Prohomons available before 2004
These products were created by synthesis, which was employed to create classical anabolic-androgenic steroids; it was just to offer previously unknown compounds and therefore not covered by the regulations.
Converts to testosterone through 17bHSD. Researches indicate a conversion factor of 5.9%, which means that when taken orally at 5.9% it converts to testosterone. It has a relatively high rate of aromatization to estrogens and consequently the risk of side effects such as gynecomastia.
It presents a large androgenic potential, can cause side effects - male pattern baldness, acne, and enlarged prostate.
It was a stronger version - conversion rate approximately 15.76%. Converts to testosterone through 3bHSD.
Converts to nortestosterone through 17bHSD. It had a lower, than estrogen, rate of aromatization and androgenic side effects.
Converts to nortestosterone through 3bHSD, like the previous one had less androgenic side effects.
It could convert to another precursor - 1-testosterone, which was considered to be highly androgenic (similar to dihydrotestosterone, the primary hormone responsible for male pattern baldness).
1,4-androstadienedione (1,4 AD)
Another version of 1-AD, the rate of aromatization to estrogen at the level of 1/2 of testosterone.
The described compounds could not be available in Europe, because typical hormonal agents would be classified as drugs (criterion measures and similarity). On the other hand, the production of drugs requires appropriate clinical trials and studies of medical use. Such procedures were not carried out; because from the viewpoint of pharmaceutical companies, such measures would not be interesting (pharmacy offers effective and better prepared hormonal drugs).
In the United States these products, as a previously unknown, were treated as dietary supplements (negative list criterion), until the introduction of a statutory prohibition, thanks to which they could be available in free sale in the years 2001-2004. After this period, under the law, the sale of these and any new compounds of this type was banned.
"Designed steroids" and adulterated supplements
While before 2004 prohormones were a way to circumvent the law, the stage which smart manufacturers called "designed steroids" relied on deceiving customers.
In short, "the design of steroids" looked like this:
We write on the label a compound which to our naïve customers would seem a "concrete one”, but in reality it is not related to testosterone, so it satisfies the requirements of Anabolic Act. Such a compound can give to the athlete nothing, so we just take some kind of coke. As a hidden "addition" it is best (for the manufacturer and worst for the customer) to choose something forgotten, something that no one wants to use as a doping so the chance of the product bust will be less.
Act of 2004, indicated as an example the names of compounds marketed as prohormones and banned the sale of other compounds (not mentioned by name), which had the potential to impact on testosterone. Because this provision treated all such compounds as anabolic steroids, manufacturers became indifferent, in terms of responsibility, whether the agent will contain a compound of androstenedione type, or "classical" steroid such as metanabol. This began the practice of counterfeiting – the label stated the name of the compound that would "make an impression" and the actual components used were anabolic-androgenic steroids. Of course, in each country, such a practice is a crime, the worst in such a practice is the fact that the manufacturer choosing an "addition" firstly wishes to make the compound something that the controlling authorities will not expect it to be, there were examples in which not used for years steroids of the oldest type were employed. Even the typical "coquero" would not take the drugs, if they did not win the trust and wide practice, in order to familiarize the customer, marketing should be taken into consideration.
What does the term "designed steroids" mean? To put it bluntly - "it can be any steroid". Adding unlabelled "additions" the manufactures used old and prohibited substances, known for decades, even those which due to lack of interest are "out of circulation" in sports doping. Since producers "were going in the same boat", they borrowed from each other the names of fictitious compounds and even the trade names of products, calling them "clones", which could give the impression that these compounds or names actually existed in the industry - S-drol, Tren, Ergo Max, Halodrol, Finabolic etc. However, the most competent customers’ suspicions, even before the adulterate came into the light, has already aroused owning to the "silly" statements of composition - a popular 2a-17-a-dimethyl-5a-androst-3-one (also known as superdrol or methasteron ) possesses only disadvantages and does not increase the testosterone and Ethyl Methoxy Gona (13-ethyl-3-methoxy-gona-2,5(10)-dien-17-one) is a derivative of female progesterone! Such compounds would not add muscle.
The article from Waschington Post presents the base of the product Halodrol 50 from 2005, manufactured by Gaspari Nutrition. The product could be considered as "working" and could be treated as a "prohormone" because of the brilliantly presented the composition and description on the label, but again, it turned out that the producers of supplements are not the inventors but rather swindlers - Don Catlin from the Olympic Analytical Laboratory assessed the description of the label of this product as a "chemical hocus-pocus" and its action turned out to be based on unlabeled anabolic steroids, old as the hills –i.e. desoxymethyltestosterone from 1961. Another example of an "addition" is the company Nutracoastal Trading and its porduct S-Drol, which instead of described "a new generation steroid" contained similarly to Halodrol(!) desoxymethyltestosterone. Of course it's not the end - this archaic steroid must also have been in other products which were supposed to "work". Product ALRI Ergomax LMG gave on the label another "new prohormone" 13-ethyl-3-methoxy-gona-2,5(10)-dien-17-one, sometimes called Ethyl Methoxy Gona (SUS500) or Deca-Drol, while again inside there was the same, archaic desoxymethyltestosterone. Various manufacturers, different compounds in the composition, and the idea the same - old coke. This was, of course, illegal and quite cheeky practice, like an addition of typical steroid to protein supplements, in order to show "exceptional quality". You can justify the actions aiming at circumventing the law, but only if the customers know what they buy. Nevertheless, in these cases a number of compounds theories were created, but one and the same, very bad SAA was added, which no one would consciously decide to take. Such a manufacturer does not declare the actual composition and does not "design" anything. From the point of view of an athlete determined to take an illegal doping, it is better to take a proven, "pharmacy" series, there is no point to buy accidental coke with counterfeited description, allowing producer-grifter to get rich before the next bust.
In the period of "designed steroids" the idea was not how to create a legal steroid, as it was prevented by the Act of 2004, then the producers wanted an "addition" of a steroid so old that it was expected neither by the authorities, nor by the consumer. Since 2010, these practices have been effectively penalized - the consumer has the right to know for what he pays.
While deciphering the above mentioned products, names like halodrol, s-drol became in some way outside the law. This was an opportunity for fly-by-night companies, which ruthlessly use the "controversial" names without fear of infringing trade marks of the compromised manufacturers, as those cannot really point to the attained benefits from cheated product. Such products even in their original form included something different than it was stated in the description, so you can be sure that the situation did not differ in the case of their version implemented by fly-by-night companies, and the actual composition is "Lotto" and caprice of the adulterating "producer".
Typical names-honey pots used on labels:
- 4-Etioallocholen-3, 6, 17-Trione
- polydehydrogenated, polyhydroxylated halomethetioallocholane
- Ethyl Methoxy Gona
Owning to the fact that since a few years, these compounds cannot be used in supplements, you can assume, with great certainty, that products labeled "dietary supplement" and those possessing in the composition one of the above mentioned compounds are adulterated, eventually may contain typical "classical" anabolic-androgenic steroid (which is confirmed by the analysis), acquired illegally (e.g. nonconforming pharmaceutical products or remedies for animals) or do may not contain any significant anabolic component (less criminal liability of the manufacturer).
As the authors of the information service, we are willing to take responsibility, and in case of being accused of acting of the detriment of any manufacturer - fix it and rectify the above statements.
A “coquero” using pharmacy SAA approaches to this professionally, anyway he exposes his healthy hormonal balance, but at least he tries to minimize side effects. On the other hand, if you have a product described with imaginary compounds (s-drol, holodrol, epit, tren etc.), you can be almost certain that you bought a fake supplement and its actual composition is a mystery, so even a professor of endocrinology will not indicate the proper procedure (cycles, protections). The point is that the side effects are not necessarily proportional to the effectiveness, you can even cut one’s own throat, reducing own potential, which means that in the future the body will not respond to exercise with increase of muscle mass.
In the network one can find somebody’s own observations and ideas concerning the cycles - these are only the products of imagination, research has shown that three differently labeled "prohormones" (Holodrol i S-drol, Ergomax) contained, in fact, the same steroid that producers did not include on the label - what is the point of comparing the observations, since the names and descriptions of these products do not actually show anything? Manufacturers do not have medical training, usually they are "normal athletes," it happens that with a criminal record. All the "protective measurements" in this situation are pointless - unknown composition means also unknown side effects. The second thing is that in the case of substances that were found in the synthetic prohormones (when such were still on the market) it is often typical "coke trash", no one seriously dealt with the therapies using these compounds, that is why – no protective measurements were developed.
Since it generally turned out that the synthetic compounds, described as a new prohormones or designed steroids could work only due to the eventual additions, as they do not increase testosterone even in theory, all major producers and a leading seller (such as bodybuilding.com) resigned from their sale.
After the discredit, any major seller no longer offers synthetic prohormones
Prohormones - have one in common - a non existing manufacturer. Just a few minutes on the internet is enough to check that the brand offering such a product does not even have an address, or the indicated on the label manufacturer does not have such a product on his website. As synthetic prohormones disappeared from the market a few years ago, their place was filled with ghost-products from virtual bidders.
In addition to the names of the compounds (which usually are employed by fly-by-night companies), you can also find suggestive proper names (prefixes):
The use of such prefixes is not regulated and has not been questioned as misleading, that is why product called EPI-... may have any legal composition. If this is a product of a recognized - existing company, this composition is based on the compounds described below.
Plant based steroids and natural anabolic
Since 2004, natural compounds found in plants became the hope for the possibility of legal pro-anabolic products. Though they may be questioned in the case of pharmaceutical applications, you cannot treat them as anabolic-androgenic steroids due to the mere fact of a possible natural availability.
Examples of natural anabolic substances:
- steroidal saponins
- triterpene saponins
- flavones and isoflavones
- ursolic acid
- derivatives of amino acids (DAA)
The usual marketing practice of manufacturers offering natural anabolics is to focus the customer’s attention on difficult chemical names of the naturally occurring in the plant substances such as:
as well as creating their own names for the typical plant compounds which well-known names might be too common, for example:
3,17-dioxoetiochol-1,4,6-triene is a derivative of solanine or Androsta-1 ,4,6-triene-3 ,17-dion that is a steroidal saponin occurring in the Solanaceae family and tea. The name is altered for the marketing purposes. A similar metabolite occurs on progesterone synthesis pathway of lanosterol in plants.
6, 17-keto-etiocholeve-3-ol tetrahydropyranol - (properly 17-keto-etiocholene-3-ol tetrahydropyranol) – non-protein amino acid of the legumes
3, 17-keto-etiochol-triene – similarly to the example mentioned above, amine, non-protein amino acid, in such plants as alfalfa or clover.
3’,5,7-trihydroxy-4’-methoxyflavone - correct name is 5,7-dihydroxy-2-(3-hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl)chromen- 4-one - that is diosmetin - a flavone found in rosemary, legume, tansy, vicia and alfalfa
epihydroksytiolan-17-estre r - an organic compound found in Tribullus Terestris
3', 5, 7-Trihydroxy-4'-Methoxyflavone – in other words hesperetin - is a compound classified as flavanone, is the predominant flavonoid in lemons and oranges.
6,7-dihydroxybergamottin - bergamottin, the compound of natural origin belonging to the furanocoumarins, present inter alia, in grapefruit and its products.
4-hydroxy-izoleucyna - is an amino acid obtained from fenugreek seeds (Trigonella)
Another marketing practice is creation of own names for the typical plant compounds, which typical names might seem familiar, for example,
Dihydrotase ™ - an extract of saw palmetto
7-Arimatase ™ - flavones
Aromatase is a natural process of conversion of testosterone to the female estrogen hormones. Although a partial aromatase restrain may have pro-anabolic effects, that is why such a treatment is treated as a prohormonal supplementation.
The approach to this course of supplementation is different, at present You cannot longer legally use anabolic drugs. According to the guidelines of Australian Government Institute of Sport such manipulation, similarly as the first prohormones, are among the D group of supplementation (banned in competitive sports) link
In the U.S., by law one cannot affect the level of testosterone, which prevents the creation of synthetic aromatase inhibitors. However, the Anabolic Steroid Control Act does not cover natural methods, so manufacturers turned to the compounds present in the plants (e.g. ADT). But even natural aromatase reducing agents have been challenged by the RDA, which eliminated not only the ADT link, but even tea extracts (Clomed) link
According to the scientific government's program of China (Y. Wang Department of Biochemistry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong) on natural compounds reducing aromatase, there are compounds with potential higher than some synthetic compounds. The strongest inhibitor reducing the aromatase at the level of 90% is butein link to research
This compound is not banned in supplements, but it is not yet available to manufacturers as a raw material. Article about aromatase inhibitors.
How to prepare for a prohorme cycle, whether to use the PCT (post cycle therapy) or not.
Specialized natural compounds and their compositions are now the only way to design anabolic supplements. A prerequisite for creating such a powerful product is expertise and the access to the results of non-commercial researches. Although American supplements years ago won fame thanks to the use of synthetic steroids, now that fame is only supported with the use of marketing, and these manufacturers switched to phyto-supplements, however they lack competent support. Manufacturers offer us hundreds of "miracle" anbolics of natural origin, but it is known that they are not, and they were not authorities in this specialized field of herbal medicine. It is extremely difficult to find in advertisements and descriptions of these products even a short mention about the competent authorship recipe, it seems that the "synergistic combination" and "proprietary mixtures" is based on the specific knowledge acquired straight from .. the gym.