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Andriol Testocaps Best Absorbed With A Fatty Meal

April 7th, 2009 · No Comments

Written by Dan Gwartney, MD
Friday, 03 April 2009
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Andriol Testocaps Best Absorbed With A Fatty Meal

This article could have been titled “Eat refried beans!” but the double entendre would have been lost to 99.9 percent of the audience. There was a study released this year, which was considered innovative enough to be published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology.1 The crux of the study is that an 80mg gelcap of Andriol Testocaps deliver testosterone with a much greater efficiency when consumed with a meal that contains approximately 19 grams of fat. This bit of news is very relevant to any person using Andriol Testocaps either as part of a prescribed hormone replacement regimen or illicitly to gain a physical or appearance benefit.
This article will get to the details of the study shortly, but it is worth a few hundred words to understand that the fact that this is considered newsworthy is a poor testament to the state of research surrounding testosterone and other androgen delivery. Andriol (referring to all forms of the steroid) is the registered brand name for the oral version of testosterone undecanoate (TU). Some confusion may arise in those familiar with anabolic steroids, in that the name refers to an esterified form of testosterone, which in every other case is an injectable. Indeed, TU exists as an injectable version as well and the injected version is generating very positive results in a number of clinical trials.2 Injectable TU provides therapeutic concentrations of testosterone for up to 12 weeks with a single (4ml) injection. Sadly, TU has not yet been approved for sale in the United States.

Yet, this article is about oral TU. The term undecanoate refers to the fatty acid esterified (attached) to testosterone, a fatty acid that is 11 carbon atoms long. It is very similar sounding to decanoate, as in nandrolone decanoate, the generic name for Deca. Testosterone (and other anabolic steroid) esters are not traditionally given orally, as the ester bond is easily cleaved (broken) by enzymes in the wall of the intestines, the liver…even the blood. This rapidly exposes testosterone to deactivating enzymes present in the liver and other tissues, and little of the steroid would reach target tissues.3
Swallowing pure testosterone or a testosterone ester is of little benefit, as over 98 percent of the drug would be lost before it even gets close to reaching muscle or any other target tissue. It is estimated that a man would need to swallow 400mg of pure testosterone daily to replace the 7mg naturally produced by the testes.
That was the case prior to the introduction of TU. Researchers found that when testosterone was attached to a sufficiently long fatty acid, it was absorbed not into the bloodstream (specifically the portal circulation that routes directly to the liver), but through a different circulatory system and reached greater concentration in the blood, bypassing the liver and avoiding the toxic effects associated with the traditional method of making steroids orally available— alkylation.4 Breaking down that horrendous run-on sentence, it means that an oral form of testosterone became available that would not cause liver problems.
Initial studies on TU were performed on men and women in the fasted state, meaning they did not eat prior to or immediately following the TU dose.5-7 In retrospect, this proved to be a mistake, because TU is a highly lipophilic form of testosterone, lipophilic meaning it immerses itself into a fatty medium preferentially. In the fasted state, little fat is present in the intestines, so the TU does not have a suitable environment to enter the alternate circulatory system, called the lymphatic circulation. In fact, the earliest form of TU only delivered 3 percent to 4 percent of the total oral dose to the system, little better than plain testosterone.5-7
Drug developers continued to work on the TU formulations, dissolving TU first in oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat present in olive oil).8 However, as the oleic acid tends to go rancid unless protected from heat and light, current formulations use castor oil (from the castor bean, which is actually a seed) and propylene glycol laurate (a common component found in cosmetics, shampoo, etc).

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