When it comes to prohormones, no name rings more bells than Rich Gaspari. The accomplished bodybuilder and business man brought Halodrol to the forefront the bodybuilding supplement industry in 2006 after an FDA steroid crackdown (arguably what caused the prohormone boom in the first place) and it has since gone through several reformulations and variations.
The original Halodrol contained 4-chloro-17a-methyl-androst-1,4-diene-3b,17b-diol, a prohormone that is closely related to the anabolic steroid, Turinabol. When it contained 4-chloro-17a-methyl-androst-1,4-diene-3b,17b-diol, Halodrol was extremely popular (sold in GNC at one point) and used by millions.
It’s popularity was mostly due to it being pretty mellow in terms of risk but quite powerful in terms of gains. The original Halodrol, 4-chloro-17a-methyl-androst-1,4-diene-3b,17b-diol, was capable of packing on 10-20lbs of lean muscle mass while decreasing fat mass and resulting in only a small amount of water retention relative to other prohormones. This remarkably potency, combined with the low likelihood of side effects, made 4-chloro-17a-methyl-androst-1,4-diene-3b,17b-diol the most popular prohormone of all time.
Unfortunately, the Halodrol 2016 formula contains no 4-chloro-17a-methyl-androst-1,4-diene-3b,17b-diol…
Halodrol 2016 Ingredients
Unfortunately, Halodrol has been through several reformulations over the years and is no longer anything like the original. But does it work? Let’s take a look at the research…
1-androstene-3b-ol, 17-one (1-DHEA)
1-androstene-3b-ol, 17-one, also known as 1-DHEA, requires a two-step conversion process to become 1-Testosterone, an anabolic hormone that is significantly more androgenic than Testosterone itself.
This is the same hormonal target as the prohormone, 1-Androsterone which has been shown to increase lean body mass and decrease fat mass to a very significant degree, but does come with the drawback of liver stress.
Fortunately, 1-DHEA is not liver toxic, but because it requires a two-step conversion process to become 1-Testosterone (instead of one step), it is nowhere near as potent.
That said, there is actually some research which indicates it is an effective muscle-builder at high enough doses. One study found that 330mg of 1-DHEA/day packed on an average of 10 pounds of muscle along with significant strength gains in resistance trained men, ages 18-35.
So, it would appear that at high enough doses, 1-DHEA is effective, but it looks like Gaspari’s new Halodrol contains far less than the 330mg used in the study references above.
4-androstene-3b-ol, 17,one (4-DHEA)
4-androstene-3b-ol, 17,one, also known as 4-DHEA, is similar to 1-DHEA in that it requires a two-step conversion to become the active metabolite, but unlike 1-DHEA, that active metabolite is actual Testosterone.
Unfortuantely, there aren’t studies on 4-DHEA like the one references above on 1-DHEA, so it’s really not clear how powerful it is as a prohormone.
It could certainly promote some anabolic activity, but the dose is likely the most important thing and since Gaspari doesn’t tell us how much 4-DHEA is in the new Halodrol, it’s tough to draw conclusions here.
α-hydroxy-5α-androstan-17-one, also known as Androsterone, is the same ingredient used in Gaspari’s Nova-X Testosterone Booster. Research indicates that it is more androgenic than Testosterone, but whether it is well-absorbed enough to become biologically active remains unclear.
As stated in our review of Nova-X, Androsterone is more of a “try and see” ingredient than a guaranteed muscle-building powerhouse.
Rhaptonicum crthomoides (ecdysterone)
In the case of the new Halodrol, Rhaptonicum Crthomides is standardized for Ecdyserone, essentially a plant/insect hormone which is responsible for inducing growth (though not hormonally).
To be clear, there is absolutely no research out there indicating that Ecdysterone can help human beings build muscle, only theories. It has been used in many “Testosterone Boosters” before, so Gaspari isn’t beating anyone to the punch with this one.
The Absorption Technology Behind Halodrol
The entire premise upon which two-step conversion pro-prohormones are sold is that they work because, even though potency is lost through the double conversion process, the Cyclosomal delivery technology compensates and results in better absorption.
Gaspari of course believes in the technology, and to be fair, similar technology has been used in pharmaceuticals before, but how effective it is in the specific case of Halodrol remains unclear.
Is Halodrol Safe?
The new halodrol does not contain any liver-toxic ingredients and therefore is much safer than many prohormones out there. Still, this safety comes with a tradeoff. We know prohormones such as 4-chloro-17a-methyl-androst-1,4-diene-3b,17b-diol are extremely effective for building lean mass. We don’t know just how effective these new pro-prohormones can be. Only time will tell!
The Bottom Line
The new Halodrol is nothing like the original Halodrol. Don’t take it and expect to gain pounds and pounds of lean muscle while cutting fat. If you want to do that, you should just stick with the compound that comprised the original Halodrol, 4-chloro-17a-methyl-androst-1,4-diene-3b,17b-diol, which can still be found in some Muscle-Builders such as Conqurium.
If you’re looking for something that won’t stress your liver and may actually provide something in the way of lean mass gains (just not as much as regular prohormones), the new Halodrol might be worth considering, but don’t expect gains like the original Halodrol. It’s not the same.