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Andriol

(testosterone undecanoate)

Andriol is testosterone with the undecanoate ester attached, and produced in oral form. It represents the first real attempt to create an oral testosterone since Methyl testosterone. I can only assume that the scientists responsible for this wanted to create a viable alternative to both injectable testosterones (which, at least for Hormone Replacement Therapy, is inconvenient), as well as other oral forms of testosterone (which have traditionally been very harsh on the liver). What they came up with has proven to be a very odd steroid in many ways.

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To create Andriol, the scientists involved had to come up with a solution to the problems facing methyltestosterone, namely the fact that it is harsh on the liver and needs to be taken in very high doses to produce decent results. What they did was put 40mgs of Testosterone Undecanoate in oleic acid (an oil), and encapsulate it. Now they use castor oil and propylene glycol laurate instead of oleic acid, but that only increases the shelf life, and doesnt do anything else. For some of the aspiring chemists reading this, you may be asking yourself the obvious question. And the answer is yes, you can take almost any estrified drug (Nandrolone Decanoate, for example), and dissolve it in castor oil and propelyne glycol laurate, and create your own "Deca Caps" or whatever. The problem is that youd need to be able to make sealed gel caps, not just the typical 2-part capsules most people throw steroid powder in. Anyway, Im digressing; lets get back to Andriol. After you put some testosterone undecanoate in caster oil and propelyne glycol laurate, youll have a testosterone which is highly fat-soluble due to the (very large) undecanoate ester attached to it, and able to be absorbed through your small intestine via the lymphatic system. What this means is that it avoids the "first pass" through the liver, a process which could destroy much of the active steroid, and place an undue amount of stress on the liver. It also displayed a rapid absorption and turnover in one study(11), which may account for its ability to not cause unwanted side effects . Its not bad for your blood pressure (13), and also has no adverse effects on the prostate and may even improve blood pressure(12)! Thus, Andriol is remarkably light on all side effects, especially those related to liver toxicity and estrogenic sides.

Andriol for Women

In this study, done with women, it even displayed no ability to lower LH and FSH (Leutenizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormone, respectively), which are the hormones that tell your body to make more testosterone (11). I doubt Andriol could be properly regarded as liver toxic or too damaging to your HPTA (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Testicular-Axis, the thing that governs your bodys production of testosterone, among other things). at any kind of reasonable (or even excessive) dose. Actually, one study noted no adverse reactions or effects at all with the use of Andriol (10). As for your lipid profile and cholesterol, it has even been shown to have beneficial effects on them (14)!

So, putting some Testosterone Undecanoate in Gel Caps is what the scientists at Organon have done with their Andriol product, and it all looks good so far, right? The active steroid totally bypasses your liver and hence doesnt get damaged by or damage your liver, and gets a bunch of Testosterone into your body. Great! But what happens next? Well, after the lymphatic system has brought the testosterone undecanoate into circulation in your body, the undecanoate ester begins to be removed. This would leave you with (roughly) 25mgs of testosterone in your blood stream, as the decanoate ester takes up a lot of "space" and the cap only contains a total of 40mgs of testosterone undecanoate (roughly 15mgs of which are ester). The end results from Andriol would be very similar to the end result of injecting almost any form of testosterone (4), once your body removes the ester. But remember, youd never inject 25mgs of testosterone suspension and call it a day, but thats exactly what you are doing when you take only one Andriol cap.

So now you have 25mgs of testosterone floating around in your body. Thats not much, so if youre realistically considering using this product, youll need to take quite a few caps of this it. And theres one of the first problems we encounter with this drug. You see, the method of administration of this drug provides us with a nice liver-safe product, but this stuff will peak your testosterone levels within around 2 hours after administration, and will only remain (at least slightly) elevated for 10 or so hours(1). Ideally, youd be taking a capsule every 2 hours, which is inconvenient to say the least. Lets be generous and say you can simply take one every 4 hours. Problem solved? Not really, because were going to need to take at least 2 caps with each dose if we want to see any sort of anabolic effect, and if were taking it every 4 hours (assuming were awake for 16hrs every day), then well be taking around 8 caps per day. Now weve shifted the problem away from the effort needed to take an effective does to being a problem with economics.

Cost to Buy Andriol

The problem with type of dose is going to be cost to buy andriol. Andriol is pretty expensive to be taking in the amount of 8 caps per day, and I have never seen it made by anyone except for Organon& which means we wont find it on any UnderGround Labs product lists. And that means we need to pay whatever price Organon is asking...and they are asking a lot. You can easily run a cycle with several very anabolic compounds for the price of a cycle of just Andriol.

So thats our major obstacle, the expense of taking Andriol in what would be an effective dose is prohibitive to most people. One study noted that Andriol therapy, when compared with traditional Testosterone injections is roughly 7-8x more expensive (5).

Andriol Side Effects

Cost not withstanding, lets see what kind of Andriol side effects we can expect (besides the catabolic effect it will have on your wallet). Although it has a reputation for being very mild, youll still see some results from Andriol. One study using a very low dose on adolescent boys still showed a reasonable gain in Fat Free Mass(3) even though the boys were not training. And in another study focusing on the elderly, it improved their quality of life considerably (as androgens often do) (6), and also had beneficial effects on erectile dysfunction (7) (again, this is typical of androgens). This is certainly promising, but in a world where first time-ste In fact, it may even be a useful adjunct with Viagra for this purpose (8). However, in a world where first time steroid users expect upwards of 20lbs per cycle, I would suspect many will be disappointed with the 5lbs or so a cycle of Andriol will produce. Granted, thats a conservative estimate, but I cant really be confident predicting much more muscle is to be expected from Andriol. Taking a large amount of Andriol is actually pretty safe (except for your bank account), and there was even a 3 month study done in Korea, where a pretty small dose of Andriol ( 160 mg daily for 3 weeks then half that dose for the remainder of the study) resulted in a very nice rise in testosterone. Serum total testosterone increased from 2.13 +/- 1.20 ng/ml at baseline to 6.04 +/- 3.08 ng/ml (p = 0.005) after 12 weeks. In addition, free testosterone was (barely) significantly changed from 8.60 +/- 2.25 pg/ml to 11.40 +/- 3.81 pg/ml (p = 0.13) (10). However, there were no significant changes in liver function tests, red blood cell count or lipid profiles, nor were there any significant adverse reactions that would have led to the cessation of the administration of oral testosterone. So the scientists at Organon have succeeded in making a nice, safe, moderately effective orally available treatment for low androgen levels. But can we (athletes and bodybuilders) use it also?

Truthfully, I cant be confident predicting more than a 5lbs gain with the use of Andriol, because this product has a very odd property, and that is the widely varying effects it has on test subjects. In one study I read, four test subjects were each given Andriol, and one had a huge surge in testosterone levels going up to 60.1nmol/L and the other only had a 11.5nmol/L level(5)! The remaining 2 test subjects fell in between those levels. I am speculating that the differences experienced by the test subjects were primarily due to the variances inherent in the lymphatic system. But to make matters even more inconsistent, there is no evidence that those variances wouldnt occur within the same person taking Andriol (i.e. you get a huge surge in testosterone one day, and a very minor one the next day). This may be due to variability associated with whether this stuff is taken with food or not. Since it operates via association with your small intestine and lymphatic pathways, taking it with food greatly enhances its bioavailability (9), and this may be a case of "problem solved" but Im hesitant to close the books on andriols absorption problems so quickly, for now, well just say you are spending your money much more wisely if you take your andriol with meals.

Despite all of its problems, if I had the money to run 10-15 caps of Andriol/day, and if I were looking for a stand-alone oral compound to safely run for a full cycle (of perhaps 12 weeks), then I have to admit, Andriol would be my #1 choice.

Testosterone undecanoate and may offer an alternative for androgen treatment in women.

Testosterone + Undecanoate ester
    [androsta-4-en-3-one,17b-ol]
    Molecular weight of base: 288.429
    Molecular weight of ester: 186.2936
    Formula: C19 H28 O2
    Melting Point: 155
    Manufacturer: Organon
    Effective dose: 600mgs
    Active Life: less than 8-12 hours
    Detection Time: 4-5 weeks
    Anabolic/Androgenic Ratio (Range): 100:100

References:

  1. Which Androgen Replacement Therapy for Women? Journal of Clin Endocrinol and Metab. 83 1998 3920-24
  2. A new oral testosterone undecanoate formulation. World J Urol. 2003 Nov;21(5):311-5. Epub 2003 Oct 25. Review.
  3. Effects of oral testosterone undecanoate on growth, body composition, strength and energy expenditure of adolescent boys. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1992 Sep;37(3):207-13.
  4. Recovery of free androgens in the rat prostate in vivo and in vitro after treatment with orally active testosterone undecanoate (TU). Horm Metab Res. 1980 Oct;12(10):541-5
  5. Which Testosterone Replacement therapy? Clin Endocrinol (oxf) 21 198497-107
  6. Effect of oral testosterone undecanoate on visuospatial cognition, mood and quality of life in elderly men with low-normal gonadal status. Maturitas. 2005 Feb 14;50(2):124-33.
  7. Effect of 12 month oral testosterone on testosterone deficiency symptoms in symptomatic elderly males with low-normal gonadal status. Age Ageing. 2005 Mar;34(2):125-30. Epub 2004 Dec 13.
  8. Oral testosterone undecanoate reverses erectile dysfunction associated with diabetes mellitus in patients failing on sildenafil citrate therapy alone. Aging Male. 2003 Jun;6(2):94-9.
  9. Important effect of food on the bioavailability of oral testosterone undecanoate. Pharmacotherapy. 2003 Mar;23(3):319-25.
  10. Oral testosterone replacement in Korean patients with PADAM. Aging Male. 2002 Mar;5(1):52-6.
  11. Administration of testosterone undecanoate in postmenopausal women: effects on androgens, estradiol, and gonadotrophins. Menopause. 2000 Jul-Aug;7(4):251-6.
  12. Effects of androgen supplementation therapy on partial androgen deficiency in the aging male: a preliminary study. Aging Male. 2002 Mar;5(1):47-51.
  13. Therapeutic effect of andriol on serum lipids and apolipoproteins in elderly male coronary heart disease patients. Chin Med Sci J. 1992 Sep;7(3):137-41.


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