Administration of testosterone or of a precursor of nandrolone: pharmacokinetics and impact on recuperation
In this work we tested the effects of multiple oral doses of testosterone undecanoate (TU) and 19-norandrostenedione (19-NAdione) on recuperation after very intense endurance training.
In spite of the different detection methods developed in the recent years, androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) remain the doping substances that are the most widely used by sportsmen and sportswomen. The increase in muscular mass and force cannot in themselves explain such popularity and other reasons probably exist.
There have been recent reports by some athletes and also in the literature that AAS may help optimize the organism’s recuperation capacity. A few studies did attempt to study this phenomenon as it pertains to pure force or resistance but conclusive results have not been obtained.
This study was conducted on 30 healthy male volunteers separated randomly (in a double-blind manner) into 3 groups: TU, 19-NAdione and placebo. Twelve oral doses were administered to each participant over a period of 1 month. A large number of blood and urine samples were collected in order to detect significant markers indicating better recuperation following individualized endurance training. Because psychological aspects are probably very important in relation to AAS administration, the tested subjects were asked to fill out POMS questionnaires.
The physical performance of the tested volunteers was assessed in treadmill tests by measuring velocity, cardiac frequency and blood lactate concentration. Slight differences in some parameters were observed between the three groups of volunteers. At the same time, ASS had no significant effect on any increase in endurance.
The following endocrinology markers were measured in the serum: cortisol, total testosterone, LH, T/LH and T/cortisol ratios. In spite of a drastic drop in the levels of cortisol and total testosterone after training, the hormonal profiles did not show any variation caused by training or the treatment received.
Different muscular activity markers were also measured, including creatine kinase, ASAT and urea. The temporal evolution of CK and ASAT demonstrated that the volunteers were engaged in vigorous muscular exercise. At the same time, there were no inter-group differences for any of the three parameters.
Iinterleukine-6 (IL-6) was chosen as the inflammation marker. The majority of blood samples contained IL-6 at levels that were below the detection limits of the immunological test. It thus appears that this parameter is of little interest in evaluation of long term recuperation.
The levels of urine catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine) were determined in order to assess the physiological stress resulting from training. Noradrenaline was the only substance that proved sensitive to physical effort, in particular in the group receiving testosterone. The observed change was significant but no reasonable explanation could be found for this observation.
This study failed to demonstrate that exogenous TU or 19-Nadione have any favorable impact on recuperation capacity in athletes. However, the interpretation of the results obtained in this study is limited because of the small number of participating subjects, the dosage used and the minimal effects that could be observed.
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