Long-term exposure to anabolic steroids and other testosterone boosting compounds will have an almost unavoidable impact on your body’s ability to produce testosterone when you stop taking those substances.
On top of that, long-term users of anabolic steroids will also see a number of hormonal shifts and biochemical changes having to do with testosterone production, estrogen, and more – but they also deal with physical changes to their body (including a shrinking of their testes) if they have been using anabolic steroids for an extended amount of time.
Researchers based out of Egypt have been looking into whether or not the compound taurine (naturally produced in the body, but available as an orally available, too) can be used to prevent decreased sperm production and shrinkage of the testicles according to a new report published by a university in Giza.
This research is coming at a very important time in Egypt. Over the last 20 years steroid use has really skyrocketed. Objection athletes and performance-enhancing compound users are just now starting to see the long-term side effects these compounds can bring about firsthand, and many of them are discovering to their horror that their natural testosterone levels have dipped and they are borderline sterile.
The team of Egyptian researchers has been looking into the way that taurine works to protect cells found in tissue throughout the body that consumes a lot of energy (particularly muscular tissue and the tissue in the testicles). Taurine has a natural ability to protect the cells in these areas and the university researchers want to know if increasing taurine levels can provide and even bigger buffer zone.
The research team started with more than a dozen different laboratory rats (all of them male). From there, they injected some of them with weekly dosages of nandrolone decanoate (a specific anabolic steroid). The dosage was obviously much (much) lower than what a human would use, but the human equivalent came in at around a weekly 140 mg dosage.
Another portion of the laboratory rats were not only given this anabolic steroid injection but were also given orally available taurine supplements. The dosage for the supplements works out to about 1500 mg daily if a human had been taking the equivalent.
Lastly, a control group of laboratory rats were provided taurine alone with another control group given absolutely nothing. No steroids and no taurine.
The results were pretty interesting.
According to the research team, the rats that had been injected with steroids (both groups) were both found to have testicles that had shrunk. The group that had been supplementing with taurine, however, were able to prevent a significant amount of shrinkage.
The rats that had been using steroids saw significantly reduced production of sperm. Taurine was able to reduce these issues, too (though it did not eliminate them entirely).
Lastly, the researchers found that there was more genetic damage caused in the laboratory rats that had been given just anabolic steroid injections but that those provided with taurine as well saw absolutely no genetic damage at all.
At the end of the day, researchers are continuing to try and figure out just how much taurine would be necessary to prevent the slowdown of natural testosterone production prolonged usage of anabolic steroids can cause.
They now understand that taurine can be used to slow down the damage caused (particularly in the testicles), but more in-depth research is going to be necessary to really understand how much taurine needs to be used by humans to combat or prevent these issues entirely.