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Van mreže Polomac

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Odg: Anabolic Research Update
« Odgovor #15 poslato: Maj 01, 2010, 08:45:16 posle podne »
 The  Downside of Aromatase Inhibition: Side effects worth it?

By Dan Gwartney, M.D.

The Downside of Aromatase Inhibition

Adolescence is a time of discovery in a man's life; it is a period when one first experiences romantic thoughts, pimples, independence, and begins to understand why people laugh at Dane Cook. (Adulthood is when one wonders why people laugh at Dane Cook.) Physical changes are prominent during adolescence, brought on by surges in various hormones affecting growth and secondary sexual characteristics. Most healthy men remember the awkward occurrence of spontaneous erections during math class, P.E., or in church; many also went through the confusion of adolescent gynecomastia— developing soreness or even visually evident breast tissue under the nipple.

Gynecomastia, or benign (non-cancerous) breast development in the male, occurs when estrogen concentrations are elevated, or the balance between estrogen and androgens is disrupted to favor estrogenic effects in a male. Estrogens are one class of female sex steroid hormones including estrone and the dominant form, estradiol. There are also exogenous estrogens, such as birth control pills or medications to treat menopause.

Estrogens are formed in the body by converting precursor molecules into estrogens, through the actions of the enzyme cluster called aromatase.1 The precursor molecules could be called estrogenic prohormones, but that term is almost never applied, because these precursor molecules are better known for the function they serve as hormones. The immediate precursor molecules to estrone and estradiol are androstenedione and testosterone, respectively. A third estrogen, estriol, is sometimes mentioned; it is physiologically relevant during pregnancy and is not pertinent to estrogen production in man.

Healthy, adolescent boys develop gynecomastia due to the wild swings in androgen concentration they are subjected to as the testes emerge from the hormonally-dormant state of childhood; obese men often develop gynecomastia as a consequence of estrogen excess due to the action of aromatase in adipose (body fat); elderly men, those treated medically for prostate cancer, and men who lose testicular function due to disease or trauma, can develop gynecomastia as androgen (testosterone) levels fall and the relative influence of estrogen grows; certain medications and endocrine disruptors may also stimulate breast development, but those are non-physiologic factors.1,2

Gynecomastia was once common in bodybuilders and other anabolic-steroid (AAS) using men, as the supraphysiologic (way higher than normal body production) doses of testosterone and other AAS supplied aromatase with an equally abundant source of estrogenic precursors.3 Bodybuilders quickly learned that to avoid 'bitch tits,' fat gain, and water retention, doses of aromatizable AAS needed to be kept to a moderate level, and stacked with non-aromatizable AAS, if one wanted to keep a lean physique that wouldn't elicit a suckling response in infants.

Early Generation Drugs

Early generation drugs used to combat the estrogenic side effects seen with AAS use were of limited value and carried additional risks, due to non-specific suppression of steroid production (steroidogenesis). Cytadren® (aminoglutethimide) was used by many elite bodybuilders, especially during pre-competition training, as it provided a dry, hard physique.4

Though Cytadren is capable of reducing estrogen concentration, it does so at an early stage of steroid hormone production. Cytadren interferes with steroidogenesis at two major junctions; it inhibits the formation of pregnenolone from cholesterol (the first step is forming many important steroids), and inhibits aromatase— the conversion of androgens to estrogens.5

Cytadren's first action, inhibiting pregnenolone formation, is dangerous, as it subsequently inhibits the formation of many adrenal steroids, including cortisol. Though known in sports for its role as either a catabolic hormone leading to muscle loss, a stress marker elevated during overtraining/overreaching, or an anti-inflammatory, used to reduce the pain and swelling associated with severe sprains, cortisol is a critical hormone. Some people are born with a condition known as Addison's disease, and are unable to produce cortisol; without hormone (cortisol) replacement treatment, they suffer and die. Cytadren has been implicated as one contributing factor in the premature death of professional bodybuilder Andreas Munzer.

Fortunately, bodybuilders have moved away from the use of Cytadren with rare exception. Other estrogen-controlling drugs emerged, gaining favor due to their lower risk of side effects, low cost, and ease of use. Tamoxifen (Nolvadex®) reduces the effect of estrogen on certain tissues by competing for the receptors that affect the actions of estrogenic hormones, rather than interfering with the aromatase enzyme complex; it does not lower estrogen levels in AAS users, but has been effective in some cases.6,7

During the 1990s, a new class of aromatase inhibitors, developed to aid in the fight against breast cancer, emerged onto the bodybuilding scene. The two most prevalently used in treating or preventing AAS-induced gynecomastia are anastrozole (Arimidex®) and letrozole (Femara®).8,9 With the advent of these two drugs, particularly letrozole, oncologists (cancer doctors) acquired a powerful set of tools that are capable of suppressing estrogen in women down to a nearly undetectable concentration in the blood, and more importantly, in cancerous breast tissue.

The role of estrogen in men is poorly understood by most non-specialists, and not fully understood by any as yet. Bodybuilders were the first adaptors of aromatase inhibitors in men, of course. Word quickly spread about the ability to use doses of the relatively inexpensive and potent testosterone esters beyond limits previously imposed by aromatase-driven, estrogenic side effects.

Aromatase inhibitors were also used during cycles with low potential for estrogenic side effects in the hopes of further honing the 'cuts' and definition. Once research was published demonstrating an elevation in testosterone concentration in non-AAS-using males, both young adults and older adults, many 'drug-free' bodybuilders, athletes, and recreational fitness enthusiasts, began using these drugs.10,11 The misconception was that since these drugs were not controlled substances, not initially placed on the banned substance lists, and used to treat side effects, there was little risk or downside.

What's the Harm?

Truthfully, it is impossible to state whether anyone has been harmed by using aromatase inhibitors for performance- or physique-enhancement; it simply is not tracked. These two drugs are oral (a similar drug, Aromasin®, is injected); they generally do not cause physically perceived, short-term symptoms; and they are rarely used long-term. These factors instill a false sense of security in users.

Yet, there are problems that may arise as a result of aromatase inhibition, particularly aggressive aromatase inhibition that suppresses estrogen concentrations to very low values. Estrogen (primarily estradiol, but let's stay with the generic term estrogen for simplicity's sake) is not a metabolic waste product in men, a primordial remnant of no greater perceived value than the appendix. It is a functioning hormone that is anabolic in some tissues (e.g., bone, fat, breast); a stimulatory hormone (i.e., enhances production of certain circulating proteins in the liver); a metabolic modifier (affects endocrine hormones as well as carrier protein concentrations, such as binding globulins for vitamin D and sex hormones); a neurosteroid affecting neurotransmitter action, behavior, and emotions; an endocrine regulator; and has other functions.

It is irrational to think that there would not be hazards when concentrations are artificially suppressed well below the lowest extreme of the physiologic range, just as occurs when estrogen is elevated past the upper limit of normal. What, then, are some of the possible consequences to creating an estrogen deficiency in adult males?

Again, there is little in the published medical literature regarding aromatase inhibition in males, as there is as yet, no approved clinical indication for prescribing the drugs for men. However, there have been some observations in the limited clinical trials investigating aromatase inhibition in males; further, there are some adverse (harmful) effects that have been noted in female breast cancer patients that are not gender-specific.

Before proceeding further, it must be clear that this article relates to aromatase inhibition in healthy, adult males— including those using AAS; other populations, specifically women, are not addressed. It is worth noting that many of these findings occurred in breast cancer survivors, who may have been on aromatase inhibitors for several years continuously, suppressing circulating estrogen concentration by 98 percent.

Many bodybuilders use anastrozole or letrozole at full doses, seeking near-complete suppression of circulating estrogen. Thankfully, the realization is spreading that the benefits of aromatase inhibition for men, particularly male athletes/bodybuilders, are likely to arise by keeping estrogen within the normal physiologic range. Protocols using every-other-day dosing, one-half, or even one-quarter therapeutic doses are being disseminated in relevant forums.

Clinically, if one were to be prescribed an aromatase inhibitor, serum concentrations of estrogens should be followed to titrate the dosing accordingly, with a watchful eye toward emerging side effects. Unfortunately, aromatase inhibitors are typically obtained through illicit channels and self-administered without any laboratory monitoring or professional guidance.

Side Effects of Aromatase Inhibition

Arthralgia. Joint pain is the most common and relevant short-term side effect of aromatase inhibition. The incidence of arthralgia and musculoskeletal pain in post-menopausal women using aromatase inhibitors is as high as 25 percent.12 Synovial cells, the cells lining joints that produce the synovial fluid that bathes the articulating surfaces, contain a high concentration of aromatase.13 Over-production of estrogen in the synovium is associated with a pro-inflammatory state.14 Imaging studies performed on estrogen-deprived women demonstrate increased fluid surrounding the tendon sheaths, causing pain and limiting mobility (such as occurs with carpal tunnel syndrome).15,16

Fracture. The typical patients receiving aromatase inhibitor therapy are post-menopausal women, a group already at increased risk of bone fracture, due to osteoporosis. However, as estrogen is one of the primary anabolic or strengthening hormones for the bone, it logically follows that decreasing estrogen to near-zero levels would decrease bone re-building and increase fracture risk. In fact, this is seen in breast cancer patients.17

There have not been any cases published in the medical literature of bone density loss or fracture in men using aromatase inhibitors for performance enhancement. One study evaluating the use of anastrozole in elderly men with testosterone deficiency did demonstrate bone loss, suggesting this is an issue relevant to men.18 Of course, another showed no effect, as is the nature of science.10 It appears that this effect would be most pronounced in people with bones that are already compromised (e.g., vitamin D deficiency, anorexics), following prolonged use of aromatase inhibitors. Weight-bearing and contact define most sports, and it would be folly to ignore the potential for serious injury if the skeleton was weakened.

Libido and sexual function. A decreased libido is commonly reported by women receiving aromatase inhibitors.17,19 Additionally, vaginal dryness, pain and decreased sexual function/response often co-exist. There has been no data collected in estrogen-deprived men, but anecdotal reports of decreased libido have been expressed. This is consistent with observations seen in men with a genetic aromatase deficiency.20

Cardiovascular Risk. Estrogen plays a role in cholesterol metabolism, and estrogen deprivation may increase the risk for heart attack or stroke by possibly raising total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, though this response is not uniform.17 Estrogen also protects against unhealthy changes in the electrical pulse controlling the heart beat, as well as protecting against hypertrophy (an enlarged heart).21,22 Estrogen deprivation may affect the blood supply, function, and structure of the heart in a negative manner.

Mental changes. Estrogens are neurosteroids, so it is no surprise that changing concentrations severely could affect a person's memory, math and verbal skills, emotions, personality, and mood.17,23 This area is poorly understood, particularly in men.

Kidney Disease. Much was made in the press recently about findings that some AAS-using men developed a type of kidney disease called sclerosing glomerulonephritis.24 A similar condition was diagnosed in a women receiving anastrozole.25 Though the association is weak at this time, considering that most men using anastrozole also used AAS, the potential compounded increase in risk is something to acknowledge.

Eyes. Retinal hemorrhages (bleeding) have been noted in women treated with aromatase inhibitors.26 The exact cause is unknown, but may be due to damage to small vessels in the eye, or retraction of the fragile retina, due to changes in the fluid of the eye.27 Complete blockage of the artery that feeds the eye has also been reported.28

Liver. Many proteins secreted by the liver, including IGF-1, are reduced with estrogen deprivation in men.29 Two case of hepatitis/hepatotoxicity have also been reported.30,31

The list above identifies some known and suspected adverse effects that are associated with the use of aromatase inhibitors. Much of the information comes from women being treated for breast cancer, but the physiology behind the injury is similar between men and women. Some effects may be gender-specific (e.g., mood changes) or predisposed to vulnerable populations (e.g., osteoporotic post-menopausal women), but this should not dissuade the intelligent person from considering the above when evaluating the pros and cons of using aromatase inhibitors.

There is likely a great deal that remains unknown about suppressing a hormone that acts on nearly every tissue in the body. Even less is known about the impact on the health or function in men, due to the gender bias in estrogen-related research. Many bodybuilders have found that using aromatase inhibitors provides them with the benefits of reduced body fat, as well as protection against gynecomastia and other estrogen-related side effects. Performance athletes have not been as enthusiastic about the use of this class of drug. Estrogen deprivation is reported to reduce the anabolic effect of some AAS, reduce exercise tolerance due to joint and tendon pain, and decrease libido.

It is likely that aromatase inhibition will find a defined role in men's health. As for the bodybuilder, his goal of maximizing definition may justify (for him) the short-term use of aromatase inhibitors. For athletes and fitness buffs, aromatase inhibition may offer some benefit if it is used to partially suppress estrogen production. However, this would need to be monitored and directed by someone skilled in the field in order to prevent a decrease in performance, adverse effects on health, or decline in quality of life. Despite being viewed as mild and safe drugs, the information above should clearly enlighten the audience of potential risks involved with aromatase inhibition.


1. Gooren LJ, Toorians AW. Significance of oestrogens in male (patho)physiology. Ann Endocrinol, (Paris) 2003 Apr;64(2):126-35.

2. Johnson RE, Murad MH. Gynecomastia: pathophysiology, evaluation, and management. Mayo Clin Proc, 2009 Nov;84(11):1010-5.

3. Evans NA. Gym and tonic: a profile of 100 male steroid users. Br J Sports Med, 1997 Mar;31(1):54-8.

4. Mareck U, Sigmund G, et al. Identification of the aromatase inhibitor aminoglutethimide in urine by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom, 2002;16(24):2209-14.

5. Santen RJ, Misbin RI. Aminoglutethimide: review of pharmacology and clinical use. Pharmacotherapy, 1981 Sep-Oct;1(2):95-120.

6. de Luis DA, Aller R, et al. [Anabolic steroids and gynecomastia. Review of the literature] – article in Spanish. An Med Interna, 2001 Sep;18(9):489-91.

7. Spano F, Ryan WG. Tamoxifen for gynecomastia induced by anabolic steroids? N Engl J Med, 1984 Sep 27;311(13):861-2.

8. Llewellyn W. Arimidex (anastrozole). Anabolics, 2005. Body of Science Publication, Jupiter, FL;2005:232.

9. Llewellyn W. Femara (letrozole). Anabolics, 2005. Body of Science Publication, Jupiter, FL;2005:243.

10. Leder BZ, Finkelstein JS. Effect of aromatase inhibition on bone metabolism in elderly hypogonadal men. Osteoporos Int, 2005 Dec;16(12):1487-94.

11. Handelsman DJ. Indirect androgen doping by oestrogen blockade in sports. Br J Pharmacol, 2008 Jun;154(3):598-605.

12. Winters L, Habin K, et al. Aromatase inhibitors and musculoskeletal pain in patients with breast cancer. Clin J Oncol Nurs, 2007;11(3):433-9.

13. Le Bail J, Liagre B, et al. Aromatase in synovial cells from postmenopausal women. Steroids, 2001 Oct;66(10):749-57.

14. Schmidt M, Weidler C, et al. Androgen conversion in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis synoviocytes--androstenedione and testosterone inhibit estrogen formation and favor production of more potent 5alpha-reduced androgens. Arthritis Res Ther, 2005;7(5):R938-48.

15. Morales L, Pans S, et al. Importance of synovial fluid retention and thickening in patients with severe musculoskeletal pains treated with letrozole or exemestane: a case series describing the impact of symptoms, clinical findings and magnetic resonance imaging [abstract 4056]. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 2006;100(1).

16. Thorne C. Management of arthralgias associated with aromatase inhibitor therapy. Curr Oncol, 2007 December;14(1):S11-9.

17. Hong S, Didwania A, et al. The expanding use of third-generation aromatase inhibitors: what the general internist needs to know. J Gen Intern Med, 2009 Nov;24 Suppl 2:S383-8.

18. Burnett-Bowie SA, McKay EA, et al. Effects of aromatase inhibition on bone mineral density and bone turnover in older men with low testosterone levels. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2009 Dec;94(12):4785-92.

19. Cella D, Fallowfield L, et al. Quality of life of postmenopausal women in the ATAC ("Arimidex", tamoxifen, alone or in combination) trial after completion of 5 years' adjuvant treatment for early breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 2006 Dec;100(3):273-84.

20. Carani C, Rochira V, et al. Role of oestrogen in male sexual behaviour: insights from the natural model of aromatase deficiency. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf), 1999 Oct;51(4):517-24.

21. Atsma F, van der Schouw YT, et al. Lifetime endogenous estrogen exposure and electrocardiographic frontal T axis changes in postmenopausal women. Maturitas, 2009 Aug 20;63(4):347-51.

22. Donaldson C, Eder S, et al. Estrogen attenuates left ventricular and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy by an estrogen receptor-dependent pathway that increases calcineurin degradation. Circ Res, 2009 Jan 30;104(2):265-75.

23. Blaustein JD. The year in neuroendocrinology. Mol Endocrinol 2010 Jan;24(1):252-60.

24. Dotinga R. Long-term use can lead to severe kidney scarring, new research shows. Medline Plus, 29 October 2009. Available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_91224.html, accessed January 19, 2009.

25. Kalender ME, Sevinc A, et al. Anastrozole-associated sclerosing glomerulonephritis in a patient with breast cancer. Oncology, 2007;73(5-6):415-8.

26. Eisner A, Falardeau J, et al. Retinal hemorrhages in anastrozole users. Optom Vis Sci, 2008 May;85(5):301-8.

27. Eisner A, Thielman EJ, et al. Vitreo-retinal traction and anastrozole use. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 2009 Sep;117(1):9-16.

28. Karagoz B, Ayata A, et al. Hemicentral retinal artery occlusion in a breast cancer patient using anastrozole. Onkologie, 2009 Jul;32(7):421-3.

29. Mauras N, O'Brien KO, et al. Estrogen suppression in males: metabolic effects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2000 Jul;85(7):2370-7.

30. de la Cruz L, Romero-Vazquez J, et al. Severe acute hepatitis in a patient treated with anastrozole. Lancet, 2007 Jan 6;369(9555):23-4.

31. Zapata E, Zubiaurre L, et al. Anastrozole-induced hepatotoxicity. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2006 Nov;18(11):1233-4.

Van mreže Polomac

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Odg: Anabolic Research Update
« Odgovor #16 poslato: Jul 30, 2010, 09:20:42 pre podne »
By Seth Roberts




            Pharmacology is the study of drugs and their effects. Anabolic Pharmacology is the study of drugs that have a growth-promoting effect in muscle. This column will explore anabolic pharmacology by profiling a different anabolic drug and its effects each month. The focus of discussion this month will be the anabolic androgenic steroid, Proviron.

            Mesterolone is a simple derivative of dihydrotestosterone and is commonly known by its trade name, Proviron. The addition of a methyl group to the 1 position, like methenolone, should help to provide a small amount of protection from metabolism when taken orally. In fact, the only difference between methenolone and mesterolone is the presence of a double bond in the 1,2 position with methenolone. This double bond changes the shape of the A-ring, as well as the location of the 1-methyl group. Though these drugs are so similar in appearance, they are quite different in activity. While the 1-methyl and 1-double bond help to keep methenolone from being metabolized to inactive metabolites, the presence of only a 1 methyl group seems to provide mesterolone with little protection and it is likely deactivated quickly.

            Since mesterolone is already 5-alpha reduced, it is not subject to further metabolism by 5-alpha reductase. Mesterolone, as a DHT-derivative, cannot be converted by aromatase to estrogenic metabolites and has some degree of inhibition of aromatase and likely some inhibition of 5-alpha reductase as well. In fact, many consider mesterolone to be an anti-estrogen, and its use in the literature seems to support this to some degree.

            Mesterolone is one of the strongest binders of SHBG commercially available; in fact, only DHT binds to SHBG more strongly.1,2 As discussed earlier, SHBG plays a very important role in testosterone metabolism. Because mesterolone binds so strongly to SHBG, it tends to bump other less strongly-bound molecules in the “free” state, where they can bind the androgen receptor.3 Therefore, some athletes have attempted to use mesterolone for this purpose. They add mesterolone to a cycle in the hope that more steroid will remain free and active. This would also be true for testosterone and estrogen.

            Mesterolone would be capable of bumping both of these hormones into circulation as well, which may result in androgenic or estrogenic effects. There is no evidence that mesterolone binds to glucocorticoid or progesterone receptors. Mesterolone is not known for being very anabolic, even though the anabolic-to-androgenic ratio, when given subcutaneously, is favorable.

            When given orally, mesterolone undergoes significant metabolism that greatly reduces any anabolic effect.4 The fact that mesterolone has been shown to have little effect on red blood cell production, unlike other androgens, seems to confirm its rapid metabolism.5

            Mesterolone has been studied quite extensively in the literature as a fertility treatment to increase sperm quantity. There is quite a bit of conflicting data showing mesterolone to have variable effects on LH and FSH, though it has generally been shown to not reduce normal levels of LH and FSH.6 Though its use as an SHBG binder is somewhat questionable, it may have use in blocking the metabolism of other DHT derivatives by 3-alpha hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, since it seems to have significant affinity for this enzyme.

            Seth Roberts is a former pharmaceutical research scientist with over 10 years of pharmacological research, in the discovery and development of novel therapeutics. If you want to learn more about anabolic steroids, pick up Seth’s new book ANABOLIC PHARMACOLOGY at www.Ergogens.com. [© Seth Roberts, 2009. All rights reserved. For informational purposes only, not to be considered as medical advice or an endorsement of the use of illegal substances.]


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Odg: Anabolic Research Update
« Odgovor #17 poslato: Jul 30, 2010, 09:24:38 pre podne »
 Zambon Out— DESMA In

I started receiving frantic e-mails a couple of months ago from bodybuilders very worried that a long-trusted pair of products was going to come to an end. It stated when rumors began to circulate amongst European dealers that Zambon’s Winstrol products were being discontinued. The rumors were quickly being traced back to reliable sources, even pharmacy contacts. In case you are unfamiliar, Zambon is a pharmaceutical company in Spain that makes human-grade medicines (most notably stanozolol). For a long time they were one of the only remaining sources for the original brand of human-use stanozolol, Winstrol. During a time when most Western nations had discontinued their stanozolol products, this company in Spain was remaining strong with Winstrol production and sales. Their injectable Winstrol Depot ampules were always in particularly high demand. Even in many Eastern European and Asian countries where steroid availability is high and legal red tape low, injectable human-use stanozolol products are almost never made. For a long time, this gave Zambon a strong niche in European, even American, steroid markets. But it is true…all good things come to an end. Well, in this case, “sort of.” As it turned out, the rumors were true, but the ultimate news was not as alarming to the Zambon fans as originally thought. In a move that was likely based on a combination of finances and public relations, Zambon did decide to stop making the products under its own label. The company has a number of other valuable assets in the pharmaceutical industry and has undoubtedly been feeling some of the same pressure that many of the Western steroid-producing companies have been subject to for decades. These medicines are evil, remember? Perhaps this, combined with low (relative) profits from the products, were enough to prompt the decision. The Spanish drug market will not be without stanozolol, however. Zambon did not simply abandon the products, but instead licensed the rights for their sale to another company in Spain called DESMA Laboratorio Farmaceutico S.L. So while we will no longer see the Zambon brand on Spanish pharmacy shelves, at least for the time being, Winstrol will remain. It is of note that DESMA has carried on both formats (oral and injectable) in the same dosages and quantities. This means that the orals will carry 2mg of drug per tablet and 40 tablets will still come to a box (20 per foil/plastic strip). And the perhaps more-favored Winstrol Depot will remain in 50mg ampules and come three to a box. DESMA did copy one other important feature as well, namely the use of holographic stickers to help ensure product legitimacy. There are two stickers attached to each box, one sealing the opening of each side. The stickers carry the DESMA logo in the holographic image. Make sure to look for these if shopping for the new Spanish products! Although very new, like Zambon, their high relative value is likely to attract the attention of professional counterfeiters very quickly!

Fakes Even A Mother Can’t Love
This month I’m also going to include some pictures of a couple of fakes that crossed my desk recently [email Bill if you still don’t have photos: Bill LLewellyn bill@bodyofscience.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]. One is supposed to be a version of testosterone propionate from Quality Vet called Propionat QV. The other purports to be the famously high-dosed multi-testosterone blend from Denkall called Test400. These two counterfeits stand out not for their appearance. Like a fair percentage of bogus products they are not particularly pretty, although I will confess that the guys making the QV propionate did do a fair job on the duplication of the hologram. If the box and lot number were not so sloppy, it might be a very passable item to someone not very familiar with the company. The hologram on the “Testo400” is cheap and generic, so I really can’t give them any points there. Maybe one point for effort. These two actually stood out to me because they are copies of two particular Mexican veterinary steroid products that were shut down during Operation Gear Grinder back in 2005. If you do not remember, this was a big multi-agency international operation that levied heavy United States criminal charges against many people owning, operating and profiting in the once-enormous Mexican veterinary steroid market. Most companies that existed mainly to sell anabolic steroids (allegedly with the United States consumer in mind) were permanently closed. Among them were Quality Vet and Denkall. Yet lo and behold, their products are still in circulation right here! There may be many rumors about who is making what copies of the QV/Denkall lines these days and how good or bad these products are. I won’t really address them, as I haven’t seen lab results on either product here. I do have to have a little chuckle though. With so many products in the marketplace to copy, I don’t quite understand copying lines that are dead. But then again, it can be a strange market out there. My advice for shoppers and counterfeiters alike…it might be good to remember that QV and Denkall aren’t in business anymore.

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Odg: Anabolic Research Update
« Odgovor #18 poslato: Januar 23, 2011, 06:04:07 posle podne »
Anabolic Research Update
By William Llewellyn

Bacteria Contamination Report

As many of you know, I have been collaborating on a new book (UNDERGROUND ANABOLICS). It examines the black-market supply of steroids under Prohibition. One key focus of the book is the increasing prominence of steroids manufactured by underground (UG) labs instead of registered pharmaceutical companies. The book culminates with a series of tests on nearly two-dozen of the most popular underground labs and export-focused pharmaceutical companies. The intention is to provide a rundown of the relative quality (and risk) of some of the most common black-market items. The lab has already completed the first series of tests. They involved the screening of each sample for active bacteria (colony-forming units). As we will see shortly, some of the findings were alarming.
Before going into the results, it is important to emphasize that all of these samples were obtained from the black market. Inherently, products that are traded through illicit channels are very difficult to verify for authenticity. Given the high prevalence of counterfeiting with steroid products, even at times the counterfeiting of underground labs, these are named as 'Listed Manufacturer' only. No attempt to verify these products has been made, and I cannot say for certain if any specific item is legitimate or counterfeit. These results, therefore, are not meant as a direct assessment of these labs. It would take more testing and source verification to make any conclusive judgment. Instead, when bad results are seen, it is a warning about products bearing the same name/lot number on the black market.

Oil-Based UG Steroids
Oil is not a particularly good medium for bacteria to grow in. Furthermore, studies show that a benzyl alcohol level of .5 percent (this is the most common antimicrobial agent used) should be able to kill most bacteria. As a result of these two basic properties of two of the most basic manufacturing materials, oil-based steroids are not commonly contaminated with bacteria. The fact that bacteria problems were uncommon in the oil-based steroid samples we sent in for testing seems to support this. Still, there were a few problems. Three of the samples were slightly above the acceptable bacteria limit (<100 CFU). While significant growth did not appear to be taking place inside these solutions, enough colony-forming units were present to be of concern.
Only one oil-based sample of 17 sent in (Diamond) had an especially high level of bacteria (1,500 CFU). This is definitely cause for serious concern, and suggests one or more fundamental problems with the manufacturing of this product.
A representative of the underground lab actually contacted me when I released a warning to the Internet community about this item. He was very concerned with the result, and maintained that the operation takes quality control very seriously. Diamond has vowed to conduct independent testing on their whole line, and publish the results publicly. I did encourage him to do so. Hopefully this problem will not come up in repeat reports. Given the ability to control bacteria with a little care, I suspect it will not— but we'll see.

Bacteria-Contaminated Products (OIL)

Steroid    Listed Manufacturer   Lot #    Expiration CFU (Bacteria)
Nandrolone dec.    Diamond    00022    05/01/2012    1,500 CFU*
Testosterone prop.    Elite Fitness    0070312   12/2010    100 CFU
Testosterone enan.    Unigen    E803    02/2010    100 CFU
Drostanolone enan.    Golden Gear    138    06/2011    100 CFU

*Acceptable limit <100 CFU

Oil-based steroids that were analyzed from each of the following companies/underground labs were clean, with no significant bacterial level:

Axio Labs
Asia Pharma
Balkan Pharmaceuticals
Dutch Lab
Geneza Pharmaceuticals
Euro Pharmaceuticals
IP China

Water-Based UG Steroids: A WARNING
The water-based steroids were far more concerning. Water is an ideal medium for bacteria to grow. For this reason, the manufacture of underground steroids is inherently riskier when it involves water-based products. Weaknesses in quality control measures are easily exploited by the numerous bacteria that surround us all of the time. Pharmaceutical companies employ detailed sterility measures to assure bacteria do not enter their drug products, measures that underground manufacturers simply cannot fully duplicate. Because of this, many underground labs don't even attempt to manufacture water-based steroids. While I concede that the assembly of sterile underground water-based products is possible, if these lab results are any indication, significant problems are common.

Bacteria-Contaminated Products (Water)

Steroid    Listed Manufacturer    Lot #    Expiration CFU (Bacteria)*
Stanozolol    Alpha Pharma    RX7001   08/2010    400 CFU
Stanozolol    Axio    TV7R86   12/2012    12,000 CFU
Testosterone suspen.   Geneza    GP103    062011    4,000 CFU

*Acceptable limit <100 CFU

Of the four water-based products that were sent into the lab, three samples contained very high levels of bacteria. The only water-based product that passed bacteria screening was an (additional) ampule of Alpha Pharma stanozolol (lot RX8001). Alpha Pharma is a registered pharmaceutical exporter in India. Their products are not sold domestically in that country, but are not considered 'underground,' either. If the product with lot RX7001 actually came from this company (which we cannot say for certain), it would underline how difficult it can be to assemble sterile water-based products. As a registered manufacturer, this company should have extensive quality control measures in place (the second lot did pass inspection). India, after all, does have a fairly developed pharmaceutical industry. Still, we find bacteria in one of the samples.

The species of bacteria that showed up in these steroid products has not been identified. As such, it is not possible to determine the relative risk of using them. A bacteria-contaminated steroid might be used without any noticeable side effect. Many bacteria are harmless to humans. Other forms of bacteria can produce fever, illness, and/or serious infection. It is likely that bacteria contamination accounts for many common reports of abscess infection and excessively painful injections among users of underground steroids. In extreme cases, bacteria could even result in amputation or life-threatening illness. Given the range of potential harm, bacteria-contaminated steroid products are never acceptable. If you have obtained one of these specific products on the black market, you should not use it.
Underground steroids are always considered inferior to verifiable human-grade pharmaceuticals, because of their inherent uncertainties with regard to purity and potency. Their clandestine nature presents many specific risks to the user. These risks, however, may be further amplified when a highly favorable medium for bacterial growth (water) is used.
Consumers should be reminded that while underground steroids are never advised, underground water-based steroids might be especially likely to cause problems. It is advisable to avoid these products even if you are a regular consumer of underground steroids. For minimal unnecessary risk, of course, try your best to use only verifiable human-grade drugs.
And remember, these results concern only bacteria. Bacteria can usually be controlled with the proper use of a .22-micron filtration system and the employment of sufficient levels of benzyl alcohol. While bacteria are indeed an important health concern for people buying steroids on the underground market, they are not the only concern. Indeed, there are many additional issues to think about. Problems can include such things as dosage inconsistencies, heavy metal contamination, and adulteration with other drugs/substances.
UNDERGROUND ANABOLICS will closely examine all of these listed products for such problems. Full analysis results will be in the book, expected out very shortly. Please reserve a copy if you support this type of testing, as it costs me a lot of money to do!

William Llewellyn's new book, UNDERGROUND ANABOLICS, will be an unprecedented up-close examination of the underground steroid market, including detailed lab analysis on dozens of underground products— information that can protect your money and health. The book is shipping shortly! Reserve your copy today by visiting www.AnabolicsBook.com or calling 888-918-7888.

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