finasteride: effects on overall body composition
We all know that DHT is responsible for aggravating MPB. And by now many of us have come to realize DHT isn’t so bad and serves a purpose besides just causing hair loss.
What I’m concerned with in this post is how long-term finasteride use effects overall body composition. That is, lean muscle vs body fat and also how it effects lean muscle gains.
While DHT is a much stronger androgen than Testosterone it still has less (musch less) of an effect on skeletal muscle than Testosterone does. From what I have read DHT is significantly weaker than Test in terms of promoting lean muscle. As long as your Test is normal/high you should have no issues gaining and keeping lean muscle.
Still, we have many anecdotal reports of people claiming finasteride hindered gains or degraded overall quality of body composition. I have seen reports of people saying finasteride should not be used when trying to get very lean because it makes it harder to reduce body fat. Some even go as far as to say that it promotes body fat. It’s true that DHT is somewhat of a natural ant-estrogen within the body. It does this through a few numerous pathways and this why some may experience gyno on finasteride. Many critics of finasteride say it shouldn’t be taken at all. They say the incidence of sides and permanaent sexual effects is much more common that Merck likes to admit. Swale, a notable medical voice with special experience, has been very vocal in an effort to dissuade people from using it.
Is there any solid science or evidence that shows DHT reduction leads to increased body fat? I’m not aware of any studies in regard to how it effects body composition. I don’t like the idea of reducing DHT but it does help with MPB. I took finasteride for roughly 2 years with no major side effects to speak of. However, there are MANY sides attributed to its use. They seem to increase as one gets older. Perhaps the sexual side effects are much more noticeable as reach your 30’s. I consider myself lucky but I have noticed a gradual increase in hair loss since I stopped taking it. I seemed to have slightly easier time depositing abdominal fat during my time on finasteride. During Tren use I also noticed very mild gyno for the first time. I have read that the effects of low DHT (and the loss of its estrogen antagonism) paired with progesterone can often be trouble. We all know that estrogen + progesterone can lead to bad things. This was the only time I ever experienced any type of gyno activity. This leads me to think if using finasteride with Tren or Superdrol you should be particularly careful.
I’m willing to go back on finasteride for a few more years (maybe until Mid 30’s) if I become confident that it doesn’t have a negative impact on body composition. I stopped taking it due to recent efforts to become very lean. What are your opinions on finasteride and body composition? Do you think it promotes fat gain or simply slows lean out? I would like to hear from some of you who have taken finasteride long-term and its perceived effects on your composition and any sides you may have had.
Thanks in advance.
I leave posting studies to all the smart people on this board but I can tell you my personal experience with it. I was on 1mg EOD for approximately 1 month and experienced:
1. Decrease in the "hardness" of my overall physique.
2. Overall lower energy levels.
3. MAJOR sexual sides both impotence and libido.
The most disturbing thing I can relate is that it took me over 3 months to recover from #2 & #3. It's the only compound I've taken that has truely had me worried if I had done some type of permanent damage.
I noticed less hardness but I had no sexual sides and I didnt notice low energy. I think these last two sides come into play much more if youre older. Im 23 and I dont think I would notice that much until I was about 30. Everyone is different also. There are MANY people that feel it really affected them in a perm. way. There is a huge yahoo groups listing made up of tons of people with a very bad response. Swale is againts its use big time. I guess my 2yr use was pretty lucky. Still, im curious just how much it effects body fat levels.
Personal experience is great. I'm looking for that.
I guess Im also looking for any physiological/hormonal reason why it would tend to make you "fatter" or perhaps make you deposit abdominal fat easier. Perhaps some of the more well read members can chime in on this aspect. I think its clear to some it may soften you a little in terms of muscle hardness.
I dont think its impossible to get lean or stay lean on it. I'm just wondering if there are any underlying reasons why it could be detrimental to a lean muscular physique.
I was thinking along the lines of: more estrogen could only mean more fat. Much of the feedback heads toward that direction. But Im not sure its that simple. Im sure many of you are familiar with this study (first saw it here).
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jun;90(6):3592-9.
Estrogen supplementation reduces whole body leucine and carbohydrate oxidation and increases lipid oxidation in men during endurance exercise.
Hamadeh MJ, Devries MC, Tarnopolsky MA.
Department of Pediatrics and Medicine, McMaster University Medical Center, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3Z5.
Healthy active men exhibit higher rates of carbohydrate (CHO) and leucine oxidation and lower rates of lipid oxidation compared with their female counterparts both at rest and during moderate intensity endurance exercise. We postulated that this reduced dependence on amino acids as a fuel source in women was due to the female sex hormone estrogen. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design, we investigated the effect of supplementing 12 recreationally active men with estrogen on whole body substrate oxidation and leucine kinetics at rest and during moderate intensity endurance exercise. Subjects cycled for 90 min at an intensity of 65% maximum O(2) consumption after 8 d of either estrogen supplementation (2 mg 17beta-estradiol/d) or placebo (polycose). After a 2-wk washout period, they repeated the test after 8 d of the alternate treatment. On the test day, after a primed continuous infusion of l-[(13)C]leucine, O(2) consumption, CO(2) production, steady-state breath (13)CO(2), and plasma alpha-[(13)C]ketoisocaproate enrichments were measured at rest and at 60, 75, and 90 min during exercise in the postabsorptive state. Exercise increased energy expenditure more than 5-fold, CHO oxidation more than 6-fold, lipid oxidation more than 4-fold, and leucine oxidation 2.2-fold (all P < 0.0001), whereas it decreased the ratio of lipid to CHO oxidation by 50-70% (P = 0.003) compared with values at rest. Estrogen supplementation decreased respiratory exchange ratio during exercise (P = 0.03). Estrogen supplementation significantly decreased CHO oxidation by 5-16% (P = 0.04) and leucine oxidation by 16% (P = 0.01), whereas it significantly increased lipid oxidation by 22-44% (P = 0.024) at rest and during exercise. We conclude that estrogen influences fuel source selection at rest and during endurance exercise in recreationally active men, characterized by a reduced dependence on amino acids and CHO and an increased reliance on lipids as a fuel source.
To really see the nasty sides so many talk about I think it needs to be used for a prolonged term. 2+ years straight probably. A few months of it cant do much. I also dont think anyone under 30 would see much in the way of libido loss ( I didnt). Still, I wonder how prolonged use could effect body fat. Im sure it makes you a bit softer but does it lead to more estrogenic like fat deposition? Thats what Im hoping to shed more light on.
From what I have heard from those using it, decrease in libido and firmness of erection seem to be the major complaint. I have seen some men use 5mgs ed in hopes of saving their hair.
I saw these sides within the first six months. The worst part was the decreased amount of ejaculate!! My dosing was approx. 1.25 mg/day (I quartered the 5mg tabs).
funny, when this drug first came to everyones attention i tried it with the intent of making the test cycle more effective since more Testosterone was available since it did not get reduced. at the time i suffered no side effects.
How did it work otherwise ?
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
- Albert Einstein
Im not really concerned with its sexual side effects. Its pretty clear its hell on the libido. If you dont see it now you will when your older, assuming you keep taking it. Just wondring about the other...
Well, I havent had much luck. I've posted this thread on numerous boards.
I will probably be going back on this garbage at least for a few more years. That is, unless I find some convincing evidence that it could lead to increased body fat or more estrogenic like fat deposition. Even something pointing in that direction would help make the decision easier. I have noticed a lot of loss in the 5 months that I've stopped taking it. I had 2 solid years of use with no major sides (luckily). It slowed my hairloss and only after stopping did I notice by how much. I'm going to fight the good fight for a few more years while its still not too noticeable. After that I'm throwing in the towel and going down to to a 1 gaurd and not worrying about DHT or heavy androgens anymore. I wont be one of those guys doing the comb over or styling micro thin wifts of hair in an effort to hide it. Once its at a certain point you might as well concede defeat. It seems lame and trivial to those of you who are lucky enough not to have to deal with it. Fuck the genetic lottery. Im sure in 5-10 they will have isolated and eliminated it. Least I dont have a big ass head....
Took one daily tablet. It does stop/slow hair loss but:
I definitely noticed a difference in my body fat. I was spongy, held water. My sex drive lowered but still very able to perform when it was needed. I have to say that I didnt feel good on it either. I was very moody. Took about two months of being off to feel good again. Just shows that there is a side effect for everything. Just find the best balance.
Re: finasteride: effects on overall body composition
During Tren use I also noticed very mild gyno for the first time. I have read that the effects of low DHT (and the loss of its estrogen antagonism) paired with progesterone can often be trouble. We all know that estrogen + progesterone can lead to bad things. This was the only time I ever experienced any type of gyno activity. This leads me to think if using finasteride with Tren or Superdrol you should be particularly careful.
I very much doubt that your gyno-like experience while on Tren had anything to do with finasteride usage. When you take exogenous AAS (like tren) your endogenous testosterone production shuts down (HPTA supression), so things like aromatization and DHT supression become totally irrelevant for the most part. If you had been stacking testosterone with tren I'd say "yes, it might have to do" because finasteride would block exogenous test's DHT and estrogen side effects from test would be magnified. But, in the case of using tren on its own, given the fact that your HPTA is gonna be supressed, your dht levels are going to be very very tiny whether or not you use finasteride.