Anabolic history can go way back, yet development of these
supplementation steroids were produced in 1930’s-1940’s in scientific
purposes. We see that the first solid scientific experiments in this area,
in which eventually led to discovery and replication of testosterone (as well
as other similar androgens), were undertaken in the 1800’s. In this
century a number of animal experiments were published, most which involved
in the removal of implantation of testicular material from the lab subject.
These studies certainly laid the foundation for the modern field of endocrinology
(study of hormones). By the turn of the century, scientists were able to produce
the first experimental androgen injections.
Chemists finally synthesized the structure of testosterone
in the mid 1930’s, sparking a new wave of interest in this hormone.
With the medical community paying a lot of attention to this remarkable achievement,
the possible therapeutic uses for a readily available synthetic testosterone
quickly became an extremely popular focus. During the infancy of such experimentation
many believed they had crossed paths with a true “fountain of youth”
Dihydrotestosterone and nandrolone, two other naturally occurring
steroids, were also isolated and synthesized in the early years of steroid
development. To make things even more interesting, scientists soon realized
that the androgenic, estrogenic and anabolic activity of steroid hormones
could be adjusted by altering their molecular structure. The goal of many
researchers thereafter became to manufacture a steroid with extremely strong
anabolic activity, but which will display little or no androgenic/estrogenic
properties. This could be very beneficial, because side effects will often
become very pronounced when steroid hormones are administered in supraphysiological
amounts. A “pure” anabolic would theoretically allow the patient
to receive only the beneficial effects of androgens (lean muscle gain and
increased energy output).
By the mid 1950’s
well over one thousand testosterone, nandrolone and DHT analogues had been
produced, but none proved to be purely anabolic compounds. The failure to
reach this goal was primarily due to an initial flawed understanding of testosterone’s
action. Scientists had noticed high levels of DHT in certain tissues, and
believed this indicated an unusually receptor affinity for this hormone. This
led to the early belief that the human body had two different androgen receptors.
According to this theory, one receptor site would respond only to testosterone,
while the other is activated specifically by the metabolite DHT. With this
understanding eliminating the conversion of testosterone to DHT was thought
capable of solving the problem of androgenic side effects, as these receptors
would have little or none of this hormone available for binding. DHT, which
was once thought not to bind to the same receptor as testosterone, is now
to do so at approximately three to four times the affinity of its parent,
and the unusual recovery of DHT from androgen responsive tissues now attributed
to the distribution characteristics of the 5a-reductase enzyme.