Anybody who uses oral steroids should know that one of the most alarming concerns is the strain on the liver. Oral steroids are made synthetically with an alteration to their structure such as Methylation or Alkalization that allows them to survive passing through liver without being destroyed. However, these chemical alterations will cause a lot of damage to the liver on the first pass.
Damage to your liver, a vital organ, is the first step in the downfall of your overall health and it must be avoided at all costs. As a result, advanced bodybuilders have included various substances that have been shown to protect and cleanse the liver during the use of heavy oral steroids. The reason for this is so they can reap the benefits from powerful steroids, without any damage to the liver.
Several substances have been shown to do a pretty good job at protecting the liver during steroid use. Milk Thistle, NAC, and choline have all been accepted by the medical community for having cellular healing properties beneficial to the liver. Anecdotally, many bodybuilders have been using them for years with a lot of success. But a recent discovery is proving itself to be far beyond the standard principles, and is changing the way guys protect themselves during cycle. This new development is called tauroursodeoxycholic acid, but let’s call it Tudca for short.
What sets Tudca apart from other supplements and herbs that keep the liver healthy (like Milk Thistle), is that Tudca has been studied by the AMA and the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes can be the result of a damaged liver and diabetes can also cause liver damage. It is a double edged sword in that regard. In fact, Tudca has been approved by the FDA for treatment of cirrosis of the liver. Rarely is a supplement given that much scrutiny and approved by multiple medical associations.
Tauroursodeoxycholic acid is a bile acid derivative that has been used in Europe to treat cholelithiasis and cholestatic liver disease. It can also enhance protein folding and protect cells against stress. In obese mice, Tudca treatment reduces, improved systemic insulin resistance, and decreases triglyceride levels (another side effect from steroids averted).
Tudca is a water-soluble bile salt, which emulsifies fats in the intestines to help with absorption. When bile acids back up in the liver, a clinical state called cholestasis, which occurs when the liver is strained form drugs or alcohol, these bile salts can be damaging to cells by destroying the membranes and signaling for cell death. One of the major side effects of steroids is inhibition of bile flow! Tudca and other water soluble bile salts like UDCA compete with this toxicity and, thus, indirectly protect the liver cells.
There are some very good liver supplements out there – Liv 52 is a favorite ayurvedic combination of herbs that have been shown to effective. But probably the best overall liver protectant for bodybuilders on the market is N2Guard since it contains several herbs and nutrients to enhance liver function. Including Tudca in the 2.0 version.