Nandrolone (Molecule of the Month for January 2004)
known commercially as Deca-Durabolin
Nandrolone drugs are used in the belief that they are capable in increasing muscle strength and size, increasing muscle hardness, and also decrease body fat. They additionally reduce the fatigue associated with training, and the time required to recover after physical exertion.
Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid which are a group of drugs that are usually synthesized from the male reproduction hormone testosterone. Nandrolone belongs in the same class of banned substances as stanozolol, DHEA, testostrone and other anabolic steroids.
As a result nandrolone products (and other anabolic steroids) are banned by all sporting organizations to combat cheating and safe guard the health and safety of their sportsmen. By disturbing the body's equilibrium, anabolic steroids can potentially cause damage to many of the body's major organs, particularly the liver, which has to deal with breaking down the compound. There is also a significant risk of damage to the heart, which is made of muscle tissue. Anabolic steroids can lead to an expansion of the cardiac muscle, which can cause heart attacks. The drugs also promote the growth of bones, particularly facial bones such as the jaw, and the teeth. Other side effects include the development of inappropriate sexual characteristics such as breasts in men, and facial hair in women, a deepening of the voice, baldness and male impotence.
In the body, nandrolone is converted into 19-norandrosterone and it is this compound that drug testing centres look for. The International Olympic Committee have set a limit of two nanograms (0.000 000 002g) per millilitre in urine samples. But a study has since shown that normal people can have a small but significant level in their bodies - 0.000 000 000 6 grams per millilitre of urine. This is awfully close and it is also known that some legal dietary supplements are metabolized quite innocently into 19-norandrosterone. In fact in July 2003, 43 ATP players were exonerated after "positive" nandrolone tests when they all drank a certain electrolyte drink given by official ATP trainers.
Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for January 2004 )