Artichoke may protect testes against anabolic steroids
If during a steroid cycle the release of testosterone plummets and the testes atrophy, supplementation with Cynara scolymus [Latin for artichoke] may limit the damage. This is suggested by an Egyptian animal study, in which researchers experimented with rats, a particularly low dose of nandrolone and a particularly high dose of artichoke.
Researchers at Beni-Suef University published an animal study in Environmental Science and Pollution Research in which they injected nandrolone decanoate every week for 6 weeks. If the rats had been adult humans, they would have used approximately 200-250 milligrams a week.
There has been a time when some pharmacological athletes used anabolics in such doses. But that was many years ago.
In addition to nandrolone, another group of rats also received an extract of Cynara scolymus. If these rats had been humans, they would have received 11 grams of extract daily. That would amount to 2 tablespoons.
After 6 weeks, the researchers determined the effect of nandrolone on testes and testosterone production.
Nandrolone reduced the size of the testes and the testosterone concentration. Co-supplementation with artichoke reduced the effect of nandrolone on these two parameters, but did not cancel it.
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The Egyptians suspect that artichoke protects the testes by increasing the production of endogenous antioxidants. They discovered that nandrolone reduces total antioxidant activity and the concentration of catalase and glutathione, and that artichoke co-supplementation mitigates or eliminates these effects.
They also discovered that nandrolone increases the concentration of malondialdehyde – a marker of the activity of free radicals – and that co-supplementation reduces this increase.
The Egyptians also looked at the effect on sperm. Nandrolone reduced the quality of the sperm, but co-supplementation with artichoke also partially eliminated this effect.