One problem body builders encounter when increasing their testosterone levels is that estrogen increases as a natural byproduct. A solution that body builders have found? Using breast cancer drugs such as Arimidex, which acts to inhibit the synthesis of estrogen. Today, anti-estrogens are only marketed for use in the treatment of breast cancer.
However, despite a concern that physicians are prescribing anti-estrogens for unintended purposes, or that body builders are purchasing them online through unregulated means, it seems that such drugs do, in fact, do a pretty good job of blocking estrogen, which allows for the increase of testosterone in proportion to estrogen, and thus, allow a body builder to gain more muscle. The point is, even if anti-estrogens are marketed for breast cancer treatment, they are also effective at helping body builders grow muscle. Through the free market system, those willing to take a risk on experimentation have found a solution to a problem, however trivial this problem may seem to the general public.
Let’s focus on another problem, this time faced by many cancer patients: wasting syndrome, the process by which a debilitating disease causes muscles and fat tissues to “waste” away, resulting in weakness, inability to continue treatment, and ultimately, death. Ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone, has been a potential targeted treatment for wasting in the form of synthetic Ghrelin, known as Ghrelin mimetic, but it’s not available commercially to the public. It can be obtained, of course, by other means, though such covert methods necessitate a lack of quality control
Anti-estrogens and ghrelin mimetics are currently not included in FDA regulations, and they are not on the controlled substances list. Such drugs fall in a gray area of federal regulatory overlay along with other unregulated supplements and substances. Though physicians recommend that medicine only be used for its intended medicinal purposes, many patients and individuals don’t have time to wait until a medicine is commercially available to see if it works.
Many cancer patients are willing to risk buying research grade ghrelin over the internet if it will increase their odds of survival during chemotherapy. Whereas doctors are concerned with a potential lawsuit by prescribing the wrong drug (and rightly so, in the current litigious culture we live in), patients should be allowed the autonomy to take a risk when it involves their own life their own life hanging in the balance.
Take for example the recent film, Dallas Buyers Club, based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, who formed a Buyers Club in the late 1980s to provide non-FDA approved drugs to fellow AIDS patients like himself. Such medications were slow to be approved by the FDA, and Woodroof gave himself and other AIDS patients an option for survival, albeit a risky one, as an alternative to certain death. And Woodroof? He was given six months to live when he was diagnosed with AIDS. Due to his own tenacity and non-FDA approved treatments, he lived another six years.
Innovation and scientific advancement requires a certain element of risk taking, including an acceptance of danger. For those facing serious medical diagnosis, federal regulatory standards shouldn’t stand in the way of hope, despite the dangers involved.