Dianabol is the brand name for the anabolic steroid methandrostenolone. It was originally manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Ciba.
Dianabol quite possibly may be the single most popular steroid on the market today, with Nandrolone Decanoate, also known as Deca Durabolin, as a close second, and Stanozolol, also known as Winstrol, next.
Dianabol is the second oldest synthetic anabolic steroid. It is also the first testosterone equivalent developed, with the exception of methyltestosterone, which is basically oral testosterone.
This article will provide a comprehensive look at Dianabol effects and benefits to help you understand more about how this steroid works.
The first anabolic steroid was synthesized in 1934, and the first known use of steroids by bodybuilding athletes came just a few years later, in 1938. With the development of Dianabol in the 1950s came a veritable explosion in the world of synthetic anabolic steroid research and development.
Dianabol was developed in the mid-1950s by a scientific team led by Dr. John Ziegler.
At the time, the Soviet Union was dominating the Olympic Games and America was at a tremendous disadvantage. An investigation was conducted to find out how the Soviet athletes could possibly be so immensely superior to all of the other athletes. As part of the investigation, Soviet athletes who had defected to the United States were studied.
It was discovered that these athletes had received intramuscular injections of testosterone in amounts significantly higher than those normally found in the human body. It was found that administering these high doses of testosterone was a significant factor in improving athletic prowess, particularly in activities requiring physical strength.
This discovery led Dr. Ziegler and his team to create this new drug, which is essentially just an orally active version of testosterone that has been chemically altered. This anabolic steroid would become the United States’ answer to the Soviet athletes’ use of testosterone.
The formula was then marketed by pharmaceutical company Ciba for release and marketing under the brand name Dianabol after it received FDA approval.
Benefits of Dianabol
As previously mentioned, Dianabol is a chemically modified version of testosterone. The specific modification is done in order to reduce the androgenicity of the drug and the side effects often seen with other anabolic steroids, while preserving and enhancing its ability to build muscle.
While the chemical modifications made to Dianabol did reduce the drug’s androgenicity than testosterone, it did still retain some of its androgenic activity.
Dianabol is orally bioavailable, which means that, when taken orally, much of it survives being metabolized by the liver to reach the bloodstream. While it is true that injectable versions of Dianabol can be found, the fact is it is primarily used as an oral steroid and injectable preparations are rarely used.
Because Dianabol is so incredibly popular, its name is known throughout gym culture, athletics and by those who are involved in these circles. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself was quoted at one time as having referred to Dianabol as “the breakfast of champions’.
Dianabol isn’t just used by bodybuilders looking to increase their muscle mass, however. Another benefit is that it can also be used to restored atrophied muscle, to help patients suffering from bone weakness, to treat patients suffering from anemia and as a treatment for pituitary-deficient dwarfism.
Despite these other potential beneficial uses, Dianabol is far more commonly used to enhance the performance of athletes than in clinical applications.
Because of this, pharmaceutical companies in the United States have gradually cut back the amount of Dianabol they produced each year until stopping production in the late 1980s.
Even Dr. Ziegler became disenchanted by his creation because of the extent of overuse and abuse of the drug. Over time, he became opposed to the use of anabolic steroids in professional athletics.
Dianabol’s Chemical Effects
Dianabol is methylated at carbon 17-alpha on its molecular structure. Methylated simply means that a methyl group is added to the 17th carbon atom in a process known as C17-Alpha Alkylation.
This is what gives the drug the ability to survive liver metabolism when taken orally so that a high percentage of it reaches the bloodstream in an active and unaltered state. Absent such a modification, steroids taken orally are largely denatured by liver metabolism and the amount that makes it to the bloodstream is insufficient to bring about any measurable effects.
Dianabol also has a double-bond between the carbon atoms at the 1 and 2 locations. This particular modification reduces the androgenicity of the steroid when compared to testosterone.
This occurs because the double bond limits the ability of Dianabol effects to bind with androgen receptors compared to testosterone. The double bond also increases the half life of Dianabol to about 6 hours.
These modifications also reduce the ability of certain proteins to bind to Dianabol, including Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). These proteins bind to sex hormones and temporarily deactivate them.
The result is basically just a bound hormone drifting through the bloodstream doing nothing, unable to bind to receptors and quite literally useless. The chemical modifications made in the manufacturing process make it into a powerful anabolic steroid.
It is important to point out, however, that while Dianabol has a much less intense interaction with androgen receptors when compared with many anabolic steroids, it is still quite a powerful hormone. It is thought that non-receptor mediated activity is a critical part of the activity and benefits of Dianabol.
That said, Dianabol effects have an anabolic rating of 210, much higher than the anabolic rating of testosterone, which sits at 100. Dianabol has a bit more than twice the anabolic potency of testosterone. This is due to the modifications that are made to the molecular structure of the drug.
Understanding Dianabol’s Mechanism of Action
The modifications made to the molecular structure of Dianabol during the manufacturing process do give it some limitations. The first of these is the C17-Alpha Alkylated property.
As mentioned, this is the addition of a methyl group to the 17th carbon atom to allow the drug to be used orally without being denatured by liver metabolism.
The downside to this modification is that it increases the hepatotoxicity of the drug, which means it becomes toxic to the liver. This occurs with any compound that is resistant to being broken down by the liver.
In order to minimize the potential for liver damage effects and ensure healthy liver function, it is recommended that Dianabol be used in cycles no longer than four to six weeks at a time.
This gives the liver a chance to recover from the effects of Dianabol before damage begins to occur. Because of the possibility of liver damage, it is best used as a supportive kickstarter.
Like most oral anabolic steroids, Dianabol should never be used alone, but should be stacked with some form of testosterone, not lower than a testosterone replacement therapy dose.
Safety and Side Effects Analysis
Despite its benefits, Dianabol is moderately estrogenic. This means that it is aromatized by the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is the enzyme that converts androgens into estrogen.
Aromatization is the chemical process responsible for estrogenic side effects commonly experienced with anabolic steroids including water retention, gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue in men), high blood pressure (typically due to water retention), and increased fat.
Dianabol has an androgenic rating of between forty and sixty, compared to the androgenic rating of testosterone at 100, making it about half as androgenic as testosterone.
While it is true that Dianabol has far less androgenic potency than testosterone, and that androgenic side effects are far less common and less pronounced than those seen with testosterone, it is still important to know that androgenic side effects can still occur.
The potential and severity of androgenic side effects is increased for sensitive individuals and include: accelerated hair loss in individuals genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness, increased sebum production leading to oily skin and adult acne, and growth of facial and body hair.
Besides this, 5-Alpha Reductase enzyme, the enzyme that converts testosterone to the dihydrotestosterone, which is a far more potent androgen than testosterone, also interacts with Dianabol.
With Dianabol, however, 5-Alpha Reductase enzyme does not create dihydrotestosterone, but rather a more androgenic metabolite of Dianabol.
However, Dianabol is less able to bind with 5-Alpha Reductase enzyme. It is important to remember all of these effects and benefits of Dianabol when you are using it so you know how to stay safe during and after your cycle.