Tom's Weight Training Page

Andro's and stuff

Revised March 23, 2001

Well here's my page about Andro's and all that.
Here is testosterone:

The five main prohormes currently available are:

Recently several of these have become available in cyclodextrin complexes , for sublingual, rather than oral delivery.

These are know by various and sundry nicknames: "andro", "androdiol", "nor-andro", etc., If there is any double as to what a specific product contains, consult the label.

There are two prohormones with very similar names to the above list:

These are not specifically testosterone precursors, and if they actually work in some anabolic way, then they do so by some mechanism unknown to me. Avoid these products.

Androst-4-ene-3,17-dione ("Andro")
Androst-4-ene-3,17-dione was the first of the prohormones introduced for sale in the US. It is just like testosterone (see
above), except that the OH in the upper right part has been replaced by an ==O. This converts in the blood via an enzyme to testosterone at a rate of approximately 5% or so. Note however that:

As a result of all these considerations, I personally do not think that androst-4-ene-3,17-dione is good for body building, with one possible exception: andro consumed before a workout may raise aggression in the workout, and thus lead to a better workout. This is in fact what the original use of andro by the East Germans was.

Androst-4-ene-3,17-diol. ("Androdiol", "4-AD")
Androst-4-ene-3,17-diol is another testosterone precursor. Looking again at testosterone (see
above), androst-4-ene-3,17-diol is just like testosterone,except that the ==O in the lower left corner has been replaced by -OH. There are two isomers because carbon #3 (the lower left carbon where testosterone has ==O), also has an H attached to it. The relative positions of the -OH and the H determine the isomer (3alpha or 3 beta). So far as anybody knows, the two isomers are identical in anabolic, androgenic effects. Again bio-availability is low with oral dosages -- somewhere at 5% or below. However androdiol has several advantages over andro:

Thus until something else comes along (see Cyclodextrin complexes, below), 4-AD seems to the product to use (amongst the testosterone precursors.)

Contra-indications to usage:

Dosages of andro or 4-AD, as suggested on the bottles that they come in range from 1 per day (before workouts) to 3 per day (every day). While I would never recommend to anyone to exceed the suggested dosages of any product.. it is widely conceded that dosages at these levels are not very useful. Many report (go to deja-news,, and hunt for andro, androdiol, etc., etc., ) using dosages in the 600 mg to (say) 1200 mg a day. I do not recommend this. Nevertheless people seem to getting results from 4-AD at these dosages. Important: Do not take for longer than about 6 to eight weeks, followed by a similar period off. On such a 6 week of taking 4-AD:

Nor Products:

These (19-norandrost-4-ene-3,17-dione and 19-norandrost-4-ene-3,17-diol) are completely analogous to the andro products androst-4-ene-3,17-dione and 19-norandrost-4-ene-3,17-diol), except that they convert to nor-testosterone instead of testosterone. Since nor-testosterone is less androgenic than testosterone, the anabolic/androgenic ratio for the nor products is higher than for the andro products. As you can tell from above I don't think much of androstenedione. It's nor analogue, 19-norandrot-4-ene-3,17-dione (19-Nor, NorAndro, many other names), may be a better product. The anecdotal evidence (take that for what it is) suggests that 19-Norandro may be useful. Again, with any of the "-diones", it is a good idea to avoid large dosages. Curiously 19-norandrost-4-ene-3,17-diol has not caught on as much as it might have. The cost (vs. 4-AD) may be the reason. "Nordoil" is often taken in combination with androdiol (androst-4-ene-3,17-diol). This combination has become quite popular.

Cyclodextrin complexed prohormones The newer cyclodextrin complexed prohormones, solve, to a large extent the problem of poor bio-availability of oral prohormones. They are sublingual (under the tongue) tables with a bio-availability much higher than orals. What is the bio-availability? No one knows. The Sports One ads say 100%, but that is hardly likely. If the bio-availability of oral 4-AD is (say) 5%, then a bio-availability of cyclodextrin complexed 4-AD of 40%-60% would be compatible with the data. (There are two studies, see Pat Arnold's article in Testosterone). In any case the bio-availability of "cyclo-diol" appears to be at least eight times the bio-availability of oral 4-AD. (Its a little more complicated than it might first appear -- the oral 4-AD studies cut off at 90 minutes, and the absorption is considerably slower than with cyclodextrin complexed 4-AD. Nonetheless, I think that 8 times the bio-availability is a reasonable guess, based on inconclusive evidence.) Thus it appears that a 25 mg tablet exceeds -- in amount delivered to the blood -- a 100 mg oral dose. These appear to be the way to go.

The cyclodextrin products from Sports One use beta cyclodextrin. This cyclodextrin is not as water soluable as some other cyclodextrin's. As a result the testoerone elevations from a 25 mg sublingual dose are not as high as those seen using (for instance) hydroxypropylbetacyclodextrin (HPBCD). Pat Arnold's products, when available, will use HPBCD and thus will be state of the art. They appear to have a bio-availibility of 50-150% higher than cyclodextrin products using betacyclodextrin.

5-alpha-androst-1-en-3,17-dione, better known as 1-AD.

This is a new product. Here is a the chemical stucture:

This does not actually convert to testosterone, but rather to 1-testosterone:

1-Testosterone cannot be converted to any estogens. There is therefore some hope that this will be a very good product. It is new, however, and not cheep.

Links and stuff.. Return to Tom's Weightlifting Page.

I am always glad to help. If you have any specific questions, do not hesitate to EMAIL me Here.

Y'all come back now, 'ya hear?