Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that relate to the way the male sex hormones operate. Steroids work to promote growth of skeletal muscle and the development of male sexual characteristics in both males and females. It is thought that is was during the 1930's that scientists discovered that anabolic steroids could in fact promote growth of the skeletal muscle and this unfortunately led to the abuse of the steroid supplements firstly by body builders and weightlifters and later by other athletes in a variety of different sports. It has got to the point now that steroid abuse is so widespread in athletics that it can affect the outcome of some competitions and more and more athletes are being disqualified for use of illicit supplements.
Prohormones are similar in structure, completely natural and have some functional differences that make them "safer" as oral agents. Although they can not get to the crazy levels that steroids can, the can reach "sane" levels of androgen boosting. One study using 5-DHEA has it boosting testosterone levels as high as roughly 500mg of testosterone injections per week! You can not just buy off the shelf 5-DHEA though and expect these kinds of results. Also, they are not conclusive, but do give some insight on how much can be done with true prohormones. Prohormones need enzymes to make them active and that rate limiting factor is what may allow them to actually be safer. Also, typical REAL prohormones (not the grey market steroids) do not carry any liver stressing agents. Real prohormones that are legal by DSHEA standards do not contain the 17aMethyl group that causes the liver stress. If you see this in the formula, stay away. The industry has gotten away from responsible manufacturers to ones that have no idea what they are doing and are making very ugly cocktails that throw caution to the wind.
One of the main reasons that people become involved in abusing steroids is that they can see the impact it has on their body and the improvement it has on their athletic performance. In recent years experts have put in place stringent methods to deter steroid abuse in athletics, however there are some new designer drugs that can escape detection so the problem is not dealt with. Still, the people using steroids and prohormones are shown to not be athletes or school kids, but adults that have college degrees and who want to look and feel their best. The environment is filled with estrogens like the alarming BPA or Bisphenol A, which is in most pop bottles and plastics. BPA can act like estrogen in the body, throwing off your normal balance. In this case, prohormones and steroids can benefit people. Also, one of the main "fears" which is prostate cancer, seems to be more about estrogen, than androgens like testosterone. Compared to the xeno-estrogens in the environment, I personally see no reason to not take things like prohormones to bring the body back into balance.
A lot of people dabble in steroids in order to increase their muscle size or to reduce the amount of body fat they have. Even though steroids are effective at improving performance and enhancing muscle mass they do not come without problems. Oral anabolic steroids can have seriously profound effects on the various organs of the human body. The severity of the damage caused to the body depends on the kind of drug that has been consumed, the amount and the duration for which the steroids have been used. It is thought that injectable steroids have lesser adverse effects compare to oral drugs due to the 17aMethyl functional group.
The liver can become damaged if oral anabolic steroids are consumed and consumption may result in cysts, fibrosis, benign and malign tumours and generally cause the liver to deteriorate at a faster pace than usually expected. If the liver is exposed to high levels of oral steroids stressing agents can be released. Only the oral steroids with the 17a Methyl group have this issue and only then if the products are abused. Still, with the morons creating these cocktails, it is absolutely essential to skip these 17aMethyl variants both for scheduled and unscheduled variants. Also, it is important to not drink or abuse other drugs when taking illegal oral steroids. True natural prohormones do not have these side effects, except for potentially temporarily shutting down your natural LH production which can reduce your natural testosterone production. Since you are supplementing with outside androgens, this is not an issue while "on cycle". People tend to take things like Nolvedex and Arimidex on the black market or take agents like 3-Beta-Hydroxy-Urs-12-En-28-Oic Acid and 2-Phenyl-Di-Benzyl-Benzopyran-4-One available as natural supplements. These in addition to things like ellagic acid and resveratrol, may help your recovery happen more quickly, but either way it will happen on its own.
Anabolic steroids are closely linked to male hormones such as testosterone, if the drugs are abused the male reproduction system is at risk of damage. Long-term exposure can cause the intensity of male hormones such as LH and FSH can be dramatically reduced and a person could even suffer from male breast development. This however has shown to recover in a decent amount of time on its own. Prohormones are similar, but again do not have the liver stressing agents. Products like Methyl 1-D from LG Sciences may counter act these effects with the inclusion of anti-aromatase agents and estrogen blockers, making it one of the few products to meet my criteria for a valid formula.
Women who take anabolic steroids are also at risk of damage as it can affect the levels of oestrogen and progesterone hormones which in turn can result in a disturbed menstrual cycle. Taking steroids can even result in acne, hair loss, facial hair and breast reduction in women. If women are going to take them, they are better off with nandrolone derivatives like 19NorDHEA. This is because the main virulizing aspect, the conversion to DHT is absent and replaced by the more benign DHN.
Those who take oral steroids increase the risk that blood clots will form in blood vessels and the drugs can potentially disrupt the blood flow around the body. This can have a serious effect on the heart so much so that it will not be able to pump blood around the body in addition to having the potential to raise cholesterol. It is important to get yourself checked out before you use any legal or illegal hormone to ensure you do not have a preexisting condition. Also, it does not hurt to take some support supplements like CoQ10, Hawthorn Berry, Fish Oil and N-Acetyl-Cystine. Prohormones like Methyl 1-D already have some of these aspects built in, but additional supplements are always a good idea.
Steroids are illegal in the US and on a Schedule III Controlled substance list. Selling or carrying these agents can have a stiff fine. True prohormones like Methyl 1D are exempt from these lists and enjoy that due to their relative safety. Also, true prohormones should satisfy DSHEA which is the FDA law. Very few products meet this criteria and anything with a 17aMethyl is immediately in violation of DSHEA.
If you want the best balance of hormones for your body, check out Methyl 1-D by LG Sciences, it has a host of nutrients that should help increase conversion and reduce side effects. Of course, the science is preliminary and can not be considered conclusive and the results are always dependent on proper diet and exercise. Additionally this article does not constitute medical advise and always check with your doctor before starting any diet and exercise program in conjunction with supplements. Used properly, I believe Methyl 1-D to be a safe alternative to illegal steroids, but should only be used be people over 21.