View Full Version : Steroids: Myths, Misconceptions and Misinformation

12-05-2009, 11:38 AM
Steroids: Myths, Misconceptions and Misinformation
by William Lewellyn

It has become somewhat of a routine in my office. Once every month or so, I sit down with a pile of magazines and the occasional new steroid book, to review what others in the field are writing about. The office is filled with rude utterances this day. Stick your head in my door, and you're likely to be bombarded with, "No no no, this is all wrong!" Or, "How on earth could he have made a mistake like this?" Or, "Why the hell didn't they just pick up my book first!?!" I'm not a nut; I just get very frustrated with the body of misinformation surrounding the topic of anabolic steroids and I hate to see it propagated further. Mind you, I am not trying to knock those working hard to educate the general bodybuilding public on this controversial topic. I have a lot of respect for most writers in the field, even if they are not right 100 percent of the time; who is? But there are still so many misconceptions about these drugs floating around that need to be addressed. With this in mind, I'm starting a new type of piece here in Anabolic Research Update. "Myths, Misconceptions and Misinformation" will focus on exactly what the title dictates. Below is a sample of 10 such common myths and mistakes, in no specific order.

Myth # 1. Anadrol is a Progestational Steroid
This is a common belief now. This tidbit of information probably started as a blind assumption, trying to explain why Anadrol is so troublesome http://www.musculardevelopment.com/images/stories/research_review_photos/anabolic_steroids_medium.jpg

with "estrogenic" side effects, even though structurally it cannot convert to estrogen. The "progestational" explanation, normally associated with Deca, was applied to this steroid as the only logical answer. If it doesn't convert to estrogen, it must be progestational, right? Not always. Anadrol has been studied in this regard, and it is not significantly progestational at all. The best explanation for why it's such a strong side-effect producer is probably that it activates the estrogen receptor to some degree intrinsically, not needing conversion to anything to trigger gyno.

Myth # 2. "Heptylate" is a Unique French Steroid
This mistake is repeated almost every time this steroid is discussed. Testosterone Heptylate is not actually a unique French steroid at all. It's just another way of writing the compound "testosterone enanthate" (the French are just trying to be difficult, I guess). Hept/Hepta is a Greek numeric prefix denoting a value of seven. In this case, seven refers to the number of carbon atoms in the enanthate or heptylate ester molecule. I made this correction in my first book, Anabolics 2000. But people continue to miss it, repeating this decades- old mistake in various steroid books and articles. Whenever I read it, I chuckle. It's just enanthate!

Myth # 3. Sten Contains DHT
Sten is an odd and cheap injectable testosterone blend that's sold in pharmacies throughout Mexico. Each 2ml ampule contains 25 milligrams of testosterone propionate and 75 milligrams of testosterone cypionate, for a total steroid concentration of 50mg/ml. In addition, it contains DHEA as a third ingredient. This is of little interest to the steroid-using bodybuilder and probably reflects more the anti-aging/testosterone-replacement-needing patients it was designed for. The problem here in the United States is that people misunderstand the Spanish word "dehidroisoandrosterona," mistaking it for dihydrotestosterone. You will get no additional DHT from this product outside of what the testosterone itself will covert to, only DHEA.

Myth # 4. There are Two "Types" of Steroids
This fallacy started when someone noticed the fact that certain strong synthetic steroids, like Dianabol, Anadrol and Winstrol, display relatively low "binding affinity values" (a measure of actual attachment tendency) to the androgen receptor compared to natural steroids like testosterone and nandrolone. This raised a serious question: If these steroids bind poorly, how can they work so well? A "class theory" developed, dividing steroids into those that work "directly" (by binding to the androgen receptor) and those that work "indirectly" (by other less-understood means). The fatal flaw in this logic is the fact that all the supposed "indirect" steroids have extremely long half-lives in the body. Even though they may be weaker binders than some of the natural steroids, they last exponentially longer in the body, which makes them much more potent overall. It's a basic concept of drug pharmacokinetics and it was totally overlooked by "class theory" proponents.

Myth # 5. American "Cyp" is Better than European Enanthate
Americans love to think testosterone cypionate, which is largely (not exclusively) a product of this country, is the best form of testosterone there is. You will routinely hear people bitch about how they got stuck with enanthate (the cyp ran out), or read books or articles discussing how we are lucky over here for having greater access to this steroid. Various reasons are usually given (gains, side effects, etc.). The reality is, the release patterns for each steroid (amount of testosterone released into the body day to day) is essentially identical to each other. There is, likewise, no way to attribute any unique properties to cypionate at all. If you wanted to split hairs, you could only say enanthate would be a tiny bit stronger, because its ester is one carbon atom lighter than cypionate (milligram for milligram), it releases a smidgen more active testosterone.

Myth # 6. Nandrolone is Completely Safe for Cholesterol
Deca is a good steroid, don't get me wrong. It is probably one of the safest going, in fact. But sometimes people tend to go a little overboard when describing its safety. Often, they will go so far as to say you can take the steroid with total cardiovascular safety; that it will not have any adverse effect on your cholesterol levels, as other steroids do. In reality, this is just as untrue with nandrolone as it would be with any anabolic/androgenic steroid, which as a group tend to adversely affect these values (some more than others, of course). Studies with nandrolone decanoate show HDL (good) cholesterol suppression very similar to an equal dose of testosterone enanthate.Much less pronounced than others, but far from "completely safe."

Myth # 7. Androstanolone is a Synthetic DHT Derivative
This is a common mistake. We may have Dan Duchaine to blame for this; he wrote in his Underground Steroid Handbook II that androstanolone was "one of the synthetic dihydrotestosterones similar to Masteron." The USH II is, of course, still a popularly referenced book by many steroid writers. Many, likewise, continue to pass along Dan's little faux pas about androstanolone. Androstanolone is actually another chemical name for dihydrotestosterone (5a-androstan-17b-ol,3-one), not a synthetic derivative of this steroid.

Myth #8. It is Legal to Make an Injectable Out of Finaplix
As you may know, Finaplix cattle implant pellets, which contain the steroid trenbolone acetate, are not subject to controlled substance laws in the U.S. This is specifically because the courts have deemed that these pellets are in a form not fit for human consumption. With no way for people to take them (nobody is implanting themselves with these big pellets, that is for sure), there would be no need to place the same restrictions on them as on other steroids. The courts didn't foresee the booming gray market we have today for "Finaplix injectable conversion kits," I guess. Anyway, it's important to understand that once you alter the pellets with one of these kits to make a vial of injectable oil-based trenbolone acetate, you no longer have legal Finaplix pellets. You have a schedule III controlled substance, no different than a bottle of QualityVet Trembolona from Mexico. It's unfortunate that many people think they are legally in there clear when possessing such a product. I certainly hope they do not find out the hard way that they are not.

Myth #9. Anavar Doesn't Suppress Testosterone Production
I'm not sure why, but many people believe Anavar is totally immune to the suppression of endogenous testosterone production we normally note with steroid use. Some will go so far as to tell you to use Anavar post-cycle, as it will allow your test levels to return to normal while you're still taking a steroid. This is nonsense. The fact is that all steroids, in levels sufficient to build muscle, will temporarily lower your natural testosterone production. That includes Anavar. The body strives to maintain hormonal balance at all times, and increasing the levels of male hormones in the blood by supplementing these drugs will only result is a "readjustment" of normal testosterone production. Anavar is most certainly a mild steroid in many regards, but it does not get some magic pass when it comes to testosterone suppression. One study shows this very well, noting suppression of testosterone levels with a dose as low as one tablet (2.5mg) per day. Anavar post-cycle is not the secret formula for success.

Myth #10. DHT-Derived Steroids are Bad for Hair Loss
Even though the examples in this article are given in no specific order, this one probably should have been put on top of the list, as it is one of the most persistent misconceptions in the world of steroids. It seemed that once the term "DHT derivative" started popping up, people immediately started attaching the words "hair loss" to any steroid identified as such. This is a misconception, and a big one at that. For starters, you need to know that the most problematic steroids in terms of hair loss are the testosterone derivatives, not DHT-derived compounds. This is because testosterone is open to enzyme potentiation in various "androgen responsive" tissues (like the scalp), by its local conversion to a stronger "dihydro" analog (DHT). If a steroid is a DHT-based compound to begin with, it already is in a "dihydro" form and cannot be converted to a stronger steroid in an area of the body like this. Just look at the popular DHT-derived steroids. This list includes drugs like Primobolan, Winstrol and Anavar. These steroids can trigger hair loss, as all steroids can, but they are most certainly not known to be the most problematic in this regard.

Muscular Development Online Magazine - Steroids: Myths, Misconceptions and Misinformation (http://www.musculardevelopment.com/content/view/1856/51/)

12-05-2009, 11:41 AM
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