In the world of performance enhancement, hormonal therapy and a host of other arenas there is an array of items from which we have to choose. Of course, in the world of performance enhancement, if a performance enhancing athlete is using any substance it's often labeled as an anabolic steroid whether it is or isn't. At any rate, we're not here to talk about an anabolic steroid, we're here to talk about Nolvadex, and while numerous performance enhancers use it that does not make it a steroid. Of course, like many anabolic steroids, Nolvadex is also used in therapeutic treatment plans; in-fact, that's the very reason it was developed by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).
When Nolvadex first came to be, it was touted by ICI to be a quality morning after pill, but the results were anything but quality. This is not uncommon with anything of a medicated nature; often a substance hits the market with one idea and mind only to perform an entirely different service. In any case, it was soon discovered that Nolvadex was actually a formidable opponent to breast cancer, and due to this fact it wasn't too long before performance benefits were realized too.
With the ability to provide performance enhancing athletes two distinct advantages, as well as to this day still a combatant against breast cancer, no one can deny Nolvadex is a fantastic product. Of course, like many things in this category of medicine, it's often grossly misunderstood, but through our discussion you'll know exactly what it is, and in doing so, you'll know exactly what it's not.
Nolvadex Traits & Nature:
Tamoxifen Citrate, best known by the trade name Nolvadex given to it by ICI belongs to a class of compounds known as Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM's). A very simple substance to understand, Nolvadex is an antagonist of the estrogen receptors, and as a result prevents estrogen from binding by binding in its place. Due to this nature of action, many refer to Nolvadex or other SERM's as “Anti-Estrogens”; however, this isn't entirely true. SERM's do not have the ability to reduce estrogen levels in the body, and they most certainly have no ability to prevent an estrogen buildup; they merely bind the hormone.
With the above in mind, there are medications that are actually anti-estrogens, but that title belongs to a class of compounds known as Aromatase Inhibitors (AI's). AI's, Anastrozole (Arimidex) and Letrozole (Femara) being the most well-known actually lower the body's estrogen levels, and can even prevent the conversion process before it begins; SERM's like Nolvadex lack this trait, and as a result cannot be labeled as anti-estrogenic.
Beyond its binding nature, Nolvadex does not end there, not by a long shot. As with most SERM's, Nolvadex has the ability to stimulate the pituitary to release more Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH); LH and FSH being essential to natural testosterone production. While LH is primary, when more LH and FSH are released, this signals to the testicles to produce more testosterone, and as a result our natural testosterone production goes up. How big of an increase are we talking about? An increase of 100 to 150% is not unheard of.
The Benefits of Nolvadex:
In many ways, the benefits of Nolvadex are probably fairly easy to see, but let's go into more specific detail in-order to clear up any possible confusion. In a general sense, there are two primary reasons for using Nolvadex, binding estrogen or to increase natural testosterone production. Regardless of your purpose of use, the SERM does not change based on your intent of use, it's still the same, but the end result will obviously vary depending on individual need.
When it comes to binding the estrogen hormone, this is useful to the breast cancer patient as estrogen is the enemy of a breast cancer patient. By administering Tamoxifen Citrate, estrogen is prohibited from binding to the breast tissue receptors as Nolvadex has attached in its place, and as breast cancer feeds off estrogen relief is provided. Of course, you may be asking how this pertains to performance enhancement; well, we assure you it does. One of the most common side effects among male performance enhancing athletes is gynecomastia or male breast enlargement. Gynecomastia is caused by excess estrogen building up in the body due to the use of specific anabolic steroids, and as a result the hormone attaches to the receptors in the breast tissue and male breast enlargement occurs. Most commonly this condition is due to the use of anabolic steroids that aromatize; aromatization referring to the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. At any rate, while Nolvadex cannot prevent the aromatase process, it can bind to the receptors and prevent the condition from occurring. It should be noted; for many performance enhancing athletes, the use of Nolvadex will ensure gynecomastia never occurs; however, for just as many it won't be enough. Your total dosing can play a massive role as well as individual sensitivity, and in many cases, only an AI will protect you.
Breast cancer treatment and gynecomastia protection, both solid purposes for this SERM, but where you will find more Nolvadex than anywhere else is in performance enhancing circles for the purpose of stimulating natural testosterone production during a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) phase. Of course, some men who suffer from low testosterone will be prescribed Nolvadex due to its LH and FSH stimulating properties, but often this isn't enough and some type of exogenous testosterone therapy must be applied. Then we have performance enhancement, and this is where the SERM can really shine.
When we supplement with anabolic steroids, our natural testosterone production is suppressed; how great the suppression is can be dependent on the steroids we're using, but it will be suppressed. Even so, once use is discontinued and all the exogenous steroidal hormones have cleared our system, natural testosterone production will begin again, but not all at once. It should be noted; natural testosterone recovery is assuming you did not suffer from low testosterone prior to the use of anabolic steroids and that you did not severely damage your HPTA with poor practices. At any rate, as natural testosterone recovery begins again, it can take quite awhile before your levels fully recover; a year or maybe more is not unrealistic. For this reason, many will implement a PCT plan that includes Nolvadex, and by doing so make a much smoother and healthier transition. No, there is no amount of Nolvadex or PCT plan on earth that will take you back to where you were before you supplemented with anabolic steroids; however, it will ensure you have enough natural testosterone in your body to function properly while your levels continue to naturally rise.
The Side Effects of Nolvadex:
When it comes to the side effects of Nolvadex, in the world of SERM's this is one of the mildest of all. For the performance enhancing athlete, there have been reports of acne when the SERM is used during PCT due to the initial high influx of natural testosterone; however, it's not that common and clears away rather rapidly. Of course, there's always the issue of estrogen interference interfering with performance based progress; however, there's no evidence that supports this thought. The idea is that a reduction in estrogen would hinder growth, and it is true, some estrogen is needed for growth, but as we've seen Nolvadex does not act alike an AI; after all, it's not an AI.
When it comes to the side effects of Nolvadex, the most common is hot flashes when the SERM is used for the treatment of breast cancer, and some women experience a loss of libido despite its natural testosterone increasing abilities. Nausea and even vomiting can also be a side effect of Nolvadex; however, it appears to be very rare. Blood clots and strokes can also be a concern for women who are receiving chemotherapy; it should be noted, it is possible as the risk goes up. Last but not least, some men and women may experience a rash or skin irritation due to use, but again it appears to be rare.