Women over the age of 65 start to lose muscle mass faster than men do and as a result experience more difficulty with everyday activities such as getting up out of a chair, climbing stairs and doing the shopping. Sports scientists at the University of Sydney looked at whether strength training and taking the anabolic steroid oxandrolone might help. They discovered that taking oxandrolone helped increase the amount of muscle mass gained from strength training, but it did not increase muscle power.
The Australians did an experiment with 29 women aged between 65 and 90. The subjects all lived independently but suffered from sarcopenia: age-related loss of muscle mass. The experiment lasted for 12 weeks.
The researchers got all the women to do strength/resistance training three times a week. Each session lasted 45 minutes. The women did 3 sets of 8 reps for each exercise: leg press, leg extension, leg curl, triceps pushdown, calf raise and chest press. The load was 80 percent of the weight at which the women could just manage 1 rep.
Half of the women were given a placebo. The other half took 10 mg oxandrolone daily.
The women in the placebo group gained barely 500 g of lean body mass. The women who took oxandrolone gained almost 3 kg in lean body mass.
The women in the placebo group gained half a kilogram in body fat, while the women in the oxandrolone group lost a kilogram of fat.
Although the combination of oxandrolone and training improved body composition, the women in both groups gained the same amount of muscle power. The tables below show the amount of peak power the women were capable of developing when doing the chest press and the leg press, before and after the 12 weeks.
When it came to standing up from sitting or walking for a certain distance, both groups performed equally at the end of the 12 weeks.
In this study oxandrolone contributed little to the women’s daily functioning. This also needs to be set against the fact that the steroid had side effects, despite the low dosage used. The women’s HDL level decreased by 35 percent and the concentration of the liver enzyme ALT in their blood rose by 63 percent.
In the women who did strength training without pharmacological support there were no changes in the cholesterol balance or in the liver enzyme concentrations.
Three and six grams supplementation of d-aspartic acid in resistance trained men.
Although abundant research has investigated the hormonal effects of d-aspartic acid in rat models, to date there is limited research on humans. Previous research has demonstrated increased total testosterone levels in sedentary men and no significant changes in hormonal levels in resistance trained men. It was hypothesised that a higher dosage may be required for experienced lifters, thus this study investigated the effects of two different dosages of d-aspartic acid on basal hormonal levels in resistance trained men and explored responsiveness to d-aspartic acid based on initial testosterone levels.
Twenty-four males, with a minimum of two years’ experience in resistance training, (age, 24.5?±?3.2 y; training experience, 3.4?±?1.4 y; height, 178.5?±?6.5 cm; weight, 84.7?±?7.2 kg; bench press 1-RM, 105.3?±?15.2 kg) were randomised into one of three groups: 6 g.d(-1) plain flour (D0); 3 g.d(-1) of d-aspartic acid (D3); and 6 g.d(-1) of d-aspartic acid (D6). Participants performed a two-week washout period, training four days per week. This continued through the experimental period (14 days), with participants consuming the supplement in the morning. Serum was analysed for levels of testosterone, estradiol, sex hormone binding globulin, albumin and free testosterone was determined by calculation.
D-aspartic acid supplementation revealed no main effect for group in: estradiol; sex-hormone-binding-globulin; and albumin. Total testosterone was significantly reduced in D6 (P?=?0.03). Analysis of free testosterone showed that D6 was significantly reduced as compared to D0 (P?=?0.005), but not significantly different to D3. Analysis did not reveal any significant differences between D3 and D0. No significant correlation between initial total testosterone levels and responsiveness to d-aspartic acid was observed (r?=?0.10, P?=?0.70).
The present study demonstrated that a daily dose of six grams of d-aspartic acid decreased levels of total testosterone and free testosterone (D6), without any concurrent change in other hormones measured. Three grams of d-aspartic acid had no significant effect on either testosterone markers. It is currently unknown what effect this reduction in testosterone will have on strength and hypertrophy gains.
PMID: 25844073 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC4384294