What connects Androdiol, Testosterone, 4AD, and DHEA?
What connects Androdiol, Testosterone, 4AD, and DHEA?
Things ain't what they used to be
Let’s face facts, with a few exceptions a lot of the supplement categories today have lost some of the punch they had in the past. Whether it is the removal of DMAA and Craze from the preworkout field (although DMAA is available outside the UK) or the toning down of Alphamine from being our favourite fat burner to being a good alternative to a diluted fruit juice. However, at least in those cases everyone knows the products are not the same as they used to be in the past. Believe it or not, some people actually prefer the newer versions, especially as they get older where taste and "smoothness" of feel tends to take greater importance in what people choose than whether or not a product would double up for use as a nighttime stimulant in the days when nightclubs had not been battered into closure by endless lockdowns.
However, while reading some supplement labels recently we were astounded to find out that an old favourite had seemingly come back from the dead...
The Return of 4-AD in the USA?
Those of us old enough to remember the dawn of the prohormone age will remember that two prohormones reigned supreme dwarfing all others in popularity although undoubtedly a few psychopaths would proclaim M1T as king (until they needed a new liver). We will talk more about the second compound, 1-testosterone and its 1-AD prohormone a little later, but for now know that as a compound that was non-methylated, did not convert to estrogen OR DHT, and which was highly anabolic it had a huge fanbase. However, just edging it was the precursor to testosterone itself, 4-Androstenediol, also known as androdiol, or just 4-AD.
Nowadays only available in a cyclodextrin bonded version for heightended bioavailability in the form of the prohormone Androtest, at one time 4-AD was the most popular prohormone in the world. This should be no surprise because just like testosterone will always be the most popular AAS, so is its prohormone equivalent because while other compounds might be more potent for lean mass or strength gains, nothing else can come close to the feeling testosterone can give you for overall feelgood effects whether that is more energy, greater wellbeing, or a more potent sex drive.
So imagine to our surprise, when we saw the name 4-AD (and 1-AD!) return to supplement labels recently.
What was in the Original 4-AD?
4-Androstenediol (the original 4-AD remember) was not the first prohormone to testosterone. That was actually its more famous brother Androstenedione (Andro) which was introduced into the market by the original prohormone guru Patrick Arnold (now the owner of the super innovative Prototype Nutrition). Both these products worked after ingestion by being converted in the body into testosterone but what made 4-AD more popular was it converted much better into testosterone unlike Andro, which had a similar amount converting into both testosterone and estrogen making it a problematic compound especially for those sensitive to gyno. Very quickly, the industry switched to 4-AD and the first brand name version, Androdiol ended up becoming synonymous with the compound itself.
By using 4-AD, individuals were taking a prohormone which via just ONE step conversion would convert into testosterone and the road to rapid lean mass gains was assured after that so long as they did what was needed with their diet to maximise the results of their prohormone cycles.
Initially we were excited that Androtest would be getting some company and from products which had various different formulas to give people more choice in this area. However, upon further investigation things were not as they seemed on the surface.
What is the new "4-AD"?
There are a number of prohormones sold in the USA which say they have 4-AD on the labels. However, it turns out that far from containing any actual 4-AD in them, all these products were doing was using the name 4-AD on their labels but including an entirely different ingredient althogether called 4-DHEA. As you will see, this is a bit like putting a Ferrari badge on a Ford and hoping people do not notice the difference!
What is the difference between 4-AD and 4-DHEA?
With prohormones, we generally want as clean and easy a conversion to the desired compound as possible. The less we are having to process a substance through our liver, the better! This is a key reason why we want to avoid people being misled into thinking that their 4-DHEA product is actually the OG 4-AD. 4-DHEA, while certainly bringing about results in users and having its place, is NOT the same as what we would call 4-AD.
4-DHEA is a 2 step conversion to testosterone, not one. This means that the yield of testosterone is lower and therefore so is potency and benefits. With this understanding, we can hypothesise that a higher dose might give comparable results. But things aren’t always that simple! The higher the dose, the more at risk you are of developing side effects.
One of the side effects commonly experienced by 4-DHEA users is conversion to DHEA, which happens very easily. DHEA converts just as readily to estrogen as it does testosterone and the same will apply to 4-DHEA. By increasing the dose, you can easily reach a point where cost to benefit ratio is no longer favourable, even if being vigilant with health markers and bloodwork and taking extensive cycle support supplements. While 4-DHEA is relatively mild, it is not methylated for instance, the same applies to the original 4-AD anyway. The difference between the two is that 4-Androstenediol will deliver you far greater testosterone and less estrogen than will 4-DHEA so you will experience greater benefits AND less sides.
We hope that this article has given you some insight into why it is so important to brush up on your chemistry before delving into the world of hardcore supplement, to protect your health, money and gains!
There certainly seems to be a growing number of companies looking to ‘trick’ customers into thinking that they are purchasing the old 4-AD, when they are actually getting a product that is far inferior and perhaps not the best route for them to go around.
The supplement industry can be full of this (just look at all of the reworked versions of Jack3D we’ve seen over the last few years!) but here at Predator Nutrition we endeavour to give you honest and transparent advise that allows you to make fully informed decisions before parting with your hard earned money.