A WADA funded study gives us an idea how quickly LH, FSH, HDL, LDL, and testosterone change after a 500 mg testosterone enanthate shot.
Mmmm World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) funded studies…I love them. WADA funds a lot of research, specifically to help identify cheaters in sports. But for our purposes they often provide a wealth of information for bodybuilders, and non-competitive AAS users who have zero interest in competitive sports. Their latest study attempted to outline the “dangers” of AAS use and it’s impact on various markers such as Vitamin D status, LDL, HDL, LH, and FSH [Ref 1]. Here’s a look at the details.
The study was designed to measure various factors on days 0, 4 and day 14 after one single injection of testosterone. They took 25 guys and gave them different doses of testosterone enanthate (125mg’s, 250 mg’s, or 500 mg’s) with a 6-8 week washout period between each dose. For reference, 500 mg’s per week of testosterone enanthate is often a recommended first AAS cycle. They implemented sound blood testing by making sure all samples were taken between 7 and 9 a.m. after an overnight fast. This helps decrease any variability caused by food consumption or exercise training. For reference, the men averaged 33 years old. Here’s a look at what you might find interesting:
500 mg Dose
- After 4 days there was a 73% decrease in luteinizing hormone (LH). After 14 days, it was decreased 92%.
- After 4 days there was a 63% decrease in follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). After 14 days, it was decreased 94%.
- Serum Testosterone increased 360% by Day 4, and 39% on Day 14 (both vs. baseline)
- HDL cholesterol decreased 8% by Day 4, and 10% by Day 14.
- Apolipoprotein A1 (a major component of HDL – more is better for health) decreased 12% at Day 4, and 18% at Day 14.
- Lipoprotein(a) (an LDL like particle – less is better) decreased 14% by Day 14. No other significant changes were noted in the smaller dosed groups.
- Vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D3) levels were unchanged at both time points (and therefor not tested in the smaller dose groups)
250 mg Dose
- After 4 days there was a 77% decrease in luteinizing hormone (LH). After 14 days, it was decreased 78%.
- After 4 days there was a 71% decrease in follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). After 14 days, it was decreased 83%.
- Serum Testosterone increased 112% by Day 4, and there was no increase vs. baseline by Day 14
- HDL cholesterol decreased by 8% by Day 4, and 15% by Day 14.
- Apolipoprotein A1 did not decrease at Day 4, but did decrease 12% at Day 14.
125 mg Dose
- After 4 days there was a 65% decrease in luteinizing hormone (LH). After 14 days, it was decreased 35%.
- After 4 days there was a 45% decrease in follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). After 14 days, it was decreased 38%.
- Serum Testosterone increased 91% by Day 4, and there was actually an 11% decrease in testosterone by Day 14 (again vs. baseline)
- There was no significant change/decrease in HDL at either time point
One of the notable findings was the huge difference in response to testosterone injections between the individuals in this study. For example, one guy had a testosterone level of approximately 3,300 ng/dL! While another guy given 500 mg’s of test enanthate had only a level of 1,000 ng/dL after 4 days. The authors attribute this difference in testosterone metabolism to genetic differences in the phosphodiesterase PDE7B gene. It also helps put things into perspective as to why we see such a varying degree of doses in the bodybuilding world. Some guys need only a little and they are what we often call hyper responders, while others seem to use endless amounts of AAS with a fairly moderate or even poor response. Genetics matter as usual.
With this said, this study should give you an indication that suppression can happen fairly fast. The authors note two males that still had below normal LH levels even 8 weeks after their 500 mg test enanthate shot. Because of this, even a short cycle should be paired with a strong PCT to return yourself to normal as quickly as possible (who wants low testosterone levels for 2 months!).