but the issue of an effect upon body composition has already been answered pretty thoroughly, within the literature, though I still see the topic discussed widely on the Internet. Skeletal muscle possesses little to no 5 alpha-reductase activity (unlike tissues such as the prostate and scalp as you’re concerned with) and thus the idea that a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor is going to have a negative impact is unlikely. This is a good reminder to always consider the effects upon the tissue and not simply in serum.

In support of this, when administering finasteride and testosterone concurrently in men, they’ve found that there was no significant difference in terms of an effect upon body composition in those receiving testosterone versus testosterone and finasteride.
(J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Mar;90(3):1502-10) Along those same lines, the general consensus from the available data is that finasteride only has a minimal effect upon libido, strength, fertility, etc.

Just for the sake of discussion, the increase in testosterone seen with finasteride could be one of two things and I’ve seen authors hypothesize both. One is that since you’re inhibiting 5 alpha-reductase, you’re preventing the normal 5 alpha-reduction of endogenous testosterone and thus you’re going to have a higher circulating amount. The other is that by inhibiting 5 alpha-reductase in the brain, you’re allowing for a lesser degree of androgenic negative feedback, thus increasing endogenous testosterone production. In any event, in clinical studies, you don’t always see an increase in testosterone, and I do remember in one, it only lasted a short time before returning to baseline.

If it were me, hopefully now that my concerns about body composition were not as great, I’d at least give it a try. Even in those who have found that it caused depression, it generally dissipates upon cessation of use. I would also however, have a thorough discussion, if you decide to use it, with your physician about the possibility for gynecomastia and monitoring for it and any other potential side effects.

Hope this helps.

I have been taking ZMA every night for a little over a year. I am currently using Alpha Male for the second time with no negative side effects.

Christopher