Tribulus Terrestris – Supplement Profile

I first read of a tribulus terrestris product called Tribestan®, which I believe was the first tribulus terrestris product marketed to the public, in Dan Duchaine’s Underground Steroid Handbook. Since that time I have accumulated mostly second hand accounts of how, and how well, it works. Tribulus is an herbal supplement used since the late 70’s in Eastern Europe. It’s purported effects include increased luteinizing hormone release and thus testosterone production, increased sperm production, increased ejaculatory volume, and increased libido. In young patients with a condition known as hypogonadism, an increase in pubic hair has also been observed. All of these effects make tribulus an interesting supplement indeed. [Read more…]

Glutamine – Supplement Profile

Anybody who has been bodybuilding during the last ten years or so is certainly familiar with glutamine. Even if you have only bought a tub of protein lately you have probably heard about glutamine. Everybody seems to be claiming that it is the bell or whistle that makes their protein so “special”. Go to any bodybuilding contest and you will hear several competitors swear by it. So what does it do? Why does everybody give it so much credit? Well, the answer might surprise you. [Read more…]

Magnesium – Supplement Profile

Magnesium is a versatile mineral that has some major implications with regards to athletes. It has been studied quite extensively in the research. This article tries to answer the question “Why is magnesium so important to athletes and what are its functions?” By exploring some general information on magnesium and then examining the research, it may be clear to see why this mineral is so important for proper metabolic function. [Read more…]

Guggulipids – Supplement Profile

To begin the discussion about guggulipid, we must first talk about thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones are very important for normal growth and development. Thyroid hormones maintain metabolic stability by regulating oxygen requirements, body weight, and intermediary metabolism (1). Thyroid hormones have effects in almost all tissues of the body. Thyroid hormones exert effects on thermogenesis and temperature regulation. This can explain some of the effects they have on energy metabolism. Thyroid hormones can actually stimulate protein synthesis, which is a big plus for bodybuilders and other athletes. Thyroid hormones have also been implicated in lowering cholesterol. Now let’s get to the most important effect of thyroid hormone on athletes. Thyroid hormones can enhance lipolysis (fat burning) in adipose (fat) tissue. More lipolysis… more fat loss. Capish! [Read more…]

HMB – Supplement Profile

Anybody who’s been around bodybuilding over the last several years knows about Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate, or as it’s more commonly called, “HMB”. It was first patented by MTI and sold mainly through one large supplement company. The only reason I bring this up is because in an effort to really sell a lot of this stuff it was tagged as being able to build muscle. This is not exactly what HMB does and as a consequence, a lot of kids ran out and bought it with unrealistic expectations. With a very high price tag there were very high expectations. When nothing really noticeable happened after it was added to their “normal” routine, they quickly stopped buying it. [Read more…]

Alpha Lipoic Acid – Supplement Profile

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) directly activates lipid, tyrosine and serine/threonine kinases of the insulin signaling pathway in both muscle and fat cells,(1) which leads to the stimulation of glucose uptake. These properties are unique among all agents currently used to lower blood sugar in animals and humans with diabetes. [Read more…]

Vanadyl Sulfate – Supplement Profile

Vanadyl sulfate (VS) is a form of the element vanadium. Vanadium exists in at least six different states with VS being only one of them. No “essential” biological function has yet been discovered for vanadium. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have biological effects, it simply means that it is not considered an essential nutritional element. [Read more…]

Chromium – Supplement Profiles

Chromium is an essential mineral that participates in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. The trivalent form of Chromium (the kind you eat) is required for maintaining normal glucose metabolism in laboratory animals by acting as a cofactor for insulin (Mertz,1969). The biological action of chromium is believed to be due to its complexing with nicotinic acid and amino acids to form the organic compound glucose tolerance factor (GTF) (Mertz, 1974). This organic complex has recently been referred to as a chromium-containing oligopeptide low molecular weight chromium-binding substance (LMWCr) and has been shown to interact with insulin-stimulated kinase receptors of isolated adipocytes (Davis, 1997). The ability of LMWCr to stimulate insulin receptor tyrosine kinase activity is dependent on its chromium content. Chromium exerts its effects by increasing disulfide bridging between the insulin peptide and it’s receptor. [Read more…]