Written by Jose Antonio, PhD
06 April 2007

Nandrolone, which is fondly referred to as "Deca" (Deca-Durabolin), has the chemical name 17b-hydroxy-19-nor-4-andro-sten-3-one and is an anabolic steroid (a muscle-building chemical) that's present naturally in very tiny quantities in the human body. It's very similar in structure to the male hormone testosterone and has many of the same effects in terms of increasing muscle mass, without some of the more unwanted side effects such as increased body hair or aggressive behavior (http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/nandrolone/nandh.htm).

According to an article published in Newsweek International, by Jerry Adler (April 11 issue), "Anabolic steroids are inherently dangerous, no matter what else the pills may contain." Now anyone with half a brain would know there are few things that are "inherently dangerous" or "inherently safe" in life. Androgens (i.e., anabolic steroids) don't fall into either class, if the truth be told. But like ALL behaviors, there's a risk-benefit tradeoff one must consider. For instance, drinking water is certainly "safe" by any measure of common sense. However, if you drink too much water during a prolonged endurance race under hot conditions, you may suffer from the effects of hyponatremia (sodium levels in your blood become disastrously low) and in very, very rare instances, you can die. Certainly, no one in their right mind would suggest a Congressional hearing is in order. Oh my, what about the kids!?

As such, upon further analysis, reasonable minds can come to only one conclusion about nandrolone and the conclusion is that when nandrolone is used at a moderate dose and treatment duration, it's anabolic with little to no side effects! It's definitely not inherently dangerous.
For instance, the effectiveness of a biweekly regimen of 150 milligrams nandrolone with placebo in HIV-infected men with mild to moderate weight loss was compared to its effects against a Food and Drug Administration-approved regimen of recombinant human (rh)GH. In this placebo-controlled, randomized, 12-week trial, placebo and nandrolone (150 milligrams intramuscularly biweekly) were administered double blind and rhGH (six milligrams subcutaneously daily) was administered in an open-label manner. Participants were HIV-infected men with five to 15 percent weight loss over six months and on stable antiretroviral therapy for more than 12 weeks.

Nandrolone administration was associated with a greater increase in lean body mass (LBM) by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan than placebo; however, the change in LBMs with nandrolone was not significantly different from rhGH. Interestingly, rhGH administration was associated with greater loss of whole body fat mass and higher frequency of drug-related adverse effects and treatment discontinuations than nandrolone and placebo and a greater increase in extracellular water than nandrolone. Nandrolone treatment was associated with greater improvements in perception of health than rhGH and sexual function than placebo. Researchers concluded that "nandrolone is superior to placebo and not significantly different from a Food and Drug Administration-approved regimen of rhGH in improving lean body mass in HIV-infected men with mild to moderate weight loss."2 However, the adverse effects were less with the nandrolone. Similar results for nandrolone decanoate therapy were found in women. According to these investigators, nandrolone "may prove to be generally safe and beneficial in reversing weight loss and lean tissue loss in women with HIV infection and other chronic catabolic diseases."3

In another clinical trial, the effects of nandrolone decanoate (ND) were assessed after a two-year treatment period. Yes, you read it right, two friggin' years!! Sixty-five osteoporotic women older than 70 years were studied. Thirty-two patients received injections of 50 milligrams ND and 33 received placebos every three weeks. All patients received 500 milligrams calcium tablets daily. What did scientists find? Compared to baseline, ND increased the bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine (3.4 percent and 3.7 percent) and femoral neck (4.1 percent and 4.7 percent) after one and two years, respectively. ND significantly reduced the incidence of new vertebral fractures (21 percent vs. 43 percent in the placebo group; p < .05). ND showed a significant statistical increase in lean body mass after the first (6.2 percent) and second years (11.9 percent). In addition, a two-year treatment with ND significantly increased hemoglobin levels compared to baseline (14.3 percent) and placebo. The science nerds concluded, "ND increased BMD, hemoglobin levels and muscle mass and reduced the vertebral fracture rate of elderly osteoporotic women."4 Wait, did you read that? In OLDER women who were osteoporotic, nandrolone helps improve muscle mass and bone mineral density. It also reduces the risk of fractures. No ‘roid rage, nobody committing suicide, nobody throwing 45-pound plates in the gym. You mean this stuff can actually be beneficial and safe? Egads!

Even low doses work in bodybuilders. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 16 experienced male bodybuilders (ages: 19-44 years) received either ND (200 milligrams per week, intramuscularly) or placebo for eight weeks. ND administration resulted in significant increments of body mass (+2.2 kilograms), fat-free mass (FFM: +2.6 kilograms) and total body water (+1.4 kilograms).5
What about something to help improve recovery of connective tissue? Well indeed nandrolone does the trick! "Data suggest anabolic steroids may enhance production of bioartificial tendons and rotator cuff tendon healing in vitro."6

Nandrolone even helps patients on dialysis. Medical records of chronic hemodialysis patients receiving nandrolone decanoate for greater than 30 days were reviewed. They discovered nandrolone significantly improved markers of nutritional status in hemodialysis patients. They also believe this therapy may enhance the hematopoietic or red blood cell-enhancing effects of EPO.7

So in summary, here's what we can reasonably say about nandrolone:
Nandrolone administration in moderate doses (no more than 200 milligrams per week) can increase muscle mass, increase fat-free mass and improve the function of patients with HIV, patients with low bone mineral density and patients undergoing dialysis. In addition, nandrolone can be an effective tool in promoting connective tissue healing.

That's what the science says!

Now what they print in newspapers may be different, for the sole reason that journalists are either too ignorant or too lazy to actually read the literature.

1.    http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/nandrolone/nandh.htm
2.    Storer TW, Woodhouse LJ, Sattler F, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of nandrolone decanoate in human immunodeficiency virus-infected men with mild to moderate weight loss with recombinant human growth hormone as active reference treatment. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Aug 2005;90(8):4474-4482.
3.    Mulligan K, Zackin R, Clark RA, et al. Effect of nandrolone decanoate therapy on weight and lean body mass in HIV-infected women with weight loss: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Arch Intern Med, Mar 14 2005;165(5):578-585.
4.    Frisoli A, Jr., Chaves PH, Pinheiro MM, Szejnfeld VL. The effect of nandrolone decanoate on bone mineral density, muscle mass and hemoglobin levels in elderly women with osteoporosis: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, May 2005;60(5):648-653.
5.    van Marken Lichtenbelt WD, Hartgens F, Vollaard NB, Ebbing S, Kuipers H. Bodybuilders' body composition: effect of nandrolone decanoate. Med Sci Sports Exerc, Mar 2004;36(3):484-489.
6.    Triantafillopoulos IK, Banes AJ, Bowman KF, Jr., Maloney M, Garrett WE, Jr., Karas SG. Nandrolone decanoate and load increase remodeling and strength in human supraspinatus bioartificial tendons. Am J Sports Med, Jun 2004;32(4):934-943.
7.    Barton Pai A, Chretien C, Lau AH. The effects of nandrolone decanoate on nutritional parameters in hemodialysis patients. Clin Nephrol, Jul 2002;58(1):38-46.