Testoviron is the trade name for a line of anabolic steroids developed and manufactured by international pharmaceutical giant Schering consisting of Testoviron, a blend of two esterified forms of testosterone – testosterone enanthate and testosterone propionate, and Testoviron Depot, which is a single ester testosterone enanthate compound. Both of these testosterone steroid products are widely used by bodybuilders in the United Kingdom, but the Depot version (testosterone enanthate) is much more popular.
History and Background
Testoviron is one of the oldest anabolic steroids, having been first released in the mid-1930s in the form of a single ester testosterone compound testosterone propionate. In fact, it was the only commercially available testosterone steroid product on the market at that time. When the enanthate esterified version of testosterone emerged in the early 1950s, Schering gave it the same Testoviron brand name; and from the 1950s onwards, this trade name would be used to refer to the testosterone enanthate and testosterone blend compounds.
Chemical Profile and Functional Properties
Testoviron Blend (Testosterone – Enanthate/Propionate)
Testoviron blend products consist of two testosterone compounds, these testosterone compounds are: testosterone propionate and testosterone enanthate. These esterified variants of testosterone are typically more fat soluble and less polar than free testosterone, and also release slowly from the injection site.
Testosterone that is un-esterified holds an extremely short half-life, which makes its use very inconvenient and impractical. Esterification (addition of an ester bond or ester linkage) expands testosterone’s half-life to that of up to 10 days, and the levels of this hormone in the blood plasma remain elevated for a whopping 2-3 weeks.
Esters utilized in the esterification of testosterone are defined by size; the larger the ester the longer its effects will last after administration; and the shorter the ester the faster the hormone becomes active. In the case of Testoviron, propionate is the shorter ester whereas the enanthate is the longer ester. This allows it to provide the best of both ester sizes in a single injection. By administering a Testoviron blend product, bodybuilders will receive an initial burst of testosterone through the faster-acting propionate ester, and the benefits of elevated testosterone hormone levels will continue for an extended period of time due to the enanthate ester.
Nonetheless, Testoviron blend products, which consist of both testosterone propionate and enanthate forms carry a much shorter overall half-life in total form compared to Testoviron Depot, which is made up of testosterone enanthate. This is due to the propionate being a short ester.
Testoviron (Testosterone Enanthate)
Testoviron Depot, which is comprised of testosterone enanthate, is the slower acting esterified variant of testosterone. Prior to its development, the most widely used forms were either un-esterified, free testosterone (in the form of testosterone suspension) or the faster-acting testosterone propionate.
Testosterone suspension has a very short lived half-life and would remain active in the body for an extremely short period of time (typically 48 hours. While testosterone propionate releases much more slowly from the injection site, it’s half-life of about 4-1/2 days is quite short and users have to apply frequent injections in order to maintain stable and peaked hormone levels in their system – which can be inconvenient for many. As such, there was a need to develop an injectable testosterone ester preparation that provided slower release rates. The enanthate variant of testosterone was created with the aim of fulfilling this very need.
The enanthate ester (enanthoic acid that is bonded to the 17-beta hydroxyl group) is a large ester that takes a significant amount of mass in the compound and prolongs the window of therapeutic or bodybuilding effects following administration. This allows for a less frequent injection schedule compared to injections of the un-esterified testosterone suspension, propionate variant, or Testoviron blend. Its long half–life and slow release saw it replace the propionate variant as the testosterone steroid product of choice by the medical community in the West, as well as bodybuilders and athletes utilizing it for performance enhancement. Today, it is the most popular and widely utilized anabolic steroid in the world.
The addition of the enanthate ester augments the steroid’s release rate and half-life to favor a much longer window of release. The end result is that of the enanthate ester being removed from the hormone by these enzymes, and the result after this is pure testosterone that is free to do its work (of providing therapeutic or performance enhancement benefits) in the body. When the ester is attached to testosterone, creating testosterone enanthate, the half-life of Testoviron is now extended to approximately 10 days, which provides a slower release rate and activity of the steroid hormone.
Testoviron Benefits for Bodybuilders
Testoviron is one of the most versatile and beneficial anabolic steroids available, providing all the performance and physique enhancement effects that a bodybuilder would want. These include:
– Increased protein synthesis: This steroid product is extremely effective at boosting the rate of protein synthesis within cells, which results in the buildup of cellular tissue (anabolism) in muscles. Testoviron use can dramatically increase the size, and even the number of muscle fibers, leading to increased strength. Increased strength allows the bodybuilder to train the muscle to be able to generate more force – which, in turn, facilitates muscle growth.
– Increased nitrogen retention: Like other anabolic steroids, Testoviron use helps the body to retain more nitrogen essential for growth and maintenance of lean muscle tissue. Increased nitrogen retention promotes greater anabolic activity and also prevents the body from slipping into a catabolic state.
– Enhanced IGF-1: This steroid product stimulates production of IGF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1) in the liver which binds to the IGF receptors within the cells. This ultimately leads to a stimulation of cell growth and an inhibition of cell death. IGF-1 is a highly anabolic and anti-catabolic substance; and for the bodybuilder, this is associated with many beneficial effects, including: formation of new muscle cells and growth of existing muscle tissue.
– Enhanced red blood cell count: This steroid product has the ability to promote increases in red blood cell count, which typically results in greater blood oxygenation. This, in turn, promotes higher levels of muscular endurance. Greater strength and endurance derived from the use of this steroid are key to achieving success in any fitness or bodybuilding workout program.
– Reduced glucocorticoids: High levels of glucocorticoids (both natural and synthetic) are associated with reduced activity of the bone-forming cells and increased activity of the cells that break down bone tissue, and this can lead to bone loss. Testoviron use has been shown to reduce the amount of glucocorticoids in the system, thereby helping maintain or increase bone density, build stronger bones and prevent fractures.
Its ability to stimulate muscle growth, as well as recovery and endurance, means that it can be successfully used for any purpose of performance enhancement – cutting, bulking and everything in between. In fact, any benefit an anabolic steroid can provide this is the best. So it’s not hard to see why testosterone enanthate is the most popular steroid product amongst bodybuilders and athletes.
Testoviron Side Effects for Bodybuilders
As is the case with other anabolic steroids, testosterone enanthate use is associated with a number of unpleasant side effects. These Testoviron side effects include: estrogenic, androgenic and cardiovascular side effects as well as side effects associated with suppression of natural testosterone production.
Fortunately, the good thing about testosterone enanthate side effects is they are easy to manage or avoid altogether. It is also worth noting that this steroid product is not associated with hepatotoxicity and is, therefore, not toxic to the liver.
Estrogenic side effects of Testoviron can include: water retention, high blood pressure, and gynecomastia. These effects occur due to the body naturally converting testosterone into estrogen (aromatization), leading to increased estrogen levels. Bodybuilders can combat Testoviron estrogenic side effects by supplementing with Aromatase Inhibitors (AI’s) or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM’s).
Androgenic side effects of Testoviron are: body hair growth, acne, hair loss in individuals predisposed to male pattern baldness, and virilization symptoms in women like clitoral enlargement, body hair growth and deepening of the vocal chords. Women should not use this steroid, but male users can use a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor to reduce the androgenicity of testosterone enanthate.
Like other anabolic steroids, Testoviron use can lead to cardiovascular issues including high blood cholesterol and unhealthy thickening of blood. The steroid increases LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol. Its use may also lead to excessive increase in red blood cell count, hematocrit and hemoglobin, making the blood to become thicker. To combat these undesirable side effects, users should prioritize a healthy cholesterol lifestyle, which should include a diet rich in omega fatty acids and low in saturated fats and simple sugars, and also consider undergoing a therapeutic phlebotomy a few times per year.
Lastly, Testoviron use will lead to suppression of natural testosterone production and bodybuilders should consider implementing an appropriate Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) in order to spur on natural production of this important hormone and recovery.