The Most OVERLOOKED Supplement for Muscle Building and Testosterone
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Testosterone and Zinc
Stimulation of the Akt pathway is crucial for MPS. The classical activation through the IGF-1 receptor is not the only possible way of activation. Akt pathway can be also stimulated through the beta-2 adrenergic receptor. Testosterone is androgen with well-known anabolic effect. A big market is created around supplements which are supposed to increase testosterone levels. However, in a study published in Frontiers of Physiology, testosterone levels of 49 resistance-trained men were assessed before and after 12 weeks of resistance training and the effectiveness of stimulating testosterone was questioned.
After the 12-week exercise program, men were divided into responder and non-responder groups according to the cross-section area of muscle fibres in their thighs. Also, their hormone levels were measured before and after the 12-week program. There was no significant difference in testosterone levels between non-responders and responders. No difference was found in other tested hormones (IGF-1, dehydroepiandrosterone, growth hormone, luteinizing hormone). All of these hormones are proposed to be anabolic, therefore these results are surprising.
The difference between responders and non-responders was found in the content of adrenergic receptors that testosterone binds to. These results suggest that the levels of circulating testosterone are not reflected in gained muscle mass. Rather, it is important how sensitive your body is to testosterone.
Indeed, it can be objected that injections of testosterone stimulate muscle growth, but this is likely because injections spike testosterone levels dramatically (sometimes by 600%) above the physiological range. In this range, testosterone can have drastic adverse effects like infertility, aggressive behaviour, high blood pressure and others. Testosterone injections can also become addictive.
According to this research spiking your testosterone levels naturally also won’t have much effect as the body’s response to physiological levels of insulin is dependent on the content of your adrenergic receptors that testosterone binds to.
Fortunately, it is possible to manipulate the functional properties of beta-2 adrenergic receptors. Zinc was shown both in human and animals to increase the affinity of receptor to its agonists. In other words, zinc makes our receptors more sensitive to testosterone and its anabolic effect. Old studies assessing zinc deficiency support the notion that zinc is an important factor in MPS.