The subject of this article has a pretty vulnerable nature. So with that in mind, we’d like to begin by reminding everyone that you can hardly ensure any steroid’s hundred percent safety. It’s most especially true when you only had some shady dealings with a random seller. Or maybe you only bought it for cosmetic or recreational reasons.
It’s common knowledge that the law prohibits the possession, use, or selling of steroids. The only exception is when you use it under the guidance of a healthcare provider and with a prescription. It happens to be so due to the number of health hazards that anabolic steroids can provide.
It’s not unusual nowadays to encounter resources that would make us think of steroids as purely evil. But in reality, steroids are only hormonal medications. In the medical community, the use of steroids can even save lives.
Nonetheless, there are steroids that you can safely use than the others and even got FDA’s approval. You can consider the consumption of legal steroids safe and can even help you grow the muscle mass you desire. But you should also know that all drugs, including steroids, are unique. Like any other medication, adverse effects are inevitable when using steroids.
Several bodybuilders also tend to use steroids in high doses, which further increases its risk. By contrast, the medical use of steroids wouldn’t require its users to administer them in higher volumes than necessary. There are even some individuals who would use it carelessly without consulting a doctor’s advice.
The following are the mildest and least damaging steroids available to bodybuilders:
- Deca Durabolin
A Closer Look At Testosterone Steroids
Testosterone is a growth form in an injectable form that gained the approval of the FDA. It aids in protein synthesis leading to the development of muscle tissues. The drug is also beneficial as a worldwide treatment for men with inadequacy in producing testosterone naturally.
The use of this steroid is more known as testosterone replacement therapy or TRT. The testosterone therapy made its way to the list of medicines that the World Health Organization considers essential. The medical community acknowledges its importance in endocrine ailment treatment.
Moreover, it was once the most prescribed drug in the United States, resulting in over five million prescriptions in 2017. These testosterone prescriptions massively increased threefold from 2001 to 2011. It only meant that there had been a surge in individuals having low testosterone levels at the time.
While among bodybuilders, they use testosterone as a bulking steroid. It is well-known for its potency whether you take it independently or not. The drug boosts the hormone’s natural production, which significantly enhances muscle growth and strength.
Some would also use TRT for cutting cycles. It will induce muscle size increase and promote muscular hypertrophy retention when you combine it with training.
The proper use of its injectable form is what many would consider the safest steroids nowadays. Although that fact, of course, does not come without controversy, as one would expect with any discussion of steroid use.
Using testosterone is one of the easiest ways to develop your muscles, about 20-30lbs typically. Although testosterone use started over 80 years ago, it remains steadfast in popularity, especially among bodybuilders and medical practices.
But please take necessary precautions because the inappropriate administration of steroids or any other medication for that matter is hazardous.
You may also acquire testosterone in its oral form, like undecanoate, if you wish to skip using syringes. However, most bodybuilders prefer the injectable form rather than the pills because of its steep price.
The Side Effects Of Testosterone Steroids
Unlike many other steroids, testosterone has the slightest tendency to cause a liver disorder. TRT is injectable, so it passes through the bloodstream rapidly and prevents the liver from processing it.
Some also claim that oral testosterone like the Undecanoate can reduce liver strain due to intestinal lymphatic route absorption.
There’s even a case study involving male subjects taking 2,800mg of testosterone undecanoate per week for 21 days. Apparently, despite the extremely high dosage, none of these men encountered hepatotoxicity.
Regardless of how many users consider testosterone therapy safe, it can’t be without any risks, just like any other medication. Here are some of the common adverse effects of using testosterone:
Increase in Blood Pressure
Testosterone can have a potential risk of increased blood pressure due to its impact on cholesterol levels. The good thing about testosterone is that it only has a mild effect on fluctuating HDL and LDL levels.
A couple of factors contribute to the non-significant impact of testosterone on blood pressure. To begin with, it transforms into estrogen, resulting in a positive effect on blood lipid levels.
Testosterone also doesn’t cause stimulation of hepatic lipase. As a result, it doesn’t go through the liver. Hepatic lipase is a helpful lipolytic enzyme that regulates and delivers low-density lipoprotein. It keeps cholesterol at adequate levels.
Some research even shows how testosterone can help overweight men. Thanks to the required medical doses of oral testosterone causing cardiovascular health improvement. Hence, a reduction in fat mass could be responsible for such a reduction in blood pressure.
The reported increase in blood pressure only results from some individuals taking testosterone in excessive dosages. Nevertheless, the complications are dependent on the dosages administered and the cycle length.
There’s even a study showing only a slight adverse impact on HDL cholesterol when taking testosterone enanthate 280 mg per week for straight 12 weeks. At the same time, testosterone enanthate with a weekly dose of 300 mg for 20 weeks can cause a 13% decrease in HDL levels. Further, 600 mg per week can cause a significant 21% reduction.
There’s even a study showing only a slight adverse impact on HDL cholesterol when taking testosterone enanthate. It’s true for 280 mg weekly intake for straight 12 weeks. At the same time, testosterone enanthate with a weekly dose of 300 mg for 20 weeks can cause a 13% decrease in HDL levels. In addition, 600 mg per week can cause a significant 21% reduction.
It’s also worth noting that an aromatase inhibitor intake can elevate blood pressure. Such inhibitors can restrain testosterone from converting into estrogen. As a result, it causes a considerable decrease in HDL levels.
High Estrogen Levels
Testosterone has an estrogenic nature. Therefore having high estrogen levels may result in water retention and gynecomastia. Many individuals use SERMs like Nolvadex to alleviate the side effects of anabolic steroids. While the results vary per individual, this clinical drug is well-known for suppressing endogenous testosterone levels.
It’s good to have the option of blending SERM with low doses of testosterone. As a result of this combination, instances of individuals encountering gynecomastia during testosterone therapy are distinctly unusual.
High Androgen Levels
Testosterone therapy can lead to androgenic side effects, including increased male pattern baldness, acne, and even enlargement of the prostate gland. These adverse effects relative to synthetic testosterone became Dr. Ziegler’s inspiration for producing Dianabol in 1956.
He better understood these effects during the Olympic games when testosterone cycling led Soviet strongmen to utilize catheters. It was a significant landmark for steroids’ widespread use in sports.
Dianabol or methandrostenolone is a testosterone derivative that reduces androgenic components and maintains anabolic properties. Consequently, with fewer androgenic effects comes the advantage of not worrying about oily skin, losing hair, and acne.
But as a word of caution, even with the mild properties of testosterone, it is not a well-suited supplement for individuals with current prostate disorders. It’s not ideal for those trying to prevent balding either.
Inhibiting Testosterone Production
Similar to using other anabolic steroids, there will be a noticeable decrease in endogenous testosterone levels. You can prevent low testosterone levels or speed the recovery period after steroid use by having a well-planned post-cycle therapy.
Nowadays, many individuals, including medical experts, recognize several supplements for bringing back testosterone production to its normal state. Here are some of them:
1. HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
It’s a placenta-produced hormone that aids those who experience testicle shrinkage while using steroids. This supplement brings the testicular muscle to its standard size and restores its functionality to prepare it for other hormones.
Clomid is one of the SERMs that keeps estrogen levels high; hence, it minimizes the risk of developing gyno problems. It boosts the secretion of luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones and will not cause increased blood pressure.
Nolvadex is a supplement that you need to take for 45 days continuously. It is the standard duration by which the normal hormones restore their balance. The drug works by selectively blocking the estrogen effects. Further, Nolvadex can help users from experiencing significant loss of muscle definition and fluid retention, thus, increasing fat levels.
There are many recommendations about using these three supplements together. Many users claim the effectiveness of this combination, especially when incorporating them with a solid PCT plan.
A Closer Look at Anavar or Oxandrolone
Oxandrolone, with Anavar as its most common brand name, is a non-aromatizing oral steroid. Being a mild anabolic steroid with decreased androgenic effects, it is less risky for the body’s HPTA or the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis. As a fact, it will not shut down your HTPA, especially if you take it in lower doses.
It likewise got the approval of the FDA for therapeutic purposes in patients suffering from joint pains due to osteoporosis. Anavar can also benefit anyone who wants rapid weight gain, whether they had surgery, are recovering from infection, or trauma.
Anavar is a rare steroid capable of effectively building muscle and burning fat at the same time. However, it’s also noteworthy for its users not to expect excessive muscle gain when using this drug. One can only obtain about 10-15 lbs, but if it’s a solid gain, you have better chances of maintaining it.
It also does wonders for users during cutting cycles, which makes more sense. Come to think of it, what good will it do to have massive weight gain due to water-retentive steroids then lose what you have gained eventually?
Even more interesting about this steroid is that women and children can use it in low doses without adverse effects. As a consequence, some bodybuilders would refer to Anavar as the “girl steroid.” Men who would opt to use Anavar take advantage of its capability to enhance endurance but not for muscle gain.
In comparison, other steroids cause virilization or are too harmful to kids. It only shows that Anavar is a steroid safe enough to use for being less intense. The drug won’t cause clitoris enlargement like some individuals would experience with other AAS.
The Side Effects Of Anavar
Steroids in an oral form generally have a negative reputation when it comes to liver health. It’s hardly surprising since the liver processes oral steroids before penetrating the bloodstream.
As the ALT and AST liver enzymes increase, several organs of the body experience a lot of distress. Nonetheless, since Anavar is only slightly anabolic and androgenic, it’s more mild on the liver than other oral steroids.
It’s capable of surviving oral ingestion due to its alpha-alkylated nature. Not to mention that the drug’s components can provide liver metabolism resistance.
While none can explain the cause, in the case of oxandrolone, the kidneys are more responsible than the liver for processing it. Relatively, it results in a decreased workload of the liver.
Significant Shift In Cholesterol Levels
Using Anavar might cause an undesirable effect on cholesterol levels. Although, you can expect the impact to be less drastic than with other steroids.
Among oral steroids, Anavar is not the worst for the heart, but its effects are significant. There’s even a case study of men taking 20 mg of Anavar in a day for an entire 12-week period. These men experienced their high-density lipoprotein or HDL decreasing by at least 30%.
Comparatively, users who took 40 mg of Anavar in a day only had a 33% reduction in HDL levels. At the same time, a significant drop of 50% in HDL levels happened to individuals who take 80 mg of Anavar per day.
In addition, there was a notable rise in low-density lipoprotein levels for each of these groups in the case study. The increase in LDL levels shares a similar rate to that of the HDL reduction.
Anavar is among the most popular steroids in the bodybuilding community. The recommended dosage is at least 20 mg a day for each bodybuilder and should only be for short-term cycles, at least 6-8 weeks maximum.
Hence, a typical Anavar process will likely cause a 30% decrease in HDL levels, probably closer to 20-25%. It is not a disturbing decline in cholesterol levels, but one should still take necessary precautions.
Several studies show how a fish oil supplement of at least 4g per day can do wonders for your cardiovascular health. It provides high immunity with fewer side effects and can even minimize instances of elevated blood pressure.
Having this supplement as part of your healthcare regimen, especially when you’re on-cycle, is the best way to protect your heart.
Masculinization Concerns In Women
There is no doubt how Anavar is very popular and trusted by most women. Some would refer to it as the “girl steroid.” The instances of Anavar having an adverse reaction to women is pretty rare, especially when taking it at a recommended dose.
One would still be at risk of virilization for doses exceeding 10 mg per day. It’s a condition where women start having a deeper voice, excessive hair growth, and enlargement of the clitoris. At the same time, using it in a cycle for more than six weeks puts you at greater risk of the drug’s repulsive effects.
Anavar is a safe steroid for women if you use it in moderation. In case you would experience virilization symptoms, it is reversible once you stop Anavar intake. The soonest you stop with the medication, your hormones will start going back to their normal functions, and these male traits will disappear.
Anavar cannot facilitate estrogen conversion. It is a good thing when it comes to body composition due to the absence of fluid retention. As a result, the drug can give you whole muscles, and since the body does not aromatize Anavar, it also poses no risk of gyno problems.
Not having to fear excessive fluid retention makes Anavar a steroid of choice during the cutting cycles. Although, low estrogen levels can produce unfavorable shifts in cholesterol levels.
So for you to mitigate this risk, it is best to maintain an active lifestyle. You can try finding ways to ensure that you do cardiovascular exercises. It would also help to avoid ingesting saturated fats and simple carbohydrates, especially while using AAS.
Reduced Testosterone Production
It is not unusual for steroid users to experience a significant decline in natural testosterone production. But another good thing about Anavar’s use is that it will only result in slight suppression.
A case study showed that 20 mg and 40 mg Anavar intake for 12 weeks could cause testosterone levels to reduce by 45%. Both 20 and 40 mg are relevantly high doses to take for an extended period, such as 12 weeks, even for an average bodybuilder. By contrast, an intake of 15 mg Dianabol for eight weeks can cause testosterone levels to decrease by 69%.
In the aftermath of steroid use, testosterone recovery takes several weeks, especially without PCT. It is, therefore, only logical to make full use of the post-cycle therapy benefits. The same thing also applies to women if you are looking to accelerate the recovery process.
A Closer Look at Deca Durabolin
Nandrolone decanoate is a 19-nortestosterone derivative. Even if it is an anabolic steroid, it cannot produce a high volume of estrogenic or androgenic side effects. It even gained FDA approval as a safe injectable steroid for anemia and osteoporosis treatment. The drug can also be helpful for individuals with muscle-wasting illnesses and protein deficiency.
In addition, Deca Durabolin does not have a C17 alpha-alkylated nature. Being so it can help users prevent instances of liver dysfunction. Both the bodybuilding and medical communities have high regard for Deca for being less intense than other steroids. But even as mild as it is, you cannot underestimate its potency in strength and lean muscle increase.
There was a clinical trial in Sydney, Australia, where 17 men who tested positive for HIV had Deca Durabolin for 16 weeks. In addition to experiencing significant weight gain in lean body mass, there were no signs of toxicity from any of the subjects.
Besides, nandrolone is an excellent anabolic, and one can even say that it’s a steroid that does not harm the heart. Research would even show how Deca can produce a slight drop in HDL or high-density lipoprotein, which is the body’s “good cholesterol.”
One case study demonstrates that a weekly 600 mg Deca administration for ten weeks can cause HDL levels to decrease by 26%. As compared to testosterone, this effect is slightly worse and is similar to Anavar at moderate dosages. Thanks to Deca’s low androgenic components, you can also skip worrying about balding, prostate problems, and having oily skin or acne.
The Side Effects Of Deca Durabolin
Regardless of how many users consider Deca Durabolin a safe steroid, there would still be imminent side effects.
Among its most controversial effects is how it got its reputation as a “Deca Dick” about erectile dysfunction or infertility. The inability to obtain a full erection and reduced sexual desire are two areas that Deca seems to affect the most.
This undesirable reputation might be a result of the increase of prolactin levels in the bloodstream. As a result of excess prolactin, suppression of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone occurs.
Deca users may also encounter a drop in nitric oxide production due to the steroid’s low androgen properties. An adequate nitric oxide is vital for optimal blood circulation; hence the erection problems become more persistent.
For this reason, Deca is mainly stacked with other androgenic steroids to maintain an excellent level of nitric oxide. Bodybuilders sometimes use supplements, such as cabergoline to achieve more stable prolactin levels and avoid the “Deca dick” concern.
Deca Durabolin is a well-known steroid with low estrogen conversion. It is only capable of 20% conversion than testosterone. Even so, estrogen-related issues with Deca are generally lower than with testosterone.
Furthermore, Deca has potent progesterone properties like estrogen that suppresses testosterone production. These progestins can also boost estrogen stimulation, affecting the growth of mammary tissues. Hence, users are more at risk of gynecomastia. Typically, the use of anti-estrogen drugs helps in mitigating these gynecomastia problems.
Besides, having high levels of progesterone may also lead to fluid retention. It is what gave those bodybuilders that slick look during their off-season with Deca.
Inhibiting Testosterone Production
One case study demonstrates that administering 100 mg of Nandrolone weekly for six weeks can result in a 57% drop in serum levels while on therapy.
According to the same study, a Nandrolone dosage of 300 mg per week will result in a 70% drop in testosterone levels. With that said, every steroid user should thoughtfully consider a solid post-cycle therapy when coming off the drug.
Testosterone levels will resume their average production once the use of testosterone-stimulating substances ends. It would typically take about 2-6 months of drug secession for the hormone’s normal function to resume. Although in some cases of prolonged hypogonadism caused by steroid abuse, medical intervention would be necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Oral Steroid Is The Safest?
Undecanoate, or oral testosterone, remains the safest steroid nowadays. Although Anavar and Primobolan both have mild properties with minimal adverse effects.
So if you’re choosing which of these drugs is best for you, ensure that you consider one that doesn’t cause a strain to your heart and liver. These are essential organs you should protect when you’re on a steroid cycle, and among the oral steroids in the market, these three are the least damaging.
On the contrary, Anavar is the safest oral steroid for women. Keeping them safe from masculinization is one of its most valuable properties. Other side effects may be less severe but are still vital for some individuals. These effects include fluid retention, gynecomastia, hair loss, and acne.
What Steroid Cycle Is The Safest?
There are generally more side effects associated with stacking steroids within a cycle. So you would mostly hear others recommending a testosterone-only cycle method to be the safest due to its mild conventions. It is for this reason that it is generally every beginner’s first steroid cycle.
The following is an appropriately-dosed testosterone cycle suitable for beginners:
You could probably categorize the above testosterone cycle as bulking. It is due to several claims of massive gains in muscle strength and size.
Another reputable option for health-conscious users is the Anavar-only cycle. It may not cause excessive muscle increase, making it a well-suited choice for those who don’t aim to have significant gains.
Here is an example of a conservative cycle that can minimize the side effects of steroid use:
You can consider this as an example of a cutting cycle. A user would most likely choose this cycle when aiming for enhanced fat loss. Individuals who seek to gain small to moderate muscle size concurrently find Anavar a suitable choice.
Please note that taking more than 10 mg of Anavar per day is not recommended for women. Below is an example of a standard Anavar cycle for female users:
In conclusion, there is no anabolic steroid that guarantees a hundred percent safety. But there are several steroids that top health organizations consider essential medications. The FDA even approves some of them, yet they remain unacceptable in the majority of countries today.
As such, you can only consider steroid use as legal when prescribed by a physician as treatment for illnesses.
You only have one body, and it’s only crucial to take good care of it. The following recommendations and sample cycles we covered in this article aim to guide steroid users. Since no steroids are safe, you can reduce the risk by using them safely in their proper doses and cycles.