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What Are Prohormones?

Prohormones are used by bodybuilders and other athletes to increase and strengthen muscles.
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  • Written By: L. Roux
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 12 March 2014
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Prohormones are components that get converted into hormones in the body. They are also known as pre-steroids or precursors to complete hormones. They are usually used by many bodybuilding athletes to increase lean muscle mass and strength. Their benefits are very similar to anabolic steroids, and for this reason, they are very popular amongst athletes.

These components have been used for many years, especially with the aim of increasing specific hormones in the body such as testosterone. Prohormones are also often used by athletes to increase muscle size and strength, increase energy and to reduce muscle recovery time. They may also be used to decrease body fat levels and have been used as part of many weight-loss programs.

The process of converting prohormones into complete hormones in the body involves a complicated enzymatic process which occurs in the liver. It may also be possible that not all of the prohormone is converted into a complete hormone. This process may also largely depend on the level of saturation of the enzymes that are responsible for this conversion.

Some of the more popular prohormones available on the market include 1-androstenediol (1-AD) and 4-androstenediol (4-AD). Both of these convert to testosterone in the body and may provide significant increases in muscle size and strength. Other products available will result in similar increases, but may provide other benefits such as increasing estrogen conversion and stimulating additional androgenic elements.

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Since using prohormones may involve negative side effects, it is always advised that individuals learn about the possible effects they might experience, in addition to the benefits. There may be a health risk associated with some prohormones when they are consumed in high dosages, and it is best to acquire professional advice in this regard. Side effects of using prohormones may include hair loss and prostate enlargement. In general, many of these side effects may be minimized by using the correct supplementation dosage. These side effects may also be as a result of a genetic trait, and it may be wise to know which medical problems might exist within the family.

Many prohormones have been classified as illegal under the Anabolic Steroid Control Act. This may largely be due to the negative side effects they may cause in both adults and children.

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