Countdown to T2
by Brock Strasser
As a bodybuilding consumer advocate, I guess I'm not supposed to actually design any supplements. I'm just supposed to give a "thumbs up," or a "thumbs down" to various products, because the last time a critic (Roger Ebert of TV fame) decided to get off the couch and actually produce something, it was an absolute turd of a movie called "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls."
Well, despite his miserable failure, which probably should have served as some sort of warning to the rest of us, I've taken the plunge, and not just once, either. However, I'm pretty happy with the things I've developed or helped to develop, and so is much of the bodybuilding world, or so I've been told.
The trouble is, a few vocal critics of mine are upset because I got off the couch. To these critics, it doesn't matter that the supplements I have designed or helped design are among the highest quality and most efficacious — in their respective therapeutic areas — to ever hit the market.
When you consider safety, efficacy, and ease of use, MD6 is the best stimulant thermogen out there, hands down. What more can I say about Androsol that you, the good readers, haven't already wrote in to tell me? But no, a histrionic minority has such a negative and narrow view of the supplement market that they label me a "sell out" or a "pimp".
I resent those labels. I design supplements. That's what I do and it's how I make a good portion of my living. If you don't like it, then either get over it or move on to something else. And I'm warning you right now, the rest of this article is going to be about a supplement I pretty much came up with and researched for Biotest. So if you're one of those, "It's a giant supplement conspiracy, I tell you!"
Are you still here? Good! Because I want to tell you about something I've been working on. Some of you might remember that a few months back, I mentioned a compound called TML-2. Tim and I have been trying like mad to get this stuff synthesized in bulk. I've had to call companies on 5 continents.
TML-2 is not an "off the shelf product" and I'm told by far better chemists than I'll ever be, that it takes about 8 separate chemical reactions to make it. Now there are a few companies that will make TML-2, but all of them inquired as to what I planned to do with the bulk powder. When I mention the words, "food supplement" I invariably hear a "click" on the other end of the phone line.
Quite literally, there's only one chemical manufacturer on the planet that'll both make TML-2 and allow us to buy it in kilogram quantities to sell here in the USA as a food supplement.
If that's not a difficult enough scenario, try this one on for size: While this company was manufacturing organic chemicals for another company two months ago, they had a huge fire and an explosion that killed some of their workers. The damage to the structure of the chemical plant was pretty severe, too. So, understandably, TML-2 is going to be delayed for at least another 12 months. I apologize to all of you but it's obviously beyond my control.
Not to worry, though. One of the things I've learned as a clinical scientist working with biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical firms is that if you're developing a moiety for a certain indication, make sure you always have a back-up molecule in case something bad happens to your lead product!
And experience has taught me that sometimes, these "just in case" products often pan out to be better than the original and in some case, far better than you could have ever imagined.
For instance, I've been doing some research on a fat-burning compound some of you may have heard about before, called 3,5-diiodo-L-thryonine (T2).
Initially, I wrote this compound off as useless because, unlike TML-2, it does suppress endogenous thyroid function to a degree, although somewhat less than 3,5,2'-triiodo-L-thyronine (T3, Cytomel) does, and not anywhere near as much as tiratricol (Triax, Triacana).
My initial assumption about T2 was wrong, because T2 seems to be quite useful and far safer than other OTC thyroidal nutrients that contain tiratricol. That'll teach me to prejudge things!
Of course, being safe is one thing, being effective is quite another. Anything that I design has to be both; it's a matter of pride.
Some folks, during casual discussions, have told me that T2 would be "useless" because they felt it would only manifest fat burning power by converting into T3 (this is one of the ways the human body can make T3, from adding an iodine group to a T2 molecule at the 3' position).
It was looked upon as a "thyroidal prohormone" that was a waste of time. Well, I have concrete evidence that T2 has truly potent fat burning potential in its own right.
In a very recent study, researchers examined the long-term action of T3 and T2 on lipid metabolism in animals.(1) The analysis of this study concluded that long term administration of T2 is effective at producing an effect on lipid metabolism that's comparable with T3.
Most first-year biology students know that the mitochondria are the "powerhouse" and energy center of every cell. By virtue of their biochemical functions, the mitochondria are a natural candidate for the calorigenic effects of thyroid hormones, which brings us to the questions, how would T2 affect them?
In a study conducted in the Universiti di Napoli in Italy last year, it was observed that mitochondrial activities are regulated both directly and indirectly by T3 and T2 and in some cases, the resting energy expenditure increase shows a clearer effect with T2 administration.(2)
Another study, done at the same university in Italy, showed that energy expenditure and oxidative capacity of four very metabolically active tissues (brown adipose, skeletal muscle, liver, and heart) increase dramatically when exposed to T2.(3)
There's also the possibility (and I admit, it is only a "possibility") that T2 can upregulate serum growth hormone levels. One ofthe studies cited above showed that when hypothyroid rats were given high dosages of T2 (100mcg per kg bodyweight), serum growth hormone levels increased 5-fold!
1) So it's pretty clear that T2 is a direct metabolic enhancer. But is it safe? If not, I'm not putting my name anywhere near it. As I mentioned earlier, T2 will downregulate TSH levels. This means you'll want to cycle it, much the way people tend to cycle Cytomel (T3). However, T2 is less of a TSH depressant than T3 is, as T2 seems to depress TSH levels about 16% less than T3 does.(2)
Nonetheless, the fact that T2 does depress TSH levels had me worried quite a bit. I didn't just want to make and educated guess about this, so I decided to consult an expert. I spoke with an endocrinologist who holds a faculty position in an academic medical center in the Midwest.
In essence, this physician told me that he couldn't see any permanent damage to the thyroid gland from the short term use of T2 or T3 (meaning that we were wrong all these years when we preached about the dangers of croaking our thyroid glands from using Cytomel for a month).
He did, however, mention that acute, hyperexposure could have deleterious effects on the heart and cardiovascular system. He also pointed out that while short-term exposure would not "kill" the thyroid gland, it might depress function after being on it for months on end.
This would lead to lowering the basal metabolic rate to a point where rapid accumulations of fat was possible. To prevent this, we're suggesting that people who elect to try T2 only use 50-150 micrograms (one capsule, one to three times per day) for no more than 30 days without a 45-day break in between cycles.
This should provide a nice fat burning boost to those who can't tolerate MD6 or ECA. Additionally, it's possible to add T2 to MD6 or ECA to really get a powerful fat-burning effect (just be very careful and try adding the smallest dosage possible to see how you tolerate the combo).
In closing, I think I'm about to help Biotest bring an incredibly useful and effective fat-burning supplement to the market. Does that make me a sellout? I don't think so. I look at it as "helping the little guy" because T2 is something that can truly impact someone's life in a positive manner if they use it sensibly and responsibly.
I'll leave it to my critics to give me a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down," but I'll only pay attention to the people who use the products and benefit from them. Theirs are the only opinions that matter.
1. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 1999, DEC; 124(4):445-50
2. FEBS Lett 1999, JUN 11;452(3):115-20
3. Pflugers Arch 1998, AUG;436(3):407-14