Prohormone & Designer Steroid Articles

Prohormone Characteristics

Prohormones exert effects through several different pathways, but the ones most important to people considering using them are their actions on the body's androgenic, estrogenic and progestogenic receptors. It is through these receptors that prohormone effects are largely mediated.

Prohormones, like anabolic steroids, are androgen agonists. This means they work through the androgen receptor. A strong androgen receptor agonist means effects related to the male hormone testosterone will be prominent, These include increased aggression, sex drive, alpha male type characteristics in general.

There's also a heightened risk of side effects related to high androgen levels such as an increased susceptibility to hair loss and acne. Side effects are very individual in nature and depend on the person taking the prohormone.

Linked to these androgenic effects is the propensity for prohormones to induce sizeable increases in muscle strength, large muscle gains, and a hardening effect on the muscles. Prohormones that don't convert to estrogen (such as Epistane or RPN's Havoc) tend to exhibit these types of muscle gains with no water retention.

Prohormones can also cause effects via estrogen and progesterone receptors. These effects tend to be similar. Prohormones that convert to estrogen and progesterone have the ability to cause large increases in mass and strength, although much of the mass is of a poor quality visually and associated with water retention more than anything else. Estrogenic side effects are feared by most bodybuilders and include increased water weight, increased susceptibility to fat gain in the presence of high estrogen and, worst of all, gynecomastia.

While there are some products almost exclusively androgenic in nature with little to no risk of estrogenic/progestogenic side effects (such as Epistane or Havoc), the reverse is not true. Compounds with high affinity for estrogen and progesterone receptors will still have an impact on the androgen receptor. You will often hear of prohormones being called androgenic or estrogenic or even both, but this is often based on their primary method of action. All prohormones have an androgenic effect at some level, as they all primarily work via their effect on the androgen receptor.

Separate from their effects via androgen, estrogen, and progesterone receptors, prohormones also differ in their impact on other body systems. Typically, strong androgens are useful for promoting strength gains via the central nervous system (CNS) stimulation, independent of their anabolic or muscle building effects. Prohormones promote enhanced red blood cell production, which is why users of prohormones usually experience greater pumps and vascularity.

Generally speaking, liver toxicity is a concern only for methylated, oral compounds (which most prohormones are). Individual prohormones can differ greatly in effect.

(excerpted from a writeup by Reggie Johal)
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