THERAPEUTIC DOSES OF NANDROLONE DECANOATE DO NOT PRODUCE ANY MUSCLE GROWTH EFFECTS WHILE EXCEPTIONAL DOSES OF AASs DO
Hartgens F, van Straaten H, Fideldij S, Rietjens G, Keizer HA, Kuipers H. (2002). Misuse of androgenic-anabolic steroids and human deltoid muscle fibers: Differences between polydrug regimens and single drug administration. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 86, 233-239.
"The objective of this investigation was to study the effects of androgenic-anabolic steroid (AAS) misuse on deltoid muscle fiber characteristics in experienced, male strength-trained athletes. In a double-blind study, 15 volunteers were administered nandrolone decanoate (ND) for 8 weeks (200 mg/week, intramuscularly). In an additional study, 12 subjects self-administered various AASs at supratherapeutic dosages (AAS group), while 7 non-users served as controls. In all subjects, a percutaneous needle biopsy sample of the deltoid muscle was obtained at baseline and after 8 weeks. Muscle sections were pre-incubated at pH 4.4, stained with adenosine triphosphatase and analyzed morphometrically. In each biopsy sample, at least 150 fibers were classified for "gray level" and "lesser fiber diameter" to determine the mean fiber size, the sizes of type I and type II fibers, and the fiber type distribution. ND administration did not seem to affect any of those parameters. In the AAS group, mean muscle fiber size (+ 12.6%), and the size of type I (+ 10.8%) and type II (+ 14.6%) muscle fibers increased. The fiber type distribution remained unaltered. We conclude that polydrug regimens of AAS misuse at supratherapeutic dosages increased the size of deltoid muscle fibers (especially type II fibers) in experienced strength-trained athletes, while nandrolone decanoate at a therapeutic intramuscular dose of 200 mg did not exert any effect".
Implication. It has often been asserted that using banned drugs in doses below those prescribed for therapeutic purposes will not exert any growth or ergogenic effects. It is often cited that doses 10-40 times greater than therapeutic levels are required to produce substantial muscle growth. This study confirms that assertion.
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