T Nation

Thoughts on AAS Use and Cholesterol


#1

Well as usual I didnt listen. If there is a hard way to do things I do it that way. I just got my blood test back and my total is 258, LDL is at 198, HDL at 40 and trigly at 99.

I want to tell those who havent screwed up how I did. I have been on a serious bulk for 2-3 years. Almost every day I was eating 3 wole eggs for breakfast w/bacon and english muffin with butter. I never get sick of it. I ate alot of food every two hours. I ate pretty clean except for my wifes bakery-cookies.

The bulk went good. 20lbs good mass to 195ish around 10-15%bf. I wish I would have listened to every other article that recommends fish oil. WTF I was eating double the recommended allowance of cholesterol a day just at my breakfast meal.

Now I am really scared because according to my numbers I am at high riskfor a heart attack at 40 years old. They wanted to put me on a statin drug but I asked them to give me three months and test again. Oatmeal and a protein drink for breakfast and eat any dam omega 3 food I can find.

I am just telling my story. My family has a history of high cholesterol so maybe the statin drugs are unavoidable. I should have watched my diet alot closer knowing my family history. I have only did one long cycle for 12 weeks of tren E, EQ and test C. All the rest of the have been 2 weekers of tren A and test C or E.

The questions for those in the know.

Is red yeast rice worth trying?
Can I get these numbers down while on AAS or my TRT?


#2

Isn't red yeast rice for blood pressure? try garlic (in pill form)


#3

My mistake. Wikipedia said statin drugs were developed through the isolation of ' lovastatin from Aspergillus and monacolins from Monascus' and monascus is what red yeast rice is grown on...


#4

If the cholesterol change has taken place in the last few years, relax, it takes many many years for hardening of the arteries to take place. If I were you I would hit a low carb diet, lots of healthy fats and easy on the fish oil since that can raise LDL. Measure your body fat accurately, you are probably underestimating it unless you have an accurate way of measuring it. Get it under 10% on a low carb diet and you should see some big changes in those numbers. When I say low carb I don't mean super low carb, just 100-150 grams of carbs per day.

If you are really worried about it then you need to lay off the AAS. They will make things worse almost certainly. A normal TRT regime should be fine and if anything will help your numbers.

Red rice yeast is the original statin btw.


#5

From reading here there are lots of recommendations not to get on the statin drugs. Are there any side affects to red yeast rice?

I know longer cycles are probably alot harder on the LDL numbers, but what kind of affect would the 2 weekers have?


#6

Statin drugs are pretty good imo. They have proven benefits for lifelong disease risk even if they are originally given to a healthy (ie normal cholesterol) population


#7

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#8

No cardio for me, I have spondy and am waiting for surgery. Its funny that you say chill out because two days before I got the blood results back, I was thinking how great I feel. I was very comfortable doing my TRT and two weekers with your (BBB)suggested 200mg test a week and 50mg tren for 10 days. The blood test was two weeks after after a two weeker clean. Funny thing is my test level was 275 total and estridol was under 20. So I was obviously cleared of my AAS. I guess cholesterol levels dont react as fast as test levels.

I typicially take 200mg of test E once a week every week. On the two weekers I take 100mg tren A day one and 50mg through day 10. The last run I tried 50mg of D-bol day 1-14. This is the first time I tried D-bol. I still take 200mg a week during the off weeks. Sometimes I take letro sometimes I dont. I feel less achy when I dont take the letro. I kinda feel like I will not take the AI any longer. I never get any type of gyno symtoms or bloating. In fact my weight hasnt changed much but strength increase has progressed through the last year. I guess I call it a bulk because I eat alot. I just figured the food would help keep up the strength.

Here is the wierd thing. My BP has never been bad and after the D-bol two weeker is went up out of normal range (dont rember the numbers).

When you say time is the healer, can I assume eating a low cholesterol diet will bring my numbers down on ldl? I have eliminated 700mg of cholesterol a day by loosing the 3 egg yolks and bacon I ate daily. I am able to keep the daily amount under 200mg with the diet change. I will continue with the TRT dose of 200mg a week but may hold off of the two week tren runs for a few months.


#9

Interesting read. Whats your thoughts. Found on Meso-RX

Manipulating Dietary Cholesterol for Optimum Muscle Growth
by Dharkam


Disclaimer: Discussion of pharmaceutical agents below is presented for information only. Nothing here is meant to take the place of advice from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult a physician before taking any medication.

Vince Gironda, the Iron Guru, used to recommend eating up to three dozen eggs a day in order to pack on mass fast. His rational was that the high cholesterol content would trigger a natural anabolic effect.

Ronnie Coleman, in his last video, Relentless, is taking a cholesterol lowering drug. Yet, such drugs are said to be detrimental to muscles.

Both behaviors seem contradictory!

Is high or low cholesterol better for muscle growth?
Why would anyone use a muscle wasting drug?
New research reconciles this paradox revealing that proper cholesterol manipulations can optimize muscle growth.

Acute training impact on cholesterol level

If moderate weight training does not seem to affect cholesterol levels, a traumatic workout will most definitely induce an acute reduction of blood cholesterol level within 2 hours (1). This shortage of cholesterol can last up to several days during the recovery phase. This lowering effect is due to an accelerated uptake of cholesterol by skeletal muscle. It reveals our fibers need this extra cholesterol in order to recover and grow.

Considering the positive impact of cholesterol on muscle growth (see below), it might be a good idea to include cholesterol-rich foods such as whole eggs in you first real post-workout meal. This strategy would make sure your muscles obtain all the cholesterol they need, preventing any potential shortage which would postpone recovery.

Dietary cholesterol intake on muscle growth

Riechman has studied the impact of cholesterol on (resistance) training-induced hypertrophy (2). This research has been conducted on elderly men and women, yet its findings seem relevant to younger subjects:

For 12 week, those people weight trained. When their daily cholesterol intake was inferior to 3.5 mg per kg of lean mass, no hypertrophy was detected. Strength only increased 36%. When their cholesterol consumption was above 5.7 mg/kg, muscle mass increased an average of 2.1 kg. Heavy cholesterol consumers experienced a strength increase of 86%.

Muscle growth and strength gains are closely related to dietary cholesterol intake. Considering a large egg contains around 200 mg of cholesterol, a 220 lbs bodybuilder would need at least 3 whole eggs a day.

Blood cholesterol level on muscle growth

Subjects with serum cholesterol lower than 178 mg/dl did not experienced much growth (+300 g of lean mass). When serum cholesterol was above 238 mg/dl, lean mass increased an average of 2.3 kg. The correlation between serum cholesterol and strength gains is statistically weaker. Subjects with low cholesterol level experienced an increase of 37% Vs 70% for subjects with high levels.

Muscle growth is positively correlated with blood cholesterol level.

Cholesterol lowering drugs on muscle growth

Statins are a class of drugs prescribed to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood. This class of drugs includes lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin, (Zocor), fluvastatin (Lescol), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and atorvastatin (Lipitor). The mechanism by which statins lower cholesterol is by blocking the enzyme in the liver, hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMCoA) reductase, responsible for producing cholesterol. Statin drugs lower total serum cholesterol levels, including HDL, as well as LDL levels.

Cholesterol intake and blood level represent two independent variables affecting hypertrophy. Subjects who responded the best to weight training were those consuming a cholesterol rich diet AND having a high blood cholesterol level AND using anti-cholesterol statin drugs. It is very surprising to discover that such drugs improved muscle gains as they are associated with myalgia, muscle weakness and muscle wasting in sedentary subjects.

Statin drugs accelerate muscle hypertrophy. The more we train, the more resistant our fibers get. It is increasingly difficult to damage them sufficiently to force them to grow. By rendering our fibers more fragile, statin drugs allow each rep to be more damaging to our muscles. As our muscles cannot seem to strengthen its fibers enough to counteract this fragilizing effect, they have no choice but to keep on growing.

Will cholesterol-related muscle catabolism favor growth?

I am not surprised that catabolic drugs facilitate muscle gains in trained subjects. I have already explained this paradox in a previously published clenbuterol article. Even cholesterol seems to enhance catabolism. Following an acute eccentric workout, soreness as well as strength loss are higher in young men consuming a whole egg diet rather than a low cholesterol diet (1). In response to this exacerbated catabolism, muscle strengthening is much more robust with the whole egg than with the white egg diet (1). This greater anabolic response explains the results observed on elderly. It also suggests that conclusions reached in older subjects apply to young men as well.

It may be important to note that if training-induced catabolism is enhanced by cholesterol lowering drugs, they also protect muscle cells from apoptosis (death) (3). This protective effect may facilitate an additional growth response.

Anabolic steroids and cholesterol

Anabolic steroids can either increase or decrease cholesterol levels depending on the choice of the drug as well as the individual response of the user. For example, orally active 17-alkylated anabolic-androgenic steroid are known to cause and undesirable reduction in HDL cholesterol levels. A severe reduction (which can go as low as having almost no cholesterol) is really bad for 2 reasons:

Cholesterol is needed for muscle growth (as well as for general health). It is very hard to bring cholesterol production back up to normal even with discontinuation of the steroids.
An increase in serum cholesterol levels would be a much better scenario as more cholesterol would be available for growth. It would also provide a good reason to get a prescription for the anti-cholesterol drug class of statins.
In conclusion:

With regards to muscle hypertrophy, It is a good idea to follow a high cholesterol diet (at least 3 whole eggs a day).
This is especially true if your training is both intense and traumatic.
Be careful during a low calorie diet as cholesterol intake usually is reduced during this period.
Cholesterol level tends to decline in summer, so be careful at that time, too.
Whole eggs are very appropriate and recommended following a workout.
Steroid users should closely monitor their blood cholesterol level as a decrease may reduce muscle growth.
Steroid users with high cholesterol levels should consult a physician and may consider the use of statin drugs in order to grow even more rapidly.
References

Riechman SE. Dietary Cholesterol Alters Recovery from Eccentric Muscle Damage in Humans. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Volume 38(5) Supplement May 2006 p S386
Riechman SE. Dietary and blood cholesterol and statins increase hypertrophy with resistance training. FASEB J. 2005 19 A1571
Urso ML. Changes in ubiquitin proteasome pathway gene expression in skeletal muscle with exercise and statins. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005 Dec;25(12):2441-4.


#10

I am not aware of any studies that positively correlate dietary cholesterol intake with heart disease and artery clogging...

I think the notion that dietary cholesterol increases your body's cholesterol is also very suspect.

I also would not put much stock in any numbers the government puts up for any sort of dietary or health recommendations--they don't have your best interests in mind. One only has to look at the abysmally low government recommendations for Vitamin D to develop a bit of skepticism on the knowledge of our government officials.

What were your carb sources while bulking? I would look at that long before dietary cholesterol (especially THREE eggs a day)


#11

I find that article really fascinating!

My carbs in a typical day were

-english muffin breakfast
-bread from a sandwich at lunch
-milk and cookies at night sometimes (okay 4 out of 7 nights)
-noodles with spaghetti ocassionally
-ocasional rice with chinese food

I typicailly eat

breakfast-3 eggs, sausage or deer bacon, english muffin and 1-2 cuppc coffee
snack-at 9am some type of protein( hotdogs, chicken, beef, deer steak)
lunch-sandwich, chienese food, steak or chicken
snack- at 2pm sandwich, meat or some type of protein
snack- at 4pm sandwich, meat or some type of protein
supper- typical supper (my wife is a lifter also so most all meals are on the heavy protein type)
snack- at 9pm milk and cookies sometimes

My diet is very heavy twards the protein side.


#12

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#13

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#14

First off BBB I truly respect your opinion. So I wont be hating! Second I guess I am blown away and need some education on nutrition. I thought I ate good because I eat no fast food or soda. I am eating around or over 200 grams of protein a day. I also didnt add in my post workout shake. I take a daily multi and after my low HDL numbers I have added 3 grams fish oil a day. I do not eat that chinese food daily just so you know, maybe once a week. Anyway YAAA your right about the cookies, but screw it, I work out way to hard to not indulge sometimes. I am not fat or anything from the carbs. So I tought as long as strength was increasing and body weight was slowly going up (very slow, I would say latley 1 pound maybe every 2 months). Then I was ok to eat sandwiches and ocassional pasta. In no way Bushy do I think I am educated in this, but I had thought I was doing a good job. Be brutal, I dont give a shit if it helps me get stronger!

What would you recommend for dietary changes?


#15

Listen to BBB on this one. My guess is if you'd start eating even MORE eggs and red meat while taking near zero carbs at the SAME TIME (not zero carb for the day, but at the same as fatty proteins), your blood lipid profiles would improve a LOT.

But let's not delude ourselves here: AAS most probably contribute to bad cholesterol levels, and no cardio doesn't help either. Do "MMA/boxer" style cardio, or things like the running man article from CT here on T-Nation.

Try these tips for a couple of months and check your cholesterol levels again.