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Anabolic Firestarters

The Royal B

Next to vitamin C, vitamin B6 is the most important anabolic cofactor you can take. Known as the master vitamin for processing amino acids, water-soluble vitamin B6 helps start more that 100 enzyme systems necessary for the proper regulation of protein metabolism.

Though generally referred to as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 has three chemical forms: pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. Pyridoxal (PLP) is its most active form.

Being intimately involved with protein and amino acid metabolism, pyridoxine is responsible for processing, meaning it helps make, as well as take apart and rebuild many of those building blocks of protein. Pyridoxine is also a coenzyme for glycogen phosphorylase, the enzyme that stimulates the release of glucose stored in the muscles, known as glycogen. That helps fuel your tired muscles, thus sparing precious muscle tissue.

While you already know that protein builds lean muscle, you may be unaware of the fact that the pyridoxine form of B6 is directly responsible for protein metabolism and therefore key in the overall anabolic process. An increased intake of protein needs to be matched with additional amounts of B6. The additional intake helps the body maintain an adequate balance of amino acids circulating in and around your system.

The recommended dose for vitamin B6 for all healthy individuals is 1.3 milligrams daily. Don’t take more than 100 milligrams; it could lead to nerve damage.

Buy the Vowels

Best known for its ability to protect the eyes and boost the immune response, vitamin A has definite anabolic capabilities. It’s not a well-discussed fact that the body needs vitamin A to synthesize new protein; oddly enough, a high intake of protein tends to diminish body stores of vitamin A.

Another fact not widely publicized centers on vitamin A’s ability to regulate testosterone production. Reliable and consistent data shows that vitamin A within the testes increases testosterone secretions and a number of anabolic growth factors, such as IGF-binding protein, androgen-binding protein, transforming growth factor-beta and a substance known as steroidogenic acute regulatory protein. The last-named protein plays a critical role in transporting cholesterol into the mitochondria (the body’s energy factories) to be transformed into steroids. Vitamin A also works in the testes to reduce the formation of estrogen, as well as regulate the production of glycogen.

Take 5,000 to 25,000 international units per day. When taking levels above 10,000, use beta-carotene. The body will convert as much of it to vitamin A as it needs, and that form doesn’t have the toxicity of vitamin A from fish oil sources.

One of the most widely used vitamins, fat-soluble vitamin E, has powerful antioxidant properties. Like vitamin C, it helps prevent muscle weakness and soreness via its ability to neutralize free radical production and the buildup of toxic by-products that cause muscle wasting.

The recommended daily dose of vitamini E is 200 to 800 international units.

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