Hormones / Steroids

Welcome to our Hormones & Steroids Section. Find valuable online nutrition advice such as diet tips, fitness guides, and general health information.

Prohormones – Are They Really Safe?

If you’re into bodybuilding, you may have thought about taking hormones and steroids like prohormones at some point. So what is a prohormone and how is it different to an anabolic steroid? The first distinction is that anabolic steroids are illegal unless administered by a licensed health professional for genuine health reasons. Whereas, although most prohormones are banned as well now, some are not and this is the difference.

The second distinction is that the term ‘prohormone’ originally referred to steroid precursors, compounds that could be converted to anabolic hormones by the body. They were designed to circulate reasonably harmlessly in the blood stream without causing too many hormonal changes until converted to an anabolic hormone like testosterone. An anabolic steroid on the other hand is designed to behave like an anabolic hormone right from the start.

Why Were Prohormones Developed?

Prohormones were initially developed as a way to circumvent the law after the use of anabolic steroids was outlawed. Whilst early prohormones could certainly produce rapid muscle gains and strength, the conversion required to change them into effective anabolic hormones meant they were not quite as effective as anabolic steroids. However, the supplement industry being what it is simply developed ever more sophisticated prohormones to overcome this hurdle! Eventually the regulators stepped in.

2004 Anabolic Steroid Control Act

By 2004, with a range of prohormones on the market capable of causing very serious health problems, US authorities decided enough was enough. The 2004 Anabolic Steroid Control Act made all prohormones being produced at that time just as illegal as anabolic steroids. By 2005, most of these products had disappeared from the market in the US. Supplement manufacturers then began a quest to develop alternatives that produced comparable physical results whilst remaining within the law. The result of their efforts is that today there are quite a few compounds, still officially classed as prohormones, which do not need to be converted to anabolic hormones. These prohormones are designed to have an anabolic effect in their own right and some are at least as powerful as anabolic steroids!

Modern Prohormones Now As Effective As Anabolic Steroids

So there is little doubt that modern prohormones are themselves a class of very powerful muscle builders! Unfortunately, the side effects of prohormones can be just as bad as those of anabolic steroids. Some of these are raised LDL levels (LDLs are the bad lipoproteins), increased blood pressure, dizziness, headaches, hypertension and so on. Methylated or alkylated prohormones like the now illegal methyl-1-testosterone (M1T) can also cause elevated liver enzymes ie liver toxicity. Such prohormones are designed to be resistant to breakdown by the liver so can produce some amazing muscle growth and strength but the adverse side effects are many, and dangerous.

Know Your Products – Using Prohormones Safely And Effectively

Today the prohormone user has a number of products to choose from. But if you do decide to use them, do your research first. Even the ‘safest’ of these products, and I use the term ‘safe’ very loosely, may have adverse side effects. What these side effects are and their severity varies from user to user depending on pre-existing health conditions.

A great resource for anyone considering starting a program of prohormone use is Planet Supplements’ Health and Fitness blog. The hormones and steroids section in particular covers many important issues in this field including the possible side effects of prohormones as well as a report on a prohormone that may have health benefits. For those who are more into natural as opposed to synthetic compounds, their report on the uses of Tribulus Terrestris or caltrop fruit may be of interest.

Hypocrisy Regarding Drug Testing

Hypocrisy Regarding Drug Testing

The International Olympic Committee’s policy on doping has been instituted partly to protect the athlete’s health; however, high-level athletic competition is often an inherently unhealthy endeavor. If health is a factor then why are certain sports with high injury rates or the potential for serious injury allowed at all? For example, many linemen playing American […]

Uses of Tribulus Terrestris - Puncture Vine - or Caltrop Fruit

Uses of Tribulus Terrestris (Puncture Vine) or Caltrop Fruit

Tribulus terrestris is also known as Puncture Vine and Caltrop fruit. Proponents of its use claim the substance acts as a luteinizing hormone stimulant that can increase the body’s production of testosterone, which in turn would augment protein synthesis. Claims are based on obscure case studies published in foreign journals that are not easily obtained. […]

The Best Laid Plans - Of Russian Athletes And Sporting Institutions

The Best Laid Plans – Of Russian Athletes And Sporting Institutions

Russia has long been considered one of the powerhouses in the sporting world. It turns out there is good reason for this. With a state powered, state run, state backed sports system in place, the rest of the world’s athletes may well have thought ‘if only our own government provided us with this level of […]

Androstenedione and its Creative Marketing

Androstenedione and its Creative Marketing

On August 16, 1999, the Wall Street Journal published a report on General Nutrition Center (GNC) decision to carry androstenedione as a nutritional supplement. Oddly enough, this occurred hot on the heels of a paper in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by King et al, showing it to have no effect on body […]