DECA vs. Testosterone
The differences and benefits of Nandrolone Decanoate compared to Testosterone Replacement
Keywords: DECA, Anabolic Steroids, Testosterone Therapy, Nandrolone Decanoate.
In the aging male population, the loss of muscle mass can be accentuated by a natural decrease in anabolic hormones. Different anabolic therapies are available to improve skeletal muscle density, muscle strength and size to reduce fragility, risk of fall and enhance activities of daily life. Anabolic and androgenic agents such as Nandrolone Decanoate (Deca) and Testosterone have shown to consistently increase skeletal muscle tissue and heighten the effects of resistance training. Both testosterone and Deca increase the size and number of myofibrils, the structural component of muscle tissue.
In a multi-center randomized placebo-controlled study, Gold et. al evaluated the differences in muscle mass and strength in 303 men who received 150mg of Nandrolone Decanoate vs 250mg of Testosterone vs placebo intramuscularly every 2 weeks for 12 weeks.
The men who received 150mg of Nandrolone Decanoate administered every two weeks were found to report improved recovery after resistance exercise and an increase in measured lean muscle mass compared to the administration of 250mg of testosterone twice weekly. Most importantly, the addition of resistance exercise to Nandrolone Decanoate therapy improved muscle quality and strength by as much as 55%. Resistance exercise may improve the effect of anabolic hormone therapy by changing the architecture of the muscle (compacting muscle fibers, improving neuromuscular adaptations to resistance and changing the ratio of type I & type 2 muscle fibers.) The study also quelled the concerns that anabolic / androgenic agents cause significant increases in serum lipids profiles and liver function tests. These findings were not witnessed in the current study.
In men, with muscle wasting conditions, growth hormone therapy is often used to improve fat free mass. The study noted above demonstrates the alternatives to growth hormone therapy to achieve similar outcomes.
DECA has both the characteristics of testosterone, but much greater activity towards stimulating muscle growth and improving recovery after strenuous resistance exercise. DECA is used clinically to treat patients with burns, radiation therapy, sarcopenia and muscle wasting conditions. Deca has a long half and binds with a strong affinity to androgen receptors. Deca, unlike testosterone, does not undergo conversion to DHT and has less effect on hair follicles. Deca is often provided with testosterone to prevent suppression of the hypopituitary gonadal axis and maintain certain male physiologic processes.
Nandrolone Decanoate is a type II anabolic androgenic steroid. Anabolic steroids were developed in the 1930’s and by the 1980’s wide spread use was found among elite athletes to enhance muscle size, growth and performance. Currently, it is estimated that over 4 million individuals in the United States use some form of anabolic steroids, and not just elite athletes. The majority of individuals obtain such medication from non-licensed medical personal. Therapy is often not monitored and anabolic steroid usage is considered a global public health problem.