Dangers of Methylated Steroids


Methylated steroids or methylation of oral steroids is one of the most common methods used to make oral steroids and designer supplements more bioavailable. While it is often referred to as methylation because the most common addition is a methyl group in truth scientists refer to the alteration as 17 alpha alkylation.

That being said, many people use these and consider them safe for short periods of time i.e. 3-4 weeks.

17 alpha alkylation refers to the addition of an alkyl group (either methyl or ethyl) to the alpha position of the 17 carbon in the steroid backbone. Since the addition is typically a methyl many people call this change methylation. By adding this methyl group at the 17a position the major route of androgen deactivation is avoided. The additional methyl stops the oxidation of the steroid to a 17-keto steroid. This allows a large part of the steroid to avoid the first-pass metabolism and degradation in the liver.

Examples of 17a methylated steroids are methyltestosterone. Oxymetholone and Norethandrolone (Nilevar). Some 17a methylated designer steroids are Superdrol, Halodrol, and Phera-Plex.

Methylation or 17a alkylation is a very effective way to make steroids orally active. Unfortunately, it does suffer from some drawbacks as well. 17a methylated steroids are all toxic to the liver to some extent. By avoiding the first-pass metabolism the liver is not allowed to do its job properly and has to work harder to metabolize the compounds. An increase in liver enzyme values is not unusual when using 17a methylated steroids.

Jaundice is not uncommon and should be watched for when using methylated steroids or designer supplements. Usually, this condition is only seen in individuals who are predisposed to liver problems. The danger in 17a alkylated steroids is not trivial, however since they are very potent anabolic agents, and in the case of the designers the only legal route available, many continue to use them.

Becoming aware of the dangers associated with the use of methylated steroids is the first step in responsible use. Liver protection should also be used any time a 17a alkylated steroid is used. And smart bodybuilders will also keep tabs on their liver enzyme values through frequent blood tests.

I do not condone the use of these 17a methylated steroids, nor would I recommend that anyone use them. The potential toxicity and dangers represented are not worth the benefits gained. Everyone is different and you should learn as much as you can about any substance you are considering taking so that you can make an educated and informed decision.

Also see, The Benefits of Physical Fitness.

That being said, many people use these and consider them safe for short periods of time i.e. 3-4 weeks.

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