Clomid, the big lie?
Hey bro's, I just found this on AR. It is very interesting, I will keep everyone updated.
CLOMID - THE BIG LIE
Like everyone else who has ever read a single book (or every book for that matter) on the proper use of anabolics, I usually included a course of Clomid after each cycle. It was the responsible thing to do. So they say. There was just one little problem with this procedure. It seemed to make the recovery and the return of libido, testicular size, sperm count, seminal volume and normal testosterone levels worse. How can this be? Maybe I was just a weird exception to the rule. One doctor suggested I might have some bizarre feedback loop that gave the drug its negative effects. Maybe I was crazy. Maybe not.
The simple truth of the matter is this: the thinking on Clomid is based on some very sketchy evidence which has been parroted endlessly among the bodybuilding community. In a way, I'm at fault myself. Allow me to explain.
A few years back, I co-wrote an article with Brock Strasser called "The Steroid Summit." In that piece, I mentioned Clomid and ejaculate volume. Where I was going with this was the fact that I noticed a definite decrease in ejaculate volume and this would indicate that Clomid wasn't doing what it was supposed to do. Brock replied "Oh yeah, Clomid will definitely increase ejaculate" and he went on to say how male porn stars are using it to enhance their "bursts of drama" so to speak. We were tackling a lot of topics and I didn't want to dispute his contention so I let it go. At any rate, wouldn't you know... the rumor about porn stars and Clomid ran rampant. I started hearing it everywhere, even in places unassociated with bodybuilding.
I knew I couldn't be the only person experiencing negative effects from Clomid so I did a little personal survey. It turns out I wasn't as weird as I thought. Out of over 100 bodybuilders I questioned, about 1 in 4 experienced in the use of steroids and aromatase blockers admitted that Clomid didn't have the effects they were hoping for. Many also claimed that Nolvadex, which has a very similar structure to Clomid, caused a loss in libido and a weak ejaculation. Even among those who felt it helped them, there were complaints about "emotional distress" and "weepiness", both of which suggest an increase in estrogen. So how can anyone be sure Clomid is actually beneficial?
Still, the rumors persist.
I was on a popular internet message board recently and someone was claiming that they weren't getting back their atrophied testicles even after using 50mgs of Clomid for two weeks. The resident "guru" suggested taking 100mgs for another two weeks. This line of thinking is straight from the middle ages when doctors prescribed leeches to cure a disease -- if the patient got sicker from the treatment the solution was; more leeches! Ridiculous? Of course. Some things never change.
There are several major problems associated with Clomid, as well as Arimidex, Nolvadex, Teslac or any other estrogen blocker. For one thing, all these compounds are indiscriminate in how much estrogen they block. So what's bad about that? Well, the whole point of using an anti-estrogen is to protect against the spillover of estrogen that comes with the excessive use of androgens. If the body can't metabolize all that testosterone, it aromatizes into estrogens. What the experts fail to address is the fact that the amount of aromatization varies greatly from individual to individual. If the steroid dosages are moderate, there might not be any aromatization of any consequence, and the anti-estrogens may lower levels below what they were normally! And keep one very important fact in mind. A little estrogen in men is necessary for a healthy libido. (It's also necessary for other things such as bone density, skin tone, etc., but I can't think of anything more important to most men than their dicks.)
More recently, it has even been suggested that estrogen may play a role in the proliferation of androgen receptors. This may explain why some experienced steroid users claim that they get decreased results when adding an anti-estrogen to their stack. It was once thought that anti-estrogens such as Nolvadex decreased IGF-1, but this has not been validated with any concrete evidence. Nevertheless, studies done on rats found that androgen receptor binding was dramatically increased after the administration of estradiol, increasing the anabolic potency of the androgenic steroid. If nothing else, this shows that estrogen is, on some level, directly or indirectly involved in the process of promoting muscle growth. There's also the added element of strength and size gains due to the water retention that estrogen inflicts. And just as a kicker, anti- estrogens may also increase sex hormone binding globulin which is the last thing you want when coming off a cycle.
In the case of Clomid, the effects may be even worse than other anti-estrogens since Clomid is a mild estrogen itself. The basic theory behind its use (which is sounding more and more stupid every day) is essentially that the Clomid will occupy the estrogen receptor sites thus disallowing the formation of more estrogen. Maybe. What's more likely in cases where estrogen levels are normal, the Clomid will simply add more estrogen. This may the reason for some people's apparent aversion to Clomid and its estrogen-like side effects.
Even if Clomid did lower estrogen, there's no evidence that lower estrogen will necessarily lead to increased testosterone, yet this is the premise which everyone follows. Clomid has also been known to produce a decrease in the LH response to LH releasing hormone. This is something that has been known for a while, (findings on this date as far back as 1978) yet curiously ignored. Naturally, studies aren't conducted to benefit the bodybuilder on steroids, so we must learn to read between the line sometimes. In doing so, conclusions can be drawn. All too often steroid gurus draw them incorrectly.
The notion of increased sperm count is also one of contention. Allow me to get technical for a moment and break my own rule about references for a second while I cite this quote from a study done on Clomid.
"Treatments with idiopathic oligospermia for six to nine months resulted in a significant increase in gonadotropin testosterone and estradiol levels. A significant increase in sperm density was observed only in subjects with low sperm count below normal basal FSH levels. In cases where sperm density increased, FSH levels decreased, suggesting an inhibitory effect."
What this suggests in plain English is that not everyone reacts to Clomid treatment in the same way and sperm levels must be abnormally suppressed for the drug to be of any benefit. And even in situations where that is the case, the side effect was lowered Follicle Stimulating Hormone, which as you may know, controls the amount of Leutinizing Hormone we release which in turn regulates how much testosterone we have. This is why so many bodybuilders claim to crash after coming off of the Clomid.
Judging from this information it's clear that Clomid, at best, is a crap shoot and its benefits, if any, are temporary. So why is everyone still taking it?
Next week, in part two of BottomLine Bodybuilding excerpt, Clomid The Big Lie, Nelson tells us why bodybuilders are still taking Clomid and making a big mistake! He also lets you in on some other drugs that really help you recover from a steroid cycle properly