According to a 1950 study, young men can build up more muscle mass if they raise their testosterone level indirectly – not through injections of testosterone itself, but by using a substance that induces the Leydig cells to make more testosterone. Makes you prick up your ears doesn't it?Researchers at the University of Chicago did the study we came across by chance. They carried out experiments with a new and more refined hCG preparation made by Squibb. Their subjects were healthy young men in their mid twenties.
The researchers gave their subjects an injection containing 500-3000 IE hCG for 6 days and analysed the men's urine before, during and after the administration of the hCG.
They observed that the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen in the men's urine decreased. That’s an indication of anabolic processes taking place in the bone and above all in the muscles. The men also put on a couple of kilograms in weight.
The figure below shows the effects of the hCG course on two subjects aged 24. It shows that the anabolic processes continued for about 8-9 days after the injections had been stopped. The anabolic phase runs more or less parallel with an increased concentration of 17 keto-steroids in the urine. That's an indication of a raised testosterone synthesis.
The doses used were high. The men got more hCG in the 6 days than bodybuilders do in four weeks after a course of steroids. The researchers measured effects however that were comparable to those achieved with a modest dose of testosterone propionate.
So in theory it's possible: building muscle mass by using a substance that boosts the body's production of testosterone. There are legal and less legal supplements that will raise your testosterone level, but according to the few human studies that have looked at body composition, these do little to your muscle mass. Some researchers see this as evidence that testosterone boosting supplements cannot be effective, whatever the reason. The hCG studies suggest otherwise.
J Clin Invest. 1950;29(5):619–629.
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