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Stanozolol (Winstrol)

What is Stanozolol?

Stanozolol is an anabolic steroid derived from male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), commonly sold under the brand name “Winstrol”. It can be taken either orally or through intramuscular injections.

Why use Stanozolol?

Stanozolol has legitimate medical applications such as stimulating collagen production and suppressing the anti-anabolic properties of the hormone cortisone. It is approved for human use under the supervision of a medical professional to treat such conditions as anaemia and hereditary angiodema, and has similar applications in veterinary medicine. However, Stanozolol is sometimes abused to promote muscle gain and fat loss.

Stanozolol Side Effects

Stanozolol, like other anabolic steroids, has a an array of serious and life threatening side effects. These symptoms may occur suddenly and without warning in otherwise healthy, fit, young people, and they may be irreversible.

Side effects include:

  • High blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart and kidney disease (4);
  • Decreased HDL (good) cholesterol and increased LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • can lead to coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis (5). In one study, the effects of a single dose of stanozolol were still visible in raised blood cholesterol readings one month later (3).
  • Changes to blood clotting, which can cause stroke (2, 5)
  • Enlargement of the wall of the heart chamber responsible for pumping blood to the body can result in reduced blood flow and heart failure (6).
  • Hepatitis (7) and Liver cancer (8)
  • A range of hormonal disturbances, causing symptoms such as severe acne (9), baldness (10), testicular shrinkage, long term suppression of the body's ability to produce normal levels of testosterone, infertility, gynaecomastia (man boobs) (11), increased risk of testicular cancer (12) and development of male features in women (13).
  • Mental disturbances such as aggression and body dysmorphia (13) and psychological dependence. Mental and physical withdrawal symptoms are common (14).

Finally, steroids sold illegally are not subject to quality control, so may be out of date, contaminated, produced under poor conditions, or not what they say they are. One study showed that nearly one third of steroids on the market are counterfeit, and nearly half of these contained a different active ingredient to that stated on the label (1).

Alternatives to Stanozolol

There are a number of effective and legal substances that support the body to increase its own testosterone production safely within the natural range. Some ingredients to look out for include:

  • Tribulus -  This plant that has been used historically in many cultures to enhance libido, mood and muscle growth. Modern formulations such as Massive Muscle Fuel stack tribulus with other natural testosterone boosters. Tribulus is the most popular testosterone support ingredient currently on the market.
  • D-aspartic acid - This amino acid has shown some extremely promising results as a test booster, raising testosterone production in adult males by 42% in one study (15). Ronnie Coleman Testogen XR is an example of a popular testbooster containing D-aspartic acid.
  • Aromatase inhibitors - Also known as estrogen blockers and anti estrogen supplements. These substances inhibit the reaction that changes testosterone to oestrogen in the body. Products such as BPI A-HD combine a number of safe and effective plant extracts and are very popular.

(1) da Justa Neves DB, Marcheti RG, Caldas ED. Incidence of anabolic steroid counterfeiting in Brazil. Forensic Sci Int 2013; 228(1-3): e81-3
(2) Santamarina RD, Besocke AG, Romano LM, Ioli PL, Gonorazky SE. Ischemic stroke related to anabolic abuse. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2008; 31(2): 80-5
(3) Small M, McArdle BM, Lowe GD, Forbes CD, Prentice CR. The effect of intramuscular stanozolol on fibrinolysis and blood lipids.Thromb Res. 1982 Oct 1;28(1):27-36.
(4) Lau DH, Stiles MK, John B, Shashidhar, Young GD, Sanders P. Atrial fibrillation and anabolic steroid abuse. Int J Cardiol. 2007 Apr 25;117(2):e86-7
(5) Kluft C, Preston FE, Malia RG, Bertina RM, Wijngaards G, Greaves M, Verheijen JH, Dooijewaard G. Stanozolol-induced changes in fibrinolysis and coagulation in healthy adults. Thromb Haemost. 1984 Apr 30;51(2):157-64.
(6) Lane HA, Grace F, Smith JC, Morris K, Cockcroft J, Scanlon MF, Davies JS. Impaired vasoreactivity in bodybuilders using androgenic anabolic steroids. Eur J Clin Invest. 2006 Jul;36(7):483-8.
(7) Stimac D, Milić S, Dintinjana RD, Kovac D, Ristić S. Androgenic/Anabolic steroid-induced toxic hepatitis J Clin Gastroenterol. 2002 Oct;35(4):350-2.
(8) Socas L, Zumbado M, Pérez-Luzardo O, Ramos A, Pérez C, Hernández JR, Boada LD. Hepatocellular adenomas associated with anabolic androgenic steroid abuse in bodybuilders: a report of two cases and a review of the literature. Br J Sports Med. 2005 May;39(5):e27.
(9) Melnik B, Jansen T, Grabbe S. Abuse of anabolic-androgenic steroids and bodybuilding acne: an underestimated health problem. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2007 Feb;5(2):110-7.
(10)Brower KJ, Blow FC, Young JP, Hill EM. Symptoms and correlates of anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence. Br J Addict. 1991 Jun;86(6):759-68.
(11) Alén M, Häkkinen K.Physical health and fitness of an elite bodybuilder during 1 year of self-administration of testosterone and anabolic steroids: a case study. Int J Sports Med. 1985 Feb;6(1):24-9.
(12) Chimento A, Sirianni R, Zolea F, De Luca A, Lanzino M, Catalano S, Andò S, Pezzi V. Nandrolone and stanozolol induce Leydig cell tumor proliferation through an estrogen-dependent mechanism involving IGF-I system. J Cell Physiol. 2012 May;227(5):2079-88.
(13) Hartgens F, Kuipers H. Effects of androgenic-anabolic steroids in athletes. Sports Med. 2004;34(8):513-54.
(14) Brower KJ, Eliopulos GA, Blow FC, Catlin DH, Beresford TP. Evidence for physical and psychological dependence on anabolic androgenic steroids in eight weight lifters. Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Apr;147(4):510-2.
(15)Topo E, Soricelli A, D’Aniello A, Ronsini S, D’Aniello G. The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009 Oct 27;7:120.

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