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InquilineKea

Chemical castration and bone density?

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Does post-pubertal chemical castration really result in a reduction in bone density? Is it distinct from pre-pubertal chemical castration?

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/asktransgender/comments/561i6m/spironolactone_questions_as_a_male/

 

I've asked a vet friend of mine and the results seem a bit mixed (there's one study in dogs that shows no reduction in bone density following post-pubertal castration (at around 2 years)). But do canine bones degrade at the same lifespan-scaled rate as human bones?

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No, I'm annoyed with my T, find it irritating, and am thinking of ways to reduce it (my T isn't low because I'm not sure if I can fully tolerate the hunger associated with CR - I just eat super-healthy).

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No, I'm annoyed with my T, find it irritating, and am thinking of ways to reduce it (my T isn't low because I'm not sure if I can fully tolerate the hunger associated with CR - I just eat super-healthy).

 

Inquiline, you made me laugh!

 

I too used to be annoyed with testosterone when a young lad, who wanted to control his libido and uplift the lower energies into mental and spiritual energies.

 

As soon as I adopted a vegan diet, no salt nor spices, no coffee, chocolate, tea, my testosterone went down to sea bottom. That is, my libido dissolved. That allowed me maybe to spare time from chasing girls and study my college exams. Some girls were overtly interested in me but I totally ignored them. I graduated with honours, maybe because of my low T levels. By the way, T kept being low one or two years after ceasing the vegan diet. I did not have labs done, I simply could not ignore libido when it returned in massive amounts.

 

Bottom line, my advise is to forget about chemical castration, unless you have paedophilic impulses or you feel an overwhelming desire to rape women or maybe you want to practice celibacy at all costs.

 

If your T is not lower than usual you should have still recurrent libido. If you have no libido then T is most probably low.

 

If you wish to lower your T-levels in a natural way, then I'm sure this forum can give you good advise. Pure CR seems to be an ideal strategy. A vegan diet with low proteins and no alkaloids (tea, coffee, chocolate), no salt nor spices, can serve the purpose in my cited experience.

 

Another way, recently experimented by myself, is to reduce insulin by practicing drastic carbohydrates restriction . As soon as insulin drops, Sexual Hormones Binding Globuline (SHBG) rises, binding free testosterone and lowering libido. It worked with me just 2 days after I reduced my carbs by a factor of 2 or 3. I had no idea about it, until I came across such an explanation by Dr. Peter Attia (pls see his Utube video with Rhonda).

 

No need to practice potentially dangerous chemical castration!

Edited by mccoy

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I have almost no sex drive (am also vegan, but I do eat a lot of legumes), and I show fewer secondary sex characteristics than most people, but my free testosterone levels are still non-low (600s the last time I checked). It's possible that I have elevated SHBG without the reduction in T associated with CR. Still, some of the secondary sex characteristics are annoying as HELL, and I want to be through with them for once and for all.

Edited by InquilineKea

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Inquiline, from your words it seems that you are negating a genetic makeup which has been assigned to you by Karma, God or the Simulation as other threads in this forum are discussing, however we want to define the concept of Fate.

 

Maybe you desire to become asexual, to uplift beyond identification with a specific sex, or maybe you reject the characteristics of the sex you've been borne with. I will not discuss such personal desires, my suggestion though is that you uplift from identification with the material body, identify with a mental rather than physical makeup and model your mental setup the way you wish. You have power over your mental setup and it may be asexual, androginous, AI-like or whatever you desire, whereas, if we are speaking about health, wanting at all costs to negate one's physical genetic makeup may be very dangerous. You do noto need to identify with the body and its limited characteristics. You may identifiy with the superior mind.

 

Bottom line, CR coupled with veganism seems to be an healthy way to check an excess of testosterone. You don't have an excess and what you have now may be just what your system needs for an healthy living and thinking. Another thing you might practice is exposure to cold ,joining other members of this forum. I've been practicing it in the past, in an extreme way sometimes, and must say that it might have contributed to decrease of free testosterone, as estimated by decrease of libido.

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I'm not sure if I can fully tolerate the hunger associated with CR - I just eat super-healthy

 

Inquiline, I used to have excessive hunger when I ate a mostly vegan high carb diet.  When I cut carbs and increased fat intake, especially saturated fats like coconut oil and cream and increased protein intake a little too my hunger has been minimized.  In my case I believe it is due to my insulin response to dietary carbohydrate, which going by blood glucose levels would come on slow allowing blood glucose to spike but eventually overcompensate crashing blood glucose resulting in a massive craving for more carbs.  This appears to be a fairly common issue at least in the US where it has become common wisdom that a healthy diet is low fat by ignoring the evidence that many people do better on higher fat diets.

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I checked my testosterone recently and it came back around 400 ng/dl (I dropped all supplements a for a few days before having blood taken), still higher than I wanted. I take licorice root extract, spearmint tea, white peony extract. The first two lower both total and free testosterone, and the wp apparently increases aromatase and that should low T as well. I also added finasteride almost 3 weeks ago (1.25 mg); 5 mg split into 4. Might be my imagination but I noticed lots of little hairs sprouting across my hairline already.. but might be nothing :p  My father and grandfather ended up losing their hair, and I noticed mine has gotten a little thinner, but I don't know exactly why. First thought is DHT, of course. But I have recently noticed a slight recession on the left side of my hairline, nothing bad, but not going to let it progress. 

 

So that's some natural ways other than CR of lowering testosterone. As you already know, there are medications to lower testosterone or block it from binding to the receptor. Spiro is one of them, but I heard it can make you pee a lot. That could be annoying! If you were to continue this path for a long time, Some things you'll notice would be: softening of facial features (you'll be more boyish assuming you have decent skin), possibly more hair growth on your head and loss of body hair. Loss of male smell. At some point, testicles could shrink, and then if you ever went off spiro you would produce T. It would affect fertility, but once you go off after some time it should be fine.

 

I think testosterone makes guys look older when young; but younger when old. In the context of a CR diet and good skincare, perhaps just older. 

 

Testosterone might accelerate aging. There is some evidence for it, but I wouldn't call it very strong evidence. I know that increased estrogen in males - at least mice - makes them live longer.

 

Maybe others could describe a mechanistic reason for this. Eunuchs from Korea apparently lived a lot longer. Though lifespan was still quite short compared to today. http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(12)00712-9

 

One person who might know something about lowering testosterone and his experience with it, is Dean. From what I remember, he had exceptionally low levels of testosterone, in the range of a female. Not sure what caused that, perhaps it was something he was consuming or taking? I'd be surprised if it was purely because of CR.

 

Anyway, like you, I don't exactly like my secondary sex characteristics; they're hard to look at and give my mind a lot of trouble haha.  Looking back  though, I think the things I've done helped reduce them somewhat, or give myself a slightly less masculine appearance. I have issues, but try not to stress over it. Goal number 1: live forever :p

Edited by Matt

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Guys, as far as I know, men who suffer an excessive drop in testosterone (for various causes like inefficiency of the hypogonadal axis) have undesired problems. Among others, low libido (which you care nothing about) low energy and brain fog. I personally was involved into the investigation of a worker who fell down a ladder and died, his buddies reported that he was very moody because of andropause. It is unknown if and how much his lethal fall was due the consequences of his sudden drop of Testosterone.

 

Peoople have to resort to HRT to recover. It is funny that you guys speak about lowering T whereas there are whole fora dedicated to methods to increase it! 

Edited by mccoy

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Gordo, Vegans having more testosterone goes against my personal  experience of a very strict vegan diet which lasted 8 months, hallmarked by total absence of libido, with the beginning of absence just at teh beginning of teh vegan diet, no other substantial factors intevening. This compared to the previous diet which was lacto-ovo vegetarian and with normal libido, considering I was 19 years old. No libido at all at 19 means a precipitous drop in T, I reckon.

 

Details of the the vegans diet and the meat eaters and lacto ovos? Which were the macros? Supplements?  

 

Besides, what does it mean 'adjusting for SHBG'? We compensate for lower or higher insuline? Is such compensation legitimate in such a conceptual framework? Free testosterone is free testosterone, why should we correct for bound T? 

 

Just a few ruminations from a non-endocrynologist.

Edited by mccoy

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I'll copy and paste my post about testosterone from a board about a year ago, since it feels relevant here:

 

 

To see my original thread, view here:
 
 
Earlier this year I hit the panic button when my T levels came back at 2 and 7 respectively.  I just about jumped on testosterone replacement therapy.  I e-mailed Dr. McDougall and his words were short and direct. "Using T should be a last resort."  The last 6 months have involved many rounds of bloodwork from my endocrinologist (with more to come).  
 
It's wild to think that a few small changes have allowed to to over double my T levels.  If you compare Feb to July, that's a 217% increase.  My levels aren't exactly stellar, but they are have gone reasonably far into the normal range which is about 9-29. 
 
Testosterone AM
July = 15.9 nmol/l (converts to 459 ng/dl)
 
Testosterone AM
June = 12.4 nmol/l (converts to 358 ng/dl)
 
Testosterone Am
March = 11. 1 (converts to 320 ng/dl)
 
Testosterone AM 
Feb = 7.3 nmol/l (converts to 211 ng/dl)
 
Testosterone (not AM)
Jan = 2.0 nmol/l (converts to 56ng/dl) This one is so far out there, it's hard to imagine it being valid.  The test was done late in the day.  
 
Below was what I actually followed through with:
-lifting weights 2-3x weekly (mostly compound lifts), HIIT (tabatta protocol style) 1-2x weekly, along with jogging maybe 10 miles weekly
-increased consumption of plant fats likes nuts/seeds/avocado/cocao
-eatings lots of high zinc plant foods, like lentils and quinoa
-lots of leafy greens like arugula (maybe 10 oz daily)
-having more sex (the more you have, the more you want... and the more you have, the higher your T level gets)
-getting more sun, easy since the weather here is now summer
-doing power poses (http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are?language=en) -> I've definitely changed how I carry myself 
-meditating 20minutes daily
-trying to engage in manly activities and competitive sports (might be bogus, but maybe not... trying to be more of an alpha) -> and honestly, when I'm at the gym surrounded by high test guys, women (though I'm only interested in my wife), I feel it does make me more testy.  As does engaging in challenge - whether it's bocce ball with a neighbour, or poker with some friends.
 
While I don't feel super high T like a teenager, I feel a little better. Good enough to not need TRT anytime soon.  
 
So what can we infer:
1) Maybe something different altogether was suppressing my T, and this was a coincidence.
2) Maybe I am a WFPB guy who does better with more fats in my diet.
3) Maybe it was only a few of the factors, and others didn't matter.
4) Other explanations?
 

 

Regardless, I am happy to have my T levels back into the normal range, with a trend that looks good.

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Perhaps the culprit affecting testosterone level is related to zinc deficiency?

 

With elimination of meat and increased intake of phytate-containing legumes and whole grains, the absorption of both iron and zinc is lower with vegetarian than with nonvegetarian, diets.”       http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/633S.full

 

“Dietary zinc restriction in normal young men was associated with a significant decrease in serum testosterone concentrations after 20 weeks of zinc restriction (baseline versus post-zinc restriction mean +/- SD, 39.9 +/- 7.1 versus 10.6 +/- 3.6 nmol/L, respectively; p = 0.005). Zinc supplementation of marginally zinc-deficient normal elderly men for six months resulted in an increase in serum testosterone from 8.3 +/- 6.3 to 16.0 +/- 4.4 nmol/L (p = 0.02). We conclude that zinc may play an important role in modulating serum testosterone levels in normal men.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8875519

 

-Pea

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I've just consulted the labtestsonline site, and the issue is not of course so simple. After having read their basics, it appears that bioavailable testosterone is what has the greatest effect on the system, since the amount of free testosterone is limited. When bound by SHBG it is much less available as far as I gathered. And that varies a lot. I should read the previously cited article on more T in vegans, since it is crucial what kind of T was actually measured. 

I'd like to reiterate that a substantial restriction in carbs may lower free T and bioavailable T as well, increasing the amount of blood SHBG.

 

 

Testosterone is present in the blood as "free" testosterone (less than 4%) or bound testosterone (~98%). The latter may be loosely bound to albumin (about one-third), the main protein in the fluid portion of the blood, or bound to a specific binding protein called sex hormone binding globulin or SHBG (about two-thirds). The percentages in the three fractions varies greatly. The binding between testosterone and albumin is not very strong and is easily reversed, so the term bioavailable testosterone (BAT) refers to the sum of free testosterone plus albumin-bound testosterone.

It is suggested that bioavailable testosterone represents the fraction of circulating testosterone that readily enters cells and better reflects the bioactivity of testosterone than does the simple measurement of serum total testosterone. Also, varying levels of SHBG can result in inaccurate measurements of bioavailable testosterone. Decreased SHBG levels can be seen in obesity, hypothyroidism, androgen use, and nephritic syndrome (a form of kidney disease). Increased levels are seen incirrhosishyperthyroidism, and estrogen use. In these situations, measurement of free testosterone may be more useful.

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This is the BJC, 2000 paper previously cited:

 

Hormones and diet: low insulin-like growth factor-I but normal bioavailable androgens in vegan men NE Allen, PN Appleby, GK Davey and TJ Key Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Gibson Building, Radcliffe Infirmary, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HE, UK

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10883675

 

Sorry If I insist on this article, but I'm just curious why I should be such an outlier and have had a precipitous drop in T when vegan men have higher level on the average. One factor might be that I was younger than the average age of subject in the study. But maybe that makes my outlier's position even stronger.

 

Now, let's review the numbers.

 

T= Total testosterone in nmol/l. It's average is higher in vegans (22.3) , then come the vegetarians (20.5) last the meat eaters (19.3). 95% CIs are about the same for each group. p-level is ok.

 

So, it is true that 'Vegans have more testosterone' like boasted in the vegan site. Let's have a look at SHBG though.

 

SHBG in nmol/l. It's average is higher in vegans (50.9) , then come the vegetarians (44.6) last the meat eaters (42.6). 95% CIs are about the same for each group. p-level is ok.

 

FT, free testosterone, is practically the same for every group, and very low in concentration (from 0.40 to 0.42 nmol/l)

 

 T, That's present in the table but it has not been well defined. T seems to be total testosterone (sicne it can be measured unlike bioavailable T) but then it is lower than SHBG which si by definition impossible. So maybe T in table 2 is bioavailable T. It is not clear.

 

Anyway, following the authors' reasoning, adjusting T in table 2 for BMI (which by now I believe is bioavailable T and not total T) the differences between groups are not very significant.

 

Vegans still have 1.6 mmol/l more than vegetarians, and 1.4 mmol/l more than meat eaters but I don't know if such a difference si so significant and if it grants the 'vegans have more testosterone' advertised by the vegan site. Also, it is not clear what kind of T is the T displayed in table 2 although it might be bioavailable since it's less than half SHBG.

 

The authors honestly conclude:

 

 

The results did not support the hypothesis that meat-eaters have higher levels of bioavailable androgens than non meat-eaters

 

 

Which is different from the title advertised in the vegan site'. vegans as far as the article reports have undisputably higher levels of total T, but that's irrelevant since bound T is strongly bound by SHBG hence unavailable.

 

As to my position of outlier, I still have no explanation, nor do I believe that the discussed study has been errorless or exhaustive

Edited by mccoy

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I too used to be annoyed with testosterone when a young lad, who wanted to control his libido and uplift the lower energies into mental and spiritual energies.

 

As soon as I adopted a vegan diet, no salt nor spices, no coffee, chocolate, tea, my testosterone went down to sea bottom. That is, my libido dissolved. That allowed me maybe to spare time from chasing girls and study my college exams. Some girls were overtly interested in me but I totally ignored them.

 

 

 

I went the Tantric route instead.   Graduated with honors!    Plenty of energy to spare!

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Which is different from the title advertised in the vegan site'.

 

 

I don't know about Marc Jaoude, but I'm now thoroughly convinced that Dr. Greger is "not an honest player in the nutrition space"  (Michael Rae's characterization of McDougall.)

 

I realized he was biased, of course,  but until I bought his book "How Not to Die" and checked many of his references,  I hadn't realized how intellectually dishonest he was-- to the point, for example, of being willing to completely misrepresent what a study has concluded.

Edited by Sibiriak

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I went the Tantric route instead.   Graduated with honors!    Plenty of energy to spare!

 

Sibiriak, I probably know what you mean but to go the tantric route you must have some motivation or physical desire, which in the case of missing libido is not even there.

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I realized he was biased, of course,  but until I bought his book "How Not to Die" and checked many of his references,  I hadn't realized how intellectually dishonest he was-- to the point, for example, of being willing to completely misrepresent what a study has concluded.

 

Sibiriak, thank you so much for making that comment.  I've been thinking the same thing but didn't want to take on the burden of defending the opinion when an impassioned attack results.

 

However, I don't think Dr. Greger is an outlier.  It seems the nutrition world is chock full of experts holding quite contrary opinions with most trying harder to convince others of the rightness of their positions more than they are trying to actually evaluate what is right.  My own track record of sticking to beliefs too long until conflicting evidence becomes too extreme to ignore has been poor.  I think it is an inherent human trait though I have no idea what evolutionary pressures would select for something so awful.

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I agree and would add that to the degree we believe our collective dietary choices have ethical / moral implications the more challenging it is to remain objective at a conscience and even subconscious level. Success varies by individual, and for example I have found though Jeff Novick is affiliated ideologically and also to some extent operationally with the McDougall / no SOS vegan school of though my subjective assessment of his conclusions and arguments is that he does a better job than most ethical vegans having science and evidence guide conclusions than most. In this arena Dean approaches being the epitome of objectivity ( none of us can be 100% ) - thank you Dean for your ongoing intellectual integrity and contributions.

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One strategy would be to listen to many different opinions. Before this year, my info of nutrition was very obsolete. I started back researching from the low carbers and paleos. Something is obviously very biased but other things are more interesting. For example, some of them started to reccomend protein restriction. From there I moved to the vegans, who alas exhibit sometimes as strong a bias as their paleo counterparts, I like to hear all opinions though and Dr Greger has many useful suggestions. I'll make sure to read Jeff Novick as well.

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This is the Rand et al. PDF (probabililty density function) for protein requirement, published in the NAS 2002/2005 study. From previous similar studies I assume weight is ideal weight. This PDF is a little different from the WHO, 2002, more skewed. I believe the meaning off such a shape is obvious to everyone. Ruling out the larger, extreme values (which can be subclinical examples of a huge biological need for protein), there still are about 25% of the sample who need a significantly greater amount than the modal or median values (median = 0.66 g/kg/d). And a few people actually need less proteins, a couple of persons just needed 0.4 g/kg/d, a very low quantity of proteins.

(by the way, I was not able to embed the linked image onto the post. I receive an error message on the  google photos link, which is not accepted)

 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-u801_6dPCSLIS0xc2HEulOR1C3jFISge7klRlhNhDxso9WsGIBG40SrDjkAoI7Bf4-aZpMFw3iR0s9ZaGuiaK1GEKcl-8Bo607jk4YoLmUMsvp0QaTRQX_h-ACA7SLfRCd_n7pIojjxrgC5BoDSc6O4c8fm_uhl794xOjx4VMdwcwsyGnFe1tVNi8Htc5CAp9TshIsl5_UwF5_IAlyQFXsC9be9dcLoms4meUESE9_NGyjE6gy0AieMoiuAF2IUNV9zWd7mUZE9p1EMkQjZaDzFCh1hR_l5B5287aOkuZVNrB4DY9MJwTq_NEO70ULdCZs59q3InmqBDhKj-AmrrZmMnoSSm2axZEgA-WLnJQM-R4SGPDxRkoc568-K__HHxRsj57_R2vR7NzD3uLxKAMaphRin2DPCpeBmfg6UQJchfl3IbJw_W-if7DSg2gwElsSTbMS8XTiZV9z3Um27BKyAXnr33sv6V-Aguk_ybktdz2qy50N90DfwT0N2XtN7pJcIxXPVBlWCarC6jRDRwQ_me-eB6qxnYpRp4MNnpbsOJUrW0PKq4LJSiyfmDx4FyIZFAQEVeKzLQnB-xILNhhrAdfAzNaUvcCSvlOivRJh7v0A=w595-h594-no

Edited by mccoy

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The linked image from today's cronometer (again, I could nto embed the image) speaks for itself.  I was able to ingest less than my target of 54 g proteins, so I can say I practiced protein restriction.

However, Leucine is 167% of RI, methionine is 168% and Cystine is 190%. Such reference amino acids are all off the threshold, mainly because I ate 500 grams of yogurt in the morning.

 

Since I ate after a workout, probably most Leucine has been sequestered for MPS. I don't know about methionine and Cystine though. Had I not worked out, I might have avoided the yogurt and stuck to a vegan diet within the Met+Cyst thresholds but I would have been maybe deficient in total proteins at the end of day (Meal n°2 was mainly vegetables with 50 grams of cheese= about 10 grams of proteins).

 

Should I fall back to soy products? I do that occasionally but I only can stomach soy yogurt if sweetened. And it is twice as costly as milk yogurt. Other soy products like tofu I do not digest very well.

 

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipNHnw-_llww_TNFqtZbSNOTI-jcK1nAD_0ETivn/photo/AF1QipMDzhMrCBgQCYCZKrCP2KtjNEyfW1fFNnvq6sR7

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Cronometer comparison between soy yogurt and milk yogurt (% weight) soy has one half Leu, one fifth Met, double tryptophan.

 

Leucine: 0.8 vs 1.7

Methionine: 0.1 vs 0.5

Trypt: 0.2 vs 0.1

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