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Prohormones Facts

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  • Ignatius Sutanto, S. Kom
    MessageOoii Semua, saya ada referensi tentang prohormones nih, mungkin ada yang perlu, atau lagi mempertimbangkan untuk menggunakannya, atau hanya sekedar
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3, 2003

      Ooii Semua,

      saya ada referensi tentang prohormones nih, mungkin ada yang perlu, atau lagi mempertimbangkan untuk menggunakannya, atau hanya sekedar untuk pengetahuan, semoga berguna deh.  Asal jangan capek aja bacanya, soalnya banyak nih, :) , o ya, sori ga ada yang terjemahannya, saya ga nyanggup terjemahinnya, terlalu banyak, ga keburu.  Buat yang udah ngerti, bagi2 aja pengetahuannya buat yang lain, lagian kan bisa dibahas sama yang lain, ok.

      Semoga membantu yah.

      Ignatius Sutanto, S.Kom.

      Side Effects as Result of Prohormone Use

      I will be using the term steroid hormone here, which is not to say that prohormones are steroids. It is simply the scientific term for any hormonal substance manufactured in the body from cholesterol (this includes testosterone and estrogen, but also Vitamin D and others). Prohormones should not be likened to illegal ergogenic aids for several reasons. The first is that they need to convert to a target hormone, which is responsible for most of the anabolic effects. Because this requires naturally occurring enzymes the amount that is converted is limited, and therefore so are the results from taking it. With steroids, the effects are dose-dependent = the more you take, the more you gain. Secondly any such reference is misleading because nothing that is legal comes even close to steroids and the gains they illicit. I'm furious at companies that market prohormones by giving them names that sound like steroids. Names like Maxteron, Decavar and a whole host of others set a bad example for our youth, because it acquaints them to steroids and the use thereof. This kind of reckless behavior will, in my humble opinion, also be the reason prohormones might ultimately banned by the FDA, a feat that is threateningly close of late. Read the following paragraphs to understand the side-effects and skip ahead to the FAQ if you are looking for ways to minimize side-effects.

      Inhibition of Natural Testosterone through Negative Feedback

      Introducing an exogenous steroid hormone into the body will initially, through a mechanism called negative feedback, stop the natural production of the hormone testosterone. Negative feedback is a loop mechanism. Testosterone is secreted by the hypothalamus which releases Gondatropin releasing hormone (GhRH) which stimulates the release of Luteinizing hormone (LH or Gonadotropin) from the anterior pituitary. In the testes LH will signal the manufacture of Dehydro-epiandrosterone (DHEA) from cholesterol in the Leydig Cells. DHEA converts to androstenedione and eventually testosterone. When the need for testosterone is satisfied the testosterone will signal the hypothalamus and secretion is stopped. Introducing these substances directly will give that same signal that stops production. Why is this bad? Because the manufacture of DHEA in the gonads is halted and they fall into disuse. This causes testicle shrinkage and in the long run can be responsible for infertility, loss of libido and even impotence. This problem is addressed by the term cycling. By going on a hormone for a while and then staying off of it for a similar or longer period, we give natural production a chance to recover. Minor shrinkage can take place but should disappear after a few weeks of disuse. This brings with it a few conclusions:

      A. The product should always be cycled, prolonged or continued use may cause more lasting damage. 10 weeks is, at least according to me, the longest a stack should be. Even that may be pushing it. I usually recommend no more than 8 weeks.

      B. The time you are off the supplement should be adequate, at least as long but preferably longer than the amount of time you were on it. If this rule is not observed, the testes may not get a chance to recover adequately and the cumulative effect of two close cycles may result in similar problems.

      Estrogen-Related Issues

      Estrogen is a common denominator for a group of hormones with feminizing characteristics that are obviously more active in the female of our species. Estradiol and consequently estrone are the strongest and most relevant. There are a great deal that are biologically not active enough to be of concern. In the body, when the hormones are converted, a great deal of them (the amount depending on the prohormone used) can actually start producing estrogen. Even if this is not the case, the target hormone, testosterone especially, can undergo a process called aromatisation in which the testosterone molecule is transformed into an estrone molecule. This happens at the 3rd carbon position (most anabolic steroid hormones have 17 carbons) where an A-ring is formed.

      What are the consequences though? Well, feminizing effects on the male for one. Estrogen has a very retentive effect on water. This means that large amounts of water can be stored, making you bigger but not with muscle, when using them. Most of this weight disappears when estrogen:testosterone levels return to normal. In itself this retention is moderately anabolic and not so bad at all, if it didn't go at the expense of the amount of testosterone. It also increases the chances of adipose (fat) storage throughout the body (women have a naturally higher BF percentage than men). But as stated, they don't have to be bad necessarily, they may even aid the results. Of more concern is gynocomastia, commonly referred to as "bitch tits", which indicates the formation of breast tissue in men as a result of estrogens. This can be caused by alcohol or high body-fat as well, so keep in mind that these conditions will influence your risk of gyno. To date I have not met anyone that ever got severe gyno from taking a prohormone. Most likely that would take a dose that offers no additional effects, of a product that readily makes the conversion, such as andro or 5-diol. What does regularly happen is that someone gets itchy nipples and they get a bit puffy. These are common symptoms and will disappear. Itching is no real indicator, but if they get puffy it may be a source of concern. If you are doing an 8-week stack and in the 5th or 6th week you see some swelling, continuing is not such an incredible risk. The effect is mostly reversible and should disappear after three weeks of disuse. If you get it full blow the first week or so, don't hesitate, just quit. It would be unwise to continue if you are obviously so succeptible. The risk of it being permanent becomes larger too, and if gyno should occur the only way to remove it is surgically. But like I said, I still have to see the first verified case.

      Androgen-Related Issues

      An androgen is any substance that creates male-specific characteristics in the body, masculinizing effects if you will. You'd think this would be a positive thing, and mostly it is, apart from a few things. For the most part androgen related issues are the result of dehydro-testosterone (DHT) formation. FSH (follicle stimulating hormone, the other sex-hormone secreted under influence of GnRH) signals the Sertoli cells which transform the molecule to DHT. DHT is responsible for sperm maturation and most masculine characteristics. Increased body-hair, deeper voice, increased sex-drive, these are common things that I'm sure no man really worries about. What should be of concern is that like all fat-soluble products (and testosterone is made of cholesterol) it stores in the skin, and DHT seems to have an affinity for the scalp, which may cause hair loss on the top of the scalp.

      In real terms, it all depends, yet again, on how you personally react to it. Some people take mega-doses and don't lose anything, others may notice extra hairs clogging the drains after a mere three weeks. Generally it's nothing to worry about, but I always issue a warning that, if there is a history of male-pattern baldness on your mom's side of the family (the condition is hereditary in matri-linear fashion) it's best to be on your guard and discontinue use of the product immediately at the first sign of excessive hair loss. Hair loss is almost always irreversible. It may be wise to make the majority of your intake a low-androgenic compound such as Nor-diol.

      Other side-effects as a result of androgenic substances include acne, which is the most common side-effect of prohormones, but it is very temporary, this should clear up within the odd week or two after discontinuing the product. Often times it will be limited to a few zits here and there. For older people there is the risk of prostate enlargment. In heavy androgenic steroids this can even greatly increase the risk of prostate cancer. One sign of prostate enlargment is overurination. I don't really suggest the use of blocking substances, such as chrysin, but in this case, for the older bodybuilder most at risk (50 to 69 especially is the target group), saw palmetto is advisable. The stuff has no use other than to protect the prostate.

      DHEA (Dehydro-epiandrosterone)

      Target Hormone: 4-Androstenedione
      Molecular name of target hormone: 4-androsten-3,17-dione
      Target conversion: low (0.35 %)
      DHT conversion: Moderate (converts to andro, then DHT)
      Estrogenic effects: Has the ability to actively convert to estrogen precursors. Its been noted that DHEA is responsible for over 80 percent of all estrogens.

      Dehydro-epi-androsterone in full, DHEA is called the mother hormone. It's not so much a prohormone as a pre-prohormone, a substance that needs to convert to a prohormone, in this case androstenedione. It's the first actual hormone produced in the chain of command that leads to usable testosterone. By way of feedback the Hypothalamus (little thing in the middle of your brain) secretes GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) that signals the anterior pituitary (even smaller thing below the hypothalamus) which in turn produces LH (Luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). We'll be following the LH pathway, as it stimulates the Leydig cells to produce DHEA from cholesterol. It will in turn convert to either estrogen precursors (estradiol) or androgen precursors (like andro). It's been estimated that DHEA is responsible for 50-60 percent of testosterone and up to 80 percent of all estrogens. Unlike other prohormones, the benefits of this product go way beyond mere testosterone boosting. It may actually be good for you. Optimal body levels of DHEA have been known to reduce cancer risk, improve immunity, reduce blood pressure and decrease sensitivity to allergic states. It may also lower bad cholesterol. So it's not a minor contribution to your health.

      The downside is that, unlike previously believed, DHEA exerts no major anabolic effects. And it is still an exogenous hormone, which means it does suppress natural testosterone. Those two feats combined make this a great addition if you are getting on in age, have tapering test levels and are looking for more quality of life, but let's say that unless you are over 50 DHEA has bitter little to offer. The common prescription ranges from 5-100 mg, but for older bodybuilders I feel safe recommending doses of 100-200 mg.

      Now we can have a closer look at the actual prohormones. They are often classified by type, so perhaps we should have a look at the types of classifications and what they mean.

      Andro Vs. Nor

      Technically this is C19 vs. 19Nor. The indication refers to the 19th carbon-atom in the structure of the substance. In Nor, as the name would indicate, it is absent. In return this makes the conversion to 19Nortestosterone instead of testosterone. 19Nortestosterone is more commonly known as nandrolone, the active substance in popular steroids such as Deca-Durabolin. So what's the skinny? Well, nandrolone is only a fifth as androgenic as testosterone, but illicits similar anabolic reactions. That makes this a good choice for people at risk for hair loss and prostate enlargment and for women seeking the benefits of prohormones. Along with these, the most positive aspect by far is the usefulness. Because the conversion enzymes in the body are limited, only so much of the target hormone can be made. That means you can only raise testosterone so much over baseline level, no more than twice, which still keeps you in the normal to high normal range. That makes the use of andros for young people very limited. Nandrolone however is present at a very minimal rate and because it utilizes the same enzymes can be increased dramatically over natural levels. Of course this is provided you use a diol version, since test production relies mostly on dione receptor enzymes and along with the inhibition that would drop test levels dramatically, warranting the use of an andro as well. The benefit that strikes me as the most useful is that Nors last longer, they have a longer half life (up to 6 hours as opposed to 2 for andros) which means you only have to take one or two doses per day as opposed to three or four for andros.

      The downsides to Nor-prohormones are that they do not address the estrogen issue. The loss of androgenic effects also seems to cause a loss of libido, not a major concern, just some lustlessness, but not advisable if you have a wife or girlfriend obviously. Nors also seem to lack the psycho-motoric effect that stimulates more energy and power in the gym. I wouldn't worry about that, I never experienced them to any real effect on andros either.

      Another trait that nandrolone precursors have is the large storage of water. Even though the estrogenic effect is slightly milder than that of testosteron, people using these precursors store considerably more water-weight. A study from 1980² seems to suggest that they may have an effect on amplifying aldosterone, another hormone produced from angiotensin II. I'll save you of the exact physiology of aldosterone, but I will share with you that it increases sodium reabsorption, and in turn that means storing considerably more water. Whether this is good or bad, I leave to you. Extra waterweight means more nutrients for bulking, more mass but less definition and muscle hardness. What this does seem to suggest is that combining Nors with an aromatase blocker like 5AA or 1AD would decrease odd of estrogen related side-effects, but still give you some water-weight to allow for bulking up. This is an anabolic trait worth considering.

      ¹ Sundaram K, Kumar N, Monder C, Bardin CW.,: J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 1995 Jun;53(1-6):253-7
      ² Sekihara H, Ohsawa N, Kosaka K., Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1980 Mar 28;93(2):495-500

      Dione vs. Diol

      You may notice that the prohormones have either the addition dione or diol behind them. First of all this signifies the way by which they convert. The dione versions use the enzyme 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and the diol versions use the 3-beta enzyme. In real world terms however we can see that the diol converts at a much higher rate than the dione (15.76% as opposedto 5.61%)¹ and is therefore more anabolic and has less chance of aromatisation. Estrogen formation of the diol directly is impossible, which is not so for the diones. The target hormone can always aromatize of course, but there is no risk of estrogen formation directly off a diol prohormone, which keep the estrogen balance in check and decreases the risk of estrogen-related side-effects. It simply cannot aromatize because its structure doesn't allow it.

      ¹ Blaquier J., Forchielli E. and Dorfman R., Acta Endocrinologica, 55, 697-704

      Doing the Numbers

      Some of you may have noticed that there are some numbers floating around there in the form of "4-androstenediol or 5-androstenediol" and a similar match-up with their nor counterparts. The numbers refer to the position of the double bond (double attachment between two carbon atoms, they have 4 of them), whether it is on the 4th or 5th slot. The target hormones have the double bond in the 4 position (or don't have one at all). So for a 5-prohormone to convert to the active target hormone you'd need to switch the bond from 5th to 4th position. This happens via an enzyme called 5,4-isomerase. So it is possible, but obviously a lot is lost and only so much gets converted, which translates to significantly lower levels of the target hormone. So in terms of pure conversion the 5-versions are obviously no match for the 4-versions. I don't advise the 5-version except if you have a special use for them.

      What are the advantages of using a 5 version then? Well they are anabolic prior to conversion, and because of the prolonged conversion they have all the chances in the world to exert that effect. Moreover they manage to actually upgrade the 3-beta enzymes, making 5-diol for example a good bet to stack with Nor-diol. If you plan on a diol/diol stack, it may be wise to look into a 5-version, otherwise the 4's are the best bet.

      There are disadvantages too of course, namely that they are more estrogenic. Diol or not. Diols don't directly aromatize naturally, but it has been shown that a 5-diol for instance does have an upgrading effect on estrogen in the body, increasing its effects. Combine with the aromatisation of the target hormones that increases estrogen-related risks¹²³. 5-versions are estrogen agonists in other words, and have been used to increase estrogen receptiveness in medical fields.

      ¹ Hackenburg R., Turgetto I., Filmer A, J Steroid Biochem Mol Bio, 46(5), 597-603
      ² Adams JB, Seymour-Munn K., J Setroid Biochem Mol Bio, 43(6), 499-505
      ³ Seymour-Munn K., Adams JB, Endocrinology, 112, 486-491

      Androstenedione (4-androsten-3, 17-dione)

      Target Hormone: testosterone
      Molecular name of target hormone: 4-androstene-3-one,17ß-ol
      Target conversion: average (5.61 %)
      Conversion enzyme: 17-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17HSD)
      DHT conversion: High (both off andro and its target hormone)
      Estrogenic effects: High, aromatisation of compound and target hormone

      It's the most hotly contested prohormone that has given very mixed results in studies and tests. That's not surprising. It's highly androgenic and very prone to cause side effects. It's also one of the weaker prohormones. Its low conversion rate coupled with the fact that less than half of the eventual testosterone is free testosterone doesn't make it one of my favorites. Personally I've sworn off androstenedione, and anyone thinking of using prohormones to get serious gains, should do the same. Andro is what we owe the statute of supplement to that prohormones currently enjoy. That statute is only given when something is naturally occurring AND found outside of the body. Lucky for us andro was found to be present in Scotch Pine tree bark (yeah I know, and you wondered why those highlanders are so big). Andro was first discovered in the 30's and its original anabolic effects were exploited as early as the 50's. It wasn't cleared for supplementation until the 90's so you can understand the hype. The FDA has a strong clamp on prohormones and a move was made to ban them, but a few companies have footed the bill for an extensive legal campaign (still ongoing) that seems to have saved prohormones for supplementation, at least for the time being

      Because of the highly androgenic nature, chance of aromatisation prior to conversion and the low yield of eventual usable testosterone, andro is something I feel shouldn't even be sold anymore. I mean, I'm grateful it exists or prohormones wouldn't be legal, but it's obviously being surpassed by all the other prohormones. To me andro is merely hair loss and tits in a bottle. Only a few companies still use it and they aren't exactly market leaders in the quality of supplements (Pinnacle and Muscletech for example.)

      19-Norandrostenedione (19-Nor-4-androsten-3,17-dione)

      Target Hormone: 19Nortestosterone (nandrolone)
      Molecular name of target hormone: 17ß-hydroxy-19-nor-4-andro-sten-3-one
      Target conversion: average (5.61 %)
      Conversion enzyme: 17-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17HSD)
      DHT conversion: None
      Estrogenic effects: possibility of aromatisation of the compound as well as the target hormone.

      The first prohormone to convert to nandrolone in the body. It yields roughly 5.61% percent of nandrolone from the amount ingested, which is decent. It's a dione version meaning there is a risk of estrogen aromatisation prior to conversion, but it's only moderately androgenic and more anabolic than andro because it yields more available nandrolone than andro does testosterone. Obviously it doesn't measure up against Nor-diol, but with andro being out of the question for most people that means it's often stacked with 4-diol or 5-diol. If you are using these as the hinges of your stack, obviously your 3-beta enzymes will be stocked, meaning that if you wanted to add a low-androgen compound to your stack, 19Nor would be first choice. Obviously the risk of estrogen is minimized because the other products are diols and adding a nor for extra anabolic effects without the fear of extra androgenic side effects is always a good deal. But the only reason most companies prefer 19Nor over Nor-diol is the simple reason that Nor-diol costs three times as much to manufacture, so the economic returns are limited. Instead of being upfront about money-grubbing, they invent stuff about there being no quality Nor-diol available. AST is one company that has sunk that low. This is simply not true. Nor-diol is hard to find yes, but if you find the right brand you can expect 85-90 percent purity, and that's pretty damn good.

      5-Diol or 5AD (5-androsten-3,17-diol)

      Target Hormone: Testosterone
      Molecular name of target hormone: 4-androstene-3-one,17ß-ol
      Target conversion: low (0.19 %)
      Conversion enzyme: 3-ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3HSD)
      DHT conversion: None
      Estrogenic effects: High, no aromatisation from compound, only from target hormone, but acts as an estrogen agonist

      5-diol is a compound that turns to testosterone, but as explained before needs an enzyme called 5,4-isomerase to switch its double bond to make it convert. So in a way, 5-diol needs to convert to 4-diol before it becomes testosterone, making it a less effective conversion. Its also less aggressive and the chance of estrogen-related side effects are considerable, not because of aromatisation prior to conversion but because it stimulates estrogens already present.

      5-diol is not on my list of top recommended products, its obviously the worst of the diol versions, but it has its uses. As I hinted at it's a perfect match for a diol/diol stack, so with 4-diol or Nor-diol it would make a decent match and I'd even recommend it with the Nor-diol (Not so much with 4-diol, since just increasing 4-diol would have a similar effect), but other than that, I'd opt for the 4-diol for sure. 5-diol does however have the added benefit of being able to upgrade the conversion enzyme 3-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3 HSD) and can improve the rate of conversion of other diol prohormones. Keep in mind that if you use it would have to be in a bulking stack and as a bulking agent because of its capacity as an estrogen agonist (Its actually used to agonize estrogens in hormonal therapy) which will increase the amount of water you hold and smooth you out. Itchy nipples are also a common side-effect, but will go away after use is discontinued.

      4-diol or 4AD (4-androsten-3,17-diol)

      Target Hormone: Testosterone
      Molecular name of target hormone: 4-androstene-3-one,17ß-ol
      Target conversion: High (15.76 %)
      Conversion enzyme: 3-ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3HSD)
      DHT conversion: low, only from target hormone
      Estrogenic effects: no aromatisation from compound, some from target hormone

      According to many, this is the very best prohormones have to offer, but I beg to differ. Nonetheless my second choice. Because it's a diol it has no aromatisation prior to conversion, significantly lessening the risk of excessive estrogenic formation. It also doesn't make a direct conversion to DHT. Its structurally incapable of doing so. DHT is still a risk, because of the higher amount of testosterine produced and the fact that testosterine (through 5-alpha-reducates) can be converted to DHT in the Sertoli cells. This makes this a definite winner. If it doesn't give you results due to bad conversion, it also won't give you the side effects, because basically if it doesn't convert it can't make estrogens or DHT. That only makes the risk increase with the gains, and makes 4AD one of the safer prohormones.

      4-diol is also by far the most anabolic of the three testosterone prohormones, offering almost three times as much conversion as andro and over 20 times higher than DHEA or 5-diol. In the real world that translates to 310% greater increase in testosterone and 256% greater increase in free testosterone (available) than andro (based on results compared to a control group) and 129% more anabolic than 5-diol¹

      For testosterone conversion and pure legal anabolic, androgenic action, nothing beats 4-diol at this point. Especially once you pass 30 and your test levels begin to taper, the effects of 4-diol will exert a major effect on both gains and strength. 4-diol, after all, also seems to have a strong pre-workout energizing effect and a positive influence on libido.

      ¹ Ristovic L.J., Cobanovic M., Kem Ind, 24(7), 389-92

      Nor-diol (19-Nor-4-androsten-3,17-diol)

      Target Hormone: 19Nortestosterone (nandrolone)
      olecular name of target hormone: 17ß-hydroxy-19-nor-4-andro-sten-3-one
      Target conversion: High (15.76 %)
      Conversion enzyme: 3-ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3HSD)
      DHT conversion: none
      Estrogenic effects: none

      To me, this is the top of the line, though some will not agree with me. I stacked this with 5-diol, and as I explained the 5AD did very little other than keep androgens moderate and ensure greater Nor-diol conversion, and came to the conclusion that this is without a doubt the hands down winner of the Andro Wars.

      The advantages include no estrogen or DHT prior to conversion on the basis of it being a diol version, and only a fifth the DHT conversion afterwards because it has nandrolone as a target hormone. It's almost twice as anabolic as its dione counterpart and in terms of gains can match 4-diol milligram for milligram. It is of more use to the young bodybuilder because it converts to nandrolone via the 3-beta enzyme assuring high conversion and not interfering with testosterone production other than by negative feedback. Meaning in moderate doses it will not stunt your natural testosterone too much and ensure a faster recovery afterwards. That makes it definitely the most potent prohormone to use by itself, but obviously the stacking is limited. If you were willing to take the risk of mega-dosing and reach enzyme saturation, 19Nor is a possibility, but since most of the question I get about prohormones have a severe undertone of fear where side effects are concerned, I don't think that will be a popular stack. With 4-diol you have too strong of a competition, vying for the same receptor enzyme. 5-diol is your best bet because of strong anabolism despite low conversion and the fact that it can upgrade the 3-beta enzyme assuring greater conversion.

      The greatest downside to Nor-diol is the cost. It's hard to find quality because not many quality companies produce it. The economic returns are minimal because people don't like paying that much for a prohormone. Some companies will even badmouth Nor-diol to cover their lack of endeavour (are you hearing me Paul Delia?). Your best bet on the market these days, and I know the bodybuilding.com store carries them, are Prolab (100 mg per cap) and Ergopharms oral product (150 mg per cap) I only mention this because a lot of people have asked me where to find good Nor-diol.

      Nor-5-diol (19-Nor-5-androsten-3,17-diol)

      Target Hormone: 19Nortestosterone (nandrolone)
      Molecular name of target hormone: 17ß-hydroxy-19-nor-4-andro-sten-3-one
      Target conversion: Very low (0.19 %)
      Conversion enzyme: 3-ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3HSD)
      DHT conversion: none
      Estrogenic effects: only as an agonist

      At the current cost of production and the limited benefits it has to offer over existing products this will understandably not hit the market in the near future. I have received word that some companies have claimed to have it, but I sincerely question the quality and effects of these products. Last I heard this would cost an arm and a leg to isolate, so odds are its impure or a hoax all together. It's simply never going to be cost-effective, so even if it came out, its hardly worth spending money on.

      1AD (1-androstene-3beta, 17beta-diol)

      Target Hormone: 1-testosterone
      Target conversion: (supposedly) very high, because it has a double bond at the 1st carbon and it is a diol version.
      Conversion enzyme: 3-ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3HSD)
      DHT conversion: some converting back to DHT through unknown pathway
      Estrogenic effects: None whatsoever

      This is just a little bonus addition. I don't have enough data on this yet to make an accurate assumption, so most of what I'm saying here is based on product info, information obtained from Patrick Arnold, who made the stuff, and independent research. As for concrete information, I'm looking to test the product thoroughly near the end of summer and will keep meticulous records of my progress, including gains in size and strength, my diet at the time and any possible side effects I may encounter. If I can get the stuff here (I hope to work closely with Bodybuilding.com CEO, Ryan Deluca), count on that by October or November at the latest. Click here for more info on this study...

      1AD is an oral only compound that converts to a different target hormone altogether, namely 1-testosterone. Early data¹ suggests that 1-testosterone is 700% more anabolic than testosterone. How that translates in real world terms is yet to be determined. From the testimonials (they are limited) I've read the gains are slightly better than those of Nor-diol, so that would be a significant improvement, though not quite as high as the percentage might suggest. There was an initial dione version, but I believe that has been pulled and all 1AD currently available is diol. Again that means no estrogenic conversion prior, but none post-conversion either because 1-test doesn't aromatize. It's a derivative of the androgenic compound DHT, meaning that it has already undergone 5-alpha-reductase and cannot under any circumstances form estrogen.

      The androgenicity is still very much an issue. It can convert to DHT via a different pathway (I should say convert back) but it's not known to what extent or what effects it has. So far no one has reported any serious side effects in this nature, but neither has there been any rigorous large-scale testing. The jury is still out on what this means to people who are at risk for things like prostate enlargement and hair loss. Since it is extremely androgenic in other ways as well, this is one aspect that will need further digging to get to the bottom of. I fear this may be the weakness of 1AD.

      Oral activity is a great plus. To date orals are the only form that allow serious stacking and proper use of prohormones (more on that later). On the downside a lot of it doesn't survive the liver which makes us toss away a large amount of money spent on prohormones, because the yield is rather low. 1AD may have solved that problem. In steroids people make things 17-alkalated to survive the liver, but in return this increases liver toxicity severely. But a double bond in the one position (hence the name 1-testosterone) ensures a greater amount surviving without the risk of liver toxicity. Chemically you can liken it to the steroid primobolan, which is the same structurally except for an extra methyl-group but also has the double bond in the one position. It functions much in the same way. Making this perhaps the most potent oral prohormone to date. I would estimate oral activity to be in the neighborhood of 30%. That means even relatively small doses can exert decent effects, which will no doubt make up for its preposterous price.

      In effects 1-test has been likened more often to Halotestin and trenbolone than Primobolan, qualitatively speaking. I did some research on this and this would mean that most of the gains are lean mass (not huge mass increases, then losing most) making it great to use even when cutting (though obviously the gains will be a lot smaller) and that the amount of water and fat weight is significantly reduced because there is no estrogen effect whatsoever. So blowing up like a balloon is out of the question, which isn't so visually satisfying, but it gets you harder and the gains are for real. That has to count for something. Halotestin is 17-alkalated by the way, so if you go researching don't be frightened by the enormous liver toxicity of Halostestin as I was, since 1AD is not 17-alkalated.

      Since info on 1-testosterone is fairly scarce and hard to find, I did some more research on trenbolone in the specific steroid milieu (several websites, a few experienced users and a special shout-out to La Fetarde of our very own steroid boards for the info) and found that the common belief is that it is best stacked with a non-androgen for best results. Meaning that if you were thinking of stacking this, moderate doses (standard 300 to 600 mg) would be best used with Nor-diol, but if you were thinking of doing a serious stack (expensive, 900-1200 mg), you may want to consider 19Nor instead so there is no competition for enzymes.

      There has been some talk of using 1AD as a pre-contest hardener as even users who were dieting and experienced very little gains boasted some impressive physiques nonetheless.

      The major downsides to 1AD: physiologically the only side-effect reported so far is a loss of libido, to which Patrick Arnold himself replied that it may best be stacked with 4-diol if this worries you (or you have an insatiable girlfriend like me). And some of the testimonials said something about a distended belly, though it went away. Other than that, the only major setback is once again the cost. This stuff is even more expensive than Nor-diol (here at Bodybuilding.com the prices for both products from Ergopharm per 10.000 mg are $44.36 bucks for Nor-diol and $74.96 for 1AD), which will no doubt scare a lot of people off. And since the patent is owned by LPJ, it's unlikely that competition will lower the price as with creatine. So there probably will not be any reduction in price in the near future.

      ¹ Anabolic Steroids" by HL Kruskemper, Academic Press, 1968, p.109.

      5-AA (5-alpha-androstanediol)

      Target Hormone: 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
      Molecular name of target hormone: 5-alpha-androstene-3-one,17b-ol
      Target conversion: low, needs to undergo 5,4-isomerase prior to conversion, and only a small percentafe survives the liver. Estimated 0.15%.
      Conversion enzyme: 3-ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3HSD)
      DHT conversion: Very High, converts directly to DHT
      Estrogenic effects: None whatsoever

      Lots of people have written me asking about this substance, and I admit I didn't have a clue. With the help of Mr. Patrick Arnold, I managed to at least get the search going and I present you with the conclusion. Often 5-AA has been called a precursor to the hormone Masteron (Dromostanolone), a fact that has been happily exploited by one manufacturer that used a similar name and is guilty of setting a bad example by naming his product after a steroid. In effect, Masteron has an extra 2-alpha methyl group. 5AA does not. Masteron is also known as 2-alpha-methyl DHT, or DHT with an extra 2-alpha-methyl group. So what is 5-AA really a precursor too? According to the spec, good old DHT. 5AA is actually a prohormone naturally produced in the body as a response to low levels of DHT. Using the 3HSD enzyme it is capable of restoring androgenic capacity if it is hindered.

      Good or bad? Well, as far as DHT is concerned, both. DHT is in effect up to 300 percent more anabolic as testosterone so you know it's not bad stuff. Hardcore users that love the lean hard look will prefer DHT and DHT metabolites over more estrogenic specimen. The downside is that it's possibly the most androgenic compound around. Many prohormones are risky androgen wise because they cause side effects related to the manufacture of DHT. This is DHT. Storing readily in the scalp and active for up to 3 hours easily it's a great way for losing your hair and growing a prostate like a cabbage. Not to mention so many zits you can play connect-the-dots in the mirror. However, as with illegal DHT drugs, using it is a calculated risk and some may actually wish to take that risk. However head to head, 1AD compares favorably, outclassing it by over 200 percent. (This is still based on data, in real world terms no studies have been conducted head to head). DHT is also currently undetectable by most drug tests.

      So do you want to take the risk? You might at this point, but probably not so after reading the next part. How does one make 5-AA? By the hydrogenation of the 5-diol prohormone according to my source. That makes this a very inexpensive product to make, though this is obviously not reflected in the price. 5-AA is sold at a very high price. Now looking at the physiology of this, we'll not that the double bond, as with 5-diol. The exact pathway used to make DHT here is not entirely understood or even documented. All that is known is that it converts to DHT. But with the data we have here and low oral efficacy, we'd have to state that for accurate conversion you would have to take doses higher than of most prohormones (upward of 1 gram) which consequently raises the cost (its expensive and its sold in 50 mg tabs, bottle of 60) and the risk of side-effects (low anabolic but very high androgenic) So in my opinion, someone is either taking us for a ride here and doesn't know what he is doing, or someone is taking our health for a ride, consciously. I'll opt for the latter since the inventor Bill Llewellyn is the author of a hefty book on anabolic steroids.

      So is there a real use for this product? By itself you'd need to take 500-600 mg easily to get any real anabolic effect, and at that point the risk far outweighs the possible benefits. But in a stack 5AA has several benefits that make it a regular darling for those of you who love to stack. First of all, not only does it have absolutely no estrogenic conversion, 5AA is also a great aromatase inhibitor, meaning it can actually block other compounds you are stacking it with from forming estrogen through aromatisation. That's a plus because it drastically improves the quality of your gains even though in terms of quantity it can't do that much. It would also allow you to use other prohormones closer to contest time as there is not so much water retention. The greatest benefit of 5AA however lies in the fact that it can free a small part of bound testosterone in the blood from its protein carrier. That would increase the amount of free testosterone you would yield from andro and 4AD and increase protein synthesis in that way. In stacks using 200-300 mg is advised for most effect and it's best taken over two to three doses spread throughout the day.

      If you wanted to check the actual conversion of the hormone with the recommended dose, there is a very easy way of knowing. Just take them. Since DHT is the prime androgenic factor in the body, every androgen-sensitive part of your body should notice the change (more body-hair, less scalp hair, higher sperm count, prostate enlargment, deepening of voice and in women clitoral enlargement too). You'll find that the recommended dose is 150 mg a day and at this dose it does, well, nothing really. More than one study documents its low efficacy however. DHT was shown to be 35 times less active than testosterone¹, 5AA was shown to be 4 times less active than androstenedione² and in castrated rats, tested on a specific organ, it was shown to be 20 times less effective than testosterone³. With those numbers and the high side effect risk, I'm not exactly itching to try it, nor do I recommend it. I think the patent is secured by Llewellyn, so don't expect a price-drop from his side either, I have found that Bodybuilding.com carries a generic version at a much lower price. (Higher Power Masterbolan, 60 caps of 50 mg for 19.95, which is high, but reasonable.)

      So I most certainly do not advise the use of this to anyone. It can have its uses as a hardening agent for the competition bound athlete. I don't know what the detection is for 5-AA, but you'll find DHT is virtually non-detectable, which is why it's a favorite among competitors. Its capacities make it useful, but only in stacks and in moderate doses (200-300 mg). By itself it's too much of a risk in my book.

      ° Degtiar' VG, Kushlinskii NE.,: Izv Akad Nauk Ser Biol 1998 Nov-Dec;(6):664-9
      ¹ Ruzicka et al.,helv Chim Acta 19,357-362
      ²Heusser et al.
      ³ Cavalero et al., Acta Endocrin. 55, 131-135

      1,4-andro (1,4-androstadienedione)

      Target Hormone: Boldenone (1-dihydrotestosterone)
      Molecular name of target hormone: 1,4-androstadiene-3-one,17b-ol
      Target conversion: moderate to high, estimated just over 10 %
      Conversion enzyme: 17-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17HSD)
      DHT conversion: some conversion
      Estrogenic effects: aromatisation of the prohormone

      Definitely more promising than the 5-AA. I found it has great resemblance to the 1AD in the fact that it has no estrogen aromatisation possibility, assures almost all gains as dry weight and the double bond at the one position which ensures greater oral activity without extra liver toxicity. However, Not here, nor on the 5AA by the way, was there any kind of study attached showing the efficacy of either product. It is touted as a precursor to boldenone, another popular steroid and pre-contest hardening agent. In this case there is more truth in it. Only that boldenone has a hydrogen and oxygen bonded and the 1,4-andro has a double bonded oxygen atom. Boldenone becomes methandrostenolone in its methylated form, also known as Dianabol, possibly the most popular oral steroid in the world, ever.

      If this was a diol version this could without a doubt surpass any prohormone ever created, including 1AD. But it's a dione version with inherent flaws. I'm also not convinced a diol version will ever come out. Unlike 1AD which was created in a lab as a dione, then perfected to a diol, 1,4-andro isn't made by human hands but extracted from the feces of a cow. Cows are treated with progesterone for various reasons, and under that circumstance they produce this in their bowels it seems¹. This is the result of that isolation. It's also the topic of a hot debate of whether or not this is legal. In any case, 1,4-andro can be considered the non-5-alpha reduced version of 1AD and a potent anabolic precursor. However, it definitely leaves a lot of stacking options. Because of the 1-double bond it has a high oral efficacy, meaning low doses can exert an effect. So in a stack with another prohormone it may be able to rival the effect of a mild steroid, but again you'd have to be able to make it cost-effective for it to rival 1AD.

      One thing I particularly like about 1,4-andro is that despite the fact that it can stimulate the androgen receptors and aromatize, it does both in such a small amount that side-effects are nearly non-existant. Combined with high oral efficacy it can easily match Nor-diol, perhaps even beat it, in the safety department. It can also be a handy supplement for endurance athletes since it stimulates Erythropoesis, the manufacture of red blood cells in the bone marrow and releasing them in large quantities in the blood. Red blood cells carry oxygen and this increases the capacity for strenuous and continual activity with a lessened risk of cramps or musclular failure. This is also the result of the hormone EPO (erythropoetin). Boldenone acts by increasing EPO release from the kidneys. Much like doing a height-stage. EPO is also a heavily abused drug amongst runners and cyclists. Another potent effect it may have is that despite slightly aromatizing itself, it may act as aromatase inhibitor for other products in several forms. One study showed this to be true for 1,4-androstadienedione² whereas another shows the same for several metabolites³. That makes 1,4-andro perfect for limiting estrogenic side-effects in a bulking stack as well.

      In my opinion this shows a lot of promise, but I'd like to see something as far as a head to head study goes. However, if 1,4-andro tickles your fancy, again ordering from Impact Nutrition, who has the patent, is and will remain an expensive affair. Higher power to the rescue once again: Ganabolin, 60 caps, 50 mg per cap for only $23.99. In this aspect 1AD is cheaper by 2-3 bucks per 10 grams and (probably) more effective.

      ¹ Vadalkar K, Gupta FC, Bhat HK, Chopra CL., Indian J Exp Biol 1980 Mar;18(3):245-8
      ² Abul-Hajj YJ, Liu XP, Hedge M., Steroids 1995 May;60(5):423-7
      ³ Numazawa M, Oshibe M, Yamaguchi S, Tachibana M., J Med Chem 1996 Mar 1;39(5):1033-8

      Delivery Methods

      This is an issue I haven't addressed yet in the past, mostly due to lack of information. Now I feel capable of commenting accurately on these issues and feel I must, since I get a lot of questions about the delivery methods, almost daily. There are 4 ways to get the compound in your system actively.


      Injecting the stuff, suspended of course, would yield an almost 100 percent conversion rate, and word is out that some idiots that wish to see prohormones banned (what else could motivate this) actually created an injectable 4-AD, selling it as a topical to fool the FDA, much the way they did with synthol. Though very effective, it's also highly illegal and brings with it the risks of injectable steroids. I do not recommend or endorse this practice in any way. If you were to consider this, at least use steroids and make it worth the money and the risk.

      Sublingual or nasal delivery

      This is the great cyclodextrin debate, and this is where I must admit I was strongly misinformed when it came to my first line-up of prohormones. Some word has leaked to me that there was evidence that it increased estrogen-risk, but after having examined actual tangible evidence I'd have to say that it decreases the risk of estrogenic activity. Absorption in this case happens through the mucous membranes under the tongue and in the nose. Because the compounds are readily broken down and not water-soluble, they have a rough time being absorbed like this, as opposed to these legal GH potions out there that use sublingual delivery as the only possible method. To solve this they use a sugar. It's a cone-shaped sugar called cyclodextrin that has the strange characteristic of being water-soluble on the outside, but not so on the inside. By attaching the prohormone on the inside it sort of becomes water-soluble, assuring a greater delivery and hence a greater conversion. So what's the problem? It sounds great, huh? Well tests were done using 25 and 50 mg sublingually with cyclo-technology, and results showed that the 50 mg doses had no better effect than the 25 mg doses. In fact, at the intervals of 20 min, 60 min, 120 min and 180 min, the testosterone levels in the serum were actually greater using the 25 mg dose. And at 10 and 40 minutes the levels from the 50 mg dose barely outscored those of the 25 mg dose. Which brings us back to the problem with topicals: there is no way you can get enough in your system to do a real bodybuilding stack. This yet again makes for a safer and more effective, but very limited method of delivery suited for women and older bodybuilders, but not the hardcore fanatic looking for serious gains.

      The reason is that with the saliva in the mouth being secreted, the limited amount absorbable at a time, that the saliva washes most of the extra stuff away in the stomach where it is quickly rendered useless at such a low dose. Also the stacking opportunities are limited. Taking 4-diol 3 times a day is out of the question for a real bodybuilder eating 8 meals a day, as taking it too close to a meal will limit the amount absorbed even further due to extra mucus and saliva blocking the path. This problem is of no concern nasally however. As delivery it gets a 1 out of 4, because even though it assures a great conversion, it's not a product for the real athlete because of the limited capabilities. For people over 40, looking for a boost in their tapering hormone levels, this is great though. Compared to a very low dose of 4AD (100 mg) it was shown to elevate testosterone levels to 87.4% percent as opposed to 48.1% with the oral dose, with measurements taken after an hour.

      Topical delivery

      A great deal better than the previous techniques, though no match for oral delivery. The first question that arises, and certainly the first one I posed, was whether or not prohormones can be absorbed through the skin. We all know that thanks to live passage a lot of the oral uptake is stopped and rendered useless. We also know that sublingual delivery works at a great rate but has limited absorption possibilities. In comes transdermal. There are two conditions that need to be fulfilled for something to be delivered in this fashion. The first being that the molecule being introduced is small enough to pass through the Stratum corneum, the upper layer of the skin. For this it has to have a molecular weight smaller than 500. Most prohormones have a molecular weight that approached 300, so this checks out. The second factor is that only lipophyllic (oil-loving) substances can permeate the skin. As you know the skin is oily and water-resistant, so water-based solutions cannot be introduced in this fashion. Since prohormones are made from cholesterol they are lipophyllic enough to be transported in this fashion.

      One study done in 1986¹ documented that a hydroalcoholic (water and alcohol base) gel containing 50 mg of androstenedione was applied twice daily to the abdomen of 5 women. Plasma measurements of both the andro and the testosterone levels were conducted and showed that levels increased progressively for 6 days, after which they leveled off at 4-5 times higher than baseline for andro and 3-4 times over baseline for testosterone. This would indicate that this entails a very sustained release (applied only twice a day, effective for a duration of 24 hours or longer) with levels peaking and staying at 3-4 times higher than the average, this showed that transdermal delivery could be used to obtain and maintain optimal levels of the target hormones.

      That answers the question of it being possible. That doesn't mean it can be accomplished. Mostly for transdermal purposes an alcoholic base was concocted, similar to that used in many sublingual technologies. The problem with this was that the alcohol quickly dried out, which gave you a fragile, dry skin, but left most of the prohormones dry on the surface of the skin, which would allow them to be washed off. Absorption in this manner could last very long, as illustrated above. So they had to speed up delivery. That's right, speed it up. It was too sustained and had to be brought down. More on that later.

      First some remarks on this study. You will have noticed that it was done on women, and that increasing levels up to 4 times is not that hard to achieve compared to the female baseline levels. But I urge you to also look at the dose of 50 mg and the prohormone used, which were also strongly inferior. These days doses over ten times this and 3-4 times more effective products are used. Also they used a less effective delivery system.

      The permeation through the skin can be enhance by a couple of factors. First of all the thickness of the skin in the area. Selecting skin parts that are thinner, like behind the ear, would increase absorption drastically, up to 10 times compared to the skin on your palm which is rather thick. Absorption seems to happen best when applied to the back and spread evenly. If you have eczema or another skin problem, applying it there may severely increase access for the prohormone molecule as well. Another factor is the formulation of the topical spray or cream. There are substances used in medical circles known as penetration enhancers that optimize this way of delivery. The two best know are DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) which is found in most topical products and the other is IPM (isopropyl myristate) which is only found in select products. The IPM especially was shown to enhance delivery very well.

      The positive aspects of this product are obvious: a prolonged sustained delivery, that only requires twice a day use for round the clock hormone elevation, and it doesn't need to pass the liver like the orals do, allowing better conversion, less of the amount of prohormones lost and less toxicity for the liver. It also doesn't interfere in your gastric processes assuring an almost time-based delivery. The downsides of using topicals are of course that depending on the permeability of the skin at different times, sweating profusely and other activities that may remove the stuff prior to absorption (showering for instance) you are never quite sure of the amount being absorbed and how fast it is being absorbed. Another obvious flaw is the limited delivery, you have to spread it out fairly well because laying it on too thick will only leave most of it as a residu on the skin. Its not my favorite method of delivery, but you'll find it very useful nonetheless, and for serious athletes it outclasses sublingual delivery drastically. I give this a 3 out of 4.

      ¹ JCEM, 62(2) : 441-4

      Oral delivery

      First, foremost and still king of the hill. Despite the low conversion rate this is still the best way to raise hormone levels drastically and accurately, the best way to stack things since you can take it before, after or even during a meals and so on. And the cost is no limiting factor. Despite all the extra stuff you need, adding the cyclos and the money-grubbing supp industry in the mix, sublingual stuff costs just as much, except with orals you can take higher doses. This is and always will be the best way according to me and will remain the method of delivery I advise. The only improvements are injecting, which is dangerous and illegal, and perhaps rectal delivery, but with me that is an exit-only affair. So orals get my top rating. Apart from a little liver toxicity it has every benefit, and even that is of little concern since most bodybuilders don't drink and that people using prohormones are otherwise fairly natural. So you have some room there. This deserves a three and a half out of 4. It's a very effective dosage-relative way of using prohormones, but obviously the great amounts that are lost when passing through the liver and the inherent liver toxicity give it plenty of room for improvement also.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      These are the questions I received most often after having published the first edition of prohormone science.

      Should I continue taking prohormones on off-days?

      Yes, most definitely. Stopping and recommencing for such short times will cause multiple testosterone crashes that will confuse and wreck havoc on the natural system. Every time it thinks it's in the clear, you restart and it gets hit again bad. Even if this doesn't cause long term malicious effects, count on it jeopardizing your natural testosterone recovery after coming off a stack, prolonging your dry period by one or two weeks, time during which you could lose even more gains you made, negating the effect of your cycle.

      Moreover a lot of growth happens on off-days, which is why nutrition is so important. Steroid hormones aid in protein synthesis and muscle recovery, so if you recover on off-days it makes sense to have high test levels to assist in that recovery. Look at steroid stacks, they are used continually as well.

      Can I test positive when using prohormones?

      Yes and no. If you are worried about work and such, these are often tests that will not include even steroid use. They mostly test for Schedule I drugs, things most likely to be abused. If it is for a sporting event or other occasion you may want to take your precautions. Its unlikely you'll tests positive for andro, 4-diol, 5-diol, DHEA or 7-keto DHEA. Neither of these raises their target hormones over a high normal level, so unless you popped one right before, testing positive isn't really possible. With Nor-prohormones it a little more sensitive since they raise nandrolone over 20 times in the body. Tests are done for nandrolone metabolites (19Norandrosterone) and waste-products in the urine , so you can test positive if you use these too close to your test. How long you wait is dose-dependent, people injecting Deca have been known to test positive as far as 18 months after last use. But even amounts the size of a pinhead, ingested orally, have been shown to deliver positive tests. Other factors may cause nandrolone metabolites to raise. In the last two years there has been an enormous amounts of pro-athletes testing positive for nandrolone. While I have no doubt that most of them do use doping, I doubt they used nandrolone or nandrolone precursors, because they know that is easily detected. So they must be using something that is leaving them with nandrolone metabolites. Some foods and even a combination of food supplements and exercise have been named as the reason. One guy even claimed it was his toothpaste. Whatever the truth be, if you do test positive, it may be helpful to call on one of these explanations as a lot of the athletes that appealed their case were reinstated.

      So in conclusion, chances are slim of testing positive if you were wise enough to get off of them at least a week before. But fair warning, all athletes competing in the IFBB, IOC, NCAA, USOC and IPC are prohibited from using these products, so if caught with them, claiming ignorance will not be ample defense against legal proceedings and being banned from such federations.

      "Even amounts the size of a pinhead, ingested orally, have been shown to deliver positive tests."

      New evidence suggests, in the defense of athletes that have tested positive, that there are cases of cross-contamination. Often companies will produce large amounts of one product first, then large amounts of another. Because often the same containers are used, it is possible that some supplements were contaminated with 19Nor or Nor-diol. This was often named in reference to protein powders and creatine, two products widely used by athletes of all trades, even those subject to testing. One study¹ corroborates this theory. It showed that one can still test positive for nandrolone metabolites after consumption of androstenedione, a supplement that does not contain Nor-prohormones. Andro is still a far fetch from creatine, but lets not exclude this possibility.

      To date it was also the belief that DHT as undetectable, one of the reasons pre-contest drugs like Masteron, Trenbolone and winstrol gained a lot of popularity. That meant if you could find an guaranteed uncontaminated source of 1AD or 5AA there was no chance of getting caught whatsoever. Well, studies dating from 95² and 97³ state that there is such a test in development and at some stage may be implemented if abuse becomes serious. The thing with these tests is not only do they measure the use of exogenously administred dihydrotestosterone, they do so by measuring for 5AA metabolites. So using that test 5AA administration would show up. However it is unlikely that such a complex test would be administered randomly, so only top-level athletes need concern themselves with this.

      ¹ Catlin DH, Leder BZ, Ahrens B, Starcevic B, Hatton CK, Green GA, Finkelstein JS. JAMA 2000 Nov 22-29;284(20):2618-21
      ² Sundaram K, Kumar N, Monder C, Bardin CW., : J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 1995 Jun;53(1-6):253-7
      ³ Kicman AT, Coutts SB, Walker CJ, Cowan DA., Clin Chem 1995 Nov;41(11):1617-27 Shackleton CH, Roitman E, Phillips A, Chang T., : Steroids 1997 Oct;62(10):665-73

      When do I take them?


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