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Bolandiol decanoate will turn out to be nothing like Deca

Underground workshops are considering bringing the anabolic steroid bolandiol [structural formula shown below] back on the market, if the rumours are to be believed. What's holding them back is that bolandiol resembles nandrolone decanoate, or a close relation of it, a little too closely. An American study, soon to be published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, shows however that bolandiol is a very different substance than nandrolone. The likelihood that bolandiol will make a come-back is growing.

The full name for bolandiol is 19-nortestosterone 3beta,17beta-diol. It differs from nandrolone as it has a hydroxyl group on C3. Nandrolone has an oxo-group there. The enzyme 3beta-HSD changes nandrolon into bolandiol and vice versa, in the body. So whether you inject bolandiol or nandrolone makes no difference. You'd think.

But it does, researchers reported a few years ago in Endocrinology. [Endocrinology. 2008 Apr;149(4):1987-93.] Bolandiol implants caused a similar amount of muscle growth as nandrolone in rats, but with measurably less effect on the prostate. Bolandiol had SARM-like characteristics, wrote the researchers.

That's why they were able to do further experiments with bolandiol, at the cost of the American government. They injected young rats with the stuff, as these animals are extra sensitive to androgenic substances.

Bolandiol turned out to be a stronger steroid than nandrolone, the researchers discovered when they weighed the sphincter muscle of their test subjects after 8 days. Bolandiol's effect on the sphincter muscle was similar to that of testosterone.

Bolandiol decanoate will turn out to be nothing like Deca

In the lab animals, bolandiol had more effect on the prostate than nandrolone does, but less than testosterone.

Bolandiol decanoate will turn out to be nothing like Deca

The lab animals produced high amounts of 3beta-HSD. Indicating that bolandiol is converted into nandrolone. Nevertheless, bolandiol behaves differently from nandrolone. Bolandiol has a stronger effect. But many textbooks say that steroids must have an oxo-group on C3 to have strong effects. So does bolandiol maybe convert into a powerful metabolite via a different enzyme, 5-alpha-reductase? The researchers injected their animals with a 5alpha-reductase inhibitor and observed that bolandiol had an even greater effect on the prostate as a result. So the theory that bolandiol metabolises into an active substance doesn't hold.

Bolandiol decanoate will turn out to be nothing like Deca

Bolandiol itself is therefore not just a nandrolone precursor. Bolandiol probably has a stronger effect because it also interacts with the estradiol receptor. Androgenic substances have a stronger effect if the estradiol and progesterone receptors are stimulated. Nandrolone also interacts with the progesterone and oestrogen receptors, but bolandiol does so more intensively. The researchers also discovered that bolandiol, like nandrolone, does not convert easily into estradiol. But bolandiol does cause the uterus to grow in female rats, and that is an indicator of oestrogen activity.

Bolandiol also suppresses the body's endogenous production of LH more than testosterone does.

Bolandiol made a brief comeback at the end of the 20th century as a prohormone. But it disappeared again in 2004, when the American government placed a ban on prohormones. Researchers only started to the study the effects of prohormones so that the government could justify its ban on them. And, irony of ironies, that very same research will now perhaps be the cause of illegally operating underground workshops extending their product range.

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2009 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print].

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