I was recently asked a question about a very strange new prohormone product. What makes it strange is that is actually based on a female hormone – specifically it is based upon a hormone called 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone.
17a-hydroxyprogesterone (or 17-HP) is a hormone intermediate in the steroidogenic pathway between progesterone and androstenedione. 17-HP is present in the blood of women in varying amounts during their monthly cycle and is present in particularly high amounts during pregnancy. It has similar actions to progesterone (albeit somewhat weaker), and is thought to serve a complimentary role to progesterone as an endogenous progestogen.
The prohormone in question here is not actually 17-HP however, but a close structural derivative to 17-HP that I will call Dehydro 17-HP. For all intents and purposes however, the metabolism of the derivative should be analogous to 17-HP. Specifically, here are the potential pathways of the two
17-HP ——– Androstenedione —– Testosterone
Dehydro 17-HP ——— Boldione ——– Boldenone
So it is definite that the potential for 17-HP and Dehydro 17-HP to convert to active anabolic/androgenic hormones is there. There are two questions though. How much do they convert and is there any HPTA suppression from the progestational action of the parent compounds?
Perusing the research on 17-HP I did find a little bit of information on the first question. Apparently at least one study found that given to humans and to rats the compound results in a substantial increase in urinary 17-ketosteroids (androgenic metabolites). This indicates that it does convert to a significant extent to androstenedione at least. Furthermore, a study where 17-HP was given orally to cockerels (immature roosters) showed it to have one half the androgenic activity of methyltestosterone. It is important however to note that androgenic activity in a cockerel is measured by the size of that red comb on their heads, which is not necessarily easily translatable to anything in a human.
The answer to the second question – involving whether the compound is HPTA suppressive – is harder to answer. Data on women show varying effects on 17-HP at different times throughout the cycle, but this data is irrelevant to men. I couldn’t find anything on men and LH/FSH levels. So that part of the equation remains unanswered.
I guess I don’t really know what to say about this stuff. If it works at all I would expect one to have to take many hundreds of milligrams before an effect is seen (due to it being a two step conversion via an intermediary dione). Whatever the case, it is sort of amusing how creative companies will get in an attempt to fulfill customers’ demands while trying to minimize legal exposure.