Deca Durabolin is the decanoate ester of Nandrolone, which for all intents and purposes means it is an oil based fluid form of the anabolic steroid. Deca is therefore the first of our articles dealing with injectable anabolic steroids over their orally administered cousins.
The drug’s positive effects on bone density and red blood cell production mean Nandrolone can be used to treat osteoporosis, anemia and even some types of tumour. These benefits and additional ones such as increased muscle growth and appetite stimulation are why it is also a popular choice among bodybuilders.
For bodybuilding purposes, Nandrolone is used in liquid form as Deca Durabolin. Deca is injected directly into the muscle tissue (generally the glute) and takes some weeks to start exerting its anabolic effect. For this reason, the steroid cycle is often ‘kickstarted’ with oral steroids such as Dianabol or Anadrol, if the user is on a bulking cycle, until the Deca starts working.
Deca is versatile enough to be used in cutting cycles as well. It exhibits less androgenic and estrogenic effects than a lot of steroids and is not toxic to the liver. However. due to its impact on serum testosterone levels (suppresses virtually 100%), problems such as gynecomastia and sex drive reduction can still take hold.
What are the Beneficial Effects?
We’ve already covered the medical benefits of Nandrolone, and they are of course mostly why the steroid has positive effects on body composition. It has a reputation as assisting quality muscle growth over a slower period of time than the oral kickstarter steroids would.
Deca has non-androgen-receptor mediated effects, which basically means it does other things to aid the growth of muscle than simply binding to the androgen-receptor full force and exerting its influence that way.
Nitrogen retention and red blood cell increase are two non-androgen-receptor mediated effects on the body which definitely promote muscle growth. Nitrogen retention is key to protein synthesis and red blood cells transport oxygen to the muscle.
Liver toxicity and, ultimately, liver damage is something to be concerned about with steroids, especially the oral variety. Deca Durabolin has dramatically reduced liver toxicity, and in some cases can even improve immune function and joint health.
Here’s an overview of the benefits:
- Highly anabolic muscle gains
- Long life cycle in the body (steady plasma levels)
- Incorporate into cutting or bulking cycle
- Minimal liver toxicity
- Alleviates joint problems
- Can boost immune system (may only apply if health status is bad)
IMPORTANT: ‘Health’ benefits are almost a moot point as Deca is nearly always cycled with hepatotoxic (liver toxic) oral steroids to take advantage of their immediate impact while the slower Deca takes effect.
What are the Negative Side effects?
Deca Durabolin’s main achilles heel is related to its interactions with the progesterone receptor and progesterone, in that it stimulates both. This leads to several possible unwanted side effects, the main one being total suppression of natural testosterone levels.
What’s makes it worse is the length of time it can take for the body to regain those natural levels. This means Deca is usually taken with testosterone and a heavy rehab drug program must be followed post cycle, including strong estrogen blockers to limit potential estrogenic effects.
Possible negative effects of Deca Durabolin include:
- 100% Testosterone suppression
- Water retention
- Sexual dysfunction
- Must be cycled with testosterone
- Heavy post-cycle drug therapy required
- All of this would get expensive
NOTE: Deca is actually considered quite mild as far as side effects go but users must be completely dialled in to how to use it, otherwise things can get out of hand.
Cycling Deca Durabolin
The testosterone suppression means Deca is nearly always taken alongside injections of testosterone. The testosterone may need to continue after the Deca is stopped. As a long term cycle, it’s generally taken for up to three or four months.
After the cycle, Deca may continue to suppress natural testosterone levels which is why synthetic test needs to continue and some anti-progesteronic drugs should be available in case things go bad.
Deca Durabolin – Nandrolone Decanoate – is a controlled substance in many countries and is illegal to use unless prescribed by a Doctor.
Aside from being illegal, the use of Deca comes with a lot of stressful consideration and additional expense. Alone it may not cause very dramatic side effects during use but the off-cycle problems are considerable enough to necessitate the use of several other drugs, one being synthetic testosterone.
Alternative Ergogenic Supplements
Some supplement companies now look to develop products which closely imitate the benefits of anabolic steroids, without leaving the user with side effects.
‘Legal steroids’ is one of many terms for these products. CrazyBulk is probably the leading manufacturer of legal steroids.
They have developed DecaDuro (D-KA) to provide a safe and legal alternative to Deca Durabolin.
Follow the link below if you wish to read more about CrazyBulk’s Deca Duro.