We’ve covered the concept of a SERM+SARM cycle before, in which we look at instances where users experience less suppression than what might otherwise be expected when running a SARM only cycle. The idea is that a SERM, somehow, prevents a decrease in testosterone, be it by increasing LH, a local action in the leydig cells, or another thing entirely. There’s very little evidence other than anecdotal data, and the concept is somewhat shaky, since if it is effective we can’t explain why.
/u/mike_hunt_hurts brought this thread back up in discussion on the Discord server. In re-reading the 2 year old thread, I looked a little deeper at the trial itself and /u/nattyfuckface was kind to use his academic credentials to provide the full version of the study.
Baseline hormone levels were established, where after patients received either 7.5mg/day of T, 45ug/day of E, or DHT to the equivalent of 7mg/day of T for 4 days and blood was taken again.
Waiting at least a week, 100mg twice daily of clomiphene (clomid) was administered for 7 weeks to two groups of 5 men. Group 1 received either 15mg/day of T or 90ug/day of E in addition to the clomid. Group 2 received 7mg/day of DHT and 10mg every 6 hours of Halo in addition to the clomid.
Group 1 Results
As expected, T, E & DHT lowered LH & FSH by themselves. But when paired with clomid, group 1’s LH rose from 9.3 to a staggering 61.9 (for reference, normal LH is 0.7 to 7.9 IU/L in 20-70 year olds, or 3.1 to 34 IU/L in men over 70). FSH rose from 4.1 to 20.8 (normal range is 1.5 to 12.4 IU/L).
Group 2 Results
Both LH & FSH rose 4-5 times in group 2, in a similar way as Group 1. T level baseline was 1061 ng/100ml before and 1122 ng/100ml after DHT. After Halo was added in, T declined from 1160ng/100ml to 998ng/100ml, and E spiked about 70%.
The failure of T to decrease LH & FSH alongside clomid may indicate that aromatization is an important part of suppression (clomid would block estrogen). The non-aromatizing compounds (DHT & Halo) did not decrease LH & FSH, which may indicate that clomid may interact with the androgen receptor (cytosol). Or it might be none of the above.
But what is clear is that testosterone suppression did not occur in the group running an oral only cycle, while LH & FSH increased in both groups, all directly attributable to including clomid in the cycle.
The Gargalese Experiment
n=1, so it’s more interesting than useful. /u/gargalese (gargle these… nuts?) ran a SERM alongside his SARM. His SERM of choice was torem due to reported sides with clomid, and supposed improvement to HDL.
Initially, he ran LGD at 6mg/day for 3 weeks as baseline, followed by a few month break, and then ran LGD again at 6mg/day, adding in 60mg/day of torem. To his credit, he took regular bloods.
His results table are available in the original thread here, but it can be summarized that his 6mg LGD+ 60mg Torem cycle improved HDL, total test, free test, LH, FSH, and e2 compared to just LGD alone.
Total test, the number we’re really most interested in here, was lowered by 73% on 6mg LGD alone from baseline, compared to a reduction of only 48% from baseline when adding in the torem.
The overuse / abuse of SERMs is a problem, yet I acknowledge that there is a strong case for pairing a SERM+SARM on cycle to mitigate suppression. Gyno on SARM only cycles is also occasionally reported (due to high estrogen relative to lower testosterone, more here), which the SERM would help address. Side effects of SERMs are common however, and are roughly summarized in this article. There is little (i.e. no) data on which is the best SERM for this, though ralox might be a good place to start for those concerned with clomid sides.
I’m not sure that I’d go so far as to recommend all SARM only cycles to include a SERM, given my philosophy on lowest effective doses and simple cycles, but it’s an option for those concerned about suppression and/or gyno. Especially if these have been issues in the past for that individual. Perhaps the happy medium is to start off with a SARM only cycle, and only add in SERM if judged necessary. As always, users should have a SERM on-hand in any cycle.