At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Methyl-1 testosterone is a chemically created “prohormone” that is typically used as a muscle-building steroid. The human body produces testosterone naturally; it’s usually produced more readily by males than females, and is often considered to be the male sex hormone. It’s also really important in muscle building and plays a key role in muscle density and growth. The methyl-1 compound doesn’t occur naturally. It’s a chemical synthesis that is designed to deliver a much more potent form of the hormone in order for people to get essentially immediate results, and it’s often most commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders. It isn’t without its side effects, though, many of which can be quite serious. This particular compound is banned by most professional sporting associations, meaning that athletes in these leagues can’t use it without being accused of cheating. The World Anti-Doping Code also lists it as a “prohibited substance.”
The steroid methyl-1 version of testosterone is seven to 16 times more potent than regular testosterone. Naturally occurring testosterone is usually considered to be steroid in and of itself, but natural steroids are generally really different from those designed in labs or manipulated by researchers. For instance, ordinary testosterone carries the chemical formula C19H28O2, whereas the methyl-1 steroid version is C20H30O2. The addition of carbon and hydrogen might seem small on the surface, but it makes a big difference when it comes to how the compound is absorbed and how it works.
How It’s Synthesized
The chemical bonding of naturally occurring testosterone is manipulated to create the anabolic steroid 1-testosterone and then methylated &mash; meaning basically that hydrogen is added to manipulate the chemical composition — to created the methyl-1-version. Methylation can help prevent liver destruction and also increases the efficiency of how the drug is absorbed when ingested orally. When people ingest too many harsh substances, including alcohol and most medications, the liver can become stressed and overworked.
Why It’s Used
People typically use drug as a way of quickly building body mass and muscular strength. Since it’s illegal in most places, it hasn’t be subjected to the same rigorous testing and trials as most conventional and legal drugs, so most reports of efficacy are based on hearsay or speculation. In general, though, the compound is considered just as potent as other traditionally illegal steroids, and most users report an average gain of about10 pounds (4.5 kg) of muscle during each two-week dosing cycle.
The drug is usually taken either orally, often as a capsule, or intravenously. Most people take it in middle age, though a lot of this necessarily depends on the individual. As the aging process sets in, usually in the mid 30s, the body's natural testosterone production decreases. In fact, most experts agree that the use of methyl-1-testosterone and other prohormones is most effective after the age of 30.
Side Effects and Risks
This particular steroid can be very destructive to the individual who takes it, and the potential for harm is often one of the biggest reasons it’s banned in most places. Many users are unaware of the side effects or choose to ignore them. There are a range of other bodybuilding substances that are generally legal and less harmful, including creatine, that can be used instead to achieve similar results with less severe side effects. In most cases, though, substitutes and alternatives take longer to produce results, which can be discouraging for users.
The side effects include mood irregularities, increased aggression, increased blood pressure, decreased appetite, sexual dysfunction, water retention, breast enlargement, male pattern baldness, a distended stomach, and acne. The main reason for these side effects is that methyl-1-testosterone will not convert to estrogen the way normal testosterone will, so the body increases its natural production of estrogen to try to counteract the increased testosterone. At the same time, though, when usage stops, the body usually will not reduce its estrogen production, which can lead to a number of imbalance issues.