Recreational athletes and bodybuilders illicitly use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), to push the limits of their physical performance and physique. Metandienone, also known as methandienone or methandrostenolone and sold under the brand name Dianabol (D-Bol), is often used for bulking and putting on size. D-Bol works under similar mechanisms as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), with strong anabolic and androgenic effects. We are going to discuss what dianabol is, what it does, and how it works.
What Is Dianabol (D-Bol)
Like other steroids, dianabol was first evaluated in the 1950’s and brought to market in 1955 by pharmaceutical giant Novartis. Before the Kefauver Harris Amendment was passed in 1962, dianabol was prescribed to burn victims, and the elderly population to help with muscle wasting, and prescribed off-label as a performance enhancing drug to athletes [R].
The pharmaceutical compound worked so well, that in 1962 Sid Gillman, the head coach of the San Diego Chargers, administered dianabol to his team. Three times a day, players would take 5mg of dianabol, ultimately leading them to a championship that year [R].
In 1965, the FDA put pressure on Novartis, to provide more evidence-based research, promoting the indicated use of Dianabol for post-menopausal osteoporosis, and pituitary deficient dwarfism, and in 1970, the FDA accepted that metandienone (Dianabol) was “Probably Effective” in treating post-menopausal osteoporosis and pituitary-deficient dwarfism. Dianabol was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1983, while non-medical use of AAS was outlawed in the US, under the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990.
How Does Dianabol Work, What Does Dianabol Do
Dianabol is orally active and bioavailable. Like other AASs, Dianabol activates the androgen receptor (AR). Activation of the androgen receptor stimulates protein synthesis, which increases muscle growth, lean body mass and bone mineral density.
AASs were created as a potential alternative to testosterone, to have more anabolic and less androgenic effects. Anabolic androgenic steroids such as Dianabol, potentiate androgen receptor activity and have high tissue selectivity for muscle and bone. Testosterone esters have a high ratio of anabolic to androgenic effects [R].
Unlike other, 17α-steroids, which are already 5α reduced, Dianabol can be reduced by the enzyme 5α-reductase, into methyl-1-testosterone, a more potent AAS. It was recognized in the 1940s that 17α-alkyl substitution retards the presystemic metabolism of testosterone, extending its half-life and making it orally active. Thus, a number of oral androgens, such as 17α-methyl testosterone, have 17α-alkyl substitution.
While the ratio of anabolic to androgenic activity of Dianabol, is relatively improved to that of testosterone, it does still possess moderate androgenic activity and is capable of producing virilizing effects.
In vitro studies show that 17alpha-methyl testosterone inhibits aromatase activity in a dose-related manner [R]. However, Dianabol is a substrate for aromatase, and can be metabolized into estrogen methylestradiol, and although the rate of aromatization is reduced relative to testosterone, the estrogen produced is metabolism resistance, thus Dianabol does retain moderate estrogenic activity.
The majority of research conducted with Dianabol dates back between the 1950’s - 1970’s. The clearest and most well-defined benefit of Dianabol, is its ability to increase strength and lean body mass.
Several studies investigating the effects of Dianabol in highly trained athletes, have shown that dianabol does have powerful anabolic effects, and will increase strength and lean body mass, in a dose-dependent manner.
In the 1970’s research investigating the athletic performance efficacy of dianabol, confirmed early study results, that dianabol does encourage weight gain, and does provide ergogenic benefit.
Increased Lean Muscle Mass
Studies investigating the effects of larger administered doses (100mg/day) on performance and lean body mass, found that Dianabol, is highly anabolic, leading to increases in strength and muscle mass.
Intracellular muscle fluid also increased, aiding in strength and bigger gains in muscle mass [R].
Dianabol Side Effects
Studies have used therapeutic dosages ranging between 5,10, and 100mg of dianabol per day. Despite dosages, orally administered, 17-alpha alkylated androgens, are potentially hepatotoxic and markedly lower plasma HDL cholesterol.
Common occurring side effects of Dianabol, include [R].
- Reduced libido
- Increased HDL cholesterol
Abuse of AAS and Dianabol at supraphysiological doses, especially when used concomitantly with other AAS, may result in more severe cases, and include but are not limited to
- Severe cardiovascular issues
- Gastro-intestinal hemorrhage
- Aggressive behavior
Dianabol, will suppress natural testosterone levels. However, unlike other AAS, dianabol does have moderate estrogenic effects. Dianabol, can be reduced by the enzyme 5α-reductase, into methyl-1-testosterone, a more potent AAS, just as testosterone, is reduced into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Dianabol produces Dianabol is a substrate for aromatase, and can be metabolized into estrogen methylestradiol, and although the rate of aromatization is reduced relative to testosterone, the estrogen produced is metabolism resistance, thus Dianabol does retain moderate estrogenic activity. Although it’s affinity for estrogen receptors (ER) is much lower.
Thus, dianabol alone, could be used in or as a compound for hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Since Dianabol is aromatized, it can also lead to estrogenic side effects such as
- Water retention
Methylestradiol, is shown to be more potent than estradiol from the aromatization of testosterone.methandrostenolone.
Dianabol, D-Bol, [Methandrostenolone]: Takeaway
There are several things to consider with the use of Dianabol for performance. Although studies have shown slight increases in anabolic effect, in regard to strength and muscle mass, large doses which may be required to obtain significant increases in muscle mass. At theraputic doses, between 5mg-25mg per day, side effects are seen less often. However doses of 100mg or more per day can be accompanied by severe side effects, more so than other AASs.
Additionally, although Dianabol is more anabolic than androgenic, it is still moderately androgenic, causing an increase in androgenic side effects combined with increases in estrogen.
D-bol, can be used as a base replacement to testosterone, however some argue, why this would be used for HRT, when TRT, can be easily used instead.
Overall, it is in my opinion, that the side effects of Dianabol, far outweigh the benefit, especially when compared to other AASs.
Disclaimer: Swolverine does not condone the use or sell steroidal or non-steroidal SARMS or anabolic agents. The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Dianabol is not for sale in the United States. Possessing, using, or distributing these substances may lead to serious legal consequences. Dianabol and testosterone esters are on the WADA prohibited banned substance list and will cause a failed drug test.
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