Written by Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
11 December 2009

Truth About Trenbolone Acetate

After years of absence from the American bodybuilding scene, Trenbolone is available from Mexico, sold as Trenbol 75 or as Finaplix cattle implant pellets. Trenbolone is a modification of nandrolone and is a very good drug for building strength and muscle mass. Athletes like it because none of the drug is converted to estrogens. Trenbolone is highly anabolic and causes rapid increases in muscle mass, excellent post cycle muscle retention, low water retention, increased red blood cell production, superior strength gains, reduced body fat, increased glycogen synthesis, increased creatine phosphate synthesis and it enables bodybuilders to stay anabolic when dieting. The drug is highly androgenic, however, with significant side effects including liver and kidney toxicity, prostate enlargement, male pattern baldness, hallucinations and high blood pressure. You can purchase Finaplix legally because it’s a cattle implant that’s not very amenable to human use. Some bodybuilders grind it up and prepare a paste with DMSO and rub it on the skin. Others snort the powder or mix it with saline and inject it. Each of these methods could cause serious infection or death. DMSO can be toxic to the liver, while injecting a powder-saline mixture could easily be contaminated and cause blood poisoning. (Anabolics 2004)

Drug Smuggling Has Gone to the Dogs

Anyone who has even thought about smuggling drugs across international borders knows about drug-sniffing dogs. Wily drug runners have used every trick in the book to transport drugs without detection, including baking them inside ceramic figurines, stuffing them inside teddy bears, sending them across with mothers and their babies and shoving them up where the “sun don’t shine.” Columbian smugglers reasoned that the best way to thwart drug-sniffing dogs was to use dogs of their own. They surgically implanted 1.6 kilograms of cocaine into two Labrador retrievers and shipped them from Columbia to London via Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, both dogs became deathly ill and were examined by Dutch veterinarians. The cocaine bags burst and killed one of the dogs. Three Brits have been charged with smuggling and hopefully, cruelty to animals. (Forensic Drug Abuse Advisor, Oct., 2003)

GHB Implicated in Bodybuilder’s Death

Mike Scarcella, former Mr. America and Mr. USA, was an accomplished bodybuilder and personal trainer who died last August from an enlarged heart triggered by high blood pressure and possibly from side effects of long-term   GHB addiction. Mike had sought professional help for his addiction, but suffered extreme withdrawal symptoms during treatment. Mike’s family is suing Plano Hospital in Dallas since they refused to treat his high blood pressure because he didn’t have any medical insurance. He had been treated in the hospital for a beating he received in a bar fight in Dallas. The hospital commented that Mike’s death was not the result of care he received in the hospital. Mike was a good family man and had many friends in the bodybuilding community. (Dallas Morning News, Nov. 14, 2003)


How Ephedrine Works

Ephedrine is a popular stimulant with bodybuilders and other athletes who want to lose weight, boost energy and enhance performance. The stimulant is available as a prescription and as an over-the-counter supplement sold as the herb ephedra. Recreational drug manufacturers also use ephedrine to illegally make methamphetamine. Ephedrine boosts the activity of the sympathetic

nervous system— the part of the brain that puts your body on guard against harm or stress (fight or flight). The drug works by activating adrenergic receptors (getting your body ready for action) and triggers the release of norepinephrine— a hormone and nerve agent with actions similar to adrenaline. While ephedrine is a stimulant, it’s not as powerful as amphetamine, nor does it cause addiction or high blood pressure. Still, states such as New York and California, have banned the sale of over-the-counter ephedra supplements. (J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 307: 138-145, 2003)


Does Ecstasy Cause Brain Damage?

We have reported the results of several studies suggesting that people who take the rave drug Ecstasy are more likely to have brain damage and mental disorders. The studies showed that the drug could cause serious, permanent brain injury— impairing memory and brain centers that regulate mood, learning and sleep. Regular users had impaired memories 2-1/2 years after they stopped using the drug. The authors have retracted claims of studies funded by the government showing that Ecstasy might cause Parkinson’s disease. Rats subjected to what the scientists thought was Ecstasy were actually given methamphetamine instead. This study refuted others showing that even massive doses of Ecstasy did not cause brain changes consistent with Parkinson’s disease. Ecstasy is big business worth about $65 billion worldwide. While it may not cause Parkinson’s disease, it may have toxic effects on the brain. (Forensic Drug Abuse Advisor, Oct., 2003)


Duh— Baseball Players Take Steroids

Take a sport where top players are millionaires and get paid according to how hard they can hit the ball and you have a natural venue for steroid use. Athletes play baseball from February to October and must avoid injury and maintain strength to compete. The fans like to see big hitters, so it should come as no surprise that players use anabolic steroids. Yet, articles appear in newspapers like the New York Post (Nov. 14, 2003) with headlines like “Steroids Stunner.” Give us a break! We’re surprised they didn’t include a photo of a little boy with a caption under him exclaiming, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” Major League Baseball’s response is a half-hearted drug testing program that will result in treatment for the first positive test and a one-year suspension for a fifth positive test. Last year, about five percent tested positive. In track and field, one positive test results in a two-year suspension with lifetime suspensions after that. It’s amazing any of these baseball players got popped because they knew

about the dates of the tests ahead of time. People want to see large, fast athletes do amazing things on the field. Pro sports officials know this and will

conduct bogus drug detection programs as long as they can get away with it.


Super-Sized Coffee Packs Mega Caffeine Jolt

The American food industry has super-sized soft drinks, burgers, fries, ice cream and pasta— so why not coffee? Drinking giant cups of coffee makes people take in more caffeine than ever before. Caffeine is the world's most popular drug. Bodybuilders like it because it increases alertness for training, prevents fatigue and may increase strength. It can also cause insomnia, promote anxiety and increase blood pressure and heart rate. All coffees are not created equal. University of Florida College of Medicine researchers found large differences in the caffeine content of coffee from one coffee shop to another. Also, the cup of coffee you bought today may have twice as much caffeine as the one you bought yesterday. If you want a quick pick-me-up go to Starbucks instead of Dunkin’ Donuts. A medium-sized coffee at Starbucks averaged 259 milligrams of caffeine, while the same size coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts had only 143 milligrams. Even in the same shop, the caffeine content of a cup varied as much as 100 percent in a single day. That’s understandable because factors such as type of bean, roasting and brewing methods and grind contribute to caffeine levels in coffee. In 1978, when America was known for brewing weak, pond-water coffee, the average cup contained only 85 milligrams of caffeine. The Florida study suggests that people who frequent specialty coffee shops may be pushing their caffeine consumption into the stratosphere. (J Anal Toxicol, 27: 520-522, 2003)


Aromasin Blocks Estrogen

Testosterone and testosterone-like drugs increase muscle mass and strength and are the most effective supplements for bodybuilding. Growth hormone, insulin, creatine and HMB build muscle, but not as well as testosterone. Most steroid side effects are minor and reversible, but some are permanent, annoying and embarrassing. Gynecomastia, the growth of female-like breast tissue in men, occurs when the body converts testosterone to estrogen. Many bodybuilders prevent gynecomastia with a drug called Nolvadex, which blocks the action of estrogen. The problem with this drug is that it doesn’t block all the estrogen the body produces. Aromasin prevents the conversion of testosterone to estrogen and may be better for preventing gynecomastia. Physicians use aromatase inhibitors such as Aromasin to treat breast cancer. It also boosts natural testosterone levels by preventing testosterone breakdown to estrogen. It increases a hormone called LH that increases natural testosterone production. The drug costs a lot— about $200 for 30 pills— but may still be effective if you take a half-dose. One problem with Aromasin is that it decreases HDL (good cholesterol) and increases LDL (bad cholesterol). Consider using Nolvadex if you have high cholesterol or unusually low HDL. (Anabolics 2004)




Steroid Super Stacks

Serious bodybuilders who use steroids typically take stacks of at least 600-1,000 milligrams per week of various forms of testosterone and anabolic steroids, combined with other anabolic supplements, such as growth hormone, IGF-1, clenbuterol, creatine and HMB. They also take drugs, such as Nolvadex, to prevent gynecomastia and HCG to boost normal testosterone production. These anabolic supplement programs account for the incredible increase in size and strength that we’ve seen in bodybuilders and other weight trained athletes. Studies back up these practices; a Dutch study showed that athletes stacking steroids had better results than those using only one drug. Most information about stacking and cycling anabolic steroids comes from the trenches. It’s based on trial-and-error experiences by bodybuilders and power athletes rather than scientific studies. Several stacks recommended by www.t-mag.com (Nov., 2003) included:

·      Trenbolone and testosterone: 300-700 mg Tren and 240-500 mg Test per week.

·      Trenbolone and methandrostenolone (D-bol): 300-700 mg Tren and 105-350 mg D-bol per week

·      Trenbolone and stanozolol (Winstrol): 300-700 mg Tren and 350-700 mg Wini per week.

The article included many other stacks and cautioned that bodybuilders should take anti-estrogens or aromatase inhibitors to prevent gynecomastia. 


Low Testosterone, High Estrogen Linked to Obesity in Some Men

Men gain fat and lose muscle mass as they age. At least some of this is due to hormone changes that are not unlike those affecting older women going through menopause (when menstruation and estrogen secretion stop). Many obese men have increased estrogen levels in the blood and decreased levels of free and total testosterone. The greater the obesity, the worse the hormone problems. Scientists found that blocking estrogen production with testolactone increased the hormone LH (important for testosterone production), testosterone and free testosterone levels (free testosterone makes muscles grow). Blocking estrogen production eliminated the condition that triggered obesity and low testosterone in these men. Other studies show that getting these men to lose weight had similar effects to giving the drug, which again shows the importance of exercise and a healthy diet for health and wellness. (Metabolism, 52: 1126-1128, 2003)


Growth Hormone Builds Muscle by Blocking Myostatin

Control systems in the body almost always have checks and balances. For example, insulin helps store carbohydrates, while glucagon moves carbs out of cells and into the blood. Muscle has its checks and balances, too. A muscle growth factor called IGF-1 stimulates muscle growth, while myostatin prevents growth. Scientists from New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital found that growth hormone works partially by inhibiting myostatin. They gave adults injections of growth hormone and muscle myostatin levels decreased by 31 percent in six months. GH continued to suppress myostatin during the entire 18-month period of the study. The inhibitory effect of GH on myostatin was sustained after 12 and 18

months of GH treatment. GH treatments increased lean body mass and improved aerobic fitness. This study showed positive effects of growth supplementation in older adults. (J Clin Endocrin Metab, 88: 5490-5496, 2003)


The Up Side of Oxycontin

Bad publicity for drugs often prevents their use in people who really need them. Testosterone is a good example. Bad publicity regarding its use in sports has made many physicians reluctant to prescribe it to aging men, in spite of its proven benefits. The recent publicity surrounding Oxycontin addiction by radio personality Rush Limbaugh has obscured the many benefits of the drug for people suffering from severe pain. Recreational drug abuse that has led to many deaths has fueled the problem. Oxycontin can be addictive when abused, which is why the dose is tapered to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Deaths from the drug have also been overstated. While it has been related to at least 1,000 deaths, it was almost always taken in combination with other drugs with depressive effects. Oxycontin is a powerful pain fighter that has its place in medicine. We should not remove it from our treatment arsenal because of recreational drug abuse. (USA Today, Oct. 27, 2003)