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 Testosterone Research: Anabolic Steroids



Types of Prohormones
Prohormone classifications:
--Testosterone precursors:

--Nandrolone Precursors:
·19-nor 4-androstenediol
·19-nor 5-androstenediol

--DHT Precursor MAXTERON™

Prohormone Classifications:

Testosterone precursors:

Testosterone is the primary muscle building hormone in man, and as such makes an excellent target for supplementation. The typically thought about testosterone is that it is a bulking steroid. It is an excellent builder of muscle tissue, but due to its ready conversion to estradiol (an estrogen) this gain may be accompanied by water and fat retention (heightened estrogen levels tend to increase the storage of both). The user often endures this in light of the end result, as these products do appear to be the strongest for overall muscle growth. We cannot ignore the possible development of gynecomastia with testosterone prohormone however (particularly with heavy use), a very unwanted side effect in men characterized by the development of female breast tissue. Currently three testosterone precursors are available on the supplement market: androstenedione, 4-androstenediol and 5-androstenediol.


The first compound marketed as a testosterone precursor, or a prohormone for that matter, was androstenedione. To spite the fact that prohormone technology has advanced quite a bit since its inception this compound remains to be a popular seller, no doubt in part due to the extensive media attention given to it in the past. Androstenedione does raise testosterone levels with use, so in this regard it is an effective supplement. However it has also been demonstrated to raise estrogen levels even more significantly, due to the fact that androstenedione may also be directly converted to estrone (an estrogen) in the body. It is therefore an effective supplement, but also seems to be the prohormone most capable of inducing gynecomastia.


Like androstenedione, 4-androstenediol is an efficient precursor to testosterone. In fact it appears comparatively much more so, as it utilizes a more active enzyme in its biotransformation to testosterone. Rough estimates are the 2 to 3 times more prohormone is needed for the same testosterone elevation with the preceding product. 4-androstenediol also avoids the direct path of metabolism to estrogen we see with androstenedione, as its diol structure resists interaction with the enzyme responsible for this conversion. Clearly this represents a further improvement, making this compound the most effective choice in this category.


5-androstenediol is technically a testosterone precursor, however it has a notably low affinity to convert to this hormone in the body. This is of little consequence, as this hormone is really supplemented due to its structural similarity to the anabolic steroid methandriol. Methandriol is a popular veterinary steroid, shown to exhibit mild to moderate anabolic activity. It differs from 5-androstenediol only by the addition of a c-17 alpha alkyl group, an alteration used to increase the oral bioavailability of steroid hormones. Realistically methandriol is not an extremely potent compound in muscle building terms, and may additionally display some ability to act as an estrogen in the human body (a trait shared by 5-androstenediol). Although there has been a lot of hype about 5-androstenediol, there seems to be much less in terms of a solid positive response from users compared to the previously mentioned testosterone precursors.

Nandrolone Precursors:

Nandrolone (19-nortestosterone) is another target in the realm of the prohormone, and interestingly is the active steroid used to make the popular anabolic steroid Deca-Durabolin®. Structurally this steroid is identical to testosterone, except for the fact that it lacks a carbon atom at the 19th position (hence the name nortestosterone). Although these two steroids appear similar, they differ in action quite notably. The most striking contrasts are seen in the fact that nandrolone is much less inclined to convert to estrogen in the body (though it does aromatize to a low degree), and is also much less androgenic in nature than testosterone. Its mild character is preferred over testosterone in many cases, and nandrolone is likewise considered more of a steroid for promoting lean muscularity (quality mass) than raw bulk. Currently three nandrolone precursors are available on the supplement market: 19-norandrostenedione, 19-nor 4-androstenediol and 19-nor 5-androstenediol.


19-norandrostenedione is the nandrolone equivalent of androstenedione. It is an efficient precursor to its active steroid form, and overall is considered nothing short of a well-proven anabolic. Although like androstenedione this hormone is open to estrogen conversion in its initial state, the tendency for 19-nor steroids to interact with the necessary enzyme is very low. We therefore see very few reported problems with water/fat retention and gynecomastia, even when this supplement is taken in heavier cycles. Most users report a solid gain of muscle mass, typically with an
accompanying loss of body fat and increased visibility. Using the topical product DermaGAIN™ by Impact Nutrition™ is a particularly advantageous way of administering this hormone actually DermaGAIN™ contains a combination of both this and the following nandrolone precursors), as this method of delivery bypasses the first pass by the liver that can deactivate greater than 90% of the ingested hormone. Topical deliver allows for near total absorption of the compound into the blood stream. Impact™ additionally uses DIM (diindolylmethane) in this product, and anti-estrogenic substance that works by enhancing the metabolic breakdown of estrogens. Though it may seem unneeded, it was added as a protective measure to combat the actions of any minimal estrogen buildup that could possibly result.

19-nor 4-androstenediol:

Like 4-androstenediol, this prohormone utilizes a more active enzyme in its biotransformation to the steroid nandrolone. It is therefore slightly more potent in comparison to 19-norandrostenedione, however both of these two nandrolone precursors are considered solidly effective anabolics. Only those extremely sensitive to estrogen or using unusually high amounts will likely ever notice a difference in estrogen conversion rates, although technically this prohormone would be more suitable in this regard as it avoids any possible direct path of conversion (the same trait noted with 4-androstenediol). Otherwise these two precursors are really interchangeable. Combining these two prohormones (as in DermaGAIN™) actually seems to be the most advantageous method of taking nandrolone precursors, as this utilizes two distinct paths of metabolism for the optimal buildup of active steroid in the blood stream.

19-nor 5-androstenediol:

This prohormone is a 19-nor form of 5-androstenediol. While we don't have much to report about 5-androstenediol, there is even less to report about this compound. Its conversion rate to nandrolone is low, and there likewise seems to be little in terms of positive feedback. It seems to be more the product of a clear manufacturing opportunity than of research and successful application. Some may find a use for this compound, but it is clearly not the efficient nandrolone precursor we see in 19-nor 4-androstenediol.

Maxteron™, the first DHT precursor:

Maxteron™ (5-alpha androstanediol) is the first dihydrotestosterone (DHT) prohormone to be developed. DHT is typically thought of as a side effect hormone, however this is more a product of misunderstanding than fact. In the human body DHT is much more active than testosterone, and is produced locally in tissues sensitive to androgen action such as the prostate, skin, scalp and certain areas of the central nervous system. It is for this reason that its presence is usually associated with side effects, however it activates the same cellular receptor that testosterone does. The applications for a DHT prohormone are actually quite numerous, as it represents the only truly non-aromatizable (will not convert to estrogen) prohormone available. The non-aromatizing androgen is an important class of steroid to the athlete/bodybuilder (Masteron (2-methylDHT), Parabolan (trenbolone), Proviron (1-methylDHT) and Halotestin (fluoxymesterone) are such compounds), as they are excellent for shifting the androgen/estrogen ratio and promoting increased fat loss, muscle hardness and vascularity. Similar to these mentioned items, DHT is a very potent androgenic steroid. The strong effect DHT has on the central nervous system also helps to greatly support the buildup of strength, and its high affinity for serum binding proteins allows it to competitively force more testosterone into a free state when taken with such a steroid or prohormone. DHT is also an efficient anti-aromatase (inhibitor of the estrogen synthesizing enzyme), and makes an excellent addition to any testosterone-based cycle. This item is currently only available from Impact Nutrition™.


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