The Science Behind: ‘Syntherol – Site Enhancing Oil’
Syntherol™ is a caprylic acid based proprietary formulated sterile site enhancement oil. It is manufactured by a major pharmaceutical company in accordance with the highest level of manufacturing practices. No other seller of site enhancement oil can guarantee that the product they sell is sanitary, hygienic, bottled and sealed under pharmaceutical conditions that assure the health and wellbeing of the end user..
Syntherol™ is a proprietary formula whose constituent parts do not deviate from that which is necessary to effect muscular change as described in the science summarized herein. As a result syntherol™ is highly effective.
No other site enhancement oil currently available can claim to be both pharmaceutically sterile and scientifically effective.
What follows is a summary of the science that makes syntherol™ a muscle building agent and the basic protocol developed by IFBB Pro Big A in regard to applying syntherol™.
Table of Contents
|I. What is Fascia|
|II. Fascia Stretching|
|III. Clearance rate of administered oil|
|IV. What determines absorption of administered oil & how is it absorbed|
|V. Why site application of Caprylic Acid works (In addition to increasing fascia pliability)|
|VI. Administration of sterile caprylic acid|
|VII. Site Enhancing Oils – A How to Guide by Big A|
What is Fascia?
The fascia is not extremely well studied. It is basically a three-dimensional matrix of tissue which may be thought of as both a body casing or sheath (think about a tight rubber body suit) and a separate deeper tissue which penetrates muscle and is attached to muscle via septa (or offshoots).
Fascia seems to function as a way to transmit applied force information from one muscle grouping to the next. Fascia also seems to function as a method by which the force generated by load is applied to muscle fiber and reduced in bone.
When a muscular contraction occurs fascia or rather fascicle (a fascia bundle of muscle fibers) curves. The greater the contraction the greater the curvature. When this curving takes place pressure is produced on the concave side. Curving of the fascicle increases intramuscular pressure and therefore affects blood flow. In addition fascicle curving reduces the force transmitted to the bone.
So a contracted muscle which bulges can be understood to have increased pressure inward.
There really are two distinct classes of fascia. The superficial fascia (the body wrap) is connected to the dermis and the upper torso is enveloped in this tissue from the pectorals to the rib cage area & stomach, up under the lats, from the pectorals up over the delts and down the arms.
This body sheath is capable of transmitting information to various parts of the body concerning the amount of pressure that is occurring on other regions of the body as a result of force generation.
The second class of fascia is specific to the region and yet this deeper tissue also connects to other regions as described above and transmits force/pressure data. The pectoral fascia is firmly connected to the underlying muscle by many intramuscular septa, which originate from the inner surface of the fascia and penetrate between the muscular fibers, dividing the muscle itself into many bundles.
Pectoral fascia thickness varies greatly between people. The lower pectoral fascia is thicker then the upper with the upper pectorial region averaging .49mm in thickness and the lower averaging .60mm in thickness.
There is a significant deviation from these averages in both the thickness & pliability among individuals. One study found lower pectoral fascia thickness varied from a high of .99mm to a low of .24mm.
So from this brief summary we can understand that:
- There is a wide variability in fascia thickness and this in part can explain the difference in fullness of muscle bellies between individuals that lift weights.
- We can visualize that application of oil will apply pressure to the fascia as it creates curvature even at rest.
- We can further visualize that application of oil will increase pressure in the region and as a result increase blood flow.
- Consequently if you follow weightlifting lifting techniques that maximize the generation of peak force on a targeted muscle you will also be creating additional maximum pressure inside the muscle worked.
Below are three images showing the superficial fascia (the body wrap); the pectoral fascia; and an image demonstrating how fascia coordinates balance and contraction between the two pectoral sides.
The pectoral fascia: Anatomical and histological study, Antonio Stecco, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy (2008)
In vivo determination of fascicle curvature in contracting human skeletal muscles, Tadashi Muramatsu, J Appl Physiol 92:129-134, 2002
Anatomy and Clinical Significance of Pectoral Fascia, Lin Jinde, M.D., American Society of Plastic Surgeons Volume 118, Number 7 Pectoral Fascia
Therapists utilize deep and painful tissue manipulation techniques to loosen up stiff fascia, which can impinge certain areas. They call their techniques myofascial release.
In the world of bodybuilding John Parrillo may have been the first one to use the term “fascial stretching.” He developed a technique which basically involved pumping the muscle with blood to engorge it, followed by extreme and painful stretching of the engorged muscle and then a pose to you cramp style of holding the engorged muscle in a contraction. He even went so far as to create and sell fascia stretch machines.
Tom Platz appears to be one of the earliest practitioners of this technique. He would use the entire weight stack of the old school leg extension machine (where you could lay flat if you wanted) and he would pump out as many full and then partial reps as he could followed by assisted reps. Then he would immediately get on the floor on his knees and lay back grimacing in pain and he would hold this deep stretch. Then do it again…
The problem with this technique, although beneficial, is that the pressure which is being applied to curvature of the fascia is short lived albeit intense.
It is likely that fascia will become more pliable (it is simply layers of collagen and elastin in a water-based matrix) the longer it is held in a curved position. This is the reason applied oil has proven superior.
Clearance rate of applied oil
I was once wondering about the clearance rate of oils. I have seen it stated at various times that MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) could be deadly because it stays around forever.
No it doesn’t. I went through a lot of studies and although there is variability among animal models it seems MCT oil (Fractionated coconut oil) possesses about a one week half-life in muscle and the rate of disappearance remains linear.
The key determinant seems to be the general viscosity of the oil. Here is a good example:
From, Intramuscular rate of disappearance of oily vehicles in rabbits investigated by gamma-scintigraphy, Kirsten Schultz et al, International Journal of Pharmaceutics 169 (1998) 121–126
Viscosities and muscular disappearance rates of various oily vehicles
|Oily vehicle||Viscosity at 37°C||T1/2|
|Ethyl oleate||3.9||10 days|
|Fractionated coconut oil||15||1 week|
|Sesame oil||35||1 month|
|Arachidis oil||35.2||23 days|
Apparently the volume of the oil applied doesn’t effect the clearance rate. That remains constant.
In addition both fractionated coconut oil (MCT) and sesame oil spread approximately 25% along the muscle fibers (beneath the fascial sheaths) during the first 24 hours after administration (primarily in the first few minutes) and then virtually no more spreading. So MCT oil is effective at creating a volume depot capable of fascial stretching.
More importantly the studies show that MCT oil is not deadly. It has half the viscosity of sesame oil so if it gets into the blood stream it probably isn’t going to clog any arteries or cause blockages in and around the heart. In fact MCT oils ingested orally pass into the body without much change and circulate in plasma eventually acting as an energy substrate with no apparent health concerns.
It has a half-life (i.e. degradation rate) of a week and a linear continual clearance rate so MCT oil will not stay around for a long period of time. Only about 1% remains after 6 weeks.
What determines absorption of administered oil & how is it absorbed?
Lymphatic (minor role)
A maximum of 5% of the applied dose of sesame oil and Viscoleo (brand of MCT oil) in rats and dogs was accounted for via lymphatic absorption (Svendsen and Aaes- Jorgensen, 1979)….Lymphatic absorption might be expected to take place more efficiently from the subcutaneous layers than from the intramuscular application sites, since the lymphatic system is better developed in the former region (Ballard, 1968). Although some absorption into the lymphatic system may occur it appears less likely that this route of absorption plays a dominant role in the clearance of oil vehicles.
The surface area of the oil depot is likely to affect the clearance of the oil vehicle from the application site. Thus, the distribution of the oil vehicle at the application site can be an important variable. The spreading characteristics of the oil vehicle appear to be influenced by the viscosity of the oil (Howard and Hadgraft, 1983). …the more viscous oil the more resistant to spreading at the application site and consequently a slower clearance rate would be expected.
Biological and physiological factors such as vascularisation (Zuidema et al., 1988) and body movement (Ballard, 1968) might also influence the absorption rate of the oil vehicles.
Phagocytosis (the cellular process of engulfing solid particles by the cell membrane) might constitute another possible absorption mechanism (Ballard, 1968). Phagocytosis is likely to be related to the tissue response to the applied oil material (Ballard, 1968).
Metabolic degradation of oil vehicles has been suggested by Svendsen and Aaes-Jorgensen (1979) to play a role in the removal of oil vehicles from the site of application. As a result of the inflammatory response, several enzymes might be present at the application site. Degradation of oil vehicles mediated by lipases might therefore also contribute to the disappearance rate of oil vehicles where the rate of degradation might be influenced by the composition of the oil vehicles:
Source: Determination of the disappearance rate of iodine-125 labelled oils from the application site after intramuscular and subcutaneous administration to pigs, Susan Weng Larsen et al, International Journal of Pharmaceutics 230 (2001) 67–75
For the specific studies written by the authors mentioned above, see the references cited in the aforementioned study.
Caprylic Acid (MCTs)
So what happens when MCT oil moves into the blood stream?
It is a good thing and is a significant dietary aid. It has a “direct inhibitory effect on fat storage in adipocytes under conditions that normally favor lipogenesis”.
Medium-chain fatty acids are unique because they are metabolized differently from either long-chain fatty acids or carbohydrates. Dietary Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) have been found to inhibit body fat mass growth in both animals and humans. They do this through two distinct mechanisms.
The first mechanism involves MCTs in their role as an energy source. They are rapidly absorbed and oxidized in the liver, and used as a quick source of energy, which reduces the circulating fatty acids available to adipocytes (fat cells). Unlike long chain fatty acids (LCTs), they are able to pass through the mitochondrial membrane without the assistance of the primary mode of transport, carnitine. As a result MCTs are capable of quickly and directly entering into a metabolic process that results in the production of ketones thereby increasing available energy.
The second mechanism involves the portion of MCTs that do find there way into adipocytes (fat cells). However they are not stored but rather act to suppresses lipogenesis (fat storage) by inhibiting gene expression. Technically they inactivate the key adipocyte transcription factor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor y (PPARy). Simply stated caprylic acid (MCTs) induces a metabolic state in adipocytes (fat cells) mimicking a fasting condition without actual hormone/nutrient deprivation. In fact they are able to do this even in the presence of insulin and glucose (conditions that normally favor lipogenesis (fat storage).
“Compared to the pharmaceutical inhibitors of lipogenesis, the effects of octanoate [caprylic acid] can be considered as moderate and yet might be more desirable for physiological regulation of body fat mass without adversely affecting normal fat tissue functions.” – *
* – Modulation of adipocyte lipogenesis by octanoate: involvement of reactive oxygen species, Wen Guo, Weisheng Xie and Jianrong Han, Nutrition & Metabolism 2006, 3:30
This is one reason why MCT oil works well in those in pre-contest mode. It is used for site enhancement but it also acts as an energy substrate with very little fat storage and a positive effect as an inhibitor of lipogenesis.
Why site application of Caprylic Acid may work (In addition to increasing fascia pliability).
The study set out to determine what effect if any does an extract of the bark of the tree Eucommia ulmoides have on creating synergism between sex steroids receptors, sex hormones and lipids derived from plants.
What they discovered is that the extract demonstrated androgenic activities by weakly activating Androgen Receptors (AR) in a dose-dependent manner. The scale that is used to measure androgenic activity is such that a saturation dose of the androgen receptor’s native ligand (testosterone) will produce a 100 fold Luciferase assay (LUC) activity. The extract produced a 6.4 fold LUC activity.
The extract also demonstrated a weak activation of the estrogen receptor.
However when they combined a saturation dose of testosterone and the extract they found synergy. When a saturation dose of androgen, either DHT or testosterone is added together with the extract the increases in Androgen Receptor (AR)-mediated reporter gene expression goes up beyond what the saturation dose of testosterone or DHT alone could produce. The synergy with DHT moved up above the 200% mark while the synergy with testosterone moved androgen receptor activity close to the 240% mark. The extract acted as an amplifier of androgen receptor transcriptional activity.
In the words of the study “This is highly unusual as normally, androgen mediated AR transcriptional capacity, akin to all ligand dependent steroid receptors, plateaus at saturating doses of its cognate ligand.”
So to restate, testosterone activates androgen receptor transcriptional activity to their normal capacity of 100%. The extract by itself weakly activates the androgen receptor by 6%. Together the extract and testosterone activate the androgen receptor and propel it to transcribe at a rate more than twice what it is normally capable of. In this case increasing activity to 240%.
A similar effect was demonstrated on the estrogen receptor.
Having demonstrated a synergistic relationship in human and mammalian cells they carried out a second study this time in vivo.
To test the anabolic effect in vivo prostate growth was measured in an animal model (rats). Saturation dose for testosterone defined as 5mg was administered IM and 50mg of E. ulmoides (EU) extract was given orally. The results graphed below again indicate that extract amplifies testosterones effect on the androgen receptor-mediated transcriptional events that lead to growth.
The study then attempted to ascertain the components of the extract responsible for the synergism. To this end they fractionated the extract into components and found two active components. One component was found to exert its effect (labeled phytoandrogenic activity by the authors) on the Androgen Receptor by changing its binding characteristics. That compound is completely unrelated to caprylic acid.
The second active fraction contained 8-carbon polysaturated fatty acid, caprylic acid, and other lipids. In the words of the authors:
“Bioassays using pure caprylic acid and other polysaturated fatty acids (PFAs) correlated with the augmenting effect of E. ulmoides on the AR [androgen receptor] in varying degrees. Ethanolic extract of coconut (Cocos nucifera) flesh, rich in C-8 caprylic acid and other polysaturated fatty acids, replicated the hormone potentiating effect of both E. ulmoides extract and pure caprylic acid in AR bioassays (data not shown).”
In my words,
Equally effective were:
Ethanolic extract of coconut;
Pure caprylic acid; and
The major constituent in all three is caprylic acid which as the authors show in the figure below had the strongest augmenting effect of all the lipids.
So a blend of PFAs in ethanolic extract of coconut the vast majority of which is caprylic acid replicated the hormone potentiating effect of E. ulmoides extract whose primary constituent is caprylic acid which all by itself in pure caprylic acid form replicated the hormone potentiating effect of E. ulmoides extract.
In an attempt to explain why caprylic acid had an augmenting effect the authors state:
“Okadaic acid, a known phosphorylation promoter, is able to strongly augment androgen-dependent AR activity. Interestingly, fatty acids can also promote phosphorylation. One instance is oleic acid, a C-18 cis-monosaturated fatty acid. It is possible that AR [androgen receptor] and ER augmentation by both E. ulmoides extract and caprylic acid arise from a common tripartite synergism between the steroid receptors, sex steroids and fats, based on a phosphorylation mechanism.”
The action of caprylic acid labeled a “lipid augmenter” by the authors is postulated to result from increased phosphorylation. This differs from the action of the other non-caprylic component labeled a “phytoandrogen” which changes the ligand binding characteristics.
The study concludes, “the novel discoveries reported in this study add phytoandrogens and lipidic augmenters to the emerging list of hormomimetics (such as phytoestrogens) known to exist in plants. Pharmaceutical utility of lipidic augmenters in the treatment of hypogonadal conditions such as menopause or andropause could be exploited based on this mechanism of tripartite synergism. The link between excess dietary lipids, hyper-androgenism and hormone-related disorders should also be further explored in the light of these findings.”
** Source: Novel phytoandrogens and lipidic augmenters from Eucommia ulmoides, Victor YC Ong and Benny KH Tan, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2007, 7:3
Site administration of sterile caprylic acid
MCT oil’s primary constituent is caprylic acid. Consuming it orally or administering IM should have the effect of synergizing with natural levels of testosterone (hopefully) and externally administered testosterone.
Site administration maintains MCT oil in a particular area and has a high likelihood of specifically increasing androgen receptor-mediated transcription events locally.
Those that have administered MCT oil have experienced site growth. This may result from both the fascia stretching and the possible accelerated growth brought about by the synergy described herein.
Site Enhancing Oils – A How to Guide by Big A
The following protocol was developed by IFBB Pro Big A many years ago and has proven over the years to be highly successful with positive, even ecstatic feedback from more then a thousand users. In his own words what follows is the original methodology for maximizing muscle gain with Syntherol™ as related to all who dared to discover newfound muscle gain… gather around discover what has been holding you back.
Big A, … Syntherol™ can be used for two purposes – to increase the size of a muscle or to shape a muscle.
To increase size – using the biceps as an example:
You need to apply Syntherol™ to EVERY head of the muscle, while rotating the applications daily within that muscle head. This is the only way to ensure that the added size keeps to the natural look/shape of that particular muscle.
Since some bodybuilders prefer various ways of using Syntherol™, they usually tailor dosages to suit the individual.
Some bodybuilders use 1ml per muscle (that is 1ml per muscle head – ie. inner head, outer head, etc). 1ml is used per day, every day, for a period of 2 weeks followed by a one week rest period. Then repeated.
Other bodybuilders use 1ml per muscle 3 times a week for the first week, followed by 2ml per muscle 3 times a week the second week and 3ml per muscle 3 times a week the third week. That is followed by one or two week break, after which the usage pattern is repeated.
The quickest way to increase a muscle’s appearance to maximum size is by following the regimen below:
1ml per muscle head every day for 10 days
2ml per muscle head every day for 10 days
3ml per muscle head every day for 10 days
If you would be using Syntherol™ in both biceps and triceps simultaneously, you can add up to 3 inches on your arms in those 30 days.
It is EXTREMELLY IMPORTANT that you HAVE to massage SEVERELY the muscle that you just applied with Syntherol™!
You have to make sure that there is not a lump forming. The muscle should always be soft. You should NEVER feel like you have a lump. It is also a good idea, to apply Syntherol™ just before going to the gym, so as soon as you get to the gym, you should be doing a couple light weight, high rep sets for that muscle, to get the blood moving. This again will minimize lump formation. Keep in mind, that as soon as lumps form because you did not massage, scar tissue will form as well as you want to avoid scar tissue at all costs!
If you find that you cannot keep the lump build up away, but you are due for another application, wait until, by massaging, the lump goes away (it should not be more than a couple of days) and then resume from where you left off.
If you have all the size you wish and just want to shape the muscle, as adding a peak on the biceps, then apply Syntherol™ to the spot, in the peak of the muscle, with 1ml every day or every second day until you obtain the peak that you desire.
Where to apply Syntherol™:
BICEPS: inner and outer head. One can feel the “split” in between the two heads of the biceps when a bicep is felt with the other hand. Apply the Syntherol™ on each side of that split. If you want to increase the length/thickness of the bicep, apply Syntherol™ more in the inner head (closer to the body). If increase of the peak is desired then apply Syntherol™ more in the outer head.
TRICEPS: One does not need to apply Syntherol™ in the outer/horseshoe head, unless it is really lacking development behind the other tricep heads. Syntherol™ is applied in the middle and rear heads of the triceps. Generally, at the back of the arm, the upper portion is the rear head and the lower portion is the middle head, as the two heads overlap each other somewhat.
DELTOIDS: Apply Syntherol™ straight into whatever head is lacking in size.
CALVES: Natural calves, regardless of how big they are, have a “flat” look to the muscle. As such, one would want to keep that look, as it is not wanted to have the calves looking round like someone stuck an air hose in there. As such, Syntherol™ is applied in multiple applications, on the outside edges of the muscle. That will make the calf go outwards, while keeping the flat, natural look.
QUADS: With muscles this large, one needs to do multiple daily applications. Where in the biceps 1ml per head per day is used to begin with, on quads it is needed to start with 1ml per site, 7 sites per quad. That is to avoid the “lumpy” look and keep the quad uniform. Again, to keep the natural look of the thigh, Syntherol™ should be applied to the “peak” of the outer quad, along the crest. If the teardrop is lacking, then Syntherol™ should be applied straight into it, rotating sites daily.
PECS: Again, these are very large, “flat” looking muscle groups, as such the entire muscle has to be covered evenly with Syntherol™, so 3 rows of 3 applications per day per pectoral should be used. Dosage would be 0.5ml per day per application site for 10 days, followed by 1ml per day per application site for 10 days and finished off with 1.5ml per day per application site for 10 days.
We strongly recommend that Syntherol™ users obtain some anatomy charts and study the muscles and the nerves that are in the area that Syntherol™ is to be applied.
How does Syntherol™ work?
To begin with, Syntherol™ does not stay in the muscle for 3 to 5 years as wrongly assumed. Syntherol™ gets dissipated gradually within months. However, during this time, Syntherol™ will stretch the fascia of that muscle. The fascia is a great constrictive factor in muscle growth. The more stretched the fascia is the more the muscle will grow and the more it will have that “popping” look. Syntherol™ stays in there long enough for the fascia to stretch.
As the oil starts to dissipate, the “space” left by Syntherol™ is replaced with new muscle tissue growth, if the user is in a proper anabolic environment. That is an environment conducive to muscle growth, ie. resistance training, proper nutrition, recovery and supplementation. The new muscle tissue growth in the space left by Syntherol™ is the reason that when x-rays where performed on some of the people that have 25+ inch arms, there was no Syntherol™ found to be present. Syntherol™ dissipated and it was replaced by real muscle.
Pain – obviously, any fascial stretching will hurt. The pain will minimise the more Syntherol™ is applied, until it will not hurt any more at all.
All SEOs hurt, Syntherol™ has been reported to hurt the less due to its high level of refinement, as such making for a very thin oil.
And again, we strongly suggest that the muscle be stretched and vigorously massaged throughout the day after every application with Syntherol™.
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Written & revised by: M.M. a/k/a DatBtrue & Big A
Copyright 2009 by M.M. a/k/a DatBtrue, & Big A
Licensed in perpetuity to Synthetek Industries Pty Ltd.
All rights reserved.
No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the copyright owners and Licensee.