by Mike Arnold
2014 and 2015 were brutal years for the muscle building sector of the supplement industry. As most of you know, the government cracked down pretty hard on the prohormone/designer wagon, banning what was at the time, the most potent class of muscle building products on the market. Seeing the writing on the wall, IronMag Labs (IML) decided to be proactive in its approach and tackle the challenge head-on. Rather than allowing compound selection to be determined by a pre-set profit margin (standard for most companies), IML decided to work from the opposite angle.
And as a result, you will not find another product like Super DMZ Rx 5.0 any where on the market. To be frank, some of the compounds included in Super DMZ Rx 5.0 are sold solo for $50-75 a bottle, a fact easily confirmed with a quick Google search of our competitor’s products. Like its predecessor, Super DMZ Rx 5.0 is a combination of 7 different compounds, each of which is backed by numerous clinical trials and is capable of functioning as a stand-alone product. Comprised of steroidal agents, myostatin inhibitors, estrogen modulators, nitric oxcide (NO) boosters, insulin sensitizers, mitochondrial regulators, and absorption enhancers, Super DMZ Rx 5.0 is a well-rounded product designed to enhance muscle growth and performance through multiple and complimentary pathways.
Comprehensive Steroidal Support
With the original Super DMZ Rx being entirely hormonal in nature, IML felt it was imperative to retain this characteristic in subsequent formulations, including this newest version, which contains a blend of patent pending compounds: Super 4-Andro, Super 5-Andro and Super R-Andro. This trio of popular prohormones provides a well-rounded combination of anabolic, androgenic, and psychological effects beneficial to bodybuilders and athletes alike. For those of you who are unaware, Super 4-Andro is a prohormone to the big daddy of all anabolic steroids – testosterone.
As a 2 step prohormone (PH), Super 4-Andro must first convert to 4-androstenediol (4-AD) before converting to testosterone. Although its conversion rate to testosterone is on the lower side, it converts readily to 4-AD, which is a potent anabolic steroid in its own right and which provides the majority of Super 4-Andros’s muscle building effects. With an effect profile similar to testosterone, this stuff has traditionally been used for just about everything—from mass-building cycles to cutting cycles and everything in between. It’s ability to function effectively as both a stand-alone, and as part of a stack makes it one of the more versatile prohormones available today.
Next on the list is Super R-Andro, otherwise known as androsterone. Known mostly for its ability to convert to DHT, this active neurosteroid is frequently compared to the less costly (and less effective) epiandrosterone, as both convert to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) through the same two-step conversion process. See below:
Differing only by isomer, these two PH’s are nearly identical from a molecular standpoint, causing confusion for some. Despite their strong similarities in terms of structure and metabolism, even a brief review of the literature clearly reveals significant differences between the two. One indication of this dissimilarity is found in Vida (the original anabolic steroid reference guide compiled by Julius Vida), which lists androsterone as being a considerably more potent androgen than epiandrosterone; a fact confirmed through both clinical studies and real-world use. As most of you know, DHT is highly prized for both its cosmetic and psychological effects. Functioning as a muscle hardener, strength gainer, estrogen antagonist, libido booster, sexual performance enhancer, and promoter of the alpha-male mentality, DHT serves an important purpose not only from a physical standpoint, but in terms of how we function and feel as well.
Although most people are fairly well informed when it comes to the effects of DHT, Super R-Andro cannot be viewed as a singular hormone if one wishes to understand its full range of effects on the body. The reasoning is simple. Whenever we are dealing with a prohormone, we are actually dealing with multiple different hormones at once, each of which has its own unique effects. Therefore, we must evaluate a prohormone not only in its unconverted, parent state, but at every point along the conversion chain. Only then will we be able to comprehend its overall character and full range of physiological effects in the body.
In its pre-converted state, androsterone’s (Super R-Andro) primary function is that of a neurosteroid and pheromone, while also serving as the base material for conversion to other active metabolites. As an inhibitory neurosteroid, androsterone has the ability to alter brain activity by modulating the GABA receptor. With stress-reducing, rewarding, pro-social, anti-depressant, anxiolytic, analgesic, neuroprotective, and pro-sexual effects, the GABA receptor’s ability to influence mood and overall wellbeing is well documented. Given androsterone’s notable effect in this area, one should not be surprised to learn that this aspect of its character plays a central role in shaping the overall “feel” of the drug—one which, according to user reviews, is largely appreciated and preferable to that of many other prohormones. As a pheromone, androsterone’s role has not been fully elucidated, leaving us with only a partial understanding of its effects in this area, but few of which are relevant to this discussion.
The final steroidal compound found in Super DMZ Rx 5.0 is Super 5-Andro. Like Super 4-Andro, this compound is a 2 step conversion away from testosterone, but its benefits extend beyond that of an just anabolic steroid. In addition to its testosterone elevating effects, Super 5-has been clinically shown to increase insulin sensitivity, reduce bodyfat, alleviate depression, enhance immune function, increase libido, and improve sexual functioning. As a prohormone to 7-Keto DHEA, Super 5-Andro will also help reduce cortisol levels, increase fatty acid oxidation in the liver, increase T3/T4 levels, and enhance the acute inflammatory response to training (Note: acute inflammation after training is desirable, as it stimulates muscle growth by initiating a cascade of specific biochemical events involved in the growth process).
The Delivery System
Like most other companies, IML could have stopped there and allowed these hormones to stand on their own merit, but this approach would have been mediocre at best. You see, there is one major issue associated with the oral consumption of non-methylated steroids, which includes virtually all of today’s prohormones. This is their low oral bioavailability. Therefore, if we want to be able to experience the benefits these compounds have to offer, we must improve their absorption rate. One method of achieving this is to alter the compounds’ pharmacokinetic profile through esterification. This requires employment of the same esters commonly utilized in long-acting testosterone products, such as testosterone cypionate, testosterone enanthate, etc. By choosing to use the enanthate ester as their delivery system, IML was able to increase the oral bioavailability of these compounds by over 30%, providing an obvious advantage when compared against standard PH-based products. Furthermore, the esterification process also results in an increased level of product purity, providing a type of insurance against less than precise manufacturing.
In order to further boost absorption rate, IML combined the most effective absorption agents available, including 6, 7-dihydroxybergattomin and piperine. 6, 7-dihydroxybergattomin, also known as DHB, substantially improves bioavailability through inhibition of the cytochrome P450 3A enzyme—the same pathway relied upon by many pharmaceutical preparations. Not only does this lead to enhanced absorption, but it improves drug’s half-life as well, further increasing the product’s potency above baseline.
Piperine, a black pepper extract, has been in use for millennia as a digestive tonic, sleep aide, analgesic, and as an elixir for many other ailments, but in more recent years it has been prized for its ability to increase the absorption rate of compounds with low oral bioavailability. Its effectiveness in this regard has been well documented, with numerous clinical trials showcasing its ability to dramatically increase the bioavailability of various drugs/herbs. In some cases piperine can even transform a largely ineffective therapeutic agent into a highly effective one. One such example would be berberine, the potency of which is increased over 20-fold as a result of this one simple addition. Piperine works its magick in a number of ways, with known mechanisms of action including, but not limited to the stimulation of amino-acid transporters, the inhibition of enzymes involved in the digestive process and an increase in intracellular residency time. In short, piperine allows more of the target compound to enter circulation, while also remaining active for a longer period of time. Related benefits include an increase in digestive enzyme production/release, a reduction in gastrointestinal transit time, and an overall improvement in digestion. It has even been shown to improve the lipid profile and provide indirect antioxidant benefits…and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
For those of you who are considering the use of the Super Andros, or any andro compound for that matter, I cannot stress enough how important the above measures are for being able to benefit from them. Simply tossing these things in a bottle without any regard for bioavailability wouldn’t be much different, from an efficacy standpoint, than drinking a vial of testosterone and hoping to experience good results from it—it’s just not gonna happen. Like with traditional oral steroids (i.e. Dianabol, Anavar, etc), prohormones must also be equipped with an effective delivery system in order to survive the digestive/hepatic system, enter circulation, and reap their potential benefits. Otherwise, you might as well throw them in the garbage—not joking. In light of the above information, it should be obvious that IML has gone to great lengths to ensure that all of the components within the Super DMZ 5.0 formula can be efficiently absorbed and utilized by the human body.
With the vast majority of today’s andro products containing only a single andro, IML’s multi-compound formulation and patent-pending delivery system already puts them two steps ahead of the competition, but IML has never been one to rest on its laurels. Rather than sit back and wait for other companies to mount a challenge (most of whom never will because they are unwilling to spend the money—and cut that far into their profits—to produce an equivalent product), IML decided to put even more distance between Super DMZ 5.0 and their next closest competitor by including a compound that most companies sell as a stand-alone product (and sometimes in combination with other, mediocre ingredients that do little to enhance the overall formula). I am talking about Eepicatechin; one of the most interesting and impressive compounds to hit the market in years.
Originally developed as a treatment for muscle wasting/functional deterioration in muscular dystrophy patients, Epicatechin is belongs to a class of compounds known as flavonols, which are found in hundreds of different foods around the world. Of these, cocoa appears to be the most concentrated source, but consuming an effective amount through food consumption alone, especially on a regular basis, is both impractical and undesirable. Epicatechin provides a number of benefits directly applicable to those wishing to improve size, increase strength, and lose bodyfat, the best researched of which is its ability to significantly decrease myostatin levels. As a negative regulator of muscle growth, myostatin directly opposes protein synthesis by down-regulating the activity of specific genes involved in the growth process. Here’s how it works.
The body responds to the stress of weight training by signaling a group muscle precursor cells, known as myoblasts, to begin the proliferation process This process will continue until a another series of biochemical events, initiated by the MyoD gene (more on that later), signals these myoblasts to begin the process of differentiation (i.e. turning satellite cells into muscle cells). Within a short period of time, these newly differentiated and immature muscle cells will become fully mature, active muscle fiber. Myostatin interferes with this process by down-regulating the activity and expression of MyoD, thereby preventing the differentiation of myoblasts into muscle cells. Since this process must take place in order to experience muscle hypertrophy, its inhibition is a death sentence for muscle growth.
For this reason, it makes sense to try and eliminate the influence of this muscle destroying molecule whenever possible…and this is exactly what Eepicatechin does. Epicatechin has been clinically proven to cause a significant elevation in of the muscle building protein follistatin, which directly suppresses the activity of myostatin in muscle tissue. Not only does Epicatechin improve the follistatin/myostatin ratio via an increase in follistatin production and a decrease in myostatin levels, but it also causes a substantial rise in several muscle growth regulators. These include: Myf5 (Myogenic Factor 5), MEF2A (Myocyte Enhancer Factor 2A), Myogenin (Myogenic Factor 4), GAPDH (Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase), and MyoD (Myogenic Differentiation 1). Not surprisingly, the individuals who participated in this study also experienced an increase in grip strength (the sole measure of strength used in the study).
Improved Insulin Sensitivity & Reduced Systemic Inflammation
In addition to its myostatin inhibiting properties, Epicatechin has been shown to dramatically improve insulin sensitivity and reduce systemic inflammation—both of which are interconnected and critical to bodyfat management, muscle growth, and even the prevention of heart disease. Epicatechin accomplishes this by partially and potentially completely inhibiting TNFα induced activation of MAPKs, NF-κB and AP-1, as well as by preventing the down-regulation of PPARγ. Don’t worry, you don’t need to possess a college degree in order to make sense of this stuff, so let’s make it easy. I’ll start with TNFα. TNFα is a major inflammatory molecule involved in adipose (i.e. fat) tissue-mediated chronic inflammation, as it triggers the activation/inhibition of specific signaling cascades (a signaling cascade is basically just an internal, biochemical chain of events), which perpetuate the inflammatory state, resulting in insulin resistance and hyperlipemia.
In this instance, the signaling cascades affected by TNFα include the same ones mentioned above (NF-κB, MAPKs, AP-1, and PPARγ). These signaling pathways play a critical role in the regulation of genes involved in insulin sensitivity, glycogen and fatty acid synthesis, transcriptional regulation, and cytokine-mediated inflammation. By interfering with these pathways, the body begins to experience systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and hyperlipemia. The good news is that epicatechin, even when administered at low doses, can block the negative effects of TNFα on these pathways, thereby increasing insulin sensitivity, reducing systemic inflammation, and improving the lipid profile. All in all, this is great news not only from a bodybuilding standpoint, but from a health standpoint as well (drug using bodybuilders take note).
Increased Nitric Oxide levels
Even if Epicatechin provided no other benefits than the ones we’ve already covered, it would still be one of the best products on the market. Fortunately for us, its benefits extend far beyond its myostatin inhibiting, inflammation reducing, lipid improving, and insulin sensitizing effects. Additional benefits include its ability to augment nitric oxide production, increase muscular strength, enhance exercise capacity, inhibit platelet aggregation (decreases stroke risk), decrease blood pressure, and improve heart muscle structure and function in heart attack patients, among others.
It’s vasodilatory (blood vessel expansion) properties will be particularly appealing to bodybuilders, as this effect has been sought after for decades as a way of maximizing the muscle pump. These days, most rely on nitric oxide supplements in order to accomplish this, as it is one of the most effective pathways for increasing blood flow to muscle tissue. In this regard Epicatechin works similarly, with its vasodilatory effects being largely attributable to an increase in nitric oxide production in endothelial cells. With most bodybuilders being pretty well educated regarding the role of the muscle pump in the recovery and growth process, there really isn’t a need elaborate any further on this subject.
Improved Exercise Capacity
With a very Another interesting aspect of Eepicatechin’s character is its ability to function as an exercise mimetic, which basically means that it can replicate the effects of exercise on the body without the individual actually having to exercise. Study results reveal that when Epicatechin is combined with exercise, endurance capacity is increased significantly compared to those in the control group. Researchers concluded that this effect is due primarily to an increase in both capillarity and mitochondrial biogenesis. Either way, there is no doubt that Epicatechin increases muscular endurance, making it a useful tool for anyone involved in high volume, high-rep, or fast-paced training.
Estrogen Optimization & Powerful Prostate Protection
Typically, when it comes to estrogen, most bodybuilders are only concerned with total levels of the hormone. Hence, the use of aromatase inhibitors, estrogen antagonists, etc, is common. However, one aspect of estrogen that most bodybuilders aren’t aware of is estrogen balance. Allow me to explain. You see, when estrogen is metabolized it is broken down into 3 main estrogenic metabolites. These are 2-hydroxyestrone, 4-hydroxyestrone, and 16-hydroxyestrone, each of which varies in potency and its ability to cause estrogenic side effects. By properly balancing these 3 metabolites, we can minimize overall side effects while maximizing benefits.
This is where the next compound in the Super DMZ Rx formula comes into play. Diindolylmethane, or DIM for short, is a naturally occurring plant alkaloid that is formed in the digestive tract from indole glucosinate, which is commonly found in the Brassica (cruciferous) family of vegetables like kale, broccoli, and brussells sprouts. It is the digestive process itself which causes indole glucosinate to become DIM. Like with most natural compounds, obtaining optimal quantities of DIM from foods alone is basically impossible, so if one wishes to maximize the potential benefits of this compound, the only option is supplementation.
DIM has a positive influence on estrogen metabolism by helping the body to convert a larger percentage of estrogen into the weakest of these metabolites—2-hydroxyestrone. DIM also inhibits the aromatase enzyme, lowering overall estrogen production and preventing the conversion of free testosterone into estrogen. DIM has been shown to antagonize the effects of dihydrotestosterone in prostatic cancer cells by more than 50%. These results are on par with Casodex—a powerful prescription medication used to treat prostate cancer. This is also good news for those suffering from an enlarged prostate, or those wishing to prevent it, as DHT (and other steroids/prohormones) is a potent stimulator of prostate cell growth. Whether this problem runs in your family or it was self-induced through AAS/prohormone use, DIM is able to prevent, stop, and even reverse the growth of prostate cells with impressive efficacy. This aspect of male heath is rarely taken into consideration by other prohormone manufacturers.
Unlike traditional orals (Dianabol) or OTC designers of old (Superdrol), the delivery systems utilized by Super DMZ Rx 5.0 are non-toxic to the liver and other organ systems, making their use much safer from both a hepatic and cardiovascular standpoint. While IML doesn’t recommend exceeding the cycle length guidelines listed on the bottle, it is my opinion that users are now able to stay on for longer than 4 weeks at a time—potentially much longer—without experiencing significantly elevated liver enzymes or having their HDL drop into the single digits. In fact, this will never happen, no matter how long the individual decides to use the product. Therefore, rather than cycle length being determined by the level of damage being done to important organ systems, cycle length is now determined by the user’s ability to put up with potentially irritating side effects, all of which pose a comparatively minimal threat to long-term health. Of course, many users don’t notice any side effects at all. In essence, Super DMZ Rx 5.0 provides the safety advantages of injectable AAS, while retaining the ease of oral administration.
The Highest Value & Biggest Bank for Your Buck
For those of you who are still wondering whether or not Super DMZ Rx 5.0 is the best muscle builder in its class, I challenge you to compare its ingredient profile to that of the competition and see how they stack up. In most cases you would have to buy 4-5 different products just to end up with the same stuff you would get from a single bottle of Super DMZ Rx 5.0. And remember, if you can’t absorb what you’re taking you’re just wasting your money, no matter how many ingredients or mg’s a product might claim to have. So, the next time you’re considering buying a prohormone based supplement make sure to not only confirm the presence of a delivery system, but to make sure it’s an effective one (Super DMZ Rx 5.0 has three) because if it fails in either of these areas there is no point in going further. Of course, if you’re curious as to how Super DMZ Rx 5.0 compares to other PH-based products in the real-world, you could always just try it and see for yourself.