Chapter 6

anabolicfactor

ANABOLIC FACTOR - CHAPTER 6

This chapter is about some of the most popular steroids, both orals and injectables. This is to supply users with must-know background info about these drugs with the aim of providing an informative and safety guideline on steroid use.

Let's start by talking about the difference between the two types of steroids – the orals and the injectables. The following is a discussion of the assets and drawbacks of oral steroids and the injectable versions.

Orals versus Injectables

The basic difference between these two types is that orals are active and ready in the pill so that the body can use them while the 17AA is still attached. Injectables that have esters (with the exception of Winstrol that does not have an ester) are not active and cannot be readily used by the body, not until the liver enzymes cleave (cut) the ester chain off. It is only then that the steroid can and does work in the body. Eventually, it gets broken down (metabolized) by the liver.

The ester chain's placement interferes with the anabolic steroid docking in the cell's androgen receptors, and need to be removed before the anabolic can dock at the receptor sites or be broken down by the liver. The 17AA of orals do not interfere with docking at the cell receptor sites and will allow the hormone to dock with the Androgen receptor without modification.

Oral steroids have relatively shorter active lives, thus they are excreted rather quickly from the body. The removal of a drug from the plasma is called clearance.

Oral steroids tend to have shorter active lives (maximum is 9-10 hours) than esterified injectables (minimum of one day to a maximum of 18 days) and also have quicker clearing times. So orals are the choice if an athlete wants to avoid detection during testing. Injectables are less popular in this regard because they have 'easier' detectability as they tend to stay for longer periods in the body. The only injectable that has found use for drug tested athletes is Testosterone Suspension, which is a water based form of Testosterone that contained no ester or methyl group.

Injectable steroids tend to have less negative effects than orals, causing less liver toxicity than their oral counterparts. What makes injectables safer than orals?

When you ingest something orally – be it food or drugs – the bulk of the ingested substances pass through the liver before entering the bloodstream. The primary goal of this process – called the first pass metabolism – is to filter toxic materials from circulating into the general system.

How does this process work? Detoxification or deactivation in the liver typically involves one or several hydroxyl groups (-OH) primarily to improve the water solubility of molecules, thereby making excretion in the urine more easily accomplished.

Oral steroids have to undergo chemical modification to survive the deactivation of the liver. The c-17 alpha-alkylation improves the efficacy of the oral steroids, but it is known to cause stress to the liver.

This alteration is absent with injectables, hence if steroids are administered intramuscularly, they are considered degraded in just a single pass through the liver.

Profiles of Oral Steroids:

Anadrol 50 (oxymetholone)

First introduced by the drug lab Syntex in the 1960's, Anadrol 50 is the US brand name of the compound oxymetholone. This drug is considered to be a very potent oral androgen. Since it elevates red blood cell production, a characteristic inherent in the majority of the AAS products, it used to be a promising compound for treatment of anemia. However, newer products which promote RBC production replaced Anadrol for this purpose. Particular example of these new drugs is Epogen, a non-steroidal hormone that positively affects erythropoietin. Consequently, Anadrol was discontinued by its manufacturer in 1993 because if financial considerations. Nevertheless, the interest for this drug has been revived since 1998 because of its potential as an anti-wasting agent specifically in AIDS cases. This time around Anadrol was made available in the US market by Unimed Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

In the case of Athletes and Bodybuilders, extreme effects would best describe how Anadrol works. Considered to be the most powerful of all steroids currently available in the market, it can give its user impressive results. Just how impressive?

A tab or two a day in less than six weeks can yield 20 to 30 pounds of muscle. Novices are overly satisfied when they report they gain up to a pound a day during their first three weeks of use. Plus, there are the strength gains which are massive compared to any other steroid. It is no wonder that despite the claim that Anadrol is one of the most dangerous orals around, it is still one of the most sought after drugs.

Characteristics of Anadrol

Oxymetholone is DHT-derived and it does not aromatize. This means that it does not convert to estrogen. However, Anadrol does cause estrogen-like side effects, most common of which are bloating and Gynecomastia. These side effects are proving to be a puzzle to many Anadrol users and experts because if this drug does not aromatize, so what is causing the estrogen side effects? Opinions on this have been divergent, to say the least. Some say that the effects are due to its progestational activity. This may hold water because estrogens and progestins basically display the same effects.

However, medical studies say otherwise. One such study conducted research on different steroids, including oxymetholone, and it came up with this result – there is no significant progestational activity on this particular compound. The estrogen side effects can be then attributed to the intrinsic ability of oxymetholone to directly activate the estrogen receptor without its structure itself being changed.

As such, stacking Anadrol with reductase inhibitors such as Finasteride to minimize its androgenic effects (particularly male pattern baldness) is a waste of money because of the non-aromatization and the noninvolvement of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. There is, however, the need to avail of estrogen receptor antagonists, such as Nolvadex and Clomid, to counter estrogenic side effects.

Another plausible theory why the use of Anadrol is allegedly causing gynecomastia (one of the most dreaded effects of aromatization) is because users have purchased counterfeited versions that contained methyltestosterone.

The main deterrence to Anadrol use is its 17 alpha-alkylation, a characteristic inherent in most oral steroids. This chemical transformation is necessary for orally administered drugs to survive the detoxification activity of the liver. Same transformation is also the usual threat to the integrity of the liver. Oxymetholone can negatively impact the liver function as it can elevate SGPT/SGOT enzyme level, an indicator of liver dysfunction. Anadrol has gained a reputation of being very harsh on the liver, more toxic than other oral steroids. Since Anadrol's effective dose is 50mg and some bodybuilders will take as much as 150mg, there is a greater amount of hormone passing through the liver causing damage.

Dosage

It is important to outline here that you to have to take a relatively higher dosage when you're using Anadrol. This is because the drug has a lower affinity to androgen receptors (ARs). When you compare Anadrol to other steroids, like Dianabol and oral Winstrol (which are also c-17AA), you'll get a picture of how significant the difference in dosage is. Both D-bol and Winstrol have higher affinity with ARs, and therefore do not require high dosages. With Winstrol you can have an effective dosage of 15 to 25 mg daily intake. With Anadrol, you need to ingest 50 mg per day to see ideal results, and maybe triple that amount to see exceptional gains. This is probably why Anadrol is said to be highly stressful to the liver because its effective dose is 50 mg. With other oral steroids the typical dosage only ranges from 5 mg. to 10 mg. Although the action of the steroid itself on the AR is weaker milligram per milligram, the damage to the liver by the 50 mg. of 17aa/methylated hormone is about the same.

To combat bloating, the technique found most effective is to use herbal flushes and take in more water. Adding Winstrol to an Anadrol cycle can also counter most of Anadrol's negative effects. Other positive effects of Winstrol when taken in conjunction with Anadrol are the decrease in joint-arthritic tension, and inhibition of estrogen-like side effects like gyno, as may be caused by Anadrol itself. In many ways, Winstrol can be considered as 'anti-Anadrol' since it prevents many of Anadrol's side effects. Thus, for a person who is prone to such negative reactions, it is ideal to stack Anadrol with Winstrol.

Anadrol users are cautioned against taking more than three 50 mg tablets a day and therapy must not exceed six weeks. However, when stacked with another injectable that can aromatize, Anadrol use should be kept to less than 4 weeks. Regular examination of your liver and kidney functions should also be carried out. The kidneys can be affected because of water retention.

Since this steroid is derived from DHT, it can cause problems in DHT-sensitive areas such as the scalp, skin and prostate. Another concern is its effect on the HPTA (hypothalamic pituitary testicular axis) which can result in a decreased sperm count. During post-cycle therapy, HPTA function will recover with the use of HCG and Clomid. Also, sperm and natural testosterone levels can normalize after two to three weeks of discontinued use.

Discontinuance, however, can also pose some problems. Since on-cycle use of Anadrol produces extreme gains, cessation of use can induce extreme loss in body weight. This is due to the fact that what you have gained is mostly intramuscular water retention, and after discontinuance water retention is immediately diminished. For a less dramatic crash, some advice to shift for milder drugs like Deca, which can retain the gained muscle mass. Ancillary drugs are a must to avoid possible side effects.

Bodybuilders and Athletes can source out Anadrol from the black market as well as from legally-established labs. Counterfeits are also in wide circulation and (again) always be cautious of dubious versions. Oximetalon (Denkall, Mexico), OxiVet QV (Quality Vet, Mexico), and Kanestron (Loeffler, Mexico) are some of the brand names of oxymetholone. Kanestron is a veterinary version of this compound.

Some Mexican Veterinarian versions of Anadrol are 75 mg. per pill. To avoid serious estrogen-like side effects the user must make sure to use ancillary drugs when taking this drug.

Anavar (oxandrolone)

Anavar was developed by the G.D. Searle & Company (now part of Pfizer) in the US in 1964 and was quite popular among athletes who were looking for a milder (i.e. safer) alternative to enhance both their physique and performance. Dianabol was the reigning steroid during that time.

Dismal commercial performance may be the reason why Searle ceased the production of this drug in 1989. During the 1980's the reputation of steroids as therapeutic drugs has begun to wane partly due to prevalent abuse of these drugs and to the emergence of nonhormonal medications. As a consequence, prescriptions of these drugs began to decline. However, renewed interest on this compound has occurred because of its beneficial effects on HIV/AIDS patients; oxandrolone is now considered as a part of treatment therapy for wasting conditions. When Bio-Technology General (BTG) bought the rights to manufacture this drug, with the brand name Oxandrin, Anavar cultists could not help but feel ecstatic about this development. Read on to find out why.

Anavar Advantages

Among the numerous AAS currently available, Anavar is one among those at the top of the list for several reasons. It boasts of several advantageous characteristics that are not found in most drugs. It is considered a mild steroid; i.e., it's non toxic, mildly anabolic, and has less effect your body's HPTA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis). It does not aromatize; that is, it does not convert to estrogen so it won't cause gynecomastia; and, when taken in low dosages, it does not interfere with the body's testosterone production. And, because of these inherent qualities, Anavar continues to be one of the most popular steroids.

Conversion to estrogen, as you very well know, is the real suspect for the majority of steroid use negative side effects. Among its consequences are gynecomastia and inhibition of hormonal production. With Anavar, you have an assurance that there will be noninterference with your endogenous hormonal production, especially if taken in low dosages. Undesirable effects are rarely reported with Anavar use as it is not conducive in the suppression of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), which jump-starts your natural testosterone production. What this means to you is that whatever you're able to gain you can keep even post cycle.

The properties of Anavar make it an ideal Bodybuilding drug choice for both male and female users. Since it is less likely to cause androgenic symptoms (especially in low doses), women opt for Anavar over any other steroid. Virilization symptoms are nonexistent. There are some rare complaints with this drug like loss of libido, headaches, dizziness, and diarrhea.

For newbies, this drug is a good first cycle for its safety and ease of use. Muscularity can improve one's self-esteem and physical appearance, and Anavar is an effective way to gain better than natural results. Acquiring that muscle mass in a fast way with the decreased probability of negative side effects common to most other steroids; such as testicular shrinkage, gynecomastia and other steroids side effects.

Also of interest to novices, this Steroid is known as a potent fat-burning agent. There have been studies conducted proving that the use of this steroid can reduce abdominal and visceral fat on test subjects with low to normal testosterone levels. And with a continued regimen of proper diet and exercise, this fat loss can be permanent.

Anavar is structurally similar to DHT, and this class of steroids characteristically does not convert to estrogen (as mentioned above). This inherent quality makes Anavar useful in cutting phases since it promotes and maintains lean mass and at the same time reduces body fat. How does Anavar work as a fat burner? First, it reduces fat because of its very nature as a FHT-derived hormone. DHT-derived steroids are known for being effective fat burners.

Remember the adage 'prevention is better than the cure'? The second important role of Anavar in fat-reduction is in the prevention part. Anecdotal evidence says this drug does not only rid you off of excess undesirable fats, but prevents you from acquiring such by suppressing your appetite, thus keeping you from consuming excessive calories that will be stored as fat. Steroids that do not undergo aromatization have been known to have the ability to suppress your gastronomic cravings thereby making it easier for you to stick to your diet.

This does not mean, however, that Anavar (or other DHT-derived steroids) is an ideal protocol to treat individuals who suffer from disorders of high cholesterol profiles and triglycerides. This drug has been initially thought of decreasing triglyceride level, and thus has been used to hyperlipidemic cases. As evidenced by studies, this compound does lower total cholesterol values; however, problem occurs during the redistribution in the ratio of HDL to LDL. It is during redistribution that antagonistic imbalance between the bad (HDL) and good (LDL) cholesterol levels takes place.

In fact, as discussed in Chapter 1, cardiovascular complications may arise due to steroid use, especially of not monitored by a physician. This is because these drugs can cause significant fluctuations of triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the body.

Anavar is ideal for power/strength athletes. Why is this so? As mentioned earlier, this compound does not induce massive growth. What it does is to keep your gains lean and strong. This makes it ideal for fighters, powerlifters and weightlifters. These individuals compete in weight classes, this weight maintenance is crucial part of their training regimen. Since oxandrolone does not have a high binding affinity to ARs, it does not directly enhance strength. What it does is to stimulate strength growth via its formation of that is found in muscle tissues and is capable in storing and providing energy for muscular contractions. This process is ideal for 'short burst' sports, such as sprinting and powerlifting, whereby an athlete expends short and high intensity bursts of energy during competition.

Aside from individuals suffering from wasting conditions due to HIV/AIDS, oxandrolone is also part of therapeutic regimen of burn victims for accelerated wound-healing. It is also used with prepubescent children experiencing growth delay.

Dosage

Because of its 'mildness' Anavar is a popular, but yet expensive choice. High-priced because it is in great demand but in low supply, and users have to run high cycle dosages (because of its mildness) to achieve the desired results. Its effective dosage for men is from 20-100 mg daily. For women it is significantly lower at 2.5-20 mg per day.

Anavar is not ideal for bulking purposes. The common practice with this drug is to stack it with strong anabolics like Winstrol and Primobolan to acquire a harder, more ripped look. This method can also get rid of the water retention problem.

When used in bulking therapy (as some, in fact, use Anavar for bulking) the trick is to use it in conjunction with dependable bulking drugs like testosterone or Dianabol.

Anavar is an oral steroid that is 17-alpha alkylated (17AA), a chemical alteration that is quite infamous of threatening the liver's integrity. But unlike other 17aa orals, which can really be stressful to this organ, Anavar is well tolerated by the liver. Liver enzyme tests have been carried out and it was found out that although Anavar use shows elevated values, there has been no actual damage observed with the use of this drug. BTG, its manufacturer, espouses that their brand is not stressful to the liver with supporting evidence that almost a third of this drug is still intact upon excretion.

For this endorsement, many are choosing Anavar over any other 17aa orals especially if linger cycles are desired.

Where to buy Anavar?

That's a good question. Like most steroids, Anavar can only be legally acquired through a (legitimate) prescription. And for those like you, who want it solely for just buffing up those muscles and not for any serious health reason, be prepared to go underground. The black market can be the only recourse for you and there's sometimes a reward when opting for the not-so-legit method. You can get Anavar (in capsule, tablet, or liquid forms) at a much lower price. However, be aware of the risks involved when acquiring drug through this route.

Because of the classification of AAS as controlled substances in some countries there is now a great demand from the black market for various AAS products. The negative repercussion is that bootleg preparations abound, and this can imperil recreational users. One report has stated that at least 10% of seized anabolic steroids that were analyzed by forensic labs were of dubious quality. They were of deviated preparations: some were diluted or contain other substances other than those written on the labels.

No Side Effects: Fact or Myth?

It's a myth. True, compared with other AAS drugs Anavar has low hepatotoxicity. On one online comparative chart, it gets a grade of 2.5 on the side effects department, while Parabolan and Anadrol get scores of 7 and 10 respectively. That 2.5 score clearly demonstrates that there is always the possibility for Anavar users to suffer from adverse reactions which can include headaches, decreased libido, and dizziness. And the fact that this is also a 17aa substance, it can cause damage to the liver as may be brought about by prolonged and indiscriminate use.

Always bear in mind that steroids are not miracle pills that can easily give you muscle strength and mass. You need to compensate it with proper diet, sound lifestyle, and continuous and effective training. Otherwise, your money will just go down the drain.

How do steroids like Anavar work?

Steroids like Anavar work by mimicking the properties of the naturally-occurring testosterone. One of testosterone's vital functions is to maintain muscle mass and strength. Despite its tag as a male sex hormone, testosterone is also present in females, albeit in smaller amounts. And because of the latter fact, women tend to confront the problem of a relatively smaller muscle mass and for female bodybuilders this poses a great problem. This is how steroids come in handy.

Steroids target receptor sites that are built in muscle tissues. What steroids do is to directly activate these receptors to stimulate muscle tissue productions. In a way, steroids con these receptors, disguising themselves as testosterones when, in fact, they are just synthetically introduced into the system.

Dianabol

If you're heavy into bodybuilding or weightlifting, chances are you've already heard of or possibly used Dianabol. Dianabol, also referred to as D-bol or Dbol, is an oral methandrostenolone considered as one of the most potent steroids around. And because of it classification as a strong anabolic and moderate androgenic, it is the top choice by most steroids users.

Keep in mind that steroids, or anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), have varying degrees of anabolic and androgenic properties that play significant roles on the end result of your use of a particular drug. Also, being aware of these important details can help you avoid and/or prepare for the possible side effects.

Anabolic vs Androgenic

Testosterone, a.k.a., the male sex hormone, has both anabolic and androgenic effects. The main function of anabolism is to build up organs, tissues, and bones. Thus, if you're taking in Dianabol, and your body has a noticeable muscle gain - that's the anabolism properties working out for you.

The androgenic effects, on the other hand, are responsible for the changes in your primary and secondary sexual characteristics which include voice changes, hair growth in most body areas including the genitalia, aggression, as well as enlargement of the penis and the testes.

Dianabol's target users are primarily men because androgenic side effects are a common occurrence with this drug. Hair growth and deepening of voice are just two of the adverse reactions of Dianabol. Thus, females should take caution when trying out this drug since masculinising symptoms may occur. If there's really a need to try out Dianabol, women should restrict themselves to small dosages. Some experts believe that a small dose of 5 mg can easily give women users significant muscle growth with minimal risks.

In cases of male users, gynecomastia is often a concern particularly when the drug is administered in high dosages. This is despite Dianabol's moderate estrogenic activity. To counter this reaction, users are advised to combine anti-estrogen drugs like Nolvadex in their regimen. Nolvadex is used to prevent and treat breast cancers.

How Dianabol Works Out

This drug maximizes muscle hypertrophy through protein synthesis and glycogenolysis. Dianabol significantly increases protein synthesis, a complicated multi-stage process. Basically, it is about the human body's use of amino acids and proteins to create muscle tissues. Your protein sources come from diets and from the breakdown of muscles within the body.

When you engage in a physical exercise such as bodybuilding, you break down muscle fibers rapidly and continuously. Dianabol works by inhibiting that breakdown process thereby keeping your muscle gain intact.

Glycogenolysis, on the other hand, is the chemical process whose fundamental goal is to conserve energy. Glycogen is the body's main source of energy and is primarily stored in the liver and muscle cells. As you work out, glycogen gets depleted leading to fatigue and decreased endurance. What Dianabol does is elevate glycogenolysis by restoring glycogen to enhance your performance level.

Dosage

The usual dosage for men is 25-50 mg/day, preferably in divided doses (four or five doses is the usual practice). It can be taken orally or injected. Cycling is the common method of dosage of AAS drugs; meaning, they are not taken in continuously, but rather in 'cycles' of weeks or months. Since this is a 17-alkylated substance (it can do irreversible damage to the liver), its use should be limited to no more than 6 weeks (some say it should not exceed four weeks), and ideally with an equal amount of time off.

There is a common practice among AAS users wherein they are in consistent dosage of several types of drugs simultaneously. This method is called stacking. Stacking is said to benefit users in two ways. First, the positive effects are optimized and, second, the probability of the negative effects (health hazards) is decreased. The stacking of Dianabol and Nolvadex, as mentioned above is an example of the latter benefit.

History in a Capsule

Historically, anabolic steroids have been introduced during the early 1900's. It has been alleged that there had been experimentation by the Nazis during World War II to 'create' a better and stronger militia with the use of these synthetic substances.

In the world of athletics, testosterone injections were used by then Soviet Union's weightlifting team in 1954. Subsequently, the use of artificial body and performance 'boosters' earned popularity through John Zeigler, a doctor for the US weightlifting team. Zeigler's collaboration with pharmaceutical company Ciba has created Dianabol and made it accessible to athletes, especially those who have been competing professionally.

Steroids have innumerable benefits for many health conditions: they are prescribed in the occurrence of delayed puberty (as a result of decreased amounts of testosterone) as well as impotence cases.

Users Beware!

Because Dianabol has (an almost religious) following from both professional and novice users alike, counterfeiters are having a field day ripping off customers. Steroid researchers say that nowadays this drug is exclusively manufactured in Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe and Asian regions. You should think twice before buying anything not coming out from these areas.

And the fact that the legit version of this drug is in itself a potent substance, think about what a fake pill can do to you. Do research. Ask around. Listen to anecdotal experiences. These things can save you money and, more importantly, your life.

Proviron (mesterolone)

Proviron is the registered trademark of Schering AG of the oral mesterolone (1-methyl dihydrotestosterone). This drug is used clinically to treat mainly reproductive dysfunctions such as loss of libido, chronic impotency, and low sperm count. The most distinct characteristic of this compound is that it is a strong androgen which does not aromatize into estrogen.

This means that when you stack Proviron with aromatizable compounds you can avoid estrogen buildup. How is this so? Because mesterolone binds very strongly to the aromatase enzyme, it prevents other steroids from interacting with it and forming estrogens. Consequently, estrogen-related side effects are mitigated. And this is why Proviron is highly regarded as a 'helper' to other steroids.

Water retention, which is generally experienced by steroid users, can also be avoided because of this. It has also been reported that this substance actually downgrades the estrogen receptors, making it doubly effective in minimizing estrogen levels. This illustrates the anti-aromatase nature of Proviron.

Anti-Aromatase Versus Anti-Estrogen: Is There a Difference?

An anti-aromatase has a functional difference from an anti-estrogen substance. Basically, an anti-estrogen blocks the estrogen receptor so that female hormones can not dock there and create a signa, but it does not prevent excess estrogen formation in the body. An anti-aromatase, such as Proviron, can stop aromatization. Proviron blocks the aromatase enzyme thereby slowing down or totally preventing the conversion of steroids into estrogen. Thus, estrogen buildup is unlikely to occur.

Estrogen buildup is the culprit behind the occurrence of gynecomastia, the development of breast tissues in predisposed males.

This does not mean, however, that an increase in estrogen level is unwelcome news to someone who wants to have an improved physique. Many report that a slightly elevated estrogen level can give a more pronounced muscle mass gain during a cycle.

Take note that it is not only estrogen that can cause gynecomastia, as progestins also can stimulate mammary tissue growth even with the absence of excessive estrogen levels. Thus, even when you use nandrolones such as Deca, which are known to be low estrogen producers but have progestational activity, gynecomastia can still occur.

Other Positive Points of Proviron

Proviron is also known to elevate the potency of testosterone. Because it is derived from DHT, it has higher affinity to androgen receptors. And since it has high affinity with ARs, Proviron used to be considered as an anti-anabolic steroid, i.e. it reduces the anabolic activities of other steroids. The reigning belief for quite some time was that since it binds well with Ars, Proviron must have extremely low anabolic effects and, at the same time, bars other compounds from exerting anabolism. It has been found out later on that this is not the case. Let's find out how and why this belief has been debunked, and why Proviron is now regarded as a 'helper' of other steroids.

Testosterone normally occurs in the body in mostly inactive state. About 98% of testosterone is bound (bound testosterone) to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Hence, there is only about 2% of your testosterone which is considered free. This is what makes Proviron an attractive drug choice. Because Proviron has higher affinity with plasma-binding proteins such as SHBG, Proviron has higher affinity with plasma-binding proteins such as SHBG, Proviron is making the work of other steroids easier since it can displace a higher percentage of testosterone into free, unbound state. By keeping SHBG busy, it leaves other steroid hormones free to do work in the body. In this way, you can say that Proviron improves the potency of other synthetically-administered steroids for they can be effective at lower dosages.

Proviron is viewed as a strong androgen but with weak anabolic effects. It is usually used in conjunction with Nolvadex, which is an anti-estrogenic drug. However, unlike Nolvadex which can only prevent estrogen from binding and activating receptors in certain tissues, Proviron does more direct and for more efficient work because of its anti-aromatase characteristic.

Another reported advantage of Proviron over Nolvadex is that with the latter, if you stopped ingesting it too early a rebound effect may occur. This means that if serum estrogen levels that Nolvadex has previously deactivated become unbound, immediate onset of estrogenic side effects can occur.

Thus, many steroid users opt for Proviron when they feel there is a likely occurrence of estrogen-related effects. It is, of course, for safety reasons that many Bodybuilders keep drugs like Proviron always at hand, especially if you're using highly aromatizable substances. And if you're using nandrolone or trenbolone, which are known to decrease sexual drive, Proviron is a necessary ancillary drug.

Proviron is ideal during cutting or contest preps since it can increase muscle definition because less fat and water is retained. It is particularly popular with bodybuilders, mainly in pre-contest phases, because it provides distinct muscle hardness and density. Since it decreases subcutaneous water buildup, the result is visible leaner and harder muscles with more cuts and striations. This is also why it is a popular option with actors and models that are constantly under the glare of limelight and physical appearance is a part of their marketability.

Another good quality of this drug is that it is not c17-alpha-alkylated (an alteration usually encountered in oral AAS) making it less hepatotoxic. Instead, Proviron uses 1-methylation (alkylation at 1 position), a chemical modification it shared with Oral Primobolan. This alteration makes it resistant enough against first pass metabolism, but not as resistant as those with 17aa. The upside of this is, as previously mentioned, it makes Proviron less stressful to the liver. The 1-methylation is also aimed at slowing ketosteroid reduction.

The Role of 3HSD

The weak anabolic nature of this substance is due to its high affinity for the 3-alpha hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3HSD). What is 3HSD and what does it do?

This enzyme is present in high amounts in muscle tissues, acting as a defense mechanism. It blocks the entry of steroids; preventing it from finding the target androgen receptor, which is within the cytosol of the cell. While Proviron molecules are trying to get through this barrier, the 3HSD is weakening the steroid by removing the 3-keto group. The 3-keto group participates in the biosynthesis of steroids; hence, its removal can considerably weaken drugs like Proviron.

To further clarify, although Proviron has a good binding affinity with Ars when it comes to muscle tissues, most of it fails to reach the ARs to do much tissue-building. This is because it is enzymatically reduced to an inactive compound called diol, or to be more specific, as 3 alpha (5-alpha-androstan-3alpha, 17beta-diol). Clearly, this shows that Proviron's 'weakness' is not due to receptor activation or transcription (as have been previously believed), but it is caused by rapid metabolism of Proviron's molecules by the 3HSD.

The above illustrates why Proviron users do not get a significant muscle mass. Users of Proviron mainly use it for its Estrogen lowering effects, to increase the effectiveness of other steroids and for contest prep since it help dry the body and harden muscles.

Dosage

Males usually take in 25-200 mg per day, and they usually use it with Nolvadex or Clomid, especially when ingesting highly estrogenic steroids like Dianabol and testosterone. Women administer 15-30 mg daily and the feedback is good with desirable gains and few side effects.

Other steroids, like Masteron, also exhibit same anti-estrogenic properties as Proviron's. Masteron and Proviron are almost always compared with each other, as they are both derived from DHT. Proviron is basically an orally available DHT.

Structurally, both of these drugs share similarities. However, they also have significant differences between them. Aside from routes of administration, as Masteron (2-methyl-dihydrotestosterone) is an injectable, they also have significant difference on how they carry out their anti-estrogenic capabilities.

In unmonitored therapy, erectile dysfunction can occur with Proviron use.

Proviron's Past and Present

Proviron was used by old-school bodybuilders from the 70's – 80's mostly for its ability to act as an anti-aromatase. In those years, drugs such as Arimidex, Aromasin, Letrozole and the rest were not yet available.

This batch of drugs was introduced in the late 90's and after 2000; and presently they are considered to be better anti-estrogen and anti-aromatase agents than the older drugs like Proviron. As a consequence, SOME of Proviron's popularity has diminished.

Nowadays, people who still use Proviron mostly avail its ability to bind to and render SHBG inactive, thus freeing up the rest of the hormones they use. This shows that this 'old' drug is still considered as an able aid to other steroids.

Turanabol (Chlorodehydromethyltestosterone)

Developed in the early part of the 1960's, Turanabol has low androgenic effect but with high anabolic activity. On a scale of 1 to 100, oral Turanabol (also known as OT or T-bol) gets a grade of 6 on the androgenic side while 53 on anabolic aspect. To compare, Dianabol gets 45 for androgenic and 90 for anabolic. This shows that it has relatively lower effect than Dianabol, and thus may not be a good steroid option when you're after accelerated gains in strength, weight and muscle mass. However, this does not mean that you cannot gain something out of OT. True, the gains are not that significant in terms of bulk, but the gains will surely be of ideal quality.

  • Characteristics

    Many consider OT as a cross between Dianabol and Anavar, as far as effects and side effects are concerned. Followers of this drug say that OT is really a fusion of the best characteristics of Dianabol and Anavar sans their negative points. The end products is Oral Turanabol – a 'clean' bulking compound.

    OT is compared to Clostebol because they both have a 4-chloro alteration. The 4-chloro alternation prevents OT from interacting with the aromatase enzyme. OT's non-interacion with this enzyme prevents it from converting to estrogen, inhibiting aromatization.

    Because it does not undergo aromatization, estrogenic side effects like gyno and water retention are avoided. And this is what makes OT better than its sister compound Dianabol, because the former produces quality muscle gains, i.e. harder and denser muscles. In short, OT is as good at bulking as Dianabol, but without the watery gains. As for its quality gains vis-avis Anavar's, OT wins because it gives more actual weight gain. 'Dry and lean' usually describe the gains OT provides.

    Also, this compound does not interact with the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, a very ideal characteristic of streroids. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Some negative effects of steroid use are being attributed to DHT (especially in cases of higher dosages) including alopecia (hair loss) and acne.

    Another notable characteristic of OT is that it can be easily broken down by the body; hence, excretion is equally easy. This makes OT ideal for athletes who need to undergo drug testing. This same characteristic is what has made it ideal for the East German athletes back then (read OT's history below for more info on this) since they were able to use it right under the nose of their competitors and sports officials.

    Just how quickly can you be 'cleared' of OT? Anecdotal evidence says that five days after discontinuance, you're guaranteed of testing negative in drug screening. That is, if you're only taking OT and use 10-15 tabs a day. A deviation from this, of course, may yield different results. Studies of male users did not show any serious health issues when they are administered with 10 mg of OT a day over a period of six weeks.

    OT is a 17-alpha-alkylated steroid, which improves its oral bioavailability. However, this alteration can be harmful to the liver, especially if ingesting higher dosages at prolonged periods of time. With OT you can have ideal results with just 50 mg per day. There is still, nonetheless, the need for you to have your liver functions checked regularly.

  • History

    Here's a little, but still interesting, historical background on Oral Turanabol commencing in the 1960's. The Germans, specifically the East Germans, have always been at the forefront of development of steroids as well as these drugs' introduction to the world of athletics. The sporting success of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) was backed by state-run drug program called State Plan 1425. To demonstrate its dominance in the world of sports, GDR snagged 384 Olympic medals from 1972-1988, not including the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, which the former socialist state had boycotted.

    Its use was well documented. To determine OT's effects on strength, speed and other aspects of athletic training, scientists, physicians, and coaches have undertaken exhaustive documentation on athletes who were administered with OT. State Plan 1425 involved about ten thousand athletes. When the program went under after the fall of the Berlin Wall, subsequently Jenapharm - OT's original manufacturer, ceased production of this drug. The company has been since beset by legal controversies regarding its participation in the former GDR's doping program. Currently, Jenapharm is a subsidiary of Schering AG.

    However, because of its reputation as an effective steroid, OT has reappeared on the 'roid scene'. It's the logical thing to happen, considering there is still a great demand for this compound and there are enterprising individuals willing to supply that demand (for a price, of course).

  • Dosage

    OT has anabolic activities equal or greater than testosterone, but with little or no androgenic side effects. The gains may not be as dramatic or sudden you may get from aromatizable or more androgenic compounds, but you can be assured that you get qualitative gains. This makes it popular among both male and female users.

    Athletes generally stack OT with Parabolan and Winstrol Depot, and they yield hard and sharply-defined muscles, especially after dieting and use of fat burners (Clenbuterol, Ephedrine), a period when the body's fat content is at a low level. Running OT with Test enanthate is also a common stacking practice and gives favorable results. Bodybuilders usually use 8-10 of thew 5 mg tablets (around 40-50 mg/day) and report great feedback.

    Users are cautioned against taking this drug for more than six weeks to avoid liver damage. Studies show that liver enzymes remain within normal ranges on a dose of 10 mg per day of OT. Women are advised to take not more than 15 mg a day of OT to avoid masculinizing symptoms.

    Other side effects you should be aware of, are erectile dysfunction, indigestion, and blood clotting dysfunction, especially if you're predisposed with these conditions. Remember that these conditions may arise IF you:

    • Don't follow the recommended dosage and cycle.

    • Don't consult with medical professional.

    • Don't practice caution in acquiring steroids.

    • Don't monitor the body's physiological changes.

      With anabolic steroids use, you may feel and look invincible, but you're not. Steroids can benefit you only if you're an informed and cautious user.

      This steroid is no longer legitimately produced, but it is widely available on the black market.

Halotestin (fluoxymesterone)

Halotestin was introduced in the United States by the Upjohn Company in 1957. This company is now part of Pfizer Incorporated. Fluoxymesterone's base hormone is testosterone; and since it is derived from testosterone, Halotestin shares several similarities with this base hormone. Like testosterone, Halotestin, or Halo, is a potent steroid that has extremely strong androgenic properties. Plus, it can be a substrate for the 5-alpha reductase enzyme just like testosterone. In biochemistry, a substrate is a molecule that is acted upon by an enzyme.

With the 11beta-hydroxy alteration, Halotestin does not promote aromatization. This means that estrogen conversion is very unlikely. Gynecomastia, and water and fat retention will not arise with your use of Halotestin. Nevertheless, because this drug is a potent androgen you must expect androgenic side effects. Thus, overactive sebaceous glands resulting to oily skin and acne breakout may pose problems. Alopecia or hair loss, as well as aggression, may also arise. If you're predisposed with said conditions, you are cautioned against Halotestin.

One of the most distinct characteristics of Halotestin is its impressive impact on red blood cell production, and this is manifested by the increase of strength and energy levels experienced by its users. In addition, it exerts its effects on strength level and fat loss by simultaneously regulating fatty acid oxydation in the liver and fast-twitch muscle mitochondria (also known as cellular power plants). Basically, fast-twitch mitochondria (sometimes called fast-twitch fibers) allow an individual to generate a relatively high and intense amount of force in a short period of time. This fast-twitch phenomenon is ideal in strength/power sports such as weigthlifting, swimming, and sprinting; where the athlete expends short-burst energy. Slow-twitch fibers, in contrast, promote fatigue resistance, which is ideal in sports that require endurance such as marathon.

Effects of Halotestin

Halotestin is noteworthy for giving strength rather than size. Strong and harder muscles are sure gains with Halotestin. This is why this drug is ideal for athletes who compete in weight classes like wrestling and boxing, because with Halotestin dramatic strength gains can be achieved without an increase in weight.

Other sports where Halotestin is an ideal steroid choice is in bodybuilding. Since bodybuilding requires the shedding of excess body fat. Remember that in bodybuilding size is not the only factor judges look for. Other criteria are definition, symmetry, and proportion. Thus, Halotestin is a superb drug during contest preps as it produces superlatively hard and defined muscles.

Halotestin is able to do this due to its high androgenic properties and non-aromatizable nature, creating an ideal androgenic/estrogenic ratio. A positive shift in androgenic/estrogenic ratio is a sure way for the body to burn off unwanted fat. Plus, this prevents new fat storage ensuring a fat-free, contest-prepped body.

You can acquire the same well-defined and denser muscles with other steroids like trenbolone, but may gain weight in the process. Trenbolone is known to produce hardened muscles but with corresponding weight gain.

Halotestin comes in 2mg, 5mg, or 10mg tablets; and is used clinically in males as a replacement therapy for individuals with symptoms of deficiency or absence of naturally-occurring testosterone. These conditions include primary and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (both congenital and acquired), as well as delayed puberty. In females, this drug is used to treat mammary cancer in postmenopausal women and hormone-dependent tumors.

Halotestin is contraindicated with the following conditions:

  • Males with carcinoma of the breast

  • Males with known or suspected carcinoma of the prostate gland

  • Pregnant women

  • Individuals with serious hepatic, cardiac, or renal disease

  • Hypersensitivity to the drug

What you should be cautious about Halotestin, is that it has c17-alpha-alkylation. A c17aa drug can cause damage to liver, some of which may be irreversible. It is important, therefore, to avoid ingesting higher dosages of this drug and using it over the recommended cycle period.

Prolonged use of high doses of androgens, particularly c17aa oral androgens, can cause hepatic adenomas, hepatocellular carcinoma, and peliosis hepatic. Note that these conditions all refer to the liver, as prefix hepato refers to the liver. Cholestatic hepatitis and jaundice may occur with the use of c17aa androgens. These two conditions are reversible, however, when use is discontinued. Because of the hepatotoxicity of c17aa androgens liver function tests should be obtained periodically.

Other side effects that your should watch out for are nasal bleeding, headaches, gastrointestinal pain, and decreased production of endogenous hormones. Halotestin may cause such health concerns, especially of you are predisposed to them

Dosage

The recommended daily intake of Halotestin is 20-40 mg, and a maximum use of eight weeks. With this recommended dose, salt and water retention will not be a problem. Usually the general practice is to divide the daily into two equal amounts and take in the mornings and evenings with plenty of fluids. Since it is a c17aa androgen, Halotestin can be ingested even during meals without any loss in its potency.

Another safety precaution is not to use Halotestin with other c17aa orals as this can exacerbate the stress on the liver. Instead, stack Halotestin with orals without the c17 alpha-alkylation, or use it with esterified injectable compounds.

Detection time for Halotestin is five days only if the athlete did not previously use the drug and if the administration is a single 10 mg dose. The International Olympic Committee, however, has come up with a screening test that can detect this drug's metabolites for up to two months after discontinued use.

In cutting phases, it is best to stack Halotestin with Primobolan Depot since you will have lesser worry with water and fat retention issues as Primo also inhibits estrogen buildup.

If you're after strong and lean muscle gains, you can use Halotestin alternately with testosterone enanthate. The drawback, nevertheless, is that a higher possibility of side effects since both of these compounds deliver strong androgenic activity.

Ancillary drugs are also advised due to this drug's effect on natural testosterone levels. Halotestin can inhibit production of endogenous testosterone. You can combine HCG with Nolvadex/Clomid post cycle to revive normal hormonal production in the body. Although by itself Halotestin does not aromatize, there is still a need for other anti-estrogen drugs such as Nolvadex and Clomid during discontinuance. This is because HCG can activate the aromatase enzyme in the Leydig's cells, the Nolvadex/Clomid option acts as back up should excess estrogen arise as caused by such activation.

Women are particularly advised against using this drug since virilization symptoms can occur and can be permanently experienced.

Winstrol (stanozolol)

Winstrol is a brand name of the chemical compound stanozolol. This drug has a long history as it was first patented in the United States by the Sterling Drug (later called Sterling Winthrop, Inc) back in 1962. Winstrol is classified as an anabolic steroid; and being an anabolic steroid means that it displays greater anabolic activity (muscle building) than androgenic effects.

The anabolic properties of this drug are comparable with many other steroid compounds; still though, Winstrol remains a popular choice by most athletes especially those in bodybuilding. Probably, one of the reasons why Winstrol is one of the most familiar brand names in the steroid market today is its uniqueness. Uniqueness in a sense that Winstrol has both oral and injectable versions. More to the point, both versions are basically the same. This is why athletes oftentimes used the injectable as an oral also. Considering that the injectable Winstrol is a bit cheaper than the oral, this is not an unexpected practice.

The oral and injectable versions are both c-17 alpha-alkylated chemicals, which make them both stressful to the liver, with the injectable Winstrol a bit more moderately hepatotoxic than the oral. This chemical alteration is shared by most AAS orals as this gives them improved oral bioavailability. To be on the safe side, users are advised to not exceed recommended dosages and cycle.

Winstrol has the majority of the required characteristics of a good synthetic steroid. It elevates protein synthesis, a process necessary for muscoskeletal tissue building and repair. It does not produce rapid weight gains, but rather it tends to deliver slow but stable lean muscle mass. Thus, competitive athletes oftentimes used Winstrol with testosterone during off-season. Many find this AAS ideal in a pre-contest setting as it is reliable in producing harder appearance.

What you get from Winstrol is lean, clean physique. Most anabolic steroids give rise to the problem of subcutaneous fat and water retention, and most of the weight gain during and after protocol may be attributed to both. Not so with Winstrol; the muscle and weight gains are not substantial but they are sustainable and qualitative. This means that even post-cycle, you can keep what you have 'found' on-cycle.

Users gained lean yet powerful build without corresponding weight gain. This makes Winstrol ideal for athletes who compete in weight divisions and those who are into sports which require strength and speed like swimming and track-and-field.

It is derived from dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and this means one important thing – stanozol does not convert to estrogen. As such, there are two positive things that come out of this. First, athletes using this compound need not fear estrogenic side effects, which are generally feminization symptoms like development of mammary tissues, water retention, and fat accumulation. These adverse effects are unlikely to occur even if one is predisposed to such conditions. Second, Winstrol users have one less drug to pay for since anti-estrogenic drugs are rarely necessary when on this compound.

Since Winstrol is a water-based steroid, frequent administration is needed. It has to be injected daily (every 12-36 hours). It would have been more problematic, though, if Winstrol did have the c-17aa. To compare, Testosterone Suspension is also a water-based steroid, but since it does not have either an ester or c-17aa, injection should be every 4-6 hours with Test Suspension.

Another noteworthy characteristic of oral Winstrol is its high affinity with the SHBG. What makes this characteristic desirable is the fact that this sort of helps out other administered drugs to do their job. SHBG inhibits steroid hormones from binding to receptor sites and exerting their activity. Since Winstrol 'takes over' this hormone, it allows a greater amount of steroid hormones to be in a free state. In essence, Winstrol heightens the efficacy of other synthetically introduced steroids.

Dosage

Winstrol is a compound that offers versatile results.

For bulking purposes, Dianabol , Anadrol 50 or testosterone is typically stacked with Winstrol.

For men, the usual oral dosage is 25-50 mg per day for the injectable version. Hard-core AAS users, however, utilize 50-100 mg of Winstrol and 100 mg of Testosterone Suspension daily and the feedback is extreme strength and mass gains.

Women can take two to five 2 mg. tablets (about 5-10 mg per day). Women are advised against the injectable version of Winstrol since the risk of androgenic buildup is too high because of the high dosage requirement. If there's really a need to use injectable Winstrol, female users are advised to divide a 50 mg ampule into at least two injections. A 25 mg-shot every third or fourth day is sufficient.

Profiles of Injectable Steroids

Nandrolone Esters

Structurally, nandrolone shares similarities with the hormone testosterone. The only distinct difference between these two hormones is that nandrolone lacks a carbon atom at the 19th position, that's why it is also known as 19-nortestosterone. The resulting structure is a compound that exhibits weaker androgenic properties than testosterone. In this respect, nandrolone is a better option than testosterone for those who seek mild androgenic activity. It is also said to be more anabolic since nandrolone does not convert to DHT, which is a more potent androgen with very little anabolic properties.

Nandrolone undergoes conversion by interacting with the 5-alpha reductase enzyme and can be transformed into another metabolite known as dihydroandrolone. This metabolite is an asset of nandrolone since it is still beneficial, although it is weaker compared to nandrolone. This is unlike testosterone and DHT, where there can be resulting side effects. This is due to DHT having more binding affinity to androgen receptors than testosterone. Most commonly-encountered side effects are hyperactive sebaceous glands resulting to acne occurrence, and excessive hair growth from its effects on hair follicle. In the case of nandrolone, androgenic effects can occur when users exceed in dosage recommendation and do not follow schedule.

Another asset of nandrolone is it lower predisposition to undergo aromatization. Nandrolone's aromatization activity is only around 20% of that seen with testosterone. This is a significant difference, especially in users who are prone to experience estrogenic side effects like water retention and gynecomastia.

In other words, nandrolone is only selectively aromatized. This means that although it is converted to estrogen by the liver, nandrolone is more resistant to such conversion in other aromatization sites, such as gonads and adipose tissues. Testosterone, on the other hand, can trigger receptors in the majority of body tissues, which can make users experience estrogenic side effects. With nandrolone, if estrogenic side effects take place, the culprit (again) is high dosages.

Nandrolone, however, is known to have a progestational activity in the body. Consequently, this compound can exhibit a strong binding affinity with progesterone receptors. As such, progestine-related side effects can take place. Progestin side effects are very similar to those of estrogen, such as gynecomastia, fat accumulation, and imbalanced testosterone production. The progestin activity is the likely suspect in inhibition of testosterone synthesis in nandrolone use since this compound has a low tendency to convert to estrogen. Proviron and Nolvadex are not an assurance against total avoidance of these side effects.

Clinical uses of nandrolone include treatment of aplastic anemias, osteoporosis, neoplasia such as breast cancer, and as a progestin-based male contraceptive.

The Importance of Esters in Steroids

Esters are the ones that decide when and for how long a particular drug's metabolites are released into the body. Basically, the longer the ester chain is, the longer the time the drug stays active in the body. The decanoate ester, which is most commonly attached to nandrolone, for example, peaks slowly to keep the blood level stable for up to 15 days. There is another common nandrolone product made with shorter esters called nandrolone phenylpropionate (NPP) that peak relatively faster, releasing more active hormone per milligram than long-acting counterparts, thereby exiting the body more rapidly. NPP has an active lifespan of just a few days.

A study at the University of Sydney in Australia entitled “Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Nandrolone Esters in Oil Vehicle: Effects of Ester, Injection Site and Injection Volume” has come up with significant information about nandrolone and its esters. The study, which has experimented on 23 healthy volunteers, reported that the bioavailability and physiological effects of a nandrolone ester in an oil vehicle are greatest when the ester is injected in small (1 ml vs. 4 ml.) volume. Moreover, a nandrolone ester has an improved efficacy if it is injected into the gluteal as against the deltoid muscle. Through this study, it has been concluded that the side-chain ester, the injection site, and the dosage volume greatly influence the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of nandrolone esters in an oil vehicle on men.

Bodybuilding Use of Nandrolone

The use of nandrolone in bodybuilding results to high quality but slow lean muscle gains. Nandrolone is not a fast builder but there is a guarantee that the gains are of quality.

With nandrolone, the user can expect to gain muscle weight at about half the rate that the same dose of testosterone is capable of producing on a per milligram basis. Another downside of nandrolone, especially in competitive sports, is that its metabolites can be detected in drug testing for as long as a year or even up to 18 months after discontinued use. This is usually an issue in hormone preparations with long ester chains such as nandrolone decanoate since metabolites tend to be stored in fat tissues, particularly in cases of higher dosages and prolonged use.

This problem can aggravate when users are cutting as part of a contest preparation, because fasting can release fat storage to compensate for loss of proteins. It is believed that his simultaneously frees fat-bound steroids into circulation to be eventually secreted from the system. Take note, nevertheless, that this is not a problem unique to nandrolone. Other esterified injectable compounds, particularly steroids with long-acting esters, can also have this disadvantage.

To avoid this problem at testing time, athletes can opt for oral versions of nandrolone. With norandrostenedione and norandrostenediol, athletes can avoid detection as these considerably decrease trace levels of nandrolone metabolites. This much welcomed news has been substantiated by a research in France.

Some say nandrolone's popularity may be partly due to its 'detectability'. Some of the most publicized cases of nandrolone use have involved Roger Clemens, who has been allegedly injected with Deca-Durabolin by major League Baseball strength coach Brian McNamee during the 2000 baseball season. TNA wrestler Kurt Angle, UFC's Sean Sherk, and NFL's Shawn Merriman have also tested positive for nandrolone use.

If such is the case with this compound, why do professional athletes still use nandrolone despite of these two obvious facts: (1) nandrolone can have an 18-month detectability and (2) professional athletes are aware that they are to be tested for banned substances.

The quick answer to that is these individuals (as well as many others out there) are sometimes duped and that they may have unknowingly used nandrolone.

Nandrolone is very cheap to manufacture. This is good news because as injectables go, nandrolone gives its users value for their money. It can be bad news because it can be used to defraud other AAS products, especially expensive ones.

For example, an athlete wants to buy Trenbolone or Primobolan, and what he gets is an intentionally mislabeled bottle that contains nandrolone in the formula. The athlete gets some great results and comes back for another bottle because he is confident that he's getting substances that should clear out his system just in time for dope testing.

Only very experienced users and unfortunate athletes (like the one above) who would be tested positive on drug screening would know of this bait-and-switch tactic.

This explains why, every now and then, professional athletes get caught during testing because they inadvertently use nandrolone.

There are also other reasons why nandrolone sometimes 'appears' in drug testing. There have been several studies suggesting that detection for nandrolone metabolites through urine analysis may not yield conclusive and reliable data.

The University of Aberdeen has carried out studies regarding this method and they found out that metabolite products can show up in urine in significant quantities. This occurs when an athlete combines diet and exercise. If he has an intake of high-protein diets with the dietary supplement creatine and does hard cardiovascular exercise, it is likely that such metabolites can show in urine analysis. Although the reason why this occurs is yet to be pinpointed, the fact is, this scenario has high probability of occurring since many athletes use creatine and cardiovascular exercises.

Another significant notable hypothesis, which questions the reliability of drug testing, is demonstrated though the case of Bobsleigh racer Lenny Paul. The verdict against him was overturned because it was found out that the false positive result of his testing was due to his consumption of beef from livestock administered with nandrolone.

Other compounds like lysine, which is formulated for treatment of cold sores, can also be a reason for false positive results during testing. This was the initial claim of C.J. Hunter, a former American shotputter and coach, when he was tested positive for nandrolone. In 2004, Hunter has recanted and admitted that he had indeed used the compound.

  • Nandrolone Decanoate

    Nandrolone decanoate is also referred to as ND or by the brand name Deca-Durabolin. Deca is a compound that was first commercially introduced in 1962 as a prescription drug. Because of its decanoate ester, Deca is considered a long-acting steroid whose activity is said to extend from three to four weeks. However, this conclusion may only be partly true according to some steroid experts. Such observation may not be accurate since it fails to take into account the buildup of metabolites due to multiple and/or long-term use of this drug. Modest estimate of Deca's activity falls to just one or two weeks.

    The slow-acting activity of this compound and its mild anabolic effects make it more apt for longer cycles than most steroids. Eight-to- 12-week cycle will exhibit slow but quality muscle gains.

    The dosage practice with Deca is to inject it once a week. Male users administer 200 mg to 600 mg to achieve ideal blood plasma levels. Females can have favorable results with 50 mg per week. This steroid can be stacked with other steroids depending on desired results.

    Deca with Winstrol is great for muscle definition and also an appropriate combination during contest preparation (weeks before competition).

    Deca and Dianabol are well-tested in stacking practice for bulking purposes.

    Deca and Anadrol-50 (or other testosterone) can also produce impressive muscle growth.

    Deca is one of the most counterfeited steroid compounds around so users should be aware of identifying dubious versions.

    Decandrol 300, Norandren, and Deca QV200 and Deca QV300 are other popular brand names of nandrolone decanoate.

  • Nandrolone Phenylpropionate

    Nandrolone phenylpropionate (NPP) is reportedly causing less water retention than nandrolone decanoate (ND). This is a distinct and favorable quality shared by short-acting esters, including those of testosterone. Anecdotal reports say that NPP does not normally cause water retention unlike its cousin ND. The gains from NPP are 'cleaner', with minimal water and fat accumulation. Thus, ND is typically preferred in bulking cycles while NPP is usually opted for in cutting phases.

    However, because of its shorter activity, NPP users have to undergo bi-weekly injection schedule. Some athletes even administer it every third day. This can be a drawback for NPP, especially with users who are uncomfortable with frequent injection protocol.

    The expense can also be a minus point for NPP. Although NPP is reasonably priced, the frequent injection schedule may peg the price a bit higher than when you're using Deca-Durabolin, for example. With Deca, a once a week injection can be enough for a sufficient blood level. On the black market, $ 75-100 is the average price for a ten milliliter bottle of NPP, dosed at 100-200 mgs/ml.

    For a cutting cycle, NPP is usually combined with other short-esterified injectable anabolic steroids. The common choices are testosterone propionate and boldenone acetate. Orals derived from DHT, such as Winstrol and Anavar, are also usually stacked with NPP.

    Duraplex 100 is an NPP brand name manufactured by Axiolabs. \

    The brand name Dinandrol, on the other hand, is a blend of 40 mg NPP and 60 mg ND per ml. It is indicated for anemia caused by chronic renal failure and cytotoxic therapy. The purpose behind blending two esters is to provide the user with a sustained-release effect. Dinandrol's chemical engineering is similar to the testosterone blend of Sustranon 250. In the case of Sustranon, four esters are blended to achieve sustainability of the drug's metabolites. Dinandrol is injected once a week with dosage range of 200 mg to 600 mg.

Primobolan (methenolone enanthate)

This drug has both injectable (enanthate) and oral (acetate) forms. Both basically have the same effects, but they differ (obviously) in their routes of administration. The injectable Primobolan is more efficient in delivering the goods, so to speak. It is of no wonder then that this has been quite popular with European athletes before it was discontinued by its original manufacturer, the Schering AG.

Methenolone, irregardless of the ester attached to it, is generally viewed as a mild steroid because of its anabolic-androgenic rating, i.e. anabolic activity is medium and androgenic sides are low. Overall side effects from the drug are minimal; this is the reason why many refer to Primo as the 'gentlest and cleanest' anabolic steroid around. Users usually compare it with Masteron (drostonolone); and anecdotal evidence concludes that Primo is a stronger mass builder than Masteron.

Primobolan is known as one of the “gentle” steroids. The gains are slow, but permanent. Plus, the drug doesn't cause suppression of natural testosterone levels when taken in dosages less than 300 mg per week for less than 10 weeks. This makes this drug ideal for those who want to try out injectable steroids for the first time. Note however that if the drug is stacked with other steroids then it will increase the probability of suppression to the user's natural testosterone production.

Primo is a reliable anabolic and very strong anti-catabolic agent and aids in nitrogen retention. Many Primobolan users report solid and lasting muscle gains while cutting down on calories.

Most would not consider this steroid for bulking purposes because it tends to harden and tone muscle rather than build them. When using Primo expect to gain and maintain pure lean tissue; this steroid does not deliver quantitative muscle gains. During bulking cycle, the advice is to use Primo in conjunction with other drugs (stacking). Testosterone injectables such as Omnadren and Sustanon are generally suggested.

Primobolan's one side effect, reported by most users who are prone to it, is alopecia (hair loss) in users. Anti-hair loss products such as Finasteride should be at hand, especially if you're predisposed to this condition.

Since Primobolan is very structurally similar to DHT it is a very potent fat burner. It binds quite well to the androgen receptor (AR); in fact, it binds with AR with more affinity than testosterone. Such quality has positive effects on lipolysis (breakdown of fats or lipids in fat cells). Medical uses of Primobolan include treatment for breast tumors, AIDS, and this drug is used in individuals with compromised immune systems. There has been clinical evidence that Primo acts as an immune enhancer.

Another asset of this drug is that it does not negatively impact the body's cholesterol levels; and in cases if it does, the effects are reportedly minimal. Liver damage and cardiovascular disorders can also be easily averted.

Many prior studies on steroids, conducted on both human subjects and experimental models, have come up with conflicting scenarios of these drugs' effects on the performance of athletes as well their negative effects on those who use them. As a result, novices and seasoned users alike find it a Herculean task to determine fallacies from facts. Is use of steroids really a life-threatening practice? Perhaps one of the most contentious concerns is the cardiac side effects of steroids.

There are theories (this term is necessary because there are still debates amongst steroids experts as well as medical practitioners on the veracity of these claims) that steroids affect lipoprotein levels. One study has shown that steroids increased serum levels of LDL, cholesterol and triglyceride by 40-50% while they reduced HDL by 50-60% in strength/power athletes. The significant reduction of HDL is caused by the activation of the hepatic triglyceride lipase (HTL). Reportedly, this is more noticeable in the case of oral steroids because of 17 alpha-alkylation.

It is a medical fact that reduced (abnormal) HDL levels and other lipoprotein disorders are linked with the cardiovascular conditions such as artherosclerosis. However, there are no conclusive epidemiological studies on steroid users to validate or disprove such findings. Moreover, said effects on lipoprotein profiles may be due to the combined factors of training, dietary regimen and steroid use. This illustrates that there are some significant loopholes in the above study.

Primobolan is available in both oral and injectable forms; not many steroid compounds are available in these two forms with the exception of Winstrol and D-bol. But unlike these two drugs, which have both alpha-alkylated and non-esterified steroids, Primo has esters for both the oral (acetate) and the injectable (enanthate). And since it is not a 17-alpha-alkylated steroid, Primo is regarded as a liver-friendly oral substance. But this could also be considered as a drawback as far as this drug's potency is concerned.

Most oral steroids undergo chemical modification, such as alkylation or methylation, to survive the first pass metabolism.

In the case of Primobolan, the oral version relies heavily on the Acetate Ester's ability to make it pass digestion. Even then absorption is not the most efficient and daily administration is required. Thus, the oral version of Primobolan has fallen out of favor and most users now seek the injectable version exclusively. The manufacturers of these compounds have also stopped producing the oral version of this drug.

The injectable version has an enanthate ester add-on, once administered Primo is gradually released from the site of administration. Esterification makes the drug molecule more fat-soluble, creating a compound that is hydrophobic resulting to slow its release into the bloodstream. This chemical modification does not affect the potency or efficacy of a certain drug; all it does is to alter the rate of release of the drug.

Generally, individuals who have used Primo by itself at low dosages of 200 mg or less, would tell you the results are not that impressive, making Primo one of the least preferred AAS products by men who want to make bulk gains and accelerated muscle mass increase. Primo tends to deliver steady and slow increase of muscle mass, but you could be assured that these quality muscle gains can be kept indefinitely. Every pound gained on this drug is very solid.

Unlike their male counterparts, women usually opt for Primo since virilization symptoms rarely occur. Women, unlike men, have limited choices when it comes to anabolic steroids. Women are advised against steroid use because of side effects, many of which are irreversible. Hirsutism, deepened voice, clitoral enlargement, and irregular or stoppage of menstrual cycles are just some of the negative effects women could experience from steroid use. With Primobolan this is not the case. This drug causes very little in the way of side effects to females. The most reported side effect affecting women taking high dosages of Primobolan is hair loss.

Dosages for men range from 200 to 500 mg per week; for women, it is 50 – 150 mg per week. Primo is also commonly compared to Deca, as far as anabolic effects are concerned; however, Primo requires a slightly higher dosage to achieve similar anabolic effects. This means that when you're taking Primo, be prepared to shell out more. In the first place, this drug is relatively expensive; and secondly, you need higher doses for effective results. The cost is certainly a drawback for this drug. Expect to pay $100-150 for 10 ml-vial dosed at 100 mgs/ml. When choosing between the two versions, the Primo injectable is the wiser choice because it is more cost effective.

Trenbolone Esters

Trenbolone Acetate is classified as a Schedule Drug III drug under the Controlled Substances Act of the United States. This compound is indicated for veterinary purposes, and no trenbolone compound has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for human consumption. This is because there have been no proven clinical applications of trenbolone acetate. In animals, this compound is used to increase the muscle mass and appetite of livestock.

As a bodybuilding steroid, trenbolone has two appealing properties. First, it is considered as a strong androgen, and secondly, it lacks estrogenic activity. Let's tackle both of these properties since they are very important factors in bodybuilding.

Trenbolone is a 19-nortestosterone steroid as it is derived from anabolic hormone nandrolone, and like its base hormone, trenbolone is a 19-nortestosterone steroid. This classification means that a testosterone molecule has been altered at the 19th position to give birth to a new compound. Despite this similarity, however, trenbolone is a much stronger androgen than its parent hormone (nandrolone).

How does trenbolone exhibit stronger androgenic activities?

Trenbolone does not interact with the enzyme responsible for aromatization that renders hormones into weakened androgens. When steroids undergo aromatization, they exhibit a strong anabolic/androgenic dissociation. As such, trenbolone is able to exert its androgenic activity in any androgen receptor sites without decreasing its strength or potency. In other words, next to its offspring trenbolone, nandrolone is the weaker one in terms of androgenic effects.

Because it does not convert to estrogen and it does not result to estrogenic side effects, trenbolone is one of the most sought-after steroids in bodybuilding. It is because it is a rapid mass builder and users will not encounter the feminization symptoms like water retention as with the use with other AAS products like testosterone.

Trenbolone is considered more effective than testosterone in yielding muscle mass and increasing muscle strength; that is, all things being equal (dosage volume, similar training protocol, genetics, etc). And the fact that it does not aromatize earns it a point against testosterone. Because testosterone undergoes estrogen conversion there is a problem of water retention vis-a-vis weight gained. With testosterone, a significant amount of the weight athletes gained may be attributed to water weight.

The trenbolone compound is also well appreciated for its ability to promote nitrogen retention in muscle tissues. Nitrogen retention is very important since it acts as a reliable gauge on how anabolic a particular drug is.

Moreover, trenbolone is also known to permanently deactivate cortisol receptors during and after use. This results to cortisol inhibition, which further translates to a post-cycle retention of how much is gained during the protocol. The cortisol hormone plays a part in muscle tissue breakdown (catabolism).

With trenbolone there are relatively more qualitative muscle gains which can be sustained even after the cycle. All in all, trenbolone is always a good drug for providing lean mass gains.

Trenbolone's secondary side effects include stimulation of appetite, fat accumulation reduction, and rate of catabolism decrease. In animals, it improves feed efficiency and mineral absorption. This quality of trenbolone also works for the human users.

Side Effects

However, as with most AAS products, trenbolone does have its negative sides. Acne, hair loss in males, hair growth in females, and suppression of natural testosterone levels can possibly arise. Individuals who have predisposed conditions are (of course) more likely to encounter the problems.

Since trenbolone does not convert to estrogen, the likely cause of suppression of natural testosterone is this compound's progestational activity. This is a characteristic it shared with its base hormone, nandrolone. Both progestin and estrogen exhibit side effects that are quite similar in nature, such as gynecomastia and water retention.

With trenbolone it is important to not go beyond the dosage and cycle limit as this compound is known to cause damage to the liver and kidney. As an additional safety precaution, trenbolone users typically ingest lots of water (one gallon and up), and anecdotal evidence says milk thistle can augment the occurrence of these adverse effects.

There is yet to be a clinical evidence to support that this substance can cause severe hepatotoxicity. There have been reports (some steroid cultists would prefer the term 'urban legends') that trenbolone is severely damaging the kidneys. Blood in the urine seems to attest to this fact. However, there has been contrary report on this aspect. The 'blood in the urine' reports may be caused by the rust colored oxidized metabolites of trenbolone which are excreted in urine and often mistaken for blood.

Short-term side effects include insomnia, increased libido, and night sweats.

Dosage

Because of its high affinity with androgen receptors, most users find it logical to stack trenbolone with other steroids that do not pass through the same mode of cellular activation. This is because of its high androgen affinity, trenbolone makes it difficult or even impossible for other compounds to exert their androgenic activity. This inhibitive nature is commonly observed with substances that have high androgen affinity.

Many describe trenbolone as a versatile steroid because it can work very well both during cutting and bulking phases. It can also be stacked with different AAS products depending on the user's desired gains.

Trenbolone and Deca-Durabolin/Equipoise is good for mass gain. Bloating and 'soft look' will not be a problem for the user.

Trenbolone with Primobolan/Winstrol is great for lean and hard build. Primo and Winstrol are considered as mild anabolics.

Trenbolone with Anadrol 50/Dianabol is ideal for the perfect muscle mass.

Trenbolone users are advised that therapy should not exceed six weeks.

Dosages of this drug range from 200 mg to 1000 mg per week. Because it has an active life of only two to three days, the majority of male bodybuilders inject as much as 120 mg per day.

  • Trenbolone Acetate

    Trenbolone acetate is often referred to as Fina by recreational steroid users. This is because the brand Finajet was the first drug to contain this compound. Finajet was introduced in the United States and Europe in the 1980's by the pharmaceutical firms Hoescht and Roussel. In Europe, this preparation is known as Finaject.

    Because of its potent androgenic and non-estrogenic characteristics, finajet has become an instant hit with competitive bodybuilders. This is a fast-acting steroid capable of providing muscle strength and definition minus water retention. Nonetheless, as with fast-acting esters, trenbolone acetate has poor oil solubility. This entails frequent ingestion or injection schedule.

    In 1988, however, it was discontinued in the US and its European version subsequently followed suit to the great disappointment of many of its cult followers. Several years later a welcomed news came, as tren acetate made a re-appearance in the steroid scene.

    First it was Finaplix, a preparation of cattle implant pellets, and presently being marketed by Intervet International pharmaceutical company. Later on, an injectable version called Trenbol 75, manufactured in Mexico, was introduced. Both of these products are in great demand by recreational steroid users in the US.

    The principal drawback of Finaplix is its administration. In cattle, Finaplix pellets are implanted with the aid of a pellet pistol. This goes without saying that you should not try this at home. The better option is through transdermal administration. Typically, the pellets are to be ground and then applied on the skin on a daily basis.

    For an easier administration there are the injectable versions. Pet's Pharma's Trenbolon 75 is a better alternative. Trenbolon 75 comes in 10 ml and 20 ml multi-dosed vials.

    Quality Vet's Trembolona QV 75 from Mexico is also a good and safe buy. QV is available in 10 ml multi-dosed vials.

  • Trenbolone enanthate

    Steroid experts like to remind users that the active life and half-life of steroids, especially the injectable versions, are only a theoretical benchmark. Theoretical because in the real world suggested time frames may fluctuate, say enanthate's half-life may be reduced to eight days instead of 10. This is because diverse and uncontrollable factors come into play. The point is - a particular drug can have different active and half-lives on different people under different conditions. An individual's genetics and metabolism are some of these factors that figure in this aspect of drug's pharmacokinetics.

    Also, conditions under which a drug is administered are also taken into account. These conditions include dosage volume, site of injections, duration of steroid use (prolonged use results to metabolite buildup and thus 'longer' active life).\

    Many consider trenbolone enanthate as a mere clone of the drug Parabolan (trenbolone cyclohexylmethylcarbonate). Thus, although tren enanthate has only been introduced in mid-2004, this compound cannot be viewed as a new steroid because it has just been sprung from the discontinued Parabolan (manufactured by France-based Negma Laboratories). Tren enanthate, though, has some distinctions of its own, foremost of which is that unlike Parabolan, this newer compound has the slow-acting enanthate ester.

    Tren enanthate is obviously a much better alternative than tren acetate primarily because it does not require frequent and uncomfortable injection schedule. It has an improved oil solubility than acetate. The mode of action of enanthate, irregardless of its base hormone, is very ideal for recreational users like bodybuilders. It is able to maintain hormone levels to about two weeks after injection.

    Lean muscle gain, fat loss (reportedly even without fasting), and increase in muscle mass and strength are assured results with tren enanthate. Due to its highly androgenic nature, this substance can deliver dramatic results – a hard, well-defined and vascular look. These same results made Parabolan a popular steroid choice by those in competitive sports.

    Trenabol 200 of the British Dragon, is considered to be a highly concentrated steroid, for each Trenabol vial contains 10ml of drug. Compare it to 10 ml vials of tren acetate which contain only 750 mg of steroid, this is a significant advantage of tren enanthate.

Equipoise

Equipoise, or EQ, is the most common brand name for the popular veterinary injectable steroid boldenone undecylenate. EQ, you guessed right, is commonly used for horses or equines (thus the name) to markedly improve lean body weight, appetite and general disposition. The Colombian version of this drug, Ganabol 50, is for cattle while German Venabol is for canines. Despite the fact that this compound is not indicated for humans, it still is in great demand among athletes, particularly powerlifters and bodybuilders.

Why is it sought after by many steroid users? The following are just some of the advantages of EQ over any other drug of this type.

Favorable Feedbacks

  • It boasts of high anabolic effect and moderate androgenic component. Testosterone plays an invaluable role in physical, sexual, and psychological well-being of humans. Its therapeutic effect is highly acknowledged in the medical community, especially its use in patients with debilitating diseases such as AIDS. In healthy humans, in can increase protein anabolism if it occurs at a supraphysiological level (in quantity greater than normally found in the body). It's important to know, at this point, that testosterone has both the same ration of anabolic and androgenic effects.

    Anabolism is the process that is involved in the building up of tissues, organs, and bones. The androgenic or virilizing/masculinizing effects, on the other hand, are of great concern to female users because they are responsible for the formation of secondary sexual characteristics. Women users find EQ favorable because it rarely causes said symptoms, such as deepening of voice and hair growth. Women tend to be more sensitive to this hormone than males although, on average, adult males produce about forty to sixty times more testosterone than their female counterparts.

    EQ is considered an anabolic steroid by the anabolic index, a generally accepted tool in classifying steroids. The index is the ratio between the anabolic and androgenic response for a particular steroid product. A compound which exhibits an anabolic index greater than one (1) is categorized as anabolic. This means the drug has higher tendency for anabolic reactions. An index lower than one, in contrast, considers the product as androgenic.

    Of course, the fact that a certain steroid is classified as more anabolic than androgenic does not mean it is the best option for you. A particular drug, say Equipoise, may cause varying effects on different users. And by the same token, different users may react differently to EQ.

  • It promotes nitrogen retention. Anecdotal evidence from bodybuilders from across the world says that EQ has positive influence on body's nitrogen balance. Nitrogen is an important component of protein. In muscle growth, protein synthesis is necessary in the building, maintaining, and repairing of muscle tissues.

    In the normal body process, the unused nitrogen is excreted in the form of sweat and urine, and for bodybuilders this is such a huge waste. For them, the ideal scenario is that there should be more nitrogen retained that when is being excreted in order to get desirable muscle gains. Once steroids enter the system, nitrogen retention significantly increases. Thus, with EQ muscle hardness and density is greatly improved, especially if it is used in conjunction with Parabolan or Winstrol. EQ has also been shown to noticeably increase red blood cell count after only weeks of use.

  • It aromatizes only slightly. Aromatization is the conversion of androgens into estrogen. From boy hormones to girl ones. Estrogens are steroid hormones produced chiefly in the ovaries and are responsible for the formation and maintenance of female secondary characteristics. In males, most estrogen is made from a few enzymes that attach to each individual hormone and moves its structure around to create Estrogen or other female hormones.

    If the androgenic effects are the turn offs on the use of AAS for females, estrogens side effects are what scare many male users. Among the dreaded estrogen-related concerns are water retention and development of breast tissues in male (gynecomastia).

    It is wrong to think, however, that estrogens are harmful by themselves. It is of important note that they are naturally present in the males in small amounts (as testosterones are in females). In fact, these hormones directly and positively affect the process of anabolism and muscle building, and are necessary in hormonal balance and function of other glands. But if they occur in unusually high amounts they can cause health issues.

    Based on aromatization studies, the structure of boldenone allows it to be converted to estrogen but only in slow capacity. This is due to the c1-2 double-bond makeup of boldenone.

  • It stays active longer. Another reason for its popularity is that it stays effectively active for a much longer period than most AAS drugs. This is because of the undecyclenate ester, which extends the activity of the drug for well over the 4-week mark.

    In the case of injectable compounds, you may have noticed such tongue-twisting words like cypionate and enanthate (in the case of EQ, it is undecyclenate). These are esters (carboxylic acids) attached to the parent hormone. Esters prolong the active life span of drugs, such as AAS. Through esterification, the drug's therapeutic components are stored in your muscle tissue, which slowly but continuously enters circulation. It is only when the ester chain is removed that the drug becomes activated.

    Ester chains do not play any role in the effectiveness and/or activity of the parent hormone itself. Their sole purpose is to avoid frequent and uncomfortable injection schedule.

  • It elevates erythropoiesis. It increases the production of erythrocytes (red blood cells), an ability which is commonly shared by most AAs. An increased RBC means an ideal oxygen and nutrient transport throughout the body.

    Steroids increase blood volume by 10-20% which allows the muscles to sustain an increased work load for a longer time. Endurance is what you get when you're on steroids.

  • It is also noted for its versatility. For mass and strength cycles, the common practice among male athletes is to stack this drug with testosterone such as Sustanon 250 and/or Anadrol 50. If you're for the extremely hard and vascular look, you could combine it with Winstrol and Trenbolones during a cutting phase. For mass, you can stack with Anadrol 50 or other injectable testosterone like Sustanon 250.

Dosage

Women can have a weekly dosage of 50-75 mg. For male users, its usual dosage is at 200-400 mgs per week. Some steroids experts view that a dosage less than 400 mg / week does not give you substantial results.

With EQ, you only need to be injected once a week. But because this drug comes in small preparations (usually 25 mg) users often opt for daily or EOD (every other day) schedule. It is better for you to go for EOD to avoid irritation and infection on injection sites.

In general, EQ runs its cycle to a minimum of 12 weeks, with its optimum effects lasting to about three weeks. Actual users report that you can feel EQ kick in around five or six weeks after treatment. There is progressive and remarkable muscle mass and strength gains with the use of EQ. Slowly but surely is the EQ way, they say.

Side effects

In general, the side effects of EQ are considered to be mild. If taken at moderate dosages, estrogen-related side effects can be easily avoidable.

Nevertheless, this drug can negatively interfere with your endogenous testosterone levels, which can cause suppression of hormones, and as a consequence can result to sexual dysfunction. This is why stacking it with Clomid and other HCG drug is advisable.

And because EQ has the long lasting undercyclinate Ester, which (as mentioned above) may be deposited in the tissues for an extended period of time, it is not an ideal option for athletes who need to undergo testing. Since it tends to stay longer in the system it produces detectable metabolites in the urine even months after discontinued use. This problem is also associated with Deca-Durabolin and other long-acting esters. Not so with shorter acting Acetate and Propionate Esters.

Androgenic side effects of steroids use can also be attributed to high dosages. Adverse reactions include alopecia (hair loss), acne, oily skin, and menstrual cycle stops. The most commonly reported side effect is acne across the upper back and shoulders. You might have noticed that teenage boys (perhaps you've gone through this experience also) are the usual sufferers of this skin illness. This is because it is during the adolescence stage that your testosterone level is at its peak. As a consequence of this, androgens stimulate the sebaceous glands causing these glands to secrete more oil in the skin. This in turn can cause dirt and bacteria to accumulate in your skin pores resulting to acne breakout. With steroids use, the same thing happens as it elevates your testosterone levels.

The psychological effects of steroids use remain a point of contention between and among users and critics alike. Depression, mood swings, and aggression are just a few of the words being bandied around when people are talking about the negative effects of steroids.

One of the known causes of depression and mood swings is hormonal imbalance. In steroids usage, fluctuating testosterone levels in between cycles of treatments can give rise to such concerns. There are many causes for both psychological states such as genetics, stressful events, chemical imbalances (blood calcium and iron levels), and some medications like narcotics and steroids. It is important to pinpoint what is the underlying cause of such problems.

There's even a new phrase that's catching the attention of both followers and naysayers of these drugs – roid rage. 'Roid rage' is described as an extreme, uncontrollable aggression due to high levels of testosterone in the system. Men tend to be more aggressive than women because of testosterone – that's a given fact. Aggressiveness, many athletes say, is not a bad thing out there in the playing field since it allows them to perform with greater intensity and ability. Still, there are continuous criticisms against steroids use for nonmedical purposes. And, by the way things are going, the criticisms will continue because of negative publicity. Recently, there have been instances where 'roid rage' is used as a defense by people who figured in violent crimes. These have been highly publicized in the media.

Now the question is - do these criticisms have some solid basis? So far, there has not been any definitive scientific research that can rightly dump all the blame on steroids use for these issues. These has been a well-publicized experiment on hamsters treated with steroids that exhibited 'very high levels' of aggression. However, a consensus is yet to be reached in the medical community if indeed such psychological condition exists.

Some say unpredictable moods and behavior may be attributed to over-training or to other factors like pre-existing problems; that is, steroids bring out what's bottled up inside. Really, this is like the great chicken or the egg debate. In this case, which occurred first, the aggression or the steroids?

How to Get Equipoise

EQ is one of the most commonly counterfeited brand names in the US. Be aware that a vial bearing the name of Solvay is a fake version. Legitimate vials are of clear glass and display a label with shiny, metallic surface on the underside. If you noticed any suspicious markings (dulled or blacked out areas), it's better to forget about getting the product. Chances are you're getting a low-quality product.

Now as for the price, of course it varies, depending on how and where (online or underground) you go to buy your EQ. To save money, you can shop around to compare products and prices. You must also have some sort of a ballpark figure, so you can gauge if you're being conned big time. Online sources peg EQ (10cc/200mg) at around 70$-$100. EQ users, however, say you can get it at $50 elsewhere.

Testosterone Esters

All anabolic-androgenic steroids are one way or another related to the hormone testosterone. This means that whatever type or brand name of steroids you use you are basically administering yourself with this sex hormone.

Testosterone greatly contributes to the physiological changes in your body – it can alter the shape, size, and strength of your muscles. With the various steroidal compounds that are made available by both legitimate and underground markets, testosterone esters are still on the A-list as bulking agents by bodybuilders. Undoubtedly, these AAS products are considered to be the most effective and most efficient anabolic agents.

Properties of Testosterone

This base hormone, with or without an ester, has the following important functions.

  • It is responsible for different mental, sexual and physiological changes in the human body. Testosterone is an indispensable hormone in the promotion of secondary male characteristics such as deepening of voice, facial and body hair growth, development of sexual organs, and sexual drive. Testosterone is the primary growth hormone and this is why men tend to grow muscles much easier than women because the former have a higher natural testosterone level than the latter.

  • It binds rather well with androgen receptors abundant in fat cells, thereby breaking down fat storage and preventing further fat formation.

  • It promotes erythropoiesis, which is the increase of red blood cell (erythrocytes) production. This translates to an improved endurance by pumping highly oxygenated blood to working muscle tissues, making it easier for the user to endure strenuous physical exertion. This is one way of how testosterone is also known to enhance performance. It enhances performance not only in terms of strength/power capacity, but also in terms of endurance.

  • It increases the activity of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). There have been studies that link IGF in conjunction with androgens in muscle building. In one of these studies, it has been observed that there was a remarkable increase in IGF-1 receptor concentrations in skeletal muscles of elderly men when they have undergone testosterone replacement therapy.

    In effect, testosterone activates the muscle cells, making them more responsive to IGF thereby making it easier for this hormone to exert its anabolic activity. IGF-1 is an anabolic hormone released from the liver and other peripheral tissues in response to the stimulus of the growth hormone.

  • Testosterone promotes anabolism or, put simply, buildup of cellular tissue. Especially in muscles. Below follows a description of how testosterone affects muscle growth.

    Muscle growth takes place via two interlinked mechanisms. We say interlinked because both processes affect one another. These processes are called hypertrophy and hyperplasia.

    Hypertrophy, in simplest terms, is the increase in the size of the muscle cells and fibers. This growth process happens due to protein synthesis. Naturally-occurring testosterone (endogenous) as well as those synthetically-introduced in the body (exogenuous) positively affect protein synthesis. Steroids are of the exogenous testosterone. When there is an elevated protein synthesis level, an enlargement of muscle cells and fibers occurs. Diet, age, genetics and other biological factors affect muscle hypertrophy. You can improve muscle hypertrophy through several ways including steroid use. Muscle hypertrophy can be further classified into two types – sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy.

    There is a basic, but nonetheless important, difference between these two types. During sarcoplasmic hypertrophy there is a substantial increase in the volume of sacroplasmic fluid in the muscle cell. The sarcoplasm of muscle fiber contains glycosomes, myoglobin, and calcium which are necessary for muscular growth and function. Although there is an increase in muscle mass there is no attendant increase in muscle strength.

    With myofibrillar hypertrophy there is increase in the size and strength of the muscles. This is because the actin and myosin contractile proteins (myofibrils) increase in number, thereby causing muscles to grow and withstand contractile pressure.

    Hyperplasia, on the other hand, is the formation of new muscle cells and fibers. The formation can happen in two ways. One is through fiber splitting; that is, large fibers split into two or more smaller fibers. Second is via activation of satellite cells. Satellite cells are actually myogenic stem cells which have an important role in skeletal muscle regeneration. Satellite cells can be activated once you injure, stretch, or work out a muscle fiber. Satellite cells proliferate or multiply when they undergo mitosis (cell division), thereby producing new myoblastic cells (immature muscle cells). These immature cells can either fuse with existing fiber resulting to a hypertrophy (bigger muscles) or they can coalesce with each other to form a new fiber. It is when a new fiber is produced that hyperplasia occurs.

  • Testosterone also prevents catabolism or tissue breakdown. It's easy to understand how testosterone, through anabolism, promotes muscle growth; but, how does testosterone figure in catabolism?

    Testosterone exerts its anti-catabolic activity by inhibiting the glucocorticoid hormone. This hormone is some type of messenger to the muscle cells telling them to release stored protein to compensate for the muscle wasting. Once this hormone is prevented from doing its job, you'll be able to keep your hard-earned muscles. Testosterone and glucocorticoid hormone have contrary roles – testosterone tells the muscle cells to store contractile proteins while the glucocorticoid tells them to release proteins resulting to breakdown of muscle mass.

Testosterone Effects

When testosterone is introduced in the system, the body reacts by converting the exogenous testosterone into DHT to maximize its effects on certain tissues like the skin and the scalp. Then, the body fights off DHT's activity where it 'feels' it is unnecessary (i.e. skeletal muscle tissues).

Testosterone has the ability to interact with DHT, which is a more potent hormone than testosterone, and therefore has a higher affinity with androgen receptors. As a consequence, male pattern baldness or alopecia can result in predisposed males. Prostate enlargement can take effect, especially if the user has a preexisting problem. Recent studies have shown that testosterone does not cause prostate cancer as earlier believed. It can, however, speed up the rate of growth of existing prostate malignancy.

When the human body fails to regulate changes, negative effects take place. In steroid use, changes in hormonal imbalance can sometimes raise health issues. For example, when estrogen levels are elevated in males there is the probability of gynecomastia, the development of breast tissues in males. This is one of the side effects of AAS use like testosterone esters. This occurs when testosterone is administered, and it is converted into estrogen, a hormone that is abundant in females. This process is called aromatization which can cause feminization in predisposed male users. Other side effects of prolonged and unmonitored use of steroids may include testicular shrinkage, water retention, loss of libido, and psychological problems.

In females, masculinizing symptoms can occur after prolonged periods of heightened levels of free testosterone in the blood. These symptoms include clitoromegaly (clitoral enlargement); facial hair (sideburns, beard); chest hair (periareolar, perianal); deepening of voice; and growth of Adam's apple.

Since steroid use is known to suppress endogenous testosterone levels, users are advised to use testosterone-stimulating drugs like HCG in conjunction with Clomid or Nolvadex at the conclusion of a cycle. This can avert problems associated with the occurrence of hormonal imbalance and its attendant side effects in the body.

Proscar/Propecia and Avodart are also typical ancillary drugs to prevent DHT buildup.

Fast Facts on Testosterone Esters

  • Testosterone buciclate

    Testosterone buciclate, or TB, is a relatively new testosterone ester, which has been synthesized and developed through the initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NHI). It was purposely developed in the 1990's as a male contraceptive drug. T-buciclate's potentials have been proven during its clinical testing as it showed more favorable pharmacokinetic characteristics than existing compounds, primarily because it is a SR (slow release) compound.

    In bodybuilding, T-buciclate can be more effective if administered in several full doses of 600 mg (in male athletes). Ten to 15 days thereafter, another full dose is given depending on desired results and on other steroids T-buciclate is stacked with.

    Because of its longevity, this drug should be discontinued six to nine weeks before the cycle is to be concluded. Androgen levels do remain elevated even 12 weeks after administration of last dose of T-buciclate. This should not be a surprise given the fact that T-buciclate has been tested on castrated monkeys and the result was a notable raise in their testosterone levels into the normal range for about four months. Considering that the test subjects were only given a single 40 mg-dose of this compound, T-buciclate's effect is really impressive.

  • Testosterone butyrate

    Testosterone butyrate has been described as 'a rare ester of testosterone that your are not likely to see in a prescription product'. This is because T-butyrate never made it beyond the walls of research labs into commercial counters.

    Research on T-butyrate occurred during the period when there was an enthusiastic interest in steroids because of their potential benefits to the medical world. But, for some reason, it did not become a marketable drug. This, however, is not a surprising bit of info since many steroids have been faithfully synthesized and thoroughly studied by scientists only to be eventually shelved.

    This drug's most distinct characteristics are the following.

    • It is fast-acting. If you're to compare it with other testosterone esters like buciclate, which has an extremely long-acting nature, T-butyrate is like shooting the rapids. This gives you immediate and considerable muscle gains.

    • It is a relatively low-dosed steroid compared with other esters like enanthate and cypionate. These two esters are more oil-soluble compounds that butyrate.

    • It can be an alternative to recreational and adventurous steroid users who do not mind frequent injection sessions.

The typical dosage practice with propionate is to administer it every second or third day. The frequent injection is necessary because of the short-acting activity of this ester; it has a half-life of six days. The recommended injection schedule is every fourth day to maintain a stable and ideal testosterone level.

Since this drug has not been commercially manufactured, you cannot find a legitimate version of T-butyrate. The likelihood is you will be getting a by-product of some underground labs.

  • Testosterone cyclohexylpropionate

    Originally manufactured in 1974 by Theramex in France, testosterone cyclohexylpropionate, commonly referred to as CHP, is a long-acting testosterone ester. This ester is usually compared to cypionate since they are structurally similar. The minute difference between these two esters is that CHP has a slightly longer effect because it has six carbon atoms (cyclohexane ring) than cypionate, which has only five carbon atoms (cyclopentane ring).

    Referred as a 'French testosterone preparation', CHP was discontinued in 1991. When it was available, CHP has been in what many considered as weird dosing schemes – in ampules of 296 mg, 148 mg, and 37 mg per milliliter. These 'confusing' dosage schemes are in fact equivalent to 200, 100, and 25 mg of active testosterone respectively.

  • Testosterone cypionate

    Historically, testosterone cypionate has been one of the most favored testosterone esters by American athletes since this compound is almost exclusively manufactured in the United States. T-cypionate is a long-acting oil-based injectable, and it can be injected once a week to keep testosterone levels elevated for around two weeks. For even more dramatic results, some athletes prefer to administer it bi-weekly. Commonly practice dosage ranges from 200 mg-800 mg a week.

    Among the popular brand names are Teston QV 200, CypioTest 250, Testoron Depot, and Vironate.

  • Testosterone enanthate

    Also an oil-based injectable steroid, testosterone enanthate is a slow-acting ester keeping the hormonal level elevated for several weeks. It is extremely long acting as it can remain active in the system for three weeks. Clinically, it is the most prescribed testosterone drug effective in treatment of hypogonadism and other conditions associated with androgen deficiency. This is an ideal drug choice for both the recreational and medical users because of infrequent dosage schedule. T-enanthate has also been studied as a male contraceptive drug.

    Despite the fact that this is a long-acting testosterone ester, athletes do still opt to administer on a weekly basis to avoid fluctuations in blood levels. The usual dosage ranges from 250 mg to 750 mg, and for more dramatic bulking cycle users usually stack T-enanthate with Anadrol 50 or Dianabol.

    Enantat QV 250, Enantato 350, and Enantest 250 are among the popular names of this compound.

  • Testosterone propionate

    T-propionate is a fast-acting compound in which the steroid is released from the injection site in just a matter of days. Thus, its users frequently go literally under the needle to achieve ideal testosterone level. The typical treatment is at least every third day, and this is really a downside of T-propionate since other esters like enanthate and cypionate can be effective even in a once-a-week injection session.

    Frequent injection may result to soreness and low-grade fever may be experienced by sensitive individuals.

    Propiotest 100, Testopro L/A, and Propionat QV 100 are examples of brand names of this compound.

  • Sustanon 250 (testosterone blend)

    Dubbed as the 'King of all Blends', Sustanon 250 was developed by the pharmaceutical firm Organon. It is an oil-based injectable testosterone which boasts of four testosterone esters – propionate (30 mg), phenylpropionate (60 mg), isocaproate (60mg), and decanoate (100 mg). This unique blend allows this compound to have a fast yet extended release of the base hormone (testosterone). The propionate and phenylpropionate esters in Sustanon have relatively shorter half-lives, and this they allow the Sustanon's metabolites to be released within a period of four days after administration.

    The longer-acting esters, in contrast, allow the exogenous testosterone to remain active in the body for two (isocaproate) and three (decanoate) weeks.

    This means that Sustanon 250 can remain active for about three weeks; however, the common injection schedule with this drug is every 10 days. The recommended dosage is from an ampule of 250 mg/ day to 1000 mg / week (equivalent to four ampules).

    The different testosterone esters provide for different half-lives, and therefore different release times. Esterification of the testosterone molecules provides a sustained (but non-linear) release of testosterone from the injection depot into the blood plasma.

    With Sustanon users need not undergo frequent injections; its downside, however, is that it is comparatively high-priced. This is why some opt for cheaper testosterone esters like cypionate and enanthate.

    Important to note that there is Sustanon 100, which is indicated for pediatric use. This 'little sister' compound of Sustanon 250 has only three esters – 20 mg Testosterone Propionate, 40 mg Testosterone Phenylpropionate, and 40 mg Testosterone Isocaproate.

  • Andriol

    Developed also by Organon, Andriol is a unique and popular oral testosterone product. Unique because unlike most orals, Andriol is not c17-alpha-alkylated, and this absence of chemical alteration makes Andriol popular with recreational steroid users. This alteration is known to negatively affect the integrity of the liver.

    The c-17aa orals are also modified so as to survive the first pass effect of metabolism of the liver. This is because they have to pass through the liver to enter the bloodstream. In the case of Andriol, such is not the route. Instead, this drug is designed to be absorbed by the lymphatic system. This is accomplished because of Andriol's high fat solubility and its suspension in oil. This trait allows this compound to bypass the deactivation activity of the liver.

    There is, nontheless, one common comment on Andriol's bioavailability. Anecdotal inference says that only a meager amount of testosterone is making it to circulation. Andriol users report that with 240 mg / day (that's equivalent to 6 capsules) effects are not yet remarkable. When one compares it to other oil-based testosterone esters, Andriol's dosage is significantly higher. Testosterone cypionate, for example, can deliver adequate results with just 400 mg / week.

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