View Full Version : Testosterone HRT Therapy — Cycling Treatments

08-31-12, 01:32 PM
Dr. Robert J. Rowen
August 31, 2012
Health Alert E-Mail

Is this a superior way to take
testosterone therapy?

Are you one of the many men on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with testosterone? If so, I have some good news for you that might make your treatment easier and less expensive.

A University of Texas research group compared different forms of administration of injectable testosterone in older men. Their study lasted for over 45 months. At the outset, the men had testosterone levels that averaged 388 ng/dl. That’s in the lower half of the reference range.

The researchers divided the men into three groups. They gave the first group weekly injections of testosterone enanthate for 20 continuous weeks. They gave the second group weekly injections of the same dose. But instead of giving it to them for 20 continuous weeks, they gave it to them for only four weeks. Then they cycled the group off for four weeks. This on/off cycle continued for five cycles. The third group was the control, which received a placebo injection.
Both groups experienced similar results. They all had reduced body-fat percentage, increased lean muscle mass, and muscle protein synthesis compared to the placebo. Both treatments also reduced muscle breakdown.

Furthermore, the team reported that either method of delivery propelled the men into the upper half of the reference range for testosterone. What’s more, none of the participants exceeded the upper limit of 1,303 ng/dl.

I’m really excited about this report. First, it tells us that men might get virtually the same benefit from just half the testosterone most doctors use in male hormone replacement therapy. That’s easier on the pocketbook and the schedule (not as many trips to the doctor).

But even better, from my perspective, is what cycling might mean for you. We know that taking hormones shuts off your own glandular production. Men who take performance-enhancing steroids might build muscle mass. But their testicles shrivel, as their own production wanes due to the HRT. In the cycling method of this report, the four weeks off can give your body a chance to restore its own production. Your testicular production can turn back on during the injection lull, which helps ensure that you aren’t getting too much testosterone over the long haul. That can offset potential hazards from external administration, and also prevent shrinking testicles.

You might want to tell your HRT doctor about this. Cycling four weeks on and four weeks off with testosterone enanthate might be a lot easier on you than continuous injections.

Will this work with topical application? We don’t know yet, but I suspect it will. If it does, this would be a superior way to take testosterone. It avoids the injections altogether and bypasses the liver metabolism that occurs when you take it orally. But again, we just don’t know if one month on and one month off will give as good results for topical use as what we see here with the injection method. I do hope that integrative physicians heavy into male HRT will check it out.

If you have loss of muscle mass with aging, or other symptoms of andropause (male "menopause”), HRT with testosterone could help. That said, I believe that a good diet and exercise will go a long way to keeping up your own testicular testosterone production. Please do everything you can to maximize your body’s performance. Then consider HRT. Be sure your PSA is not elevated if you choose to do HRT. I’ve seen testosterone flame pre-existing prostate cancer. I’ll have a full report on how to improve your testosterone levels naturally in the September issue of Second Opinion. If you’re not a subscriber, you can do so by following this link.

Yours for better health and medical freedom,
Robert J. Rowen, MD

Ref: JECM, November 2011.


Mr. Wizard
09-04-12, 04:58 PM
Any type of hormone replacement therapy--especially testosterone--is a very risky proposition. 20 straight weeks of weekly testosterone injections seems unsafe because it does shut down your body's own production. Researchers discovered that 4 weeks on and 4 weeks off worked as well. What they didn't look at was whether a longer "off cycle" (6 weeks or 8 weeks off) would have worked just as well. Here's what I know will work for any man who wants to increase his testosterone levels: exercise and make sure you get at least 14 grams of monounsaturated oil per day. Olive oil, nuts, etc. are great sources of monounsaturated fats.

09-04-12, 05:18 PM
Just not 75 grams of walnuts, eh?

Mr. Wizard
09-04-12, 05:36 PM
@Islander: LOL. Correct, not 75 grams of walnuts "per day." Way too much "saturated fat." To boost testosterone, monounsaturated fat is necessary.

09-04-12, 06:31 PM
I agree with Mr. Wizard that testosterone HRT is risky and diet and exercise are much better options. However, many of us have family/friends who choose to do HRT and I think this article might give them a better option of cycling rather than 20 weeks of straight therapy.

Mr. Wizard
09-06-12, 06:19 PM
@Reesacat: You are so right that cycling is so much better than 20 straight weeks of hormone therapy. Like most hormones, testosterone impacts so many different functions in the body--both men and women. Also, testosterone is one of the hormones that is not easily depleted from a man's body. So, I would have like to have seen a longer "off-cycle" period of perhaps 6 to 8 weeks, rather than just the 4 weeks off.

09-06-12, 07:33 PM
Good point (as usual) Mr. Wizard!