Prohormone supplements are used by individuals who are wanting to increase size and strength without the use of anabolic steroids. It is difficult to know exactly how effective prohormone supplements are since they are not evaluated by the FDA. When using some prohormones, it is not uncommon for the user to gain upwards of 20 pounds during a four week cycle only to lose 10 to 15 of those pounds within two weeks after the prohormone has been stopped. Consult with your doctor before using supplements.
What is a Prohormone?
A prohormone can be described as a precursor molecule from which an actual hormone can be produced. Most individuals looking to purchase prohormones generally are people who are looking to gain muscle and strength. With this in mind, these prohormones are precursors to the male sex hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Prohormones vary greatly in strength. Some are very weak while others are, milligram for milligram, just as potent as anabolic steroids.
Many of the strongest prohormone supplements are no longer on the market and now fall into the category of anabolic steroids. Many of the benefits associated with prohormone supplements are similar to those of anabolic steroids. These include increases in strength, power, recovery and muscle size.
Since prohormones are taken orally, they can be very detrimental to your health. Although illegal, injectable steroids like testosterone have much less health risk than many prohormones. Most prohormones are c-17 alkayated, which means that there is an added molecule to the structure so it is not destroyed in the liver. This places great stress on the liver. Prohormones can cause excessive damage to the liver, reduction of HDL, increases in blood pressure, acne and male breast growth.
Since prohormones cause damage to the liver, you should consume a liver support supplement before, during and after the cycle. Registered dietitian Judith Lukaszuk states that N-acetyl cysteine, milk thistle, and SAMe are all effective liver detoxifiers. With the damage that prohormones will do on blood cholesterol and lipids, you should consume a cholesterol support supplement before, during and after the cycle. This may include policosanols, guggal lipids, garlic, red yeast rice, niacin and fenugreek.
Once the cycle of the prohormone has concluded, you should think about a post-cycle supplement to help maintain the gains in size and strength you experienced. Depending on the prohormone you used, you may have greatly decreased your natural testosterone production. Consuming Nolvadex and hCG have been proven to increase natural testosterone production more effectively than supplements currently on the market. However, both of these supplements are prescription drugs and may not be available for you.
- "Dictionary.com"; Prohormone; 2011
- "Anabolics (10th Edition)"; William Llewellyn; 2011
- "The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association"; Evaluation of Aminotransferase Elevations in a Bodybuilder Using Anabolic Steroids: Hepatitis or Rhabdomyolysis?; Raymond Pertusi, DO; July 2001
- Judith Lukaszuk, Ph.D., R.D.; Northern Illinois University