Article by PartyBoy - MuscleTalk Moderator
Pharmaceutical Name: Methandrostenolone / Methandienone
Common Brand/Trade/Slang Names: Dianabol, D-Bol, Anabol (Pinks), Naposim, Methanabol, Danabol, Reforvit B
Chemical Structure: 17a-methyl-17b-hydroxy-1,4-androstadien-3-one
Delivery Method: Normally Orally
Half Life: Approx 4hrs
Typical Vial/Tablet doses: 5mg/10mg/50mg
Background of Dianabol
No other steroid conjures up more nostalgia in the bodybuilding community. For decades this has been the mainstay of both novice and experienced users. Other steroids may fall out of favour, or indeed appear to be the new Holy Grail, but Dianabol is probably the most used steroid of them all, and is often heralded 'The Breakfast of Champions'.
Dianabol (often shortened to D-Bol / dbol), was actually a brand name given to the steroid compound Methandrostenolone by the Swiss pharmaceutical and chemical company Ciba. Though production ceased many years ago, the brand name lives on and is still the name by which the steroid is most commonly referred. Nowadays, there are a host of 'underground laboratories' that manufacture this steroid.
Even today, despite steroid users becoming more accustomed to, and have the finance to fund exotic cycles with many different compounds, Dianabol is as popular as ever, owing to the fact that it is not only very cheap and relatively widespread, but results are nothing short of breathtaking, both in terms of mass gained and increases in strength.
Prospective steroid users will typically look toward D-Bol as their first steroid experience. This is understandable given the unease that they may possess in respect of using inject able steroids. A 4-6 week course of 25mg-30mg per day should yield a pleasing outcome for novice users, whilst minimising side effects. As you would expect, more advanced users will benefit from higher dosages, though the dose/result ratio is not uniformly linear, and will see benefits tapering off strongly above 60mg-70mg per day, a situation also compounded with perhaps unacceptable side effects. However, given the nature of Dianabol, this situation is rarely encountered, as more experienced users will prefer to stack it with an injectable 'base' steroid such as Testosterone or Nandrolone (Deca) in order that the D-Bol dosages are kept modest.
Due to the relatively short half life, the daily dose is usually spread throughout the day, typically three or four times, with meals. Alternatively, some users prefer to take the full daily dose in one sitting, around 30 minutes before their workout. Dosing in this way can give rise to incredible 'pumps' during the workout, providing the user with a very real sense of vigour and increased performance. There is an additional perceived benefit in that a single dosage will result in a slightly greater uptake of the drug. Whilst this is true, it is somewhat of a fallacy due to the fact that any benefit is countered by an increased in liver stress associated with an increased load borne by the liver from a single dosing schedule. Additionally, it will create a spike in blood concentrations, swiftly followed by a crash; a situation which is normally desired to be avoided by users.
Dianabol is particularly suited to mass gaining goals, where the primary aim is to gain as much muscle as possible, with the user typically adjusting their diets to accommodate possibly 5000 calories or more. Testosterone / Deca / Dianabol is a superb combination with this goal in mind, two examples of which are shown below:
Testosterone (Enanthate/Cypionate/Sustanon) 500mg pw, weeks 1-11
Deca 400mg pw, weeks 1-10
Dianabol 25mg ed, weeks 1-4
Testosterone (Enanthate/Cypionate/Sustanon) 750mg pw, weeks 1-11
Deca 600mg pw, weeks 1-10
Dianabol 35mg ed, weeks 1-4
Due to the sometimes excessive water retentive properties of Dianabol, it makes it a poor choice of compound in cycles where the user is looking to shed fat. Cardiovascular activity will feature heavily during periods of cutting and these endeavours will be greatly hampered by the water retention and the painful 'pumps' that often ensue.
Possible Dianabol Side Effects
Dianabol is a strong anabolic, with moderate to high androgenic qualities. Acne, oily skin and body hair growth cannot be ruled out and they are often encountered from a dose of just 20mg or 25mg per day. Increases in the rate of male pattern baldness in those susceptible to the condition is also a concern, with many users reporting that it is perhaps as harsh to the hairline as Testosterone. However, unlike testosterone which is readily converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by the 5-α reductase enzyme, Dianabol, although liable and capable of reduction to the androgenically stronger dihydromethandrostenolone, does not have a strong affinity to do so, therefore this metabolite is of little concern.
Dianabol is also capable of interaction with the enzyme aromatase resulting in the possibility of estrogenic side effects. Gynecomastia may become apparent even very early into a cycle, so the user must always ensure that they have the necessary drugs to treat the condition at the earliest possible opportunity. A Selective Estrogen Modulator (SERM) such as Tamoxifen (brand name Nolvadex) is usually used in these instances, perhaps with the addition of an anti-estrogen such as Proviron or Arimidex which will help hinder further estrogenic conversion. (For more information see the article Combating Oestrogens & Progesterone).
Significant water retention is also a feature of dianabol use. Large initial weight gains are largely attributable to the user holding water, giving the appearance of bloatedness in the body, neck and face (moon face). Such mass gains must not be assumed to be solely muscular, and users should expect that post cycle weight losses will be significant.
As mentioned above, dianabol is hepatotoxic i.e. stressful to the liver. This is due to the alkylation which is added to the steroid molecule to enable it to survive the first pass hepatic metabolism and thus greatly increase the drugs bioavailability. Unfortunately, this alkylation may affect clinical liver values, (markers of liver function obtainable from a blood test) so use of such oral steroids are usually limited both in dose and duration, in an attempt to minimise potential liver damaging issues.
The Use of Dianabol as a Supplement
Section by Bransholme (MuscleTalk Member)
This article was originally intended to be a history of the anabolic steroid dianabol and it's usage in bodybuilding, but there is little real evidence of how it was used in previous decades. However, in the course of research, I have come to the conclusion that current use of dianabol as a supplement is not as efficient as it could be. Most of the modern thoughts on dianabol use reflect around myths and irrelevant scientific studies; this article attempts to explain new ways of thinking on dianabol usage using scientific evidence and people's experiences.
Dianabol (or dbol as it's commonly called) is one of the most commonly used oral steroids. Its chemical name is methanedienone or methandrostenolone and there are many different pharmaceutical and generic varieties including Anabol and Naposim. In this article we look at lower dose usage of dianabol as a supplement, as opposed to using pro-hormones or pro-steroids.
Liver Toxicity of Dianabol
The 17 alpha-alkylated properties of methanedienone do make it liver toxic, but this, I believe, is overstated as most of the evidence of its toxicity comes from studies on individuals and not from studies on large groups of dianabol-using bodybuilders. One study on rats (1) showed that regardless of dose or time of administration, dianabol produces changes in enzymatic activity, which leads to hypertrophy of hepatocytes; which basically shows that dianabol is toxic to the liver. But in another study (2) Nerobol (Russian Dianabol) was found to favour a rapid normalisation of functional and metabolic disorders of the liver, which contradicts the earlier evidence. This shows that the whole idea of dianabol being dangerous is in no way as bad as some would make out.
Benefits of Dianabol Use
Dianabol has been shown to increase anaerobic glycolysis (3), which increases lactic acid build up in the body. This is beneficial because lactic acid is used by the muscles to form glycogen, which in turn provides energy in anaerobic metabolism. Lactic acid is also a key chemical in the disposal of dietary carbohydrates, which means you are less likely to get fat while using dianabol.
A study on osteoporosis (4) showed that at a dosage of just 2.5mg per day for 9 months dianabol was more effective than calcium supplementation in reducing osteoporotic activity, it was also shown to increase muscle mass more effectively. Another study on osteoporosis (5) which lasted 24 months, showed just how dianabol works on osteoporosis; dianabol increased total body calcium, and also total body potassium. This may not mean much to you as a bodybuilder, but the actions of calcium are very important to bodybuilders, as it transports large numbers of amino acids and also creatine and these two things are vital in muscle growth. Potassium is also very important, as it assists in muscle contractions, transmitting nerve signals, and insulin release; so it is also a very anabolic substance.
One very interesting study (6), although not significant in bodybuilding terms, showed that dianabol increases the sensitivity of laryngeal tumour cells to radiotherapy, and concluded 'recommending this hormone to be used during radiotherapy of patients with the laryngeal cancer'.
How to Cycle Dianabol
To create a cycle for dianabol that is based around using it more as a supplement than a steroid, we first need to look at the current trend for cycling dianabol and analyse what is wrong with it. An average cycle of Dianabol is usually structured as 25-40mg split throughout each day for 4-6 weeks, either alone or stacked with other steroids.
Firstly a dose of 25mg or more commonly causes water retention. It is well known that dianabol does aromatise quite easily, and most of the water retention is usually attributed to a build up of excess estrogen. However, it is my belief that initially water retention is caused by the body holding on to water due to the effects of dianabol on the body's mineral balance, in particular the potassium/sodium balance. This coupled with the fact that dianabol cause estrogenic side effects, leads to a lot of water build-up, and as there is little we can do about the change in the bodies mineral balance, the only other thing we can do is try to reduce aromatisation, usually with Nolvadex (tamoxifen) or other anti-estrogens. This is not the only method though, by reducing the dose, less of the drug will aromatise, which leads to less estrogen and more importantly less water retention. Reducing the drug during a cycle would lead to estrogen levels dropping slowly, so we should start the cycle with a lower dose of 10-20mg each day.
Splitting the dosage when you are using a low dose is virtually pointless, as you will get a much smaller peak of the drug. So in this case it is best to take it in a single dose in the morning (preferably with grapefruit juice). Although this will not prevent suppression of natural testosterone, it may lessen it to a certain degree, as your body will still have lengthy periods later in the day when there is little testosterone circulating, and so it may still produce some.
Now if we look at cycle duration, 4-6 weeks seems too short to have any real effect at a low dose, but how can we use dianabol for longer without placing more risk on our liver? The solution is actually quite simple; by taking weekends off from the drug we will give our livers a break from processing the drug. Due to the short half-life any active substances will be out of our system within 24 hours of your last dose, now this may seem like it will cost you gains, but in actual fact it will cost you little or no losses in the long run as even though there is no active drug in the body the effects are still present i.e. extra intramuscular water, and a more anabolic mineral balance. These effects usually taper off over several days. This method will not however, help your natural testosterone to return from its inhibited state, as this process can take considerably longer. If we take weekends off and use a lower dose, we should in theory be able to use dianabol for 10 weeks with no problems. A simple bit of mathematics can show this point best:
- 6 weeks @25mg each day = 1050mg of Dianabol in total
- 10 weeks with weekends off @15mg each day = 750mg of Dianabol in total
So as you can see, by using this system your liver will actually process less dianabol than in a conventional cycle, add this to the fact that you can make gains for 10 weeks instead of 6, and with fewer side effects, and you get a very solid cycle.
This Cycle Theory can be applied in many different situations, for instance a beginner could use the dianabol on it's own for 10 weeks and gain very well. A more experienced steroid user could use this alongside an injectable cycle for very good gains too, getting the benefit of the initial quick gains of the Dianabol, with the slower but stronger gains of an injectable.
This cycle may seem to go against many of the current trends of dianabol use, but I believe that by using dianabol as a supplement to good training and nutrition you can make very good gains.
- Effects of methandrostenolone on liver morphology and enzymatic activity. Nesterin MF, Budik VM, Narodetskaia RV, Solov'eva GI, Stoianova VG.
- An experimental study of the hepatoprotective properties of phytoecdysteroids and Nerobol in carbon tetrachloride induce liver lesions. Syrov VN, Khushbaktova ZA, Nabiev AN.
- Effects of methanedienone (methandrostenolone) on energy processes and carbohydrate metabolism in rat liver cells. Serakovskii S, Mats'koviak Iu.
- Calcium, vitamin D and anabolic steroid treatment of aged bones: double-blind placebo-controlled long-term clinical trial. Inkovaara J, Gothoni G, Halttula R, Heikinheimo R, Tokola O.
- Changes in body composition following therapy of osteoporosis with methandrostenolone. Mann V, Benko AB, Kocsar LT.
- Radiomodifying effect of methandrostenolone on laryngeal cancer cells. Bordiushkov IuN, Kucherova TI, Kisliakova ND, Vagner VP, Zubkova TV.
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