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Prohormones on Steroids

Anabolic Steroids In the last few years, many athletes have turned to prohormone to build their body. But just what are prohormones? A prohormone is essentially a substance that is a precursor to the real hormone itself. It usually only has minimal physiological or pharmacological activity on its own. A classic example of a prohormone is proinsulin. Before insulin can work, the hormone has to be processed by the body’s enzymes. In most cases, the prohormone usually undergoes a specific change that results in the production of the active hormone.
Prohormones and body builders
Even since the rules have been tightened on anabolic steroids, athletes have been trying to obtain these drugs by other means. Some go to Mexico and bring back the raw plants known to contain steroids. Others try home made remedies and try to extract steroid hormones from these plants. Some try to synthesize anabolic steroids in home made laboratories. And now we come to prohormones. Anabolic Steroid Injection
Bodybuilding Athlete

Use of prohormones by athletes is not new at all. Prohormones have been taken by athletes for decades. It was a secret that was not divulged to the rest until the FDA came cracking on the use of anabolic steroids. Even though prohormones are chiefly ingested or injected by athletes (both men and women), the problem is even more widespread at school and college levels.

Today, many athletes take prohormones to build their bodies. It is hoped that by taking these prohormones the body will convert them to the active hormone. Why go through this route of taking drugs? Well, there was a time period when many anabolic steroids were easily available and with the recent FDA clamp down, people have turned to other means of getting to the steroids.

For decades anabolic steroids have had a bad rap and now the ill reputation also follows the prohormones. Most prohormones were easily available in health food stores and cyberspace. Well, the lax rules by the FDA have come to an end. Today, in America, the FDA subjects prohormones to the same category as anabolic steroids and considers them illegal to dispense, possess or distribute without a prescription. For decades, the hormone Androstenedione was sold as a dietary supplement to build muscles.

Androstenedione Chemical

When it comes to a prohormone, a drug like Androstenedione can be ingested and then converted by the body into testosterone. Androstenedione is still used in hospitals to treat individuals with stunted growth. However, now the FDA has banned this substance from sale as a dietary agent. Of course website and health stores sell it under other names.

Why the FDA is always banning everything related to anabolic steroids is a puzzle – the reason is that there is a strong belief that these prohormones possess a real health risk. As far as Androstenedione and health risks are concerned, there is no study to show that. All the reports about side effects are anecdotal and there have only been a few complications reported. Motor vehicles accidents kill thousand times more people, but so far there is no ban on the use of cars!

Do prohormones work!
Bodybuilding Athlete Definitely, they work, if one can get the real prohormone-it works just like the actual anabolic steroids. These prohormones can increase muscle mass, reduce fat, boost endurance and exercise performance. There is a major thrust among certain individuals who do not want to age to use prohormones. The anti aging or life extension purists believe that these hormones can prolong life and keep the body young. Many prohormones are sold at Life Extension websites under different names.

As far as side effects are concerned, there is no difference between the real hormone and the prohormone. The side effects are dose dependent and increase with dosage. The typical side effects of anabolic prohormones include acne, oily skin, hair loss, breast growth, etc

Current prohormones
Androstenedione is widely available despite the ban by FDA. Some clinical research has shown that at least 5%-10% of the drug does get converted into testosterone when ingested. Androstenedione also gets converted into estrogen and thus a few males also develop breast enlargement. Androstenedione does work within a few weeks and most individuals begin to see the results of muscle mass increase in 4-8 weeks. Like all anabolic steroids, Androstenedione also cases acne, mood changes, loss of hair, decreased libido and oily skin.

4 Androstenediol is very similar to Androstenedione and also sold in some places as a prohormone. Because of it lipid solubility, at least 20% of the drug is converted into a testosterone. Unlike Androstenedione, it does not get converted to estrogen. It has a great advantage of being primarily anabolic with less androgenic effects.

19 Norandrostenedione gets converted to nortestosterone (AKA nandrolone). It does get converted into testosterone but not to dihyrdoxytestosterone. This makes the drug more anabolic and less androgenic.


Of course if you ingest more, the drug will be converted into dihyrdoxytestosterone.

1 Androstenediol and 1, 4, Androstenediol are very potent prohormones. It is claimed that the majority of these two prohormones get converted into testosterone and thus the prohormones have solid anabolic activity. Because the prohormones cannot be aromatized, no estrogens are formed. Side effects depend on the drug dosage ingested.

Methyl 1 testosterone when ingested does get converted into testosterone. It also does not get aromatized into an estrogen and one does not develop breast enlargement.

Steroid Injection

The majority of prohormones which are available on the black market can be taken either as oral pills or oily suspensions which have to be injected. In most cases, the prohormones have a poor absorption rate when orally ingested. For better bioavailability, it is recommended that one buy the oily suspensions. The oily suspensions do sting when injected and the site has to be rotated.

Prohormones have to be taken for at least 4-6 weeks and cycled with other drugs to have the best effect. Not all prohormones work the same way in all individuals.

Some individuals have different metabolism or enzyme activities and thus the conversion to testosterone may vary. Only a process or trial and error can tell which is the best prohormone for you. Be patient, exercise, eat a decent high protein diet and give yourself at least 4-8 weeks to see the results. If the drug works for you, gradually increase the dose in the next cycle. While stacking is hyped, this is a myth. The body can only build so much muscle at anyone point in time. People encourage stacking primarily because the first drug is ineffective. If the drug works, stick to it. Stacking also increases the chance of side effects.

Where to buy
There are many websites selling prohormones. Because of fakes or counterfeits, get a referral to a reputable site. Join a blog and ask questions. Many Mexican website do sell prohormones which are quite cheap. However, there is always a question about quality and quantity with these Mexican products. In the majority of cases, the prohormone is sold under a different name and often advertised as a health supplement.
One should not believe that prohormones cannot be detected in the blood or urine. The sophisticated testing systems available today can easily identify almost any anabolic steroid in the urine anywhere from 5-22 days after the last dose. Steroid Detection

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Brown GA, Vukovich M, King DS. Testosterone prohormone supplements. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Aug; 38(8):1451-61. Review.

Delbeke FT, Van Eenoo P, Van Thuyne W, Desmet N. Prohormones and sport. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2002 Dec; 83(1-5):245-51.

Foster ZJ, Housner JA. Anabolic-androgenic steroids and testosterone precursors: ergogenic aids and sport. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2004 Aug; 3(4):234-41. Review.

Geyer H, Parr MK, Koehler K, Mareck U, Schänzer W, Thevis M. Nutritional supplements cross-contaminated and faked with doping substances. J Mass Spectrom. 2008 Jul; 43(7):892-902. Review

Pozo OJ, Deventer K, Eenoo PV, Delbeke FT. Efficient approach for the comprehensive detection of unknown anabolic steroids and metabolites in human urine by liquid chromatography-electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry. Anal Chem. 2008 Mar 1; 80(5):1709-20.

Smurawa TM, Congeni JA. Testosterone precursors: use and abuse in pediatric athletes. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2007 Aug; 54(4):787-96, xii. Review.

Walker CJ, Cowan DA, James VH, Lau JC, Kicman AT. Doping in sport-1. Excretion of 19-norandrosterone by healthy women, including those using contraceptives containing norethisterone. Steroids. 2008 Oct 25. [

Ziegenfuss TN, Berardi JM, Lowery LM. Effects of prohormone supplementation in humans: a review. Can J Appl Physiol. 2002 Dec; 27(6):628-46. Review.


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