Prohormones by Dharkam Greutstein 1997

“Prohormones are currently the hottest topic in the bodybuilding supplement world”

A hormone is a substance secreted from an organ, and has an effect the body’s metabolism. In the realm of bodybuilding, we’re concerned with the major growth promoting hormones, specifically testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin. The term “prohormone” is a variant of a hormone that can be altered by the various naturally-ocurring enzymes in the body so that a more active hormone is produced. Prohormones are currently the hottest topic in the bodybuilding supplement world, because unlike the macronutrients, like protein powders and meal replacement powders, prohormones have drug-like effects and are in reality, legal steroids without most of the side effects of prescription anabolic steroids. And as you’ll see, not all prohomones act alike, nor follow the classic definition of “inactive until converted”.

All the prohormones that wereavailable were ones that either convert to testosterone, or one of the testosterone derivatives that have similar effects. The more precise term for prohormones would be “adrenal androgens”, hormones that are secreted from the adrenal glands (two, above each kidney). As we will see this isn’t entirely correct, as many of the newer prohormones may not originate from the adrenals.

Until a few years ago, every prohormone was considered a new unapproved drug in the eyes of the FDA. The first-noticed prohormone DHEA, until the passage of the federal dietary and supplement act, was in a legal limbo, and was considered either a dietary supplement of a prescription drug, depending on who was answering the phone at any particular day at the FDA offices.

:: DHEA ::  is the mother of all prohormones, as it happens to be the most abundant androgen in the body in both men and women. For the longest time, scientists weren’t exactly sure if there was any biological activity in DHEA, other than it being a building block, a precursor, to more complex and active hormones, including testosterone. If I were to draw a diagram of DHEA and all its derivatives on the way to testosterone, you’d see that the link from DHEA to testosterone is not terribly direct, nor efficient. This isn’t to say that DHEA doesn’t have its place in the body, as recent research shows that DHEA can prevent some types of cancers developing, and can boost the immune system. As the body ages, DHEA levels do decline, and many geriatrics have reported a better sense of well-being when they supplement their diets with 50mg of DHEA each day.

In terms of using a prohormone as a growth-promoter, other adrenal androgens that are closer on the conversion path to testosterone are better choices. The first generation of testosterone boosters were the Androstenediones, which is a direct precursor to testosterone. This precursor had been known and used by East German Olympic athLetes in the seventies, but was rediscovered and promoted by people in the bodybuilding supplement business a few years ago, with the introduction of OSMO’s Androstene, a joint venture between Patrick Arnold and Stan Antosh when they realized that the Chinese were making large quantities of Androstenedione as a precursor for birth control compounds, and was now legal for importation.

“Prohormones are currently the hottest topic in the bodybuilding supplement world”

A hormone is a substance secreted from an organ, and has an effect the body’s metabolism. In the realm of bodybuilding, we’re concerned with the major growth promoting hormones, specifically testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin. The term “prohormone” is a variant of a hormone that can be altered by the various naturally-ocurring enzymes in the body so that a more active hormone is produced. Prohormones are currently the hottest topic in the bodybuilding supplement world, because unlike the macronutrients, like protein powders and meal replacement powders, prohormones have drug-like effects and are in reality, legal steroids without most of the side effects of prescription anabolic steroids. And as you’ll see, not all prohomones act alike, nor follow the classic definition of “inactive until converted”.

Presently, all the prohormones available are ones that either convert to testosterone, or one of the testosterone derivatives that have similar effects. The more precise term for prohormones would be “adrenal androgens”, hormones that are secreted from the adrenal glands (two, above each kidney). As we will see this isn’t entirely correct, as many of the newer prohormones may not originate from the adrenals.

Until a few years ago, every prohormone was considered a new unapproved drug in the eyes of the FDA. The first-noticed prohormone DHEA, until the passage of the federal dietary and supplement act, was in a legal limbo, and was considered either a dietary supplement of a prescription drug, depending on who was answering the phone at any particular day at the FDA offices.

DHEA is the mother of all prohormones, as it happens to be the most abundant androgen in the body in both men and women. For the longest time, scientists weren’t exactly sure if there was any biological activity in DHEA, other than it being a building block, a precursor, to more complex and active hormones, including testosterone. If I were to draw a diagram of DHEA and all its derivatives on the way to testosterone, you’d see that the link from DHEA to testosterone is not terribly direct, nor efficient. This isn’t to say that DHEA doesn’t have its place in the body, as recent research shows that DHEA can prevent some types of cancers developing, and can boost the immune system. As the body ages, DHEA levels do decline, and many geriatrics have reported a better sense of well-being when they supplement their diets with 50mg of DHEA each day.

In terms of using a prohormone as a growth-promoter, other adrenal androgens that are closer on the conversion path to testosterone are better choices. The first generation of testosterone boosters were the Androstenediones, which is a direct precursor to testosterone. This precursor had been known and used by East German Olympic athLetes in the seventies, but was rediscovered and promoted by people in the bodybuilding supplement business a few years ago, with the introduction of OSMO’s Androstene, a joint venture between Patrick Arnold and Stan Antosh when they realized that the Chinese were making large quantities of Androstenedione as a precursor for birth control compounds, and was now legal for importation.

“Nor-Androdiol is in actuality, an elegant prohormone.”

Usually the elegance of the prohormones is that some of them, specifically DHEA and androstenedione, have virtually no anabolic activity until they are converted. Overdosing, which would usually cause side effects, doesn’t happen because there is only so much 17HD available. However, 4-AD is different in two very important aspects: the enzyme needed for the conversion to testosterone is the more plentiful and efficient 3HD enzyme. More 4-AD will be converted to testosterone than in equal amounts of androstenedione in the body. But since we’d be using two different enzymes, you could “stack” the two together for an additive testosterone boost. The other significant benefit is that 4-AD is, in its unconverted state, highly active, perhaps greater than testosterone.

Although touted as being the most anabolic of all the prohormones, its promoters tend to ignore or downplay the negative aspects of 4-AD: it has significant masculizing effects. It imparts androgen characteristics: oily skin, acne, body hair growth, scalp hair fallout. So this variant would be entirely unsuitable to women, and many men also.

Knowing about its androgenic side effects, Pat Arnold developed a nor-variant of the 4-AD, which he has trade named Nor-Androdiol. This is in actuality, an elegant prohormone. It has all the attributes of nandrolone (as Nor-4-AD converts to nandrolone), but uses the superior and efficient 3-HD enzyme, so the conversion to nandrolone is greater than the nor-androstenedione to nandrolone conversion. And because each prohormone has different enzyme pathways, there would be an additive effect in stacking the two together. Another safety factor built into Nor-Androdiol is that the prohormone in its unconverted state isn’t active like the androgenic 4-AD is. So overdosage and side effects cannot happen with Nor-Androdiol, which can’t be said about 4-AD.

But ultimately, we really want a prohormone that has no androgenic effects, but would be active in its unconverted state. It also should use the 3-HD enzyme for a efficient conversion into a more anabolic compound. Many users report that the newest prohormone 5-Androstenediol, may be the best one in this regard.

5-Androstenediol is best known as one of the more interesting prescription anabolic steroids available a few decades ago, trade-named Methandriol. Anecdotally, Methandriol was considered a “synergist”, a compound that made other anabolics more potent. Methadriol is still used in this regard in numerous blends of Australian veterinary steroids. Our prohormone legal version 5-AD is simply Methandriol without the 17-alkylation, the chemical modification that makes so many oral prescription steroids a strain on the liver.

The scientific research has some very differing opinions about 5-AD. In some studies it worked about equally as testosterone in terms of growth. Remember, 5-AD is anabolic in its unconverted state and also does convert to testosterone. Other scientific studies point out that 5-AD may have estrogenic side effects. So we have three wildly conflicting stories: the anecdotal one saying that 5-AD is a potentiator. Some scientists say that it’s an anabolic. Others say it’s estrogenic. Is there possible way that all three stories to be true? Yes, perhaps.

Some of the most recent steroid research shows that the duration of activity and anabolic action can be related to the state of the unusual proteins in the blood called “sex hormone binding globulines” (SHBGs). These proteins hold testosterone, nandrolone, 4-AD, and 5-AD in a “holding pattern” in the bloodstream. Only recently, the steroid researchers have found that these SHBGs have their own unique receptors on the membranes of muscle cells, and cause an anabolic effect. We have also recently learned that many of the prescription steroids that have no estrogenic conversion markedly reduce the amount of SHBGs in the blood. One of the possible mechanisms of 5-AD being both estrogenic and anabolic, and a synergist to other steroids, is that 5-AD might have a positive effect on both the sex hormone binding globules and their unusual receptors.

“I recommend that you stack Nor-androstenedione and Nor-Androdiol together, so that with using both enzymes, 3 and 17-HD, we’ll get the highest conversion to nandrolone.”

Of course, this beneficial activity will happen only when 5-AD is not converted to testosterone. So extract maximal activity of the prohormones, I’m proposing this prohormone stack and dosing pattern. First you’d like to instill the maximal amounts of anabolic compounds that have the least side effects. So I recommend that you stack Nor-androstenedione and Nor-Androdiol together, so that with using both enzymes, 3 and 17-HD, we’ll get the highest conversion to nandrolone. I recommend this over other prohormone compounds that convert to testostosteone because nandrolone will stay on the muscle steroid receptors longer, when the active compound is no longer in the bloodstream.

I recommend that you use about 300mg of each compound. I’m predicting that this is more than the amount of enzymes can handle, meaning that if you were to add more prohormone after this initial big dosing, there wouldn’t have enough active enzyme (neither 3-HD or 17-HD) do any more converting. At about two hours after the initial dosing of the two “Nor”s, then do a dose of 300mg of 5-AD. What will happen is this: the 5-AD will not have any 3-HD enzyme for the conversion to testosterone, so it will circulate in the bloodstream as unconverted 5-AD. And it will synergize with the newly converted nandrolone in the bloodstream, extending its half life. This triple nor-andro/nor-4AD/5-AD is the ultimate prohormone stack. Before the advent of prohormones, you’d have to use prescription steroids and sustain painful injections of Deca-Durabolin and Methandriol Dipropionate to achieve the same anabolic effect. Remember, some of the best past physiques on the planet built their foundations with hard training, high calories, and these two steroids. And you now have the same now-legal compounds at your disposal.

You have no excuse not to get bigger and leaner. You have the motivation. You have the best supplements in the world in America. And you now have legal steroids. Go for it!

The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 was signed into law by President Bush on October 22, 2004. It will be effective on approximately January 20, 2005. After that date, just possessing these banned substances will be a crime. This law makes ALL steroid precursors (prohormones) except DHEA “controlled substances” in the United States.

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