Post Cycle Therapies highest pinnacle has been reached with K1ngs PCT! Read on and you can see that OL has gone above and beyond with countless hours of intense research in creating the most advanced PCT possible and have changed the PCT game forever.
Post Cycle Therapy, a term that has been thrown around in the industry for years, with countless products claiming to deliver support, but time after time, failing to deliver any perceived benefit. Olympus set out to break this trend and can proudly say that post cycle therapy support has just been taken to the next Level! – Introducing K1NGS PCT!
As everyone would expect from Olympus Labs, K1NGS PCT demonstrates a commitment to innovation designed from scratch, through endless up-to-date research, to be the most comprehensive and effective, multifaceted post-cycle cycle support supplement ever created, leaving everything else currently available behind.
K1NGS PCT is different than anything else in its category! Most products currently available on the market use the same underdosed and ineffective ingredients, or only target a limited aspect of the great challenges faced when ceasing exogenous androgen use. The truth is, the post cycle period is an extremely stressful time for the body, and it needs to be targeted from multiple angles to truly deliver meaningful and measurable assistance.
It is fair to say that ‘post cycle therapy’ is not an area which is generally studied by the research community, in fact the processes used to this day are a continued accumulation of extrapolations from clinical research in differing areas by some of the brightest minds in the industry over time. OL has poured over countless research to bring to market a product which they believe targets wide ranging, highly important pathways using clinically validated ingredients.
K1NGS PCT has been designed to deliver potent multiple-mechanism of action support in restoring the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular-axis (HPTA), following exogenous hormone use, targeting both the commonly used pathway of hypothalamic ‘estrogen receptor antagonism’, but also brings to market a novel and highly promising hypothalamic ‘androgen receptor antagonist’ pathway to truly drive the negative feedback loop into overdrive and deliver increased steroidogenesis.
While restoring HPTA function is of critical importance, K1NGS PCT is multifaceted, and it truly is. The formula also features ingredients which promote increased muscle protein synthesis, provide potent anti-catabolic support, support healthy immune system function, increased libido and deliver potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant firepower.
In true Olympus Labs style, the formula features several exciting, novel ingredients including a custom Cistanche Tubulosa extract for Echinacoside and Polysaccharides, delivering potent HPTA support, growth hormone enhancement, appetite stimulation and immune system support. As well as a specialized Eucheuma Cottonii extract, included for its ability to act as a ‘selective estrogen receptor modulator’ and simultaneously reduce estrogen production.
Additionally, featured is a novel compound which Olympus Labs can proudly claim as being first to market with, α-Ionone, a unique orally active cAMP booster, delivering potent support for skeletal muscle anabolism and the endocrine system function.
The formula also contains a number of other exceptional ingredients, including a potent patented Spilanthes Acmella extract SA3X™, which has been shown to greatly enhance HPTA function and increase libido, as well as a high quality Korean Mistletoe Extract, which supports exercise performance, while also delivering both enhanced muscle protein anabolism while simultaneously suppressing muscle protein breakdown.
The formula is rounded out with a unique, long acting derivative of ascorbic acid known as magnesium ascorbic acid 2-phosphate. It possesses very unique characteristics and has been shown to build up in tissues and match both IGF-1 and insulin in its ability to promote muscle cell hypertrophy.
Olympus Labs is committed to producing the highest quality supplements in the industry and K1NGS PCT sets a new standard, in a category that has an awfully long history of over promising and under delivering. It is the elite option for elite athletes. For the ultimate effective and smooth post cycle period, you need K1NGS PCT!
Before we dive into the individual ingredients in the formula, it is important to provide context to what is occurring in the body during the post cycle period when the cessation of an exogenous anabolic/androgenic compounds occurs.
When any suppressive anabolic/androgenic compound is introduced, the body responds through its negative feedback inhibition loop, which is tightly regulated by the system known as the HPTA. The hypothalamus contains Androgen, Estrogen and Progesterone receptors which in normal circumstances tightly regulate hormone levels, based on serum levels of each respective hormone, when inadequate levels of a particular hormone are sensed, a feedback loop is initiated to increase/decrease serum levels to the homeostatic level.
Reduction of Serum testosterone levels → Increased GnRH → increased LH → FSH →
Increased Leydig cell stimulation → INCREASED testosterone production
And vice versa when elevated serum testosterone levels are sensed.
When an exogenous anabolic/androgenic hormone(s) is introduced, the hypothalamus senses significantly greater serum levels, which leads to the negative feedback loop being initiated. With continuous use, the entire HPTA cascade is suppressed, which leads to the cessation of any GnRH being released from the hypothalamus, no LH + FSH being released from the Pituitary and steroidogenesis almost completely ceasing at the testes, alongside Leydig cell atrophy.
Once the exogenous hormone use is stopped, the body is in a position whereby the HPTA is in an almost dormant state, with almost no endogenous hormone production taking place. The goal at this stage is to as efficiently and effectively as possible restore GnRH production → LH + FSH production → Leydig cell function → Steroidogenesis + Spermatogenesis.
This obviously does not happen instantly and during this post cycle period of low endogenous output, there are many factors which are extremely counterintuitive towards producing adequate hormone levels, maintaining muscle mass, exercise performance, libido, immune function and overall well being, including:
With the above in mind, let's dive into more detail on each of the ingredients, outlining how they play their role in the formula...
Cistanche Tubulosa Extract: A holoparasitic desert plant species in the genus Cistanche. The plant lacks chlorophyll and obtains nutrients and water from the host plants whose roots it parasitizes. Historically, it has been extensively used as a tonic agent to cure reproductive dysfunction and to boost male sexual activity in traditional Chinese medicine.
We utilize a custom water and ethanol extract, yielding 10% Echinacoside, a phenylethanoid glycoside primarily found in the stem, as well as broad spectrum Polysaccharides and Iridoid compounds. Echinacoside has relatively poor oral bioavailability when consumed in isolation, however utilising a lower standardized extract which also contain other glycosides in conjunction with polysaccharides, it has been shown to significantly improve bioavailability when consumed concurrently.
Echinacoside is an extremely interesting compound with broad ranging pharmacological activities. The primary reason for its inclusion in the formula is due to its potent ability to increase testosterone levels through its ‘selective androgen receptor modulating’ abilities, however, not quite how you expect probably expect.
While you may know of a class of drugs which typically exert their effects through acting as an ‘agonist’ on the androgen receptor, Echinacoside is different, it has been shown to effectively cross the blood-brain barrier and selectively act on the hypothalamus, whereby it directly and potently inhibits androgen receptor activity.
In studies of human gonadotropin production, sex hormone levels are tightly regulated by the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Gonadal-axis and a negative feedback loop, meaning when high levels of androgens are ‘sensed’ a reduction of gonadotropin output occurs and vice versa, to ensure a tight homeostatic range can be maintained. When the androgen receptor in the hypothalamus is blocked and cannot ‘sense’ androgen levels, testosterone secretion is markedly increased in response to consistent and sustained increases in blood gonadotropin hormones levels such as LHβ, LHr, Gnrh 1 and Gnrhr LH in response to a lack of negative androgenic feedback to the pituitary and hypothalamus.
Additionally, Echinacoside has also been shown to act directly on the testes, resulting in significantly increased expressions of key steroidogenic enzymes, including CYP11A1, CYP17A1, HSD3β1/2 and HSD17β, which were increased more than 3-fold. This results in increased steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis through enhanced Leydig cell function, adding additional support locally to testosterone production.
Furthermore, Echinacoside displays significant activity in stimulating growth hormone secretion, in a very similar way to many synthetic ‘peptides’ commonly used by the bodybuilding community. It has been shown to be a potent agonist of the Ghrelin receptor which results in direct growth hormone release from pituitary cells. Increased growth hormone is highly correlated with increased IGF-1 levels, a potent anabolic signalling molecule. Stimulation of the Ghrelin receptors may also aid in increased appetite, allowing for increased caloric consumption.
Finally, worth noting, the Polysaccharides found in Cistanche has displayed potent immunostimulatory activity, upregulating T-cell and B-cell proliferation and promoting healthy immune system function. It is believed this effect is elicited via the Toll-like receptor 4 pathway.
As detailed above, Echinacoside is a multifaceted compound delivering highly desirable effects that will be highly beneficial during the post cycle therapy period through promoting increased HPTA function, growth hormone and IGF-1 levels, healthy immune system function and appetite.
Korean Mistletoe Extract: A semi-parasitic plant that has been utilized as a traditional medicine in many countries to treat various human illnesses. Korean mistletoe extract (KME) has been subject to significant research over the years and has shown to possess wide spanning effects on biological functions, demonstrating anti-tumour, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetes, anti-obesity benefits and it has also been reported that KME may improve endurance capacity by enhancing mitochondrial activity. Studies have repeatedly shown it has been well tolerated and there have been no indications of liver or kidney toxicity.
More recently and more relevant to its inclusion in K1NGS PCT, researchers have demonstrated the KME has potent effects on both stimulating skeletal muscle hypertrophy, while simultaneously preventing muscle atrophy. Both factors being very highly sort after during the post cycle period, when supporting maintenance of muscle mass and continued progression in the gym is of paramount importance.
To support skeletal muscle hypertrophy, KME was shown to act on the Protein Kinase B, also known as the Akt signalling pathway whereby higher phosphorylation levels were detected, leading to increased mTOR signalling, a key anabolic pathway which increases muscle protein synthesis. Of significance, total Akt phosphorylation increased by around 100% of non-treated cells in the KME group and this very dosage is utilized in K1NGS PCT.
Furthermore, KME's ability to prevent muscle atrophy is mediated through its effects on the Fox0 transcription factors, a critical regulator of atrophy-related genes in muscle. Fox0 exerts its effects through stimulating a catabolic pathway known as the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase proteins Murf1 and Atrogin-1. It is shown that KME treatment resulted in a significant reduction in Atrogin-1 levels, while also reducing Murf1 levels, compared to the non-treated subjects. it was also observed that subjects had higher expression of PGC-1α, GLUT4, and SREBP-1c genes, which are also involved in suppressing muscle atrophy and are related to the induction of hypertrophy.
A study which assessed KME combined with resistance training in elderly subjects confirmed the above mentioned pathways as the mechanism of action in humans. Following 12 weeks administration, it was shown that KME was highly effective at suppressing intracellular pathways related to muscle protein degradation, while simultaneously boosting anabolic signalling pathways such as IGF-1 receptor phosphorylation.
The Mechanisms of action of KME are again highly desirable during the post cycle period, by promoting increased anabolism, while simultaneously suppressing catabolic pathways, thus preventing muscle atrophy, and supporting exercise performance, recovery and lean mass maintenance.
SA3X™: A patented extract of Spilanthes acmella (S. acmella), a plant belonging to the genus Asteraceae, it has long been used in the traditional Indian Systems of Medicine for the treatment of various sexual inadequacies and is claimed to improve sexual functions in man. The bioactive compounds in S. acmella responsible for its potent effects are believed to be from the N-Alkyl-amide class of molecules, with Spilanthol in particular as being the primary bioactive compound of the plant. SA3X™ is specifically extracted to deliver a highly standardized minimum 3.5% Spilanthol, with K1NGS PCT utilizing an effective dose!
A study which compared an extract of S. acmella (0.2% Spilanthol) against Sildenafil citrate, more commonly known as Viagra, examined effects on sexual activity as well as gonadotropin levels and the results were very impressive. To begin, when comparing penile erection strength, the highest dose of 150mg/kg of S. acmella (equivalent to 4mg active Spilanthol) displayed 75% as much activity as sildenafil citrate, with these effects persisting for significantly longer following cessation of use! This effect is believed to be driven through increased nitric oxide released, which will undoubtedly also assist with mind blowing pumps in the gym.
S. acmella profoundly increased sexual activity at all dosages utilized in the study, which again continued to occur following cessation of use. Not only were the subjects aroused more quickly, but they were also aroused significantly more often, with a much higher intromission duration and frequency period observed with also a reduced post-ejaculation latency.
In respect to gonadotropins and androgen levels, S. acmella resulted in significant increases in luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone and testosterone levels, with the increases being highly notable in the highest concentration group, as detailed below:
This suggests a positive correlation between dose and effect, when comparing the highest dose of 150mg/kg (4mg Spilanthol) against 500mg SA3X™ (minimum 17.5mg Spilanthol), it can be seen that K1NGS PCT delivers an outstanding dose.
S.Acmella ethanolic extract was found to present no acute toxicity; and no mortality or changes in behavior were observed, suggesting it is not only very effective, but also safe.
SA3X™ delivers potent support with HPTA function and improved libido, both highly vital areas which require support during the post cycle period. Further, it provides extreme nitric oxide support to deliver mind blowing pumps and improved exercise performance.
Eucheuma Cottonii Extract: An edible red seaweed rich in nutrients and also potent bioactive polyphenols, it grows in warmer waters with an optimum temperature between 27–30 degrees Celsius and is usually found just below the shoreline of reef areas on rocky surfaces where the water flow is slow to moderate.
Eucheuma Cottonii (E.cottonii) has drawn researchers’ interest in recent years and has been shown to elicit multifaceted biological functions. In particular, the polyphenol rich extract (PRE) has displayed exciting data in animal models, showing it to be more a very potent ‘selective estrogen receptor modulator’ (SERM), specifically a potent estrogen receptor antagonist, while also displaying less toxicity than various ‘pharmaceuticals’ SERMs. K1NGS PCT utilizes a clinical dose of a potent polyphenol rich ethanol extract.
As previously noted, the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Gonadal-axis tightly regulates homeostatic endocrine levels and function, while we previously discussed the negative feedback loop in respect to androgens, another key regulator in males is also serum estrogen levels. As the majority of estrogens produced in males are through the conversion of testosterone to estrogen through the aromatase enzymes. When low reduced levels of serum estrogens are sensed at the hypothalamus, the feedback loop is initiated to increase these levels by increased gonadotropin release, leading to increased testosterone production and ultimately balanced serum estrogen levels.
By E. Cottonii acting as an estrogen receptor antagonist, it exerts it mechanism of action through blocking the estrogen receptor in the hypothalamus, thus preventing sensing of serum estrogen levels, resulting in the feedback loop being initiated to regulate levels, promoting gonadotropin release and increased testosterone production. Further, E. Cottonii PRE has also been noted to downregulate the endogenous estrogen biosynthesis, resulting in reduced serum levels of estrogens, thus acting as a quasi-estrogen control agent, by ensuring levels do not elevate too significantly.
Additionally, E. Cottonii has been shown to display potent hepatoprotective properties when liver assault was present, resulting in substantially reduced levels of enzymes indicative of liver stress, whilst also supporting cellular membrane integrity.
These above mentioned effects may be mediated by the fact that E. Cottonii is a rich source of natural antioxidants, which include flavonoids and phlorotannins. Flavonoids have three interconnected rings, while seaweed phlorotannins have up to eight interconnected rings. Phlorotannins are therefore 10–100 times more potent and more stable antioxidants than are other polyphenols. The half-life of the phlorotannins in the body, is up to 12 h, compared to 30–180 min for terrestrial polyphenols. Seaweed consumption has been shown to increase the endogenous antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and sometimes catalase activities in vivo.
E. Cottonii will provide potent HPTA support through increasing steroidogenesis via the estrogen receptor mediated negative feedback loop. The added potent antioxidant capacity will also support overall health and well-being during the post cycle period.
α-Ionone: Ionones are part of the family of compounds known as rose ketones, they are aroma compounds found in small quantities in a variety of essential oils and fruits such as raspberries. Ionones can be found in three different forms including alpha, beta and gamma. Due to their intense aroma, they are common ingredients in various fragrances, cosmetics and flavouring additives in foods.
K1NGS PCT utilizes only a highly purified, isolated α-ionone form, which serves a very different and frankly, exciting role. Recent literature has shown that α-ionone is a potent stimulator of myogenesis and skeletal muscle anti atrophic agent. Two key mechanisms we seek to boost during a highly stressful and catabolic environment the body faces during a post cycle period when anabolic hormones plummet, whilst simultaneously a rise in catabolic hormones such as cortisol.
The mechanism through which α-ionone exerts these potent effects is through boosting a vitally important signalling molecule known as Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), a major cellular secondary messenger, that is known to perform key functions in the regulation of skeletal muscle mass and function. cAMP-elevating agents, such as β-adrenergic receptor agonists, have been reported to promote total protein synthesis as well as reduce proteolysis in skeletal muscles.
α-Ionone has been shown to be orally bioavailable and build up in skeletal muscle tissue, where it can exert its effects where it matters most. It has been shown to affect downstream key anabolic signalling molecules such as PKA Cα, p-CREB, p-FoxO3 and (PGC)-1α1, whilst simultaneously decreasing expression of catabolic signalling molecules such as RING finger 1 (MuRF1) and muscle atrophy F-box (MAFbx), which regulate ubiquitin-proteasome-dependent proteolysis. The amount of p-SMAD2/3 (a downstream molecule of myostatin signalling) significantly diminished, whereas the amounts of IGF-1 signalling molecules including p-AKT, p-mTORC, p-S6K1, and p-4E-BP1 significantly increased in the skeletal muscle of α-ionone-treated subjects. In layman’s terms, key anabolic processes are greatly enhanced while simultaneously key catabolic processes are suppressed, leading to a potent net benefit in promoting anabolism.
Increasing levels of cAMP can also support increased levels of lipolysis and oxidation of fatty acids, it is also a key molecule in the regulation of glycogen synthesis and importantly the HPTA, supporting the production of key anabolic hormones such as testosterone through enhancement of Leydig cell function.
Expect multifaceted benefits from α-Ionone’s inclusion during the post cycle period, ranging from improved HPTA function, increase skeletal muscle anabolism, increased fat lipolysis and oxidation and increased glycogen synthesis.
Magnesium Ascorbic acid 2‐phosphate: K1NGS PCT utilizing a magnesium bonded form of Ascorbic acid 2-phosphate (MAA-2p), a long acting, water soluble derivative of Vitamin C. This unique form offers multifaceted benefits over regular Ascorbic acid and plays and important role in the formula.
Ascorbic acid is an essential micronutrient for humans, which cannot be synthesized endogenously and must be consumed through diet. It is a potent antioxidant and co-factor for a large series of metabolic functions and gene regulatory enzymes. Ascorbic acid contributes to immune defense through supporting cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immunes system, which has been shown to enhance the proliferation of both B and T immune cells.
Oral consumption of Ascorbic acid has a rapid clearance whereby the plasma half-life is around 30 minutes. This means that frequent dosing is required to maintain adequate levels, if to be utilized for a specific biological function such as healthy stress hormone response, immune system support and both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory support. It has previously been shown that oral ascorbic acid consumption attenuated the blood pressure, cortisol, and subjective responses to psychological stress in human volunteers.
MAA-2P being a significantly longer acting derivative means that its clearance is substantially slower and has the ability to build up in target tissues such as skeletal muscle where it can exert its effects for a longer duration, promoting increased effectiveness.
A study on MAA-2P where it was tested on L6 muscle cells showed quite remarkable results, it was found that MAA-2P may have similar stimulatory effects on muscle cell growth to that of IGF-1 and insulin on promoting myogenesis and induced hypertrophy, resulting in increased diameter of cell size.
During the post cycle period, this mechanism of action providing an additional, long acting pathway to promoting skeletal muscle hypertrophy during a period when anabolic signalling is reduced, whilst also providing potent antioxidant support.
While we have focussed on K1NGS PCT in respect to the post cycle period, the fact is the formula can also be incredibly useful during other situations. For instance, K1NGS PCT can support dieting phases with a caloric deficit, tipping the ratio of anabolism:catabolism heavily in your favour, leading to greater lean mass retention and exercise performance.
K1NGS PCT can also play a supporting role during a recomposition phase, given its androgen boosting and anabolic signalling support, it can drive greater gains in lean body mass, while supporting exercise performance.