Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Nandrolone eleven times more damaging to blood vessels than testosterone

Nandrolone kills the blood vessel lining at a concentration eleven times lower than that at which testosterone kills them. Researchers from the University of L'Aquila in Italy discovered this in laboratory tests on human cells.

Heavy and long-term use of anabolic steroids such as testosterone and nandrolone increases the chance of fatal heart failure, and even more so when combined with recreational drugs like cocaine.

There are several theories, which do not exclude each other, as to why anabolic steroids have this effect. The most well known is that anabolic steroids make the heart muscle grow, sometimes to deadly proportions. This effect doesn't set in after a single course of supplements, or even after a heavy dosage, but only after prolonged use. The chance of the heart muscle becoming enlarged increases even more when anabolic steroids are used in combination with human growth hormone.

Anabolic steroids also have an immediate effect on heart and blood vessels. In high concentrations they kill heart cells and produce blood clots. These tiny, almost invisible clots can cut tissue from the blood vessel lining.

Another negative effect of androgens is that they cause blood vessels to narrow (stenosis). Even the very mild DHEA is known to do this in some experiments.

In all these processes the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels are the key factor. Anabolic steroids harden these cells, which causes higher blood pressure. This in turn causes enlargement of the heart muscle. The hardened cells are also more susceptible to blood clots.

This is the background of the Italian study. The researchers exposed endothelial cells to testosterone, the testosterone precursor androstenedione, and two precursors of nandrolone. They then recorded the concentration at which half of the cells stopped growing. The results are presented below.

Nandrolone eleven times more damaging to blood vessels than testosterone

The more an anabolic steroid reduces growth of blood vessel cells, the more dangerous the anabolic steroid is for the heart and blood vessels. Nandrolone is much more damaging than testosterone, as the figure above shows.

Norandrostenediol on the other hand turns out to be surprisingly mild. [Maybe the stuff is a SARM after all red.] The graphs below show the effect of testosterone [blue], nandrolone [black] and norandrostenediol [green] on the growth and development of the endothelium cells. Nandrolone has a much greater effect on cells then testosterone.

Nandrolone eleven times more damaging to blood vessels than testosterone

The anabolic steroids increase the concentration of calcium in the cell, the researchers found. Cellular calcium activates suicide enzymes.

"According to these findings, we suggest that the observed endothelial alterations may be considered as events predisposing to serious damage at the cell vasculature level", the Italian researchers write.

Most heavy anabolic steroids used in chemical bodybuilding are based on testosterone, not nandrolone. As you can see from this Italian research, that's not such a bad idea at all.

Toxicol Lett. 2007 Mar 8; 169(2):129-36.