Endocrinologists at the University of Wisconsin have weighed in on the subject. They examined Armstrong's metabolic performance before and after his treatment for testicular cancer. Let me summarize point by point, in this complex argument:
- Before the cancer Armstrong was not a strong cyclist in multi-day events. He was a world class 1-day cyclist before cancer treatment.
- The cancer treatment consisted of:
-Unilateral orchiectomy (removal of a testicle)
-Brain surgery (he must have had metastasis to brain)
-Four cycles of chemotherapy
- Physiological tests apparently were unchanged following his treatment
- The researchers are suggesting that recovery between days was the key to Armstrong's success
- That the orchiectomy changed his hormonal makeup.
- increase in gonadotrophs, including prolactin & an increase in serum lipase expression
- increase in free fatty acids (FFA) and utilization by muscles
- increase in ketone production (used for nutrients)
- increase in muscle repair and hematocrit level (red blood cells)
- These changes limit glycogen utilization, delay fatigue, and enhance recovery.
Essentially what the endocrinologists are proposing is that when surgeons removed Armstrong's testicle, they induced hormonal changes that changed him from a good one day cyclist to a Tour de France winner.
Steroid Nation, with all due respect to Armstrong and his amazing recovery, is concerned that cyclists and athletes looking for an edge...will follow suit.
So: DO NOT ATTEMPT A UNILATERAL ORCHIECTOMY AT HOME. This is only a theory, people.
Here is hoping thousands of cyclists and bodybuilders don't decide to take things in their own hands.