The Endocrine Connoisseur
an interview with Cy Willson

SSM Hello Cy. Tell us a bit about yourself. What initially piqued your interest in working out?

CW I had always weight trained since I was 6 years old but in a rather sporadic fashion. I had always admired, as many have, the physique of "The Oak." Anyhow, while I was in 8th grade (14 years old) my older brother had just finished high school and was starting college. Anyhow, over the years he had developed quite a physique by lifting on a consistent basis. He was around 6'2" 225 pounds at 10% body fat. Which, wasn't bad for someone who's all natural and didn't use one supplement. So, I began to train with him. He trained with me for the span of a year and then sort of fell out of the whole "lifting" thing, focusing more on school. He's one hell of a smart guy. I've been called boy genius but my brother was implementing some of today's "revolutionary" nutrition and training strategies way back when. Anyhow, from the age of 14 and on I began lifting on a regular basis.

SSM How old are you now?

CW Twenty

SSM Dude, I can't even offer you a Duvel legally! How did you get such an amazing science background at such a young age?

CW Again, this stems from my siblings. My sister and brother are both have doctorates in Pharmaceutical Science. I also have a doctor in the family who essentially became my best friend from the age of 14 and on. Anyhow, they always had physiology, nutrition, biochemistry, pharmacology, and various other texts of that nature around so I began to read them. I loved the information and would read each for hours upon hours. I then began to apply my knowledge to body building. Keep in mind that the text I used were from graduate programs so that is why I'm considered so "advanced" for my age. I also had these very intelligent individuals assisting me. If I had a question, they'd explain. By the way, I have to give a shot out to my big bro, D.J. We sure have long names in this family don't we (laughs)?! He just graduated last May with his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical science and was second in his class with a 3.975 GPA, and was also nationally recognized. Can you imagine how great it would be if he had the same interest in bodybuilding as I do?

SSM When did you do your first article and what was it on?

CW It was about March of 2000 and it was on fructose. It was for Testosterone magazine. I had always thought fructose was unjustly bashed in the bodybuilding community as people assumed that it would "make you fat." The funny thing about the body building industry is that people will hear something and take it as though it were God's word without ever trying it out themselves.

SSM What training/nutrition publications have you been published in?

CW Let's see, Ironman, Testosterone ,and unbeknownst to me, Planet Muscle a few months back. Oh and of course Shapeshifter. (smiles) There have been blurbs written about me in other mags however.

SSM OK, let's get down to business. Hormones have always been a hot topic both in the bodybuilding and athletic arenas. Prohormones especially have come a long way in the past few years. It's pretty amazing that we actually have over the counter products now that will exert anabolic effects with no direct estrone or estradiol conversion. Up until now, 4-androstenediol and 19-norandrostenediol have pretty much been the only two worth paying any attention to. Are there any new, exciting developments on the prohormone front? I've heard rumors of a DHT analogue possibly being released in the near future. Any truth behind this rumor?

CW Honestly, I don't know for sure. I'm only aware of one compound that could be very exciting and it's supposed to be included along with 4-AD-EC in the Mag-10 formula by Biotest. All I know is that it binds very well to the AR (androgen receptor). It could be an awesome formula.

SSM What do you think of the new 1-AD that Ergopharm is promoting so heavily? I heard the first batches were actually 1-androstenedione and that they've now finally switched to 1-androstenediol. What would be the primary differences as far as the mechanisms of action with these two prohormones?

CW I don't think either is intrinsically active. The only one worth using would be 1-androstenediol.

SSM I've heard that Biotest has opted to discontinue production of the Nandrosol spray 19-norandrostenediol. Any idea why they're keeping the Androsol but not the Nandrosol?

CW I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing it's simply because the cost is too high to manufacture and the sales aren't doing well. If a company is losing money, they should pull the product. Simple. As to why they kept Androsol, well it's cheaper to make and I also think it sells much better because it has gained a better reputation in terms of being able to "feel" its effects.

SSM What's the scoop on the new 4-AD-EC prohormone that Bill Roberts recently developed? What does it stand for? What is the mechanism of action? Why is the duration of activity so much greater than plain old 4-AD?

CW 4-AD is simply the 4-androstenediol and the EC stands for Ethyl Carbonate. This is basically an ether molecule being added to the compound to increase oral bioavailability. It's so much greater because adding the EC allows for a much higher blood concentration. It basically "protects" the hormone from being metabolized to a good extent and thus more of the active ingredient enters the blood stream.

SSM Though the newer prohormones have alleviated much cause for concern over aromatization (the conversion of testosterone to estrogen) issues, I realize that certain androgens may cause hair loss even though DHT takes most of the bad rap for this problem. Are there any hair loss issues associated with the use of certain prohormones?

CW I can't say that there would be. I mean we'll have to see in terms of the pro-hormone that binds to the AR (androgen receptor), but I doubt any other would have such deleterious effects on the hairline.

SSM What's the fastest, cheapest way for a guy to test his testosterone and estrogen levels? Are those mail order saliva tests fairly accurate? Can you also test thyroid levels this way?

CW I'd say the fastest and cheapest are saliva tests. Yes, they can be somewhat accurate if done correctly. I haven't seen any kits that are able to test thyroid hormone levels. I'm not too sure if it's even possible anyhow.

SSM I've heard that a prohormone product cannot be truly cool unless the product is named after a steroid and packaged in a witty-wanna-be-pseudo-steroid container. Is there any truth to this? Uhhhh, on second thought, skip that question. Okay! Well, moving on...

CW Sounds good. (laughs)

SSM Another hot topic these days seems to be pro-neurotansmitter supplements otherwise referred to as nootropics. Can you tell us about a few of the popular neurotransmitter precursors and what they're good for other than getting through a bad hangover? (laughs)

CW Tyrosine, DMAE, Phosphatidylcholine are all great "precursors" to the important neurotransmitters, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, aceytlcholine, etc. They can also be useful to treat symptoms of depression or when coming off of T3 or some type of beta 2 agonist like ephedrine. They're great for improving focus, memory, and in general cognitive function. I'd say that most people don't have optimal levels of these neurotransmitters so supplementation is always a bonus. As a side note, most of the herbal "nootropics" and even piracetam all exert their effects by increasing at least one or all of these neurotransmitters and a few increase blood flow thus resulting in more oxygen getting to the brain as well as increased ATP synthesis.

SSM Thanks for your time Cy. This is truly good stuff. Until next time.

CW My pleasure Arik. I look forward to it.