I noticed better results taking double the amount it says on the bottle. So it's very expensive, probably won't purchase again. [Comment from Advanced Supps: Breakthrough INCHES is 3x the dose, plus enteric coated capsules for optimal absorption, so we hope you get to try that product next time around and love it like most of our customers have. Thanks for the honest review Matthew!]
SHREDDED-XT by Platinum Nutra
Shredded-XT is a product from Platinum Nutra specifically engineered for any athlete demanding the lowest body fat possible with maximum muscle. If a ripped build is your quest, or you need something for serious contest prep, then your search is over and it's time to get shredded!
L-Carnitine Propionate (O-Propionyl-L-Carnitine / PLCAR)
NO-Boosting and Energizing Amino Acid Ester
PLCAR is a derivative of the amino acid L-Carnitine. It is the Propionate Ester to be specific, and displays superior oral bioavailability over regular, free form L-Carnitine. Supplementation with L-Carnitine (or its esters) can have multiple advantages for athletes.
It stimulates the production of nitric oxide (NO), thus promoting vasodilation and increasing blood circulation. In addition to its NO boosting effect, it also lowers free radical production. The fact that it's an anti-oxidant is a real bonus for an NO booster.
PLCAR assists fatty acid transport into cell mitochondria, and this facilitates an extra means of energy production. With greater anaerobic capacity and peripheral blood flow, better performance and faster muscle growth can be achieved. This all basically translates into more energy and less fat.
PLCAR also possesses some benefits that could be labeled nootropic, like greater concentration, more motivation, better mental energy, faster information processing and a greater sense of well-being.
4-Androsten-3,11,17-trione (Adrenosterone / 11-Oxo)
Anabolic Adrenal Fat-Burner
Adrenosterone is an adrenal corticoid with impressive endocrine activity. Vida indicates an anabolic potency which is 70% that of Testosterone, but with less than half the androgenicity. Sounds great so far. But what we didn't know at first was how good a fat-burner it would prove to be. During beta testing with volunteers, some were reporting extreme weight loss. There was concern because this is supposed to be an anabolic gainer, and some of our heavier testers were losing weight in the double digits! As it turns out, these were the testers who already had some fat to lose, but their strength was soaring as the fat melted away and they all reported feeling great. Libido enhancement is also sometimes reported.
Adrenosterone is suspected to convert into 11-Keto-Testosterone (11-KT), and 11-KT is likely more active than Adrenosterone itself. 11-KT may also give rise to even stronger metabolites of its own, but those are not characterized well enough to speculate on their contributions.
Adrenosterone is widely considered to be a top-shelf, low side effect, lean mass gainer. It also has cortisol lowering effects related to its enzyme inhibiting properties, making it ideally suited for shredding body fat without going catabolic on cutting cycles. Adrenosterone stacks well with DHEA, so a good ratio of the two are used in Shredded-XT. Significant testicular shut-down is not common with Adrenosterone, or Adrenosterone/DHEA combos. Nevertheless, a mild PCT is recommended after use.
Adrenosterone isn't cheap, even after being commercially available for almost 9 years now. That's because it's still the best cutter on the OTC market, so there'll probably always be a premium on it.
5-Androsten-3b-ol-17-one (Dehydroepiandrosterone / DHEA)
Versatile Corticometric Steroid Hormone
DHEA is a natural steroid hormone which is biosynthesized predominately in the adrenals. Blood levels are relatively high in adolescence but begin to decline rapidly in young adulthood. It is commonly used to promote bone density, support lean muscle mass and hardness, alleviate depression, encourage libido, improve immune function, and sooth inflammatory conditions without the need for catabolic corticoids. Decades of research are available to support the utility of DHEA in these applications, and all these applications can be particularly pertinent to athletes. For example, supraphysiological doses of DHEA increase serum levels of several anabolic androgens. These androgens include the once popular but now scheduled steroid Androstenedione, and conjugated metabolites of DHT like Androsterone. However, concentrations of undesirable hormones like Cortisol and Aldosterone appear unaffected by DHEA administration.
But what about estrogen? Most bros on the internet say DHEA is estrogenic!
In reality, increases in estrogen (E1 and E2), DHT and Testosterone are statistically non-existent, except in women where Testosterone levels can be significantly elevated over their already low baseline.
How can it be that DHEA possesses all these positive attributes with high oral dosing, but doesn't suppress adrenal or testicular axis?
To understand this, we must turn to the field of Endocrinology known as Intracrinology. Basically, all enzymes needed to convert DHEA into androgens are expressed in a cell-specific fashion in the peripheral target tissues. This allows the androgen-sensitive tissues like muscle to use DHEA locally, and control the intracellular concentrations of these newly formed androgens on-site. This means that oral supplementation with exogenous DHEA enables regulated production of androgens, only in appropriate target tissues, without leakage of significant amounts of metabolites into the general circulation. This local/intracrine action minimizes the inappropriate exposure of other tissues to androgens, virtually eliminating the risk of undesirable systemic effects such as testicular shut-down.
But besides the utility of DHEA as an androgen precursor in target tissue, research has also noted an inverse relationship between cardiovascular mortality and plasma DHEA levels in men. This anti-atherogenic action, and reduction in vascular dysfunction is very intriguing. It is commonly believed that estrogen is "heart-healthy" but that androgens are not, so how can this be? In endothelial cells, DHEA is demonstrated to increase the expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and the subsequent secretion of nitric oxide (NO), which is commonly known to regulate the vascular system in a positive way for athletes. NO products are quite abundant these days, and everyone seems to love the pump that NO boosters provide, but DHEA has it all. It offers the positive cardiovascular pump and skeletal benefits of estrogens, plus the muscle-enhancing properties of androgens, without the elevated blood levels or side effects of either.
DHEA is also generally observed to decrease Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG) and increase IGF-1 levels in the blood. These are both highly desirable effects because they discourage feedback suppression and promote additional growth. Another encouraging observation is that hCG treatment increases intratesticular DHEA concentrations. This makes a strong argument for the steroidogenic action of DHEA, rather than any suppressive potential, but this is not yet fully characterized. In addition to these peripheral steroidogenic effects, DHEA may also promote central steroidogenic processes by interaction with the NMDA receptor. This is only speculation because LH studies with consistent results in healthy men are hard to find.
So what's the practical potential of DHEA?
In the gym (real world) DHEA can be expected to promote muscular density and hardness after just a few days of use. This rapid response seems related to its notable insulinomimetic activity, which is crucial to the anabolic effect of androgens. It also works well in practically any stack, and doesn't induce any discernable estrogenic or corticogenic sides. On paper, HPTA suppression may be possible. However, it has never actually been observed by this author in himself or any other athlete and is therefore considered extremely unlikely.