Dianabol Review | Ultimate Guide 2021 | Everything You Need to Know

Officially it’s called Methandrostenolone. It’s been branded a good few times under various names including “Danabol”, “Averbol”, and of course “Dianabol”. The generic name given to it by the World Health Organization (WHO) under its International Nonproprietary Name (INN) scheme is “Metandienone”. Similar to Viagra/Kamagra, in the sense that they contain the same generic ingredients under different brands.

The History Of Dianabol

Dianabol History

Today we know Dianabol as an anabolic steroid, but initially, it wasn’t really created to help bodybuilders to get big. Dianabol is originally an all-German creation (manufactured by Ciba Specialty Chemicals). It was introduced by Ciba in 1958. It hit the US market in the early 1960s where its prominence grew over the years for various reasons which I will uncover further in this article. Dianabol was developed as the first oral steroid which was supposed to be a safer alternative to testosterone. It was introduced to the US market by John Zeigler.

Contrary to popular opinion, John Zeigler DID NOT invent Dianabol. Zeigler had access to the Ciba Laboratory in the New Jersey area where he tested it on weightlifters as part of his research. In fact, the Dianabol used in the New Jersey Lab didn’t actually contain any steroid because, at the time, that privilege was only reserved for the corporate headquarters of Ciba based out of Switzerland.

Zeigler’s Trip To Vienna and the Soviet Confession

John Zeigler visited Vienna in late 1954 with the American weightlifting team where he met a leading Russian physicist, who after a few rounds of alcoholic drinks revealed to Ziegler that the Russian athletes were taking testosterone.

Zeigler Begins His Experiements

John Zeigler was responsible for introducing Dianabol to the United States.

Upon learning this, Zeigler returned to the United States and “tested out” a few weak doses of testosterone on himself, as well as a handful of guinea pigs including Yaz Kuzahara (Olympic lifter), Jim Park (professional weight lifter), and John Grimek (professional bodybuilder).

The results were quite amazing because all the test subjects enjoyed notable increases in size and strength. These enhancements also had side effects and as a result, and with the help of Ciba, Zeigler launched a research program with the aim of developing synthetic versions of testosterone (testosterone mimickers). Working alongside Ciba provided many benefits for Zeigler because he had full access to records and books taken from Nazi Germany.

Zeigler finally settled on an anabolic steroid that didn’t have many after-effects called Methandrostenolone, which was developed in the United States by Ciba in the late 1950s.

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Zeigler‘s Successes and Failures

Zeigler did have some successes with the program. He managed to alter the molecular structure of Dianabol to make it more “biologically active”. This essentially meant that Dianabol’s effectiveness increased, but so did the health risks. This process is known as the 17 alpha alkalalyzation, which means the liver is unable to break it down.

The mere fact that Dianabol re-circulated around the body meant that its effects lasted longer. But at the same time, this caused immense strains on the liver, essentially preventing it from flushing out impurities (the job it’s supposed to do)

Zeigler’s Regrets

In 1960, Zeigler had the entire US Olympic weight lifting team take Dianabol but they still ended up losing to the Soviets. After discovering that some of his athletes had taken up to 20 times the recommended dosage of Dianabol and had developed quite serious liver conditions, he gave up testing on his athletes altogether. In later years, Zeigler stated that he regretted introducing Dianabol to athletes.

FDA Approval

FDA

Pretty soon after the launch of Dianabol, it gained FDA approval, but this wasn’t without a price. The FDA applied monumental pressure on Ciba to publish a list of medicinal benefits. Ciba cooperated and the FDA swiftly approved Dianabol’s use for treating postmenopausal women suffering from osteoporosis, as well as dwarfism. This was rescinded in the early 1980s before applying further pressure on Ciba to come up with further information about their product. In the end, Ciba caved in and discontinued Dianabol production.

A few years later, the FDA withdrew all products containing Methandrostenolone from the shelves. Ever since then, Dianabol cannot legally be manufactured in the United States. This however hasn’t stopped its manufacturing around the world by copycats.

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The Current Situation

At present, Dianabol is a controlled substance in the United States, as well as Europe. Despite the risks, Dianabol remains a popular substance in bodybuilding circles and can be widely purchased online from around the world, including the United States. It is fairly easy to obtain without a prescription in certain countries such as Mexico, where it is marketed under the alias “Reforvit-b”.

How Dianabol Works

How Dianabol Works

Dianabol is a testosterone-derived anabolic androgen steroid that has structurally been amended from androgen testosterone with its double bond at the carbon 1 & 2 position. This alteration effectively diminishes its androgen properties.

Dianabol works by firmly binding itself to the androgen receptor in order to work. The androgen receptor can best be described as a “nuclear receptor” that becomes active when it is bound by either testosterone or dihydrotestosterone.

Once Dianabol binds itself to the androgen receptor, this dramatically increases protein synthesis, nitrogen retention, as well as glycogenolysis resulting in massive muscle and strength increases over a short period of time.

Protein synthesis refers to the rate of how quickly cells build proteins, which are fundamental building blocks for muscle.

Nitrogen retention is particularly beneficial because the more nitrogen the body retains, the more anabolic it remains. If the body is low on nitrogen, this could sometimes lead to it falling into a catabolic state, in other words, an ideal muscle-wasting condition.

Glycogenolysis refers to the relationship between glucose and glycogen. When glycogenolysis is enhanced, the body makes better use of carbohydrate consumption.

Dianabol’s Relationship with other Steroids

Dianabol and Other Steroids

Dianabol can best be described as a “base” steroid, which means a cycle does not necessarily have to be devised around it. Dianabol fits in perfectly as part of a stack. Stacking Dianabol has seen an amazing synergy with other anabolic steroids such as Trenbolone, Equipoise, and Masteron.

Effects of Dianabol

Dianabol’s effects can be seen very quickly and can be quite dramatic. An average man can easily gain 25 lbs. of muscle in as little as a few weeks. Although such gains can be dependent on the dosage amount and calorie consumption, they aren’t unheard of. Most users take Dianabol during their off-season as their premier bulking agent. During the off-season, users usually experience massive increases in strength.

  • More Strength

As users experience inconceivable increases in strength, this can ultimately mean more speed, more power, and generally a vastly improved athletic performance.

  • Enhanced Recovery & Endurance

Dianabol provides enhanced endurance and recovery

Dianabol users enjoy an incredibly enhanced recovery and endurance phase which is also heavily reliant on the number of calories consumed.

Dianabol Effects
  • Results: Caloric Intake Dependent

The final results are largely dependent on caloric intake. Whilst it’s true that Dianabol can provide incredible muscle mass in incredibly little time, the body needs the required calories for increases in mass to take effect.

  • Dianabol is perfect for Strength and Size

Users who want to achieve more size and strength as opposed to just explosive athletic performance will find Dianabol as the ideal candidate.

  • Dianabol can help with Cutting

Most people wouldn’t expect to see many containers of Dianabol during a cutting cycle, but surprisingly, many competitive bodybuilders use it very early in the process to maintain muscle fullness. Taking Dianabol during the cutting cycle also has its disadvantages, i.e. Dianabol can cause water retention, and that’s a cardinal sin during a cutting cycle.

  • Not All Athletes Prefer Dianabol as their Steroid of Choice

Although Dianabol is seen with a lot of respect and admiration by most steroid-using individuals, a growing number of these people are turning away from this steroid and opting for alternatives like Anavar and Winstrol instead. One of the main reasons for this switch is the rapid muscle growth Dianabol provides. And that’s not to everyone’s taste.

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Dianabol Side Effects

Dianabol has a list of side effects that some men experience including:

  • Enhanced male pattern baldness
  • Acne
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Gynaecomastia

For women, the side effects can be equally unpleasant because they are known to develop masculine features, even if really low doses are administered.

Dianabol Side Effects

In the grand scheme of things, Dianabol is probably not the most dangerous steroid but side effects do exist, and these should be taken into account for obvious reasons.

Dianabol is Estrogenic

Dianabol is an estrogenic steroid thanks to the small amounts of aromatase function it transmits. Despite the numbers being extremely small, this is still enough for Dianabol to be transformed into methyl estradiol instead of just estradiol. This is one of the main causes of gynecomastia where it can develop quite suddenly like overnight. Excess water retention is another problem users often face that can lead to increases in blood pressure. High blood pressure is synonymous with Dianabol use.

Importance of Anti-Estrogens and Aromatase Inhibitors

Dianabol converts into methyl estradiol (estrogen) by aromatase (a key step in the biosynthesis of estrogen) which means that Aromatase Inhibitors (or AIs)are required to counter any estrogenic effects that may be forthcoming.

Most Dianabol users try to combat estrogenic effects by using Clomid, or Arimidex.

Alternatively, some users turn to selective estrogen Receptor Modulators (or SERMs) such as Nolvadex. SERMs tend to be the more common choice for men despite AIs working quicker by rapidly inhibiting aromatization and suppressing estrogen.

The downside to AIs is their negative effects on cholesterol. If this happens to be the case, effective cholesterol management should be the order of the day. SERMs on the other hand are not as effective but they do promote healthier cholesterol levels.

Androgenic Effects

Dianabol is not known to be an androgenic agent because its androgenic effects have been methodically and structurally reduced. But this does not mean that it cannot trigger androgenic-related side effects. In a small number of cases, users are known to have experienced:

androgenic effects
  • Accelerated male pattern baldness
  • Excessive body hair growth

These effects are triggered by Dianabol metabolization by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which is the same enzyme that works to hinder testosterone converting into dihydrotestosterone.

Although most users stay clear of these side effects, there is no plausible way of accurately predicting whether a person will experience them before actually using Dianabol.

Effects on the Cardiovascular System

Dianabol is known to have negative effects on cholesterol. It works by suppressing HDL cholesterol and increasing LDL cholesterol. Although it is possible to maintain “healthy range” cholesterol levels, it is also possible to be misled by the total reading, especially if the HDL cholesterol is heavily suppressed. Cholesterol management is vital when using Dianabol because repeated use can cause plaque to build up in the arteries over the years.

Effects on Blood Pressure

Dianabol is known to trigger high blood pressure due to the water retention it causes. Users should not use Dianabol if they already have high blood pressure or cholesterol. The best way to manage high blood pressure is a healthy diet and lifestyle. Foods rich in omega 3 oils and other essential fatty acids, coupled with regular cardiovascular activities can go a long way in managing blood pressure.

Furthermore, efficient estrogen control can also be helpful in managing blood pressure.

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Effects on Testosterone

Natural testosterone production becomes suppressed when a person starts using anabolic steroids, and Dianabol is no exception. Although different steroids suppress testosterone at different levels, with Dianabol, testosterone suppression is quite unforgiving. Exogenous testosterone is encouraged to be used whilst on Dianabol. A failure to do this will almost inevitably result in low testosterone over time.

Low testosterone itself can be a stepping stone to more serious conditions.

Natural testosterone production can resume its normal functions once Dianabol use is complete and steroidal hormonal remnants have left the system. The natural recovery system is unassuming and as far as it is concerned, no damage was done to the HPTA (or hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular-axis). As a result, the recovery phase can be painfully slow, and this is exactly why Post Cycle Therapy (or PCT) is encouraged after any kind of steroid use. Most PCTs involve SERMs.

The PCT will normally help to accelerate the recovery phase without having any direct interaction with testosterone. Testosterone production will naturally rise over time.

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Liver Damage and 17a-Methylation

Prolonged Dianabol use, as well as other 17-alkylated steroids use, can result in liver damage if appropriate care is not taken. The 17a-methylation of Methandrostenolone allows it to pass through the liver in small quantities, but only a small portion is broken down, which means it is effective when ingested orally.

17a-Methylation can also diminish the steroid’s attraction to the SHBG (or sex hormone-binding globulin) which is a type of protein that disables certain steroid fragments which stops them from further interaction with the body. Because of this, Dianabol remains more active than the equivalent amount of testosterone, ultimately meaning express muscle growth.

Water Retention and “Steroid Cycling”

On the flip side, the natural elevation in estrogen levels resulting from Dianabol aromatization means significant water retention. This type of water retention can cause unsightly physical gains. This can easily be remedied by discontinuing the Dianabol until the excess water disappears.

This is precisely the reason why competitive bodybuilders will only use Dianabol at the start of a steroid cycle to help them achieve more strength and size. At the same time, other compounds including testosterone accumulate inside the body allowing them to create their own anabolic functions.

Injectable Dianabol

inject able dianabol

The injectable versions of Dianabol are C17-alpha-alkylated. This means that this particular steroid has an androgen rating of 40-60 with a significantly lower tendency to affect the androgen receptor in comparison to testosterone.

Furthermore, injectable Dianabol enjoys an inhibited affiliation for serum binding protein which means that this is no doubt an extremely potent anabolic steroid.

Dianabol Usages

Bodybuilding

Despite lacking real any beneficial purpose (other than physical growth), Dianabol was only made illegal at the start of the 21st century. Thanks to the enactment of the Anabolic Steroid Control Act 1990 (find text here), dianabol in the eyes of the law, fell into the same category as amphetamines, which meant its use and possession became a criminal offence.

Despite its banning, Dianabol continues to be used by some bodybuilders, typically injected and stacked with other agents such as enanthate (slow testosterone releasing steroid), cypionate (oil-soluble injectable synthetic testosterone), and trenbolone acetate (powerful anabolic steroid).

Many high-profile figures have openly admitted using Dianabol in the past when it was legal including the big man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to users past and present, it is preferable to stack Dianabol with other injectable agents such as nandrolone, trenbolone, and testosterone.

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One of the downsides of long-term large-doses of Dianabol is the onset of eccentric left ventricular hypertrophy. This is when the walls of the heart’s main pumping chamber called the “left ventricle” become enlarged.

Tonic

Dianabol was recommended as a tonic for women. They have prescribed 3 tablets a day. Opinion changed very quickly when users started to develop masculine features such as body hair growth, deepening of the vocal cords, enlargement of the clitoris, and it was subsequently discontinued.

How Dianabol is Typically Used

Dianabol Usage

The amount of dosage ultimately depends on what are the desired end results. A meager 15mg tablet a day is sufficient for producing some jaw-dropping results. Unfortunately, most Dianabol users aren’t satisfied with the 15mg per day dosage, most go for the 20-25mg per day dose, and this is despite being aware of the increased associated risks involved.

It’s almost too easy to be drawn towards a dosage increase. For instance, a user who is accustomed to 25mg per day can very easily up that to 35mg per day. From 35mg per day, increasing even further can seem tempting.

Some users take 100mg per day. These individuals usually experience steroid users who are capable of managing larger doses. A 100mg per day dosage is certainly not recommended.

Dosage of Dianabol can last up to 3.5 hours. Some users like to split the daily dosage into 3 parts spaced out through the day. This is beneficial for maintaining healthy blood levels.

When taking Dianabol during a cycle, users prefer using it very early to help them achieve notable gains. After that, the injectable steroids are phased in to slowly start building the structure. By using Dianabol at the beginning of a cycle, users will enjoy the best results in terms of weight gain.

Alternatively, some users like to take Dianabol halfway through the cycle to help break out of stale periods. It’s not uncommon for bodybuilders to reach a plateau that simply cannot be broken, and that is where Dianabol can come in and help individuals progress further.

How to take Dianabol

New steroid users normally choose Dianabol as their starting point in the world of steroids. This is a sensible approach because getting accustomed to needles takes time, and Dianabol users don’t normally inject.

The recommended way to start taking Dianabol is a 4-week course of 15mg per day and no more! A simple 15mg per day dosage is more than enough to provide notable results with minimalistic side effects.

The not-so-newbies will see results in higher doses, typically up to 70mg per day. Unfortunately, such a high dose will also bring with it some side effects in certain individuals. Luckily, this rarely happens because the experienced users will stack Dianabol with injectable steroids such as Nandrolone and as a result, the Dianabol doses are relatively small.

Most users evenly spread the dosage throughout the day alongside their meals, ideally around half an hour before working out. By timing the dose with every workout, users will experience remarkable feats during workouts resulting in much-enhanced performances.

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References:

  1. ‘Dianabol Is Maybe The Most Common Steroid Ever Banned By The FDA!’ Storify. Accessed 27 October 2015. https://storify.com/arrivafraudh669/dianabol-is-maybe-the-most-common-steroid-ever-ban.
  2. ‘Dr. John Ziegler Did NOT Invent Dianabol’. MESO-Rx. Accessed 27 October 2015. https://thinksteroids.com/articles/dianabol-john-ziegler-myth/.
  3. ‘Estrogens and Anti-Estrogens: Key Mediators of Prostate Carcinogenesis and New Therapeutic Candidates – Ho – 2003 – Journal of Cellular Biochemistry – Wiley Online Library’. Accessed 27 October 2015. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jcb.10759/abstract.
  4. ‘Gym and Tonic: A Profile of 100 Male Steroid Users. — Evans 31 (1): 54 — British Journal of Sports Medicine’. Accessed 27 October 2015. http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/31/1/54.short.
  5. Hartgens, Fred, and Harm Kuipers. ‘Effects of Androgenic-Anabolic Steroids in Athletes’. Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) 34, no. 8 (2004): 513–54.
  6. ‘Home’. BASF. Accessed 27 October 2015. https://www.basf.com/gb/en.html.
  7. ‘John Bosley Ziegler’. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, 15 August 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_Bosley_Ziegler&oldid=676182232.
  8. ‘Methandrostenolone’. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, 6 October 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Methandrostenolone&oldid=684367792.
  9. Sever, Richard, and Christopher K. Glass. ‘Signaling by Nuclear Receptors’. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology 5, no. 3 (3 January 2013): a016709. doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a016709.
  10. ‘Supplements’. Bodybuilding.com. Accessed 27 October 2015. http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=127373953.
  11. ‘The Doctor Who Brought Steroids to America.’ Accessed 27 October 2015. http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2005/02/the_man_behind_the_juice.html.
  12. ‘WHO | International Nonproprietary Names’. WHO. Accessed 27 October 2015. http://www.who.int/medicines/services/inn/en/.

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