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Clomid quadrupled testosterone level of over-trained runner

A relatively modest dose of Clomid full name clomiphene citrate quadrupled the amount of testosterone in the body of an endurance athlete, who had wrecked his hormone system by over training. Endocrinologists at the University of New Mexico described what happened in a case study published in Fertility & Sterility.

The combination of endurance sports and over training spells disaster for sex hormone production. One of the most important reasons for this is that over training causes the hypothalamus in the brain to stop producing the master hormone GnRH. GnRH stimulates the production of LH and FSH in the pituitary. These are two hormones that stimulate the Leydig cells to produce more testosterone.

Clomid quadrupled testosterone level of over-trained runner
Anti-oestrogens increase the production of GnRH. The more oestrogens there are in the body, the less active the hypothalamus becomes, and the lower the amount of oestrogens, the more active it becomes. An anti-oestrogen like Clomid blocks the oestrogen receptor. If you take Clomid, oestrogens do continue to circulate in your body, but the cells don't notice them.

The researchers decided to apply this knowledge to a 29-year-old man who showed signs of serious over training. The man was 1.70 metres tall and weighed only 52 kg, but as a result of exercise had developed stress fractures in his pelvis. He had been running between 80 and 140 km a week since he was fifteen. For most people running is good for their bones, but things turned out differently for this guy. He was suffering from osteoporosis.

He'd also had sexual problems since the age of twenty: he'd had increasing trouble getting an erection.

When the doctors tested his blood, they discovered that the man's testes were producing too little testosterone. His total testosterone level was 4.5 nmol/L. A normal level for men is between 12.5 and 34.3 nmol/L. The man's free testosterone level was 9.0 pmol/L. The normal level for this is 45.0 to 138.7 pmol/L. The man's LH and FSH levels were just within the normal limits, but were on the low side.

The doctors gave the guy 50 mg Clomid daily. The graphs below show that as a result his testosterone level rose after week 0 the start of the Clomid therapy by a factor of four. If you calculate generously it's a factor of five.

Clomid quadrupled testosterone level of over-trained runner

In week 24 the doctors stopped giving the guy Clomid. When the complaints returned as a result, and had not disappeared after three months, the doctors put the guy on 25 mg per day. The man apparently was not prepared to change his lifestyle in a way that would normalise his testosterone levels naturally. He could have done this for example by replacing part of his endurance training schedule with strength training, by reducing the total amount of training he did, by sleeping more or by increasing his intake of mono-unsaturated fatty acids.

Fertil Steril. 1997 Apr;67(4):783-5.

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