Cortisol reduction & Phosphatidylserine


Cortisol reduction

I got this off of another board, hence the 3 different names credit is given to.

This is an excellent post on cortisol production. Cortisol is the anti-Christ of muscle mass being extremely catabolic. Again Slacker get credit for finding it and Hulk gets credit for a well thought out idea. Regards, Merlin

Posted by slackerdude on 02-14-2003 08:37 AM:
Cortisol reduction

An interesting post from Hulk over at Meso, worth the read for post cycle maintenance.

I've taken every known anabolic substance there is. The one natural BB'ing supplement which has proven itself effective for muscle building again and again is Phosphatidylserine. It should be used post cycle for reducing supra-high cortisol levels as well as by the natural bodybuilder who wants to accelerate muscle gains. I do not know why a bodybuilding supplement that has been around for a decade - with dramatic, proven results - has not become as basic as protein for the natural and un-natural BB'er. The soy derived phosphatidylserine taken once daily - @ 600 mg orally will lower cortisol levels by ~37%. @ 800 mg it will reduce cortisol by ~45% @ 1000 mg it will reduce cortisol by ~51%. Observations were taken 6, 12, and 24 hours after consumption. After supplementation 1X daily for 30 days @ 800 mg/day cortisol levels were STILL ~46% lower than when tested at the start of the study 30 days prior. Unlike Anti-androgens, which lowever production of cortisol, T3, testosterone, etc. PS has no negative effect on leutinizing hormone or T production. In fact, it has the effect of increasing Test production as well, due to its effect of raising dopamine levels. "Free Test" production was raised 7% while LH was increased 11% after 800 mg administration of PS. This is very significant. There are now hundreds of studies with PS - documenting its cortisol reducing effects for smokers, people suffering from chronic stress, alzheimers, to bodybuilders. To give you an analagy - Dianabol @ 20 mg/day will lower cortisol by ~42% by day 7. By day 14 Dianabol will lower cortisol levels by ~63%. Similar results are seen when Dianabol is increased to 30 mg/day. Phosphatidyserine is right up there with Dianabol in its ability to reduce cortisol, however w/o dianabol's direct anabolic effect from testosterone.

For the Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) user - you take clomid post cycle to start up your body's production of natural testosterone since endogenous production of test is reduced to nothing in the presence of androgens - so post cycle you want to start back up your endogenous production of test, which is down to nothing. Well post cycle your cortisol levels are skyrocketing now that the Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) you were taking are leaving your system. Why not prevent skyrocketing cortisol levels with PS AND jump-start your nat test production with clomid? Why not do BOTH? Seems a good way to prevent your hard earned muscle from being cannibalized.

For the natural - taken before workouts, even once, you will notice the ability to train harder and longer. You will feel "harder" and after 1 or 2 weeks - you will definitely notice the anabolic effect that the lowly soy derived oil will give you.

Enough with loading up on Glutamine and Creatine. Yeah they will bloat you up with H2O (and I've read some articles about how they may increase nitrogen retention slightly - but no more than a piece of chicken, lol) but with PS you will see a several fold increase in nitrogen retention. Your testosterone to cortisol ratio will be enhanced by ~100% - you are doubling your T/C ratio overnight. At night when your body secretes GH, there is 50% less cortisol to antaganize the GH, allowing for more protein syn and muscle growth/repair. Yet it is still being overlooked. Hell, most naturals and Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) users have never even heard of it, yet everyone knows what Glutamine is. Too Bad.

The stuff is extremely expensive. That is why it's not a popular supplement.

When Creatine first came out it was $99 for 150 grams by EAS. Now with widespread use and increased production I don't have to tell you what you can purchase 150 grams of creatine for now. Yeah PS is expensive, but if it was 1/10 th as popular as glutamine the price would be far reduced. Guess that is why the rant, I see a good supplement being passed over for expensive "shitty" supplements.

Reducing cortisol is good, UP TO a certain point. Beyond that point is not only not productive, it is also detrimental to joint health. Drastically lowering cortisol levels will lead to joint aches and pains. Just be are of this when giving PS a try and keep track of how you feel at given dosages.

Back to my point - test cyp @ 250 mg/wk reduces cortisol levels by ~68% by day 15. ~68% ! This is undoubtably why testosterone is so hard on collagen production. If anyone is worried about damaging joints b/c of drastically reduced cortisol levels then they should steer clear of testosterone.

BTW, not all Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) reduce cortisol levels, which is why a main reason some of them are not detrimental to joint health. Take Turinabol for example - it will not reduce cortisol levels at all, while Dianabol will reduce cortisol levels by approx the same as test cyp and test enan.
phosphatidylserine is a good supplement, but I'm really not sure how true are some of the statements made in the post.

Some studies indicate that AS affect cortisol levels, other show no effect.

Your androgen/cortisol ratio post cycle will be low because your androgen levels are low...

There are some animal studies which show that AS may interact with glucocorticoid receptors and thus antagonize the catabolic activity of glucocorticoids....

...."Several investigators25-27 have shown that anabolic steroids can preferentially bind to the muscle glucocorticoid receptors. Mayer and Rosen25 proposed a mechanism whereby anabolic steroids compete with glucocorticoids for binding to the muscle glucocorticoid receptors. The interaction of anabolic steroids with the glucocorticoid receptor would prevent binding of glucocorticoids to the receptor and therefore antagonize the catabolic activity of glucocorticoids on muscle tissue..."

But anabolic effect of AS seems to be more important than anti catabolic:

..."Since Kochakian’s early observations that gonadectomy increases nitrogen (protein) loss, and testosterone replacement attenuates that loss or net catabolism (1), studies in both animals and humans have demonstrated that androgens or anabolic steroids increase body weight and lean body mass and often decrease fat mass (1, 3, 5, 21, 26, 34, 43, 44, 45). The anabolic action on lean body mass was largely ascribable to an increase in muscle and was observed in hypogonadal male and female animals or eugonadal men given high dose testosterone or anabolic steroids (1, 3, 5, 21, 26, 34, 43, 44, 45). Although some studies suggested that androgens increased protein mass via decreases in proteolysis (46), most investigations have reported that androgens augment muscle mass through increases in muscle protein synthesis without affecting degradation (5, 21, 43, 45, 47, 48, 49). As a result, an earlier concept that androgens decrease glucocorticoid-mediated increases in muscle protein degradation (46) has been discounted...."

He also says that Dbol will reduce your cortisol while cortisol was actually increased in this study:

Lancet 1976 Oct 2;2(7988):699-702 Related Articles, Links

"Anabolic" effects of methandienone in men undergoing athletic training.

Hervey GR, Hutchinson I, Knibbs AV, Burkinshaw L, Jones PR, Norgan NG, Levell MJ.

After failure to confirm an anabolic action of testosterone and its derivatives in rats, methandienone ('Dianabol', an "anabolic steroid" used by athletes) has been given to 11 athletic men during a course of weight-training, in a double-blind, crossover experiment. The dose of methandienone was 100 mg/day for 6 wk. Body weight and composition, muscular strength and performance, and indices of endocrine function were studied. Compared with the placebo period, on methandienone the subjects gained weight (mean 3-3 kg +/- 0-6 kg) and accumulated a disproportionately large amount of potassium (420+/-68 mmol); the increase in weight was confined to the lean part of the body, and the muscles increased in size. Strength and performance improved over each training period, but not significantly differently on drug and placebo. On the drug, plasma-cortisol concentration and urinary cortisol excretion increased, and plasma-testosterone decreased. Although the weight and body-composition changes may demonstrate an anabolic action of methandienone in man, they may alternatively have been caused by an increase in intracellular fluid, and the question of anabolic action therefore remains open.

One of the drugs used in this study was test - no changes in serum cortisol were noticed:

Response of serum hormones to androgen administration in power athletes.

Alen M, Reinila M, Vihko R.

Endocrine effects of self-administration of high doses of anabolic steroids and testosterone were investigated in five power athletes during 26 wk of training, and for the following 12-16 wk after drug withdrawal. After 26 wk of anabolic steroid and testosterone administration, serum testosterone concentrations had increased 2.3-fold. This was associated with increased concentrations of serum estradiol, which rose 7-fold to values (0.48 nmol X 1(-1) typical for females. There was a major decrease in serum FSH and LH concentrations, but they returned to control levels following drug withdrawal. However, serum testosterone concentrations stayed at low levels (9 nmol X 1(-1) ) during this follow-up period, indicating long-lasting impairment of testicular endocrine function. Serum ACTH concentrations were also decreased during steroid administration, possibly due to a corticoid-like effect of some of the anabolic steroids taken in high doses. However, no changes were seen in serum cortisol. The only consistent change in the control group was an increase in serum LH concentrations during the most intensive training, suggesting that a decreasing tendency of serum testosterone was compensated for by augmented LH secretion.
Hmmmmmmm.........intersesting thoughts here bro's.

Proper cortisol function - rise and fall - is important. It is responsible for mineral control, sugar balance and how your body responds to stress. If the adrenal glands are not working properly (where most cortisol is produced) cortisol production will be affected. A lack of cortisol can lead to fatigue, allergies and arthritis.

Conversely, too much cortisol can have a catabolic (break dwon) effect on the body. Cortisol excess has been associated with bone breakdown. If your body produces too much cortisol over a long period of time, it can trigger emotional problems making you constantly tired and weak. Chronic cortisol imbalances can lead to weight gain, muscle and joint pain, insommnia and premature aging.

Cortisol is important to many bodily funcitons, but when there is a progesterone deficiency, cortisol can be stripped of much of its natural power. In other words, having abundant levels of progesterone is key to recieving the many benefits normal cortisol levels can offer.
Awesome post bro! I take my PS right before I go to sleep to keep cortisol at nil. Ive also heard tren is one of the strongest anti cortisol.
Actually, there've been some studies where PS was used to increase brain function in ppl with memory and cognitive problems: like me!
I use it, it is pricey, though.
buffdoc said:
Actually, there've been some studies where PS was used to increase brain function in ppl with memory and cognitive problems: like me!
I use it, it is pricey, though.

How would you rate it as an anti-catabolic Supp?
Here's a thought for you guys to kick around..

Remember Cytadren? Cytadren is a drug for folk's with Cushing's syndrome. Cytadren inhibits this cholesterol side-chain cleaving enzyme responsible for steroid biosynthesis. This has the potential to drop cortisol production off the charts..

But nobody uses cytadren for that purpose anymore. Cytadren did not survive the evolution of BBing drugs. Instead, it was tossed along the side of the underdeveloped road to modern Bbing.

This doesn't happen to drugs that are effective and hence popular.

You can take cytadren (as many BBers have) and get next to zero cortisol production.. What happened to the guys who did this? The way people speak of cortisol as it is Satan to BBing, you would think the guys blocking their cortisol production were responsible for the Bigfoot sightings in the 80's!

It turns out that reducing cortisol beyond that which is normal obviously had no appreciable effect on muscle growth for these guys.

Alas, it wasn't a miracle drug after all and it joined the ranks of: methandriol dipropionate, Ralgrow, and Danazol in the Museum of BBing.

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what types of effects would winstrol have on cortizol levels ?

also would high endurance athletes have higher coritzol levels ?
I wasn't able to find much info on the effect of stanozolol on cortisol, some animal studies I've seen show no effect.

Endurance training may lead to increased cortisol & lowered test levels, but that's not always the case.

The main reason for the loss of muscle mass post cycle is hypogonadism, not increased cortisol.
Urinary nitrogen loss in the hypogonadal state can increase >30 % compared to eugonadal ....
Great thread.

As far as the Hervey study, I tend to discount results when ridiculously high dosages are employed. Serum T was lowered because of the androgenic inhibition on the HP. Also, I don't think there is any question that D'bol is effective anabolically, outside its water retaining tendencies.

I also have to add that cortisol is the ONLY hormone where a total absence is not compatible with life. I add this because there is such a tendency to go with the "if a little is good, more is better" mentality. Strange, huh, without the "stress hormone" we die!
GOHAN said:
Up, for more opinions! This is the one of the best threads!

LOL.......I was looking at this just now, thinking I don't remember posting this last week, and then I see it was last year, oh.... how time flies.
SWALE said:
Great thread.

As far as the Hervey study, I tend to discount results when ridiculously high dosages are employed. Serum T was lowered because of the androgenic inhibition on the HP. Also, I don't think there is any question that D'bol is effective anabolically, outside its water retaining tendencies.

I also have to add that cortisol is the ONLY hormone where a total absence is not compatible with life. I add this because there is such a tendency to go with the "if a little is good, more is better" mentality. Strange, huh, without the "stress hormone" we die!

This brings to light a new idea: My joints and muscles starting killing me about 9 months ago(all joints hurting bad and muscles feeling like they were ripping ). It would come and go... When I got my first test done 2 months after stopping( any long testo enanthate had long cleared out 3 months prior) coritsal was middle of normal range(actually slight low). I asked the doc the doc doesn't that seem weird considering I've been on roids so long adding,"I see what the normal ranges are but for instance what would your be for a normal non roid user?"
He said "about the same."
Hell after being on so long could it be possible that ,rahter then what I was looking for ;high cortisal: the real culprit in my lack of energy,joint & muscle pains was actually LOW CORTISAL ?
Because if it was that low at the time, how low was it during???
Two points to consider in this train of thought:

1. Reducing cortisol to zero is BAD, BAD, BAD. You need the breakdown along with the rebuilding to regulate the formation of the correct sequence of amino acids in the muscle proteins. Also, cortisol has a beneficial effect because of its anti-inflammatory effect in the joints (personal experience: PS reduced cortisol significantly and I was unable to even lift my arms above my shoulders because of the pain. A week after ceasing PS and the pain went away).

2. Many ignore the detrimental effect of anti-e compounds such as letrozole on Bone Mineral Density because of the effect on estrogen (important fact: lowering estrogen to zero is BAD, BAD, BAD because estrogen has a positive effect on bone strength).

i agree that reducing cortisol well below normal is unhealthy , but i also think that when we lift /train extremely heavy between cycles our bodies may have an elevated cortisol level especially if strict dieting is involved and having a natural compound readily available from your local health food stores to combat this problem is a blessing .
The main thing is controling cortisol post cycle. I have found that a good dose of vit-c and my usual post cycle use of slin and b-12 are all I need.