Deca Durabolin is an extremely popular anabolic steroid comprised of the steroidal hormone Nandrolone and is attached to the large Decanoate ester. The Nandrolone hormone first appeared in 1960 and developed for commercial use in 1962 by Organon under the trade name Deca Durabolin. Since that time numerous Nandrolone Decanoate versions have hit the market, but Deca Durabolin remains the most recognized. This was not the first Nandrolone compound ever created, that would belong to Organon’s Durabolin, which is specifically Nandrolone Phenylpropionate. The Phenylpropionate version is much faster acting with a less active duration, and while Phenylpropionate forms are popular, Deca Durabolin has largely dominated the Nandrolone marketplace.
Deca Durabolin is one of the most commonly used anabolic steroids among performance enhancing athletes. It is well known for being a tremendously beneficial off-season mass steroid, but it’s also a favorite in many athletic circles for its therapeutic benefits. Due to its tremendous therapeutic benefits, the Nandrolone hormone is one of the most beneficial anabolic steroids in medical practice. However, due to years of anabolic steroid controversy such use has been quite limited in the U.S. for many years. Outside the U.S. Deca Durabolin remains a bit more popular in therapeutic treatment plans that can cover a host of areas.
Deca Durabolin Functions & Traits:
Deca Durabolin is officially classified as a 19-nortestosterone (19-nor) anabolic androgenic steroid. The 19-nor classification refers to its direct structural nature, which is the testosterone hormone lacking a carbon atom at the 19th position. While this is only a slight change in structure from the testosterone hormone, this slight change gives us a unique anabolic steroid. As a Nandrolone base, Deca Durabolin is attached to the large Decanoate ester, which controls the hormone’s releasing activity slowing it down tremendously. This allows the individual to make use of the Nandrolone hormone without the need for frequent injections. Once injected, as the Decanoate ester begins to detach there will be a sharp spike in Nandrolone released within the body during the first 24-48 hours. From this point, the hormone will continue to release into the body for approximately 2-3 weeks.
Deca Durabolin carries a relatively potent anabolic rating, slightly greater than testosterone. However, its total androgenic activity is much lower than testosterone, carrying an androgenic rating of only 37 compared to testosterone’s 100. The lessened androgenic activity of Deca Durabolin is due to the hormone’s ability to reduce to dihydronandrolone (DHN) rather than dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This makes Deca Durabolin a much milder steroid than testosterone, and one of the most well-tolerated anabolic steroids for healthy adult men. This tolerable nature is also evident by its low estrogenic activity. Deca Durabolin does aromatize, but only at approximately 20% the rate of testosterone. However, it does carry a strong progestin nature, and this will play into the side effects as we will see later on.
Like many anabolic steroids, Deca Durabolin has the ability to enhance protein synthesis, inhibit glucocorticoid hormones, and promote enhanced IGF-1 output. Like many anabolic steroids, Deca Durabolin also has the ability to increase nitrogen retention in the muscles, but it appears to have a stronger affect than many steroids in this regard. In fact, studies have shown that even low doses of Nandrolone can greatly enhance nitrogen retention. This is an important factor, as all muscle tissue is comprised of approximately 16% nitrogen. While that may sound like a small amount, the more we retain the more anabolic we remain. When nitrogen levels are not maintained, this can cause us to enter a catabolic (muscle wasting) state.
Deca Durabolin is also well known for carrying two traits that are extremely important and largely separate it from many anabolic steroids. Again, many other steroids will carry these traits, but Deca Durabolin does so to a higher level. The traits in question are increasing bone mineral content and enhancing collagen synthesis. Due to these traits, Deca Durabolin is well known for promoting joint relief, and for many athletes that’s the only reason they’ll use it. Due to these traits, as well as its ability to increase red blood cell count, we can begin to see what types of therapeutic advantages this steroid can hold.
Deca Durabolin has been well noted for being an excellent steroid for those suffering from muscle wasting diseases, for improving geriatric weakness and fatigue, as well as anemia. Deca Durabolin has also been used to treat certain forms of breast cancer, has been life changing for severe burn victims, and even has the ability to treat ulcers. It has also been shown effective for treating pituitary deficient dwarfism, as well as development retardation in children. While Deca Durabolin has proven beneficial in all these areas, it has truly shined is in its ability to treat osteoporosis. This isn’t surprising when we consider the bone mineral content and collagen synthesis improvements. However, in the U.S. the compound is only used to treat those suffering from HIV and anemia, but some physicians are beginning to recognize the potential for therapeutic rejuvenation plans. Undoubtedly, at a low dose this steroid could provide a positive anti-aging benefit.
Effects of Deca Durabolin:
While the therapeutic benefits of Deca Durabolin are easy to see simply by understanding its basic nature, what most are concerned with is off-label use. Deca Durabolin is a long standing favorite among performance enhancing athletes, and while it is tremendously beneficial it is often grossly misunderstood. The misunderstanding is that this is only a bulking steroid, and while that is a fantastic point of use it is far from the only one. In fact, some competitive bodybuilders will use Deca Durabolin during their cutting phase, and during such a phase there’s no bulking going on. However, in order to understand the effects of Deca Durabolin and the varying beneficial points of use, you must remove a flawed way of thinking held by many anabolic steroid users. This type of thinking assumes all steroid progress is based on the enhancement of lean muscle tissue; specifically building more lean muscle tissue. Undoubtedly, this is the primary purpose of anabolic steroid use, but it is not the only one. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the varying positive effects of Deca Durabolin.
As an off-season bulking steroid, Deca Durabolin will provide significant gains in lean mass, but the increase in muscle mass will come slowly. This is a large ester based steroid, and it will not be fast acting. However, the mass built with this steroid will often be higher quality mass than compared to many anabolic steroids. Water retention is possible, but it should be fairly easy to control. Most should also find their strength increases to a degree, but Deca Durabolin is not what we’d call one of the stronger strength increasing steroids. During this off-season phase, the individual will also enjoy the therapeutic relief this steroid provides, which will be more than welcomed when off-season periods of growth are normally accompanied by the heaviest periods of weight training. This individual should also be able to acquire this new growth with less body fat accumulation that would normally otherwise occur. The use of anabolic steroids is well noted for enhancing the metabolic rate. This is nothing unique to Deca Durabolin, and while it will not directly burn body fat it will aid in the maintenance of a proper level. As off-season mass gains require excess calories, consider the metabolic enhancement an added bonus.
Many athletes, ball players, fighters, and any athlete who could benefit from the therapeutic relief often supplement with Deca Durabolin. Such individuals commonly have no desire to build any new lean muscle mass, but the relief alone is invaluable. Further, such relief can be obtained by a very low dose. A slightly higher dose will provide relief, greatly enhance overall recovery, and enhance muscular endurance. When it comes to performance enhancement, most athletes will find this steroid is hard to beat. More importantly, the relief effects of Deca Durabolin are not masking or false; this anabolic steroid shares nothing in common with over the counter painkillers or prescription painkillers like opiates. Such painkillers only mask the pain, whereas Deca Durabolin can actually heal the body.
Then we’re left with the cutting phase, and some athletes and bodybuilders will use Deca Durabolin during this phase of steroid use. Such use will be similar to direct athletic enhancement. The individual will supplement with a rather low dose for the relief and muscular endurance it can provide. This can be very welcomed during hard diets, as a true hardcore bodybuilding cutting diet is brutal on the human body. As an added bonus, Deca Durabolin will greatly preserve the individual’s lean muscle mass that would otherwise be lost during a necessary caloric deficit. While this steroid will not provide hardening or conditioning effects like many steroids, it can serve a purpose is some cutting plans.
Side Effects of Deca Durabolin:
Deca Durabolin is one of the more side effect friendly anabolic steroids for men and can prove useful for women, but normally only in therapeutic level doses. However, side effects of Deca Durabolin most certainly exist, but as we will see they largely fall into the realm of possible rather than guaranteed. With responsible use, most men will be able to use this steroid without the first negative effect. In order to achieve this level of safe supplementation, your first step is to recognize the possible side effects of Deca Durabolin, as well as what you can do about them. For an ease of understanding, we have broken down the side effects into separate categories along with the related information you’ll need.
The Nandrolone hormone is not very estrogenic, but it does carry a slight aromatizing nature. Aromatization refers to testosterone’s ability to convert to estrogen, a process that occurs due to the hormone’s interaction with the aromatase enzyme. As estrogen levels rise, this can promote gynecomastia, excess water retention and promote high blood pressure due to severe levels of water retention. Fortunately, the aromatase level of Deca Durabolin is low, but there is another factor to consider, which is its progestin nature. Nandrolone has a strong affinity for the progesterone receptor, as well as the ability to significantly stimulate the estrogenic mechanism in the mammary tissue enhancing the risk of gynecomastia.
In order to protect from the possible estrogenic and progesterone related side effects of Deca Durabolin, an anti-estrogen medication is often recommended. There are two primary choices in anti-estrogens, Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM’s) like Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate) and Aromatase Inhibitors (AI’s) like Arimidex (Anastrozole). AI’s will be far more effective, but SERM’s should be the first choice if they can get the job done. Many choose to rely on AI’s due to their tremendous anti-estrogenic power, but AI’s have been noted to have a negative impact on cholesterol, and one that can be greatly exasperated with the use of anabolic steroids. Conversely, while SERM’s are sometimes not enough they will have no adverse effect on cholesterol. In fact, SERM’s have actually been shown to improve cholesterol levels.
An important note of interest on the side effects of Deca Durabolin as it pertains to gynecomastia. It has long been assumed and passed around numerous steroid message boards that the cause of 19-nor induced gynecomastia is prolactin, not progesterone stimulation. This has been argued heavily regarding the 19-nor Trenbolone, but with Nandrolone as well. In his Anabolics series, William Llewellyn explains how the imbalance between estrogen and progesterone is what leads to gynecomastia. If this is not addressed and you’re merely combating a possible prolactin buildup, you may not be providing the protection you need.
Deca Durabolin can produce androgenic side effects; however, the threshold tends to be rather high for most men. Possible androgenic side effects of Deca Durabolin include acne, accelerated hair loss in those predisposed to male pattern baldness, and body hair growth. Such side effects are strongly dependent on genetic predispositions, but most men should find no problems exist. Unlike testosterone, Nandrolone is reduced to DHN rather than DHT, and while this takes place due to interaction with the 5-alpha reductase enzyme it greatly reduces the androgenicity of Nandrolone.
An important note regarding the androgenic side effects of Deca Durabolin or any Nandrolone hormone: Many choose to use 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like Finasteride to combat androgenic side effects brought on by anabolic steroids. However, the use of a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor along with Deca Durabolin will enhance the steroid’s androgenicity. It will actually have the opposite effect and increase the risk of androgenic side effects.
The androgenic nature of Deca Durabolin may lead to virilization symptoms in women. Virilization symptoms can include body hair growth, a deepening of the vocal chords, and clitoral enlargement. Women can use this steroid without virilizing effects, but it will require very low doses, and there are often better steroids for females to choose. If Nandrolone is desired, faster acting Phenylpropionate may be the way to go as it’s easier to control, but the odds of beating virilization symptoms are not as great as they are with steroids like Anavar or Primobolan. Regardless, if virilization symptoms occur, discontinue use immediately, and they will fade away. If such symptoms are ignored, they may become permanent.
Deca Durabolin can have a negative impact on cholesterol by skewing the HDL and LDL ratios. This potential negative effect will be most prominent as it pertains to HDL cholesterol suppression. Studies have shown that the Nandrolone hormone will actually have a stronger, negative impact on HDL cholesterol than testosterone. However, the total cardiovascular strain should be much less than most oral steroids.
Due to the potential cholesterol issues caused by Deca Durabolin, maintaining a cholesterol friendly lifestyle during use will be extremely important. This should not only include a cholesterol friendly diet, but one that is rich in omega fatty acids and that ensures you implement plenty of cardiovascular activity into your routine. It’s also important to keep in mind that if you use an Aromatase Inhibitor when supplementing with Deca Durabolin, you will need to give your cholesterol even more attention. Of all the possible side effects of Deca Durabolin, this is the one you’ll want to keep the closest eye on, and all are encouraged to keep a very close eye on their cholesterol throughout the duration of use as well as post use.
Deca Durabolin like all anabolic steroids is suppressive to natural testosterone production. The rate of suppression varies from one steroid to the next, but with Deca Durabolin, and all Nandrolone based compounds, it will be extreme. Some studies have shown that a single 100mg dosing of the steroid will suppress total natural production. Other studies, while they do not show near the rate of suppression, are still more than significant and often a representation of at least 2/3rd total reduction in serum testosterone levels. For this reason, all men who supplement with Deca Durabolin should include exogenous testosterone. The form of testosterone you choose is of no consequence, all that matters is that your body is provided with the testosterone it needs. Failure to supplement with exogenous testosterone will result in a low testosterone condition. Such a condition can be quite bothersome; it comes with numerous possible symptoms but, more importantly, is extremely unhealthy.
Once the use of Deca Durabolin has come to an end and all the exogenous steroidal hormones have cleared your system, natural testosterone production will begin again. It will not occur overnight, and for this reason a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) plan is often recommended. This will speed up the recovery process as well as improve the overall efficiency. No, contrary to popular myth, there is no PCT plan that will return your natural testosterone levels back to normal all on its own. Total recovery will take several months. However, a PCT plan will ensure you have enough testosterone in order for proper function while your levels continue to naturally rise.
Important notes on natural testosterone recovery post Deca Durabolin use: Natural recovery assumes no prior low testosterone condition existed. It also assumes no severe damage was done to the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular-Axis (HPTA) due to improper practices. It is also important to note that a PCT plan should not begin until Deca Durabolin has been discontinued for at least 2-3 weeks. Most will find ending their Deca Durabolin use before the total conclusion of their cycle to be the best way to go.
Deca Durabolin is not toxic to the liver and will present no stress or damage to the vital organ.
Deca Durabolin Administration:
Deca Durabolin is a very slow acting steroid that does not have to be injected all that frequently. In most therapeutic treatment plans the compound is only administered once every 2-4 weeks with every 3-4 weeks being far more common. The exception would be in the treatment of anemia; when treating anemia Deca Durabolin is normally administered once per week. For any performance related pursuit, a single injection per week will be more than suitable. However, some will choose to split this up into two small injections per week in order to cut down on the total injection volume.
The standard dosing range for Deca Durabolin normally falls in the 100mg every 2-4 week range for basic therapeutic treatment and 100-200mg per week for the treatment of anemia. For the athlete looking for rejuvenation and relief, 100mg per week is a fine starting point, but most will be much happier with 200mg per week results. Such a dosing will ensure recovery, relief, and endurance are all enhanced as well as provide a slight anabolic boost. For true anabolic gains, 300mg per week is normally considered the low-end dose. Many will find 400mg per week to be the perfect dosing level, and more importantly, well within a controllable level. Many men may be able to tolerate doses as high as 600mg per week. This will increase the risk of adverse effects and often 400mg per week is more than enough, but varying circumstances will dictate the individual outcome.
Deca Durabolin should not be used for less than 8 weeks when used as a performance enhancing tool. The compound is extremely slow acting, and the individual will need to use it for an extended period of time to reap a reward. Eight weeks should be the minimum, but once discontinued the compound will still be active in the body for several weeks. As 8 weeks is our minimum, 10-12 weeks will be very acceptable for most men. Use can stretch past this point but is rarely recommended; most will not implement cycles much longer than 12-16 weeks outside hardcore performance circles, and in those cases, a rotation of steroidal hormones is highly advised.
For female athletes, 50mg per week for no more than 4-6 weeks is normally all that can be tolerated. There will be some who may be able to handle a 100mg per week dosing, but such a dose will normally produce virilization symptoms in most women. For standard therapeutic treatment plans, Deca Durabolin will normally be administered at 50-100mg every 3-4 weeks. In the treatment of anemia, 50-100mg per week is standard.