Liver Toxic Effects of Pro-Steroids and How to Avoid Them


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Dear Ology,

If you are considering the use of 17-aa oral steroids for a cycle, or are already on cycle using 17-aa oral steroids, you must read this article.

Damaging the liver with oral steroids can cause serious health problems. No matter how big or ripped you may be, a faulty liver will drive your hard earned gains right down the toilet and send you strait to a hospital bed.

In fact, by the time most steroid using athletes or bodybuilders reach the hospital they have already lost 20-30lbs of body weight and have become extremely sick and feeble. (1-7) Nobody wants this. In this article I'm going to show you how to screen for liver problems, watch for the visual warning signs and protect the liver the most effective way possible.

What a lot of people don't know is that even legal steroids can stress the liver and cause serious problems. Legal steroids can be just as bad as illegal steroids such as Winstrol, Dianabol or even Anadrol. While most people are well informed about which illegal steroids cause liver damage, I'm going to talk about which legal steroids can cause damage. Whether you cycle legal or illegal steroids, the information you learn here today will probably save you a trip to the emergency room.

Today you will learn -

  • How oral steroids impair liver function and damage the liver
  • Warning signs that your liver may be damaged
  • Which legal steroids pose the most risk and which are the safest
  • How to get an at home liver test for less than $5
  • How Liver Juice will reduce liver damage even from the harshest compounds
Before I cover these topics, let's talk about which currently popular oral steroids are most liver toxic.

Legal Oral Steroids
Toxicity Ratings

It's important to understand that not all "oral steroids" negatively affect the liver. For instance, DHEA, androstenediol and pregnenolone are "steroids" that can be taken orally, but none of them are liver toxic.

What makes a steroid liver toxic is a modification to its structure known as a methylation in the 17th position. This is typically referred to as a "17 alpha alkylated" or "17-aa" oral steroid. This modification allows the steroid to pass the liver and avoid excretion, thus giving them higher potency than non-17-aa steroids. (1-7) 17-aa steroids also negatively affect the liver which I will explain later.

Popular methylated (17-aa) legal oral steroids include -

Superdrol clones -





Chemical name(s):

17-aa steroid

Toxicity rating (1-5): 5

Dimethazine clones -


Dieselbolan v2.0

Chemical Name(s):
17beta-hydroxy 2alpha,17alpha-dimethyl 5alpha-androstan 3-one azine

17-aa steroid

Toxicity rating (1-5): 5

Halodrol clones -





Chemical name(s):

17-aa steroid

Toxicity rating (1-5): 2

Epistane clones -




M-14 E

Chemical Name(s):

17-aa steroid

Toxicity rating (1-5): 3

Methyl 1,4-AD clones -



Chemical Name(s):

17-aa steroid

Toxicity rating (1-5): 3

DHEA clones -


Methyl 1-D

Chemical Name(s):
5-Androstene-3b-ol, 17-one

Non 17-aa steroid

Toxicity rating (1-5): 0

1-DHEA clones -



Chemical Name(s):

Non 17-aa steroid

Toxicity rating (1-5): 0

Androsterone (epiandrosterone) clones -


Methyl Masterdrol


Chemical Name(s):
3-beta-hydroxyetioallocholan-17-one (3b)
5a-androst-3b-17-one (3b)
3-epiandrosterone (3b)

Non 17-aa steroid

Toxicity rating (1-5): 0

As you can see, Superdrone and Dimethazine are some of the most toxic legal oral steroids. They are "di-methylated" which means they have two methyl groups, as opposed to just one in the 17th position. (4-5) Although this makes them extremely potent oral compounds, it also makes them more liver toxic than the single methylated 17-aa legal steroids (or even the illegal oral steroids Winstrol, Dianabol, Anadrol, ect.).

This is why its important to NOT stack 17-aa with other 17-aa compounds since oral steroids have a dose dependant toxicity value. In other words, the more total steroid you take, the more toxic it becomes to you liver.

Most all non-17-aa oral steroids have virtually zero toxicity to the liver, which usually makes them a good stack with 17-aa orals.

How do 17-aa oral steroids cause liver damage?

Despite a lot of discussion on the forums about the "toxicity" of different oral steroids, most users are unaware of the mechanism or implications around these "toxic effects" (which is probably the reason why most users have yet to find an effective cure for the toxic effects).

Let me shed some light on this ambiguous topic.

17-aa steroids are toxic to the liver because they inhibit the excretory functions of the liver. (1-7)

More specifically, the more "liver toxic" a 17-aa steroid is, the more it inhibits the production and flow of bile from the liver.

Bile salts are known as the liver's "cleansing agents" because they act as "soaps" that carry away the toxins and flush them into the intestines for excretion. If the bile flow is restricted in the liver, then the liver cannot rid itself of toxins. When the liver loses its ability to excrete toxins, it creates a buildup of toxins throughout the entire body. (1-13)

This condition is known as cholestasis [Kola-sta-sis]. By definition, cholestasis is a condition where the flow of bile cannot flow from the liver. (1) This is the most common liver condition developed from 17-aa steroids. (1-7)

If a liver becomes cholestatic for too long, the condition can begin damaging liver cells by causing necrosis (premature death of liver cells) from excessive toxin build up in the liver. This can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver (development of fibrous scar tissue) when the liver attempts to regenerate the damaged liver cells. This leads to loss of liver function from the replacement of healthy liver cells with fibrous connective tissue. (2)

Although cholestasis is reversible and generally not a lethal condition, it can lead to the more serious problems mentioned above if left untreated -- not to mention costly medical bills.

To avoid serious health complications it's important to protect the liver before it becomes cholestatic or seriously damaged from prolonged cholestasis (which I will explain later).

What are signs that my liver is damaged?

When the liver has been damaged by oral steroids there are certain signs that may become obvious to the user.

Here are some of the most common signs indicating you may have a serious liver issue. Warning signs usually appear in the following order, with the later signs being the most serious -

  • Reduced appetite
  • Nausea and fever
  • Excessive Itchiness
  • Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)
  • Very dark urine (dark amber colored)
  • Bloody stools

Waiting for all these signs to appear means you have waited too long. You want to take action BEFORE these signs appear. This is why I advise getting full lab values on liver function before, during and after any 17-aa oral steroid cycle. If performing lab tests for liver function, the following values are considered normal.

Normal Values -

Total bilirubin range: 0.3-1.7 mg/dl

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) range: 10-40 IU/L

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) range: 10-40 IU/L

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) range: 34-125 IU/L

Gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase (GGT) range: 7-32 IU/L

Levels above these normal values doesn't necessarily mean you have liver damage. It is common for healthy weight training athletes or bodybuilders to be slightly outside of the "normal" ALT, AST and ALP values. Therefore these "Danger Values" have been established as more appropriate levels to indicate a serious liver toxicity issue. (1-7)

Danger Values -

Total bilirubin: 10 mg/dl or higher

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT): 50 IU/L or higher

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST): 50 IU/L or higher

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP): 150 IU/L or higher

Gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase (GGT) range: 50 IU/L or higher

NOTE: Historical research from 17-aa oral steroid induced liver toxicity suggests that lab values higher than the "Danger Values" indicate that you may be suffering from cholestasis (1-7) If your lab values are higher than the "Danger Values" listed above you should discontinue any current oral steroid use and seek medical treatment.

If the above lab tests are not an option, it is possible to get an affordable at home test for bilirubin levels, which can help diagnose a liver damage from a 17-aa oral steroid. There are tests available, such as the TestMedica Liver Home Scan, which can be purchased online for less than $5 per test. Although these home based tests lack accuracy or true diagnosis ability, it can offer a valuable insight about the condition of the liver and is recommended for any steroid user not able to get lab tests done in a clinical setting.

How can I protect my liver?

To prevent cholestasis, the primary condition caused by oral steroid use, it is important to ensure there is ample hydrophilic bile acid available in the liver for the proper clearance of toxins. There are two reliable options for this.

1. The first option is the drug known as Ursodiol - a.k.a. ursodeoxycholic acid. This naturally occurring bile acid is used for its ability to detoxify the liver by clearing out less hydrophilic bile acids and other toxins that cause a toxic build up, such as 17-aa oral steroids. (4,5)

Ursodiol is typically prescribed to patients admitted to the hospital for steroid induced liver toxicity, but unfortunately, it is an expensive prescription drug, and not easily obtainable.

Typical dose - 1000-1200mg/day before, during and after cycle

2. The other option is a highly bio-available milk thistle supplement, such as Liver Juice.

New research suggests that high doses of milk thistle can increase the liver's production of ursodeoxycholic acid - the same bile acid used in the drug Ursodiol. (8) The active component in milk thistle responsible for this is the flavone silybin. Liver Juice is standardized for 30% silybin and is delivered in a highly bio-available liquid form using Liqua-Vade technology.

Liqua-Vade delivery technology makes Liver Juice absorb 8x better than other regular milk thistle supplements, and avoids intestinal upset typically associated with high doses of regular milk thistle powder. (14-23)

Typical dose - 5mL twice daily before, during and after cycle. (Liver Juice)​

How does Liver Juice protect the liver?

The milk thistle flavone silybin enhances clearance of toxins from the liver by increasing the production of healthy bile acids, such as ursodeoxycholic acid. Increasing production of this beneficial bile acid helps prevent the occurrence of cholestasis -- the primary liver condition caused by 17-aa oral steroids. (7-13)

Silybin appears to have a unique ability to stimulate Cyp7a1 and Cyp3a enzymes in the liver. These enzymes drive the conversion of cholesterol to healthy bile acids. (8-10)

How do I use Liver Juice?

Using Live Juice is easy.

Just follow the guidelines below -

NOTE: For best results, Liver Juice should be used for 2 weeks prior to starting any cycle with a 17-aa oral steroid, during the cycle and for 2 weeks following the cycle. Liver Juice can be used continuously for any length of cycle without side-effects. Always verify liver health by checking liver values.

How much does Liver Juice cost? Where do I buy it?

A full 4 week supply of Liver Juice costs $19.95.

To use Liver Juice at the full recommended dose before, during and after a 4 week cycle with a 17-aa steroid you would need two (2) bottles of Liver Juice.

Remember, Liver Juice is a valuable liver protector for any type of 17-aa oral steroid, legal or non-legal. If you have questions about how to use Liver Juice during your cycle, just visit the Official Liver Juice Thread.

Liver Juice is available exclusively at

Questions about Liver Juice? Get answers in the Official Liver Juice Thread

I'd like to thank you for reading this news release and supporting Primordial Performance!

Yours in health & fitness,

Eric Potratz
Primordial Founder & President


Phone - 1-503-841-6702
Email -
Visit - Nutritional Supplements and Fitness Supplements For Improved Body Contour and Sexual Prowess | Primordial Performance

References -

1. Androgenic/anabolic steroid-induced intrahepatic cholestasis: a review with four additional case reports.
Gurakar A, et al.
J Okla State Med Assoc. 1994 Sep;87 (9):399-404

2. Androgenic/Anabolic Steroid-Induced Toxic Hepatitis
Davor S, et al.
J Clin Gastroenterol 2002;35(4):350-352

3. Anabolic-Androgenic steroids and liver injury
Magdalena et al.
Liver International ISSN 1478-3223

4. Severe Cholestasis and Renal Failure Associated with the Use of the Designer Steroid Superdrol (Methasteron): A Case Report and Literature Review
John Nasr and Jawad Ahmad
Digestive Diseases and Sciences (2007)

5. Cholestatic Jaundice and IgA Nephropathy Induced by OTC Muscle Building Agent Superdrol.
Beata Jasiurkowski MD, et al.
The American Journal of Gastroenterology (2006) 101, 2659-2662;

6. Anabolic steroids and cholestasis
Nusinovici V.
Med Chir Dig. 1974;3(3):167-71.

7. Cholestasis due to anabolic steroids
Horký J, et al.
Cesk Gastroenterol Vyz. 1973 Dec;27(8):548-50.

8. Silymarin as a new hepatoprotective agent in experimental cholestasis: new possibilities for an ancient medication.
Crocenzi FA, Roma MG.
Curr Med Chem. 2006;13(9):1055-74. Review.

9. Silibinin prevents cholestasis-associated retrieval of the bile salt export pump, Bsep, in isolated rat hepatocyte couplets: possible involvement of cAMP.
Crocenzi FA, et al.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2005 Apr 1;69(7):1113-20.

10. Beneficial effects of silymarin on estrogen-induced cholestasis in the rat: a study in vivo and in isolated hepatocyte couplets.
Crocenzi FA, et al.
Hepatology. 2001 Aug;34(2):329-39.

11. Tauro alpha-muricholate is as effective as tauro beta-muricholate and tauroursodeoxycholate in preventing taurochenodeoxycholate-induced liver damage in the rat.
Kitani K, et al.
Hepatology. 1994 Apr;19(4):1007-12.

12. Tauro beta-muricholate is as effective as tauroursodeoxycholate in preventing taurochenodeoxycholate-induced liver damage in the rat.
Kanai S, et al.
Life Sci. 1990;47(26):2421-8.

13. Ursodeoxycholate reduces ethinylestradiol glucuronidation in the rat: Role in prevention of estrogen-induced cholestasis.
Enrique J et al.
The Journal of Pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, 2003 Vol. 306, No. 1 279-286

14. Self-emulsifying drug delivery systems: Strategy for improving oral delivery of poorly soluble drugs.
Jing-ling et al.
Current Drug Therapy, 2007 Vol. 2, No. 1

15. Enhanced bioavailability of silymarin by self-microemulsifying drug delivery system.
Wei Wu et al.
European Journal of Pharmaceuticals and Biopharm. 63(3) (2006) 288-294

16. Formulation and biopharmaceutical evaluation of silymarin of SMEDDS
Woo et al.
Arch Pharm Res Vol 30, No 1, 82-89, 2007

17. Pharmacokinetics of silybin following oral administration of silipide in patients with extrahepatic biliary obstruction.
Schandalik R. et al.
Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1994;20(1):37-42.

18. Pharmacokinetic studies with silymarin in human serum and bile.
Lorenz D, et al.
Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 1984 Oct;6(10):655-61.

19. The solubility and bioequivalence of silymarin preparations
Schulz HU, et al
Arzneimittelforschung. 1995 Jan;45(1):61-4.

20. [Preparation of silybin-phospholipid complex and its bioavailability in rats][Article in Chinese]
Xiao YY, et al.
Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2005 Jul;40(7):611-7.

21. A review of the bioavailability and clinical efficacy of milk thistle phytosome: a silybin-phosphatidylcholine complex (Siliphos).
Kidd P, et al.
Altern Med Rev. 2005 Sep;10(3):193-203.

22. Pharmacokinetic studies on IdB 1016, a silybin- phosphatidylcholine complex, in healthy human subjects.
Barzaghi N, et al.
Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 1990 Oct-Dec;15(4):333-8.

23. Silymarin: A review of pharmacological aspects and bioavailability enhancement approaches.
Nitin Dixit et al.
Indian J Pharmacol. 2007, Vol. 3 Issue 4, 172-179
Ive got some interesting research here about milk thistle lowering cholesterol, presumably by increasing bile acid formation from cholesterol in the liver...

I was going to make a write up soon.

Silymarin as a potential hypocholesterolaemic drug.
N. Scottova et al.
Physiol. Res. 47; 1-7, 1998

never used this product. but recently found myself wishing I had a bottle at the start of my recent cycle.

I think some kind of liver support supplement should be a staple.

liver juice, dont use methyl steroids without it.
taking prohormones are more damaging than ruinning gear itself. Also, they are more expensive.
running gear is safer & more cost effective , furthermore prohormones cannot even come close to the results true hormones can produce, also prohormones are not FDA approved and you dont know what youre putting in your body.
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good post Rucker. especially on comparing toxicity levels. I send it to a lot of my friends/trainees as info to read before starting a cycle as well. thanks!
taking prohormones are more damaging than ruinning gear itself. Also, they are more expensive.
running gear is safer & more cost effective , furthermore prohormones cannot even come close to the results true hormones can produce, also prohormones are not FDA approved and you dont know what youre putting in your body.

pH's will have to be FDA approved soon enough.

Gear isn't FDA approved either. And with it being illegal, who knows if you're actually getting what you think you're buying.
all human grade gear is most definetly FDA approved !

Maybe if you get it from your doctor. But the gear you buy from some random guy you find online isn't FDA approved, in fact you don't even know if he's sending you what you think you're getting.:bash:
taking prohormones are more damaging than ruinning gear itself. Also, they are more expensive.
running gear is safer & more cost effective , furthermore prohormones cannot even come close to the results true hormones can produce, also prohormones are not FDA approved and you dont know what youre putting in your body.

PHs are definatly not more expensive than real gear.

and whether your taking a PH or real Gear, either can be abused or can be harmfull.

and PH in my opinion can be just as effective for results. 4-6 weeks on Sdrol and gaining 10-15 pounds, compared to taking Test for 10-12 weeks with similar results.
PHs are definatly not more expensive than real gear.

and whether your taking a PH or real Gear, either can be abused or can be harmfull.

and PH in my opinion can be just as effective for results. 4-6 weeks on Sdrol and gaining 10-15 pounds, compared to taking Test for 10-12 weeks with similar results.

I've run a few different PH cycles in the last 3 years, and there's no way I would ever run one without liver protection. I read a few different articles referencing the effects of methylized products on the liver in fairly expansive detail. Kinda scary stuff haha. Too many 16-20 year olds think just because it isn't labeled as a "steroid" means a PH is safe with no extra precautions needed. (Even when using all the support supps, theres no way a 18 year old should be taking a PH anyway, but still)