Prostate health on cycle: Pygeum Africanum and RAD-140
So, about your prostate. It's important. Past posts discussed how to reduce your odds of acquiring cancer; now, we're going to dive deeper into some things you can do.
Firstly, it's important to establish that one potential risk of those using supraphysiological doses of testosterone is benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), or enlargement of the prostate:
"Prolonged testosterone exposure, as seen in puberty, or increased levels of circulating testosterone such as seen with TRT, leads to increased expression of 5-AR, particularly the type 1 isoenzyme which is expressed in the prostate [15,16]. Increased 5-AR results in increased conversion of testosterone to DHT, which also leads to stimulation for cell division and prostate development. DHT is a more potent stimulator of prostate growth than testosterone so in theory, the production of DHT promoted by 5-AR leads to prostate enlargement and possible promotion of proto-oncogene activation and PCa development." - https://clinmedjournals.org/articles/jfmdp/jfmdp-1-004.pdf
One compound that I would recommend that everyone run all the time is pygeum africanum - not only to potentially help mitigate the above, but for long-term health. It has shown to reduce benign prostate hyperplasia in humans (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11869585), and reduce the incidence of (mouse) prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17709901.
The second compound that may be useful is one that everyone here should already be familiar with: RAD-140. One lesser-known effect it has is potentially protecting your prostate:
"Because we consistently observed that RAD140 failed to achieve a level of prostate or seminal vesicle stimulation equal to TP at 1 mg/kg (no matter how high the dose of RAD140), we decided to test whether RAD140 could antagonize the effect of TP on rat prostate and seminal vesicles and, at the same time, determine what effect the coadministration of RAD140 and TP might have on the levator ani muscle. From the results shown in Figure Figure3,3, it is apparent that a high dose of RAD140 (10 mg/kg, po) actually antagonizes the effect of TP at 1 mg/kg on the seminal vesicles but adds to the effect of TP on the levator ani muscle. We were able to ascertain that the effective dose for achieving antagonism by RAD140 is 0.3−1 mg/kg (po) for 1 mg/kg TP (sc) (data not shown). In the prostate, RAD140 also caused a downward trend in the stimulation by TP, but the change did not reach statistical significance. Thus, in the young castrate male rat model, RAD140 appears to be a potent and complete androgen agonist on the levator ani, but a weaker, partial antagonist on the seminal vesicle and possibly the prostate." - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4018048/#ref22
"The tissue selectivity of RAD140 is evidenced by potent androgen-like effects in bone and muscle, with much attenuated effects in other androgen-responsive tissues, such as prostate and seminal vesicles (30). Notably, when administered along with testosterone, RAD140 was found to partially antagonize the growth effect of testosterone in prostate and seminal vesicles, suggesting that RAD140 acts as a competitive AR ligand with attenuated activity." -http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/23/24/7608
In other words, we don't have enough data yet to say for certain what the mechanism of action is - the second paper indicates that RAD-140 downregulates genes related to cell replication, which is potentially one mechanism by which it exhibits cancer-suppressive properties.
Also, RAD-140 also appears to be neuroprotective: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3959610/ - this is potentially of merit for those running neurotoxic compounds, which is a great subject for a future article.
As always, keep in mind that these studies were done on mice and RAD-140 is still in clinical trials, it's not yet FDA approved, etc.
TLDR: It's possible that prostate growth that might otherwise be spurred by huge amounts of testosterone could be mediated by combining it with RAD-140, and you should probably be running pygeum africanum all the time.