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By: Bob Howard


The new approach to fat loss and muscle building!

Prohormones are precursor compounds that are converted by the body into anabolic hormones. In terms of muscle-building and fat loss effects, prohormones are similar to steroids, and will produce increases in muscle size and strength. And depending on the specific type, also have the capability to reduce body fat, increase sex drive, and boost training intensity levels.

Prohormones can be divided into three broad categories – the andro group, the 19-nor group, and the testosterone boosting group. The andro group are converted by the body into natural hormones, including testosterone. The 19-nors are converted by the body into numerous anabolic compounds including nandrolone. Nandrolone is one of the main ingredients in the popular anabolic steroid Deca-durabolin (nandrolone deconate). The third group of compounds don’t convert to testosterone or nandrolone. Instead they stimulate the body to naturally increase production of the male hormone for fat loss and muscle building. The most popular product in this category is the herb tribulus terrestrus.

Since prohormones became popular in the mid 1990’s, supplement manufacturers have been waging a “prohormone” war in their attempt to sway bodybuilders to the merits of their particular “best” prohormone. Like most over-the-counter supplements, the scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of these products is mixed at best. Some studies suggest that these products will in fact increase testosterone or nandrolone levels, and therefore increase muscular size and strength. Other studies show no benefits.

The most popular prohormones
currently available include:

1-androstenediol (1-AD)
4-androstenediol (4-AD)
1-androstenediol (1-AD)
Tribulus Terrestrus
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA

In terms of side effects, the “diols” seem to have less side effects than the “diones” as they show much less conversion to the female hormone estrogen. The diols seem to be more potent for fat loss and muscle building as well. Of course individual genetics often play a major role in how each compound will respond in an individual’s body.

The law
Prohormones were the legal alternative to steroids until the arrival of the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004. This draconian piece of legislation reclassified all similar drugs, with the exception of DHEA and tribulus products, as controlled drugs. While the odds of FDA agents raiding your house in search of these compounds might be remote, keep in mind that law enforcement types are always looking for “soft targets.” By this we mean otherwise law-abiding citizens who dabble in “gray area” products. Hardcore criminals are usually well-versed in how to keep from getting caught. But your average bodybuilder using these drugs is an easy target because he is not continuously looking over his shoulder. Our advice is to keep up to date on supplement legislation and if a supplement is illegal, avoid buying and using it

© Bob Howard 5/5/2006

Bob Howard expert on bodybuilding and steroids. Are you looking for more of his prohormones articles? Article © Bob Howard 5/5/2006


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