8 Bodybuilding Supplements that Allegedly Contain Steroids

Build MuscleA Project Swole PSA blast from the past, still relevant today though most of the products mentioned are discontinued and considered ‘illegal’ today. It is interesting to see over time how things evolve, and in some cases how they stay the same.

Original Article:

This is a public service announcement to be careful when choosing bodybuilding supplements that claim to make you huge in a short amount of time. We need to constantly be aware of these faux steroid muscle-building supplements. They are as prevalent today as ever, and they have proven time and again that they can do more harm than good. But we still need to ask, is it really any of the FDA’s business what we choose to put into our bodies?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public not to use bodybuilding supplements advertised as steroids, or claiming to contain steroids or steroid-like substances.

The CNN article is here: FDA warns against body-building products claiming steroids

Thanks for the warning FDA, but please stop telling me what supplements to buy or not to buy.

Back in the day, the FDA sent a letter to American Cellular Laboratories Inc., alleging that some of the supplement manufacturer’s products, which are sold as dietary supplements, violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act because they do not meet the FDA’s definition of a dietary supplement.

To be considered a dietary supplement, a product has to contain one or more dietary ingredients, such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, or amino acids, which some of American Cellular Laboratories products do not.

In fact, the FDA alleges that many of the products are sold as dietary supplements, but are actually unapproved and misbranded drugs. Let’s see which products were targeted by the probe.

The following American Cellular Laboratories Inc., products are affected:

  • TREN-Xtreme
  • MASS-Xtreme
  • ESTRO-Xtreme
  • AH-89 Xtreme
  • HMG-Xtreme
  • MMA-3 Xtreme
  • VNS-9 Xtreme
  • TT-40 Xtreme

From what I have ready, many of these products claim to have steroid-like ingredients, but actually contain synthetic steroids. An example of a well-known synthetic steroid is tetrahydrogestrinone or THG, the substance sold by BALCO Labs to many athletes including MLB all-time homerun record holder Barry Bonds, in a skin cream called ‘The Clear’.

The FDA claims these products are unsafe and ineffective. My take on this comment: “unsafe” could be true, but “ineffective” is probably false.

From 2008-2010 no less than 5 reports were filed claiming adverse effects caused by the above mentioned products, and 15 reports were filed citing similar products. Some reports detail serious liver injury, although there are no reports of acute liver failure or death.

Of course you realize that doesn’t mean much. There have probably been hundreds of reports citing injuries from coffee in the last year, but in reality coffee consumption has been shown to have several health benefits.

Did you know there are health benefits from having increased testosterone levels?

The benefits of high levels of testosterone include increased:

  • bone density
  • strength
  • endurance
  • stamina
  • sex drive
  • recovery from injury

Let Me Guess: You Want to Get Some Anabolics

These products are marketed as muscle building supplements. They supposedly help you gain muscle or maintain muscle on a strict fat loss plan. I must say quite frankly, that they probably do work pretty well.

I have not tried any of these products, so I can’t comment on the effectiveness or the safety of any of them, but it’s safe to say that if you get some of these you will be buying some pretty strong synthetic steroids or steroid alternatives.

It’s also safe to say that you should steer clear of any of these products if you have a history of liver problems, if you drink alcohol on a regular basis, or if you take any prescription drugs that could possibly interact with steroids or are known to be hard on the liver.

My Experience

In my personal experience, I probably can’t take any of these products because supplements that claim to elevate my testosterone levels – including prohormones, synthetic juice, tribulus, and other t-enhancing herbs – tend to increase the effects of my Coumadin/Warfarin, and thin my blood WAY out, which means my blood won’t clot at all. Just a small internal bleed could mean massive hemorrhage and death.

A couple years ago I was using an andro pro-hormone spray just to see if it worked, and my blood was 5 times as thin as my doctors wanted. It caused my intestines to back up, likely due to non-stop internal bleeding, and I had to spend 2 nights in the hospital to thicken my blood and get my digestive system working again.

Medical contraindications are no joke. If you think you may possibly encounter a situation like this, be sure to check with your doctor before trying anything.

How You Might Use These Products

Assuming you don’t care what I say and want to get these products anyway, you should know how to cycle them correctly, and supplement to protect your body.

You don’t need to get all those products listed above. Just do some research and choose the one that works best, or two that work best together. Search around on popular bodybuilding forums to see which ones get the best reviews, and how people commonly cycle them.

Here is a forum thread specifically talking about the Tren-Xtreme product: Tren-Xtreme by American Cellular Labs

Use my advice only as a starting point for your research, and you MUST do your research before starting a cycle.

Rule #1: If you are female, forget about this completely and go buy some amino acids and protein powder. Steroids are not for you.

No Women Allowed
No Women Allowed

Rule #2: If you are under 18, forget about this for now as your natural testosterone is the highest it will ever be. Take advantage of this wonderful condition by eating insane amounts of food and lifting insane amounts of weight. Come back to this article when you are at least 21 years old.

Rule #3: Steroids will shut down your natural testosterone production, causing your testicles to shrivel up and withdraw up against your body in extreme cases. If you don’t follow up a steroid cycle with proper post cycle therapy (PCT), you are setting yourself up for severe hormonal and physiological negative side effects, and will probably lose all your gains from the cycle.

Rule #4: At a minimum you would probably want to run a 4 week cycle followed by 4 more weeks of PCT to get your natural testosterone flowing again. Many people choose to run an 8-12 week cycle followed by 8-10 weeks of PCT. This is an aggressive cycle that I don’t recommend to newbies.

Rule #5: Have your PCT on hand before starting the cycle. This way if something goes wrong, such as your nipples start to get itchy or puffy indicating the onset of gynocomastia, you can jump off the gear straight into your PCT. Some people recommend running PCT twice as long as the anabolics, but in my experience an equal time frame works fine. This brings me to…

Rule #6:
Know all the signs and symptoms of side effects related to steroid use. This way if you will know ahead of time if something is going wrong. For example, increased acne is not an emergency; while swollen, puffy, itchy nipples precede gyno, which is a condition that will not go away, could get worse (you will grow man boobs), and will require surgery to fix if you continue to stay on the juice.

A generic effective cycle might look something like this:

  • Week 1: 1 dose of gear
  • Week 2: 2 doses of gear
  • Week 3: 2-3 doses of gear (depending on how you react to it)
  • Week 4: 1-2 doses of gear
  • Weeks 5-6: two doses of PCT
  • Weeks 7-8: one dose of PCT

Products commonly used for PCT include:

  • Clomid – It’s illegal to get this without a prescription, but you can sometimes order it online or find someone with connections. I can’t get it for you and I don’t know where to get it, so don’t ask. Keywords: Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM)
  • Nolvadex – Another SERM. Better than Clomid, but the same legal restrictions apply.
  • Reversitol – A legal, trans-resveratrol based, anti-aromatase hormonal regulator.
  • I3C – A legal Indol-3-Carbinol supplement
  • Activate Extreme – A legal, zinc-based supplement with a proprietary blend of herbs and other substances, which I am too lazy to break down here, that supposedly promote natural testosterone production. Also contains I3C.
  • Stoked – Another legal trans-resveratrol based, anti-estrogen supplement that also promotes natural testosterone production.
  • Silymarin – Contains Milk Thistle extract, which is great for the liver. The reason we don’t take this during the cycle is because it will hinder supplement absorption.

A common PCT cycle using the legal products might be as follows:

Weeks 1-4

  • Reversitol or Stoked @ 3/2/2/1 servings every day (ED)
  • Active Extreme @ 2 servings ED
  • I3C @ 200 mg ED
  • Silymarin or Milk Thistle @ 2/2/1/1 servings ED

A common PCT cycle using the controlled products might be as follows:

Weeks 1-4

  • Nolvadex @ 30/30/20/20 mg ED

That is all I am going to write right now about using steroids, anabolics, steroid alternatives, synthetic steroids, or any related topics.

If you intend to get any of those products, you better do much more research first and really understand what you are getting yourself into.

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12 Responses to “8 Bodybuilding Supplements that Allegedly Contain Steroids”

  1. It’s disappointing to see this steriod mess on your site. By giving the time and details to these dangerous and unnecessary supplements,you indirectly promote their use. I’ve always connected with the wholesome and healthy attitude at this site. What I got from that article severely compromises that. I hope this topic can be replaced by more significant issuss in the future.

    • Steroids are a part of bodybuilding and professional sports. I stay away from them, but don’t you think it’s best to educate people who are going to use steroids no matter what? There are more steroid users in the game than you think, and even more older kids and teens who want to use steroids and will stop at nothing to give them a shot.

      My job is to educate those people about steroid use. Firstly they must know that it is inadvisable to use any anabolics under the age of 18. Secondly they must know that if they do use steroids or other anabolics, that they are going to need to run PCT in order to keep their hormones in check.

      My advice: don’t use steroids. If you chose to ignore me and use steroids anyway, do your research and run a proper cycle or you will pay for it for the rest of your life.

  2. We all know the consequenses of steroids and it’s redundent to keep preaching. There are already dozens of sites that revolve around both sides of the argument. If educating people is the goal, I think highlighting a superior method would be the choice.

    I also attempt to educate about steroid use. I maintain a single digit body fat level, and kick the @$$ of all roid users I know in everything that matters. Steroids have never been an option for me, and I continue to smash to the next level. Educating by example tends to be a powerful tool in convincing someone to get it right.

    Forgive me if I just don’t get it yet, but I like my Project Swole drug free!

    • Understandable. I wouldn’t even have written this article if I didn’t find the news report about tainted supplements. All the steroid issues in sports, coupled with my constant frustration at the involvement of the FDA in regulating supplements instead of allowing us to choose for ourselves, causes me to publish articles like this. You probably won’t find another piece that has anything to do with steroids for several months. For those people who voted in a recent poll that they wanted more reviews of muscle building supplements, well this post will make them happy too. Expect to see nothing steroid related this week… I won’t even mention anything about David Ortiz being on ‘the list’.

  3. Firstly, I have never once thought any article on this site was used to promote anything. In fact, every article, no matter its intention or purpose, has always been informational. I learned more about steroids and how to use them after reading this article, but for example, just because i learned how to use crystal meth doesnt make my desire to do something i know is inherently wrong and bad for my body any greater.

    • Thanks Josh T. You have recently come out of the wood work as an avid Project Swole supporter. All of your comments are appreciated. Now I just have to figure out why I haven’t seen any comments from MTGirl in several weeks.

  4. Ironically, i had been visiting this site for a while before i ever thought i had anything to contribute to the vast amount of useful information. When i did, i expressed my gratitude for your posting of the “Top 5’s” because they helped me more than you know to gain strength and see results. But when people come on here and just blurt out their opinion with no real purpose other than pointing a finger, IMO, it’s pointless.

    Not to kiss anymore ass than i have to, but it pays to be humble and understand that in the fitness world, there is always someone who knows more than you and can teach you a thing or two if you aren’t so caught up in your own that you can listen. But, in all reality, with the explanations of how each muscle group works and the best exercises to make them grow, you are the reason i row, squat, deadlift, pull-up. because honestly….all we are taught growing up is that all you need to be big and strong is to bench press and do dumbbell curls(shivers).

  5. steve
    i have used steroids around three years back just for a month though. i have never used pct. never heard of it. i feel like me sex drive has reduced over the years. so is it because of the use of steroids or or is it because of age. i am currently 27 years old. so do i have to take the pct course

    • If you just juiced for a month, three years ago, I don’t believe you can blame your decreased sex drive on steroids. Unless you went balls to the wall and injected like 10 grams of T a day, stopped cold turkey, and totally messed up your reproductive system. If you quit the gear 3 years ago, there’s no sense in running PCT today. You need to run PCT immediately after coming off a cycle. Better luck next time.

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