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An interview with Jason S. Thomas, research chemist
Page 2
By Antoine du Rocher in New York, 8 August 2008

Steroid Profiles

Jason Thomas: Nandrolone (Durabolin, Deca Durabolin) is by far one of the most popular anabolic steroids. It is known for moderate anabolic effects with little androgenic and estrogen-related side effects. How does this differ from tesotosterone? The long ester side chain mimics the chemical structure of fat and is consequently stored among fat cells and slowly and steadily released into the blood stream. This provides more steady testosterone levels, which cannot be achieved from the faster anababolic agents such as Dianabol. Again, it has the methyl group at the 17th position and thus can be taken orally. That said, the fat-like ester side chain makes it difficult to be absorbed with the water-based fluids of the stomach and bowel. Therefore, it is usually administered as an oil-based injectable in the buttocks or shoulders. The missing methyl group in the 10th position is crucial to androgen-receptor binding. You therefore encounter less of the androgen side effects such as hair loss, acne, risk of prostate cancer or agressiveness associated with testosterone. However, there is a possibility of reduced sexual function commonly known as "Deca dick." There are very few athletic performances that would not benefit from Nandrolone. It is one of the few mass gainers that female athletes take because of its limited side effects.

Sustenon , like Dianabol, is one of the most powerful mass gaining anabolic agents. Sustenon is testosterone, the principal reason it is such a powerful mass gaining agent. As such, the negative side effects are those of testosterone. The same athletes that use Dianabol would look favorably at Sustenon. However, I would tend to think that baseball players would find this drug of interest because there is less association with water retention. They get all the extra strength with the bat, but they won't be slowed down by as much water. Still, because this is straight testosterone and a major anabolic, you can't remain on this for an entire cycle because of the side effects. The difference between this and testosterone lies in the four esters of different length attached to testosterone.

The more carbons you have in the chain the more lipophilic it is - which means the more it likes fat tissue and thus the slower it is released into the blood stream. If you shoot pure testosterone it doesn't want to sit in your adipose tissue, it wants to go right into the blood stream. It's very fast acting. Your levels jump up and jump down. This can be dangerous. Because of its 8, 2, 6 and 10-carbon ester chain structure, Sustenon is control-released. The more carbons you put in the molecule the more it doesn't like water - water being the blood stream. This is the "designer" aspect of Sustenon and means that when you shoot it in your body once a week, it is being released over a period of seven days. It's pretty amazing.

With combinatorial chemistry on the horizon, I don't think the Olympic commitee has a chance.

Masteron is definitely not known as a powerful anabolic. Its claim to fame is that it doesn't convert to estrogen or lead to fat gain or water retention. In fact, it burns fat. Masteron is ephedra times 100. When you look at the molecule there is no carbon-carbon double bond as in testosterone.

For this reason, it is simply impossible for it to be coverted to estrogen. What makes this anabolic steroid so unique is that it lowers levels of estrogen by blocking those receptors that convert testosterone to estrogen. So, with the body's normal testosterone or another anabolic steroid, Masteron will block their access to the receptors and thus will lower estrogen significantly in the body. What this means is that it is a powerful fat burner. The herbal stimulant ephedra only burns fat by increasing the body's core temperature, whereas Masteron burns fat at a hormonal level. In fact, all those supplements that promise to burn fat are simply a soup of asprin, caffein and ephedra which accomplishes little more than to raise the body's core temperature - an internal response to any form of exertion such as jogging, eating, sex or walking stairs. Something to think about the next time you make a trip to the health food store. Sports requiring low body fat, speed and lean muscle tone benefit most from Masteron. Track and field athletes, cyclists, swimmers, basketball players, boxers, gymnasts, soccer players, fitness models and trainers are those most likely to use Masteron.

Boldenone (Equipoise): As the name implies, Equipoise was developed for horses and is an important veterinary steroid. It continues to be more popular with vets than athletes. Like Dianabol, it is a mass gainer, and it will also have strong androgenic effects. The long-acting ester chain means that it is slower in its release in the blood.

The absence of the CH3 at the 17th position indicates that Equipoise is an injectable and not orally active. Because of the double bond between Carbon 1 and Carbon 2 in this molecule we know that, for whatever reason, it increases glucose uptake in the muscle and this will trigger an enormous appetite. Most athletes who inject Equipoise complain of ravenous appetites. Forming that bond is the last step in the designer process. In other words, that bond was not a naturally occuring reaction but was purposely put there to increase appetite in order to increase glucose uptake and therefore trigger greater protein synthesis resulting in a stronger and more powerful horse. Weightlifters, football players, wrestlers and powerlifters are most likely to use Equipoise.

CK: In terms of their current use, it seems that you are talking in ideal terms. Can you be more specific about their actual use and protocols?

JT: You have to remember that most athletes are not taking one or another drug by itself. Athletes combine the anabolic steroid with estrogen blockers to counteract the side effects. Because if you administered the drug by itself, there would be a lot of muscle, but there would also be a lot of water and androgenic side effects. But if you use these with an estrogen blocker or inhibitor, you get a really strong testosterone agent.

CK: In other words, their design is less than perfect.

JT: Right. The problem in steroid design is that in order to make one thing better, you make the other thing worse. With Dianabol, it may be better because you can take it as a pill, but over time it is liver toxic and converts easily to estrogen.

CK: So, the user has to take an anti-estrogen along with it?

If child molestors are capable of harm on the Internet, so are wannabe steroid gurus in anabolic steroid chat rooms.

JT: Yes. Steroid designers have been limited by the structure of the molecule. But that is going to change, because there are now new ways to make the molecule all together. Until now, you started with diosgenin. You go to progesterone, then you make all other anabolic steroids. You can only do but so much because that basic structure is all there. Now, they are putting these things together from different pieces and in the next few years they might find something as anabolic as pure testosterone but with none of the side effects. For the moment, this is not possible as long as they use diosgenin as the initial compound. In my opinion, designer steroids are going to blow up in the next couple of years. Instead of making 50 different molecules they will be able to make 50 million different combinations. It will be like evolution all over again [without the limitations of time].

CK: If that proves true, what are the implications for testing and elite international sports such as the Olympic Games.

JT : Official analytical labs like the one involved in the BALCO probe or the WADO might win the occasional battle, but they won't win the war. For the moment, it's just a game of cat and mouse. The only way to catch an athlete is to procure a sample. By the time you screen an athlete, the drug has been out there on the black market, and the designers are already busy with something else. You are always a step behind. With combinatorial chemistry on the horizon, I don't think the Olympic commitee has a chance.

CK: In gyms and especially Internet dissussion forums, there are often heated debates about anabolic steroid combinations either for specific sports or bodybuilding training and contests. Can you comment on that?

JT: Combining one or another steroid is called "stacking." It is common practice for the simple reason that athletes are looking for the maximum anabolic effect. Often this means maintaining one or another anabolic steroid circulating in the blood for 8, 10, 12, or even 16 weeks. This is known as a "cycle." The problem is that with the exception of elite and competitive bodybuilders, most of these guys don't understand the organic chemistry or why they are doing this, only that it seems to work. They rarely understand or care about the seriousness of the side effects, or the biochemistry of the additional medication or therapies they take to counteract any and all side effects. Bottom line for most of these recreational is, "Does it work?"

As far as the Internet, discussion boards, chat rooms, etc. are concerned, I personally do not participate in discussion groups on the Internet. The kind of information that I need is highly specialized and not easily available on the Web. As a chemist, I need molecular structures and signatures in 3-D. Furthermore, what I have to say, nobody gives a shit. If they don't listen to me in the gym, why should they listen to me on the Internet? The same muscle heads in the gyms that don't listen to me or any other scientist or medical practitioner won't listen on the Internet. My observation is that most of these forums are devoted to stacking and cycle recipes, anecdotes and gossip. Granted some of the participants are highly knowledgeable because of years of steroid experimentation. Nevertheless, anabolic steroids are sophisticated drugs and if you are going to base your use on information gathered from a chat room screen name - which is to say; a person you have never met and whose occupation and location are unknown to you - you need to have your head examined. If child molestors are capable of harm on the Internet, so are wannabe steroid gurus in anabolic steroid chat rooms. The fact that these drugs are now easily availablity over the Internet makes this phenomeonon all the more startling; it is the simultaneous access to the drugs and bad information that makes this dangerous. That said, some of the most knowledgeable assessments of steroid use can be found through e-mail correspondence with elite athletes and trainers, many of whom have websites.

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