From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

19-Nordehydroepiandrosterone (19-NorDHEA) is a synthetic derivative of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is a naturally occurring steroid and hormone precursor found in the human body. Unlike DHEA, 19-NorDHEA is not endogenously produced by the human body. It is often used in the supplement industry, particularly in the context of bodybuilding and athletic performance enhancement, due to its properties that are believed to aid in muscle growth and strength.

Chemical Structure and Function[edit | edit source]

19-NorDHEA is characterized by the removal of a carbon atom at the 19th position of the DHEA molecule, which significantly alters its biological activity. This modification is intended to make the compound a prohormone to Nandrolone, a powerful anabolic steroid. As a prohormone, 19-NorDHEA is not active in its original form but is converted into active hormones by the body's metabolism, potentially leading to increased muscle mass and strength.

Usage and Legal Status[edit | edit source]

The use of 19-NorDHEA as a dietary supplement is controversial and subject to regulatory oversight in many countries. In the United States, the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 and its amendments have placed many prohormones, including some forms of 19-NorDHEA, under the category of controlled substances, making their sale without prescription illegal. However, variations of 19-NorDHEA that are not explicitly listed under the act continue to be sold in the dietary supplement market.

Health Risks and Side Effects[edit | edit source]

The conversion of 19-NorDHEA into active anabolic steroids can lead to a range of side effects similar to those associated with steroid use, including but not limited to hormonal imbalances, increased risk of heart disease, liver damage, and masculinization in women. The long-term health effects of 19-NorDHEA supplementation are not well-studied, and users should approach with caution.

Research and Clinical Studies[edit | edit source]

Scientific research on 19-NorDHEA is limited, and much of the evidence for its efficacy and safety comes from anecdotal reports and studies with small sample sizes. Clinical studies are needed to fully understand the pharmacokinetics, potential health benefits, and risks associated with 19-NorDHEA supplementation.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

While 19-NorDHEA is marketed as a supplement for muscle growth and athletic performance enhancement, its legal status, health risks, and the lack of scientific evidence supporting its use warrant caution. Individuals considering the use of 19-NorDHEA or similar supplements should consult with healthcare professionals and consider the legal and health implications.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD