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Overview and History of Testosterone Propionate
Testosterone Propionate is one of the many esterified variants of Testosterone available. It is an injectable compound with a slower rate of release than un-esterified Testosterone, but a faster rate of release than all other esterified forms commonly available. This is due to the larger Propionate ester attached to the Testosterone molecule. This augments the release rate and half-life of Testosterone to that of a faster release than other common esterified variants, such as Testosterone Enanthate or Testosterone Propionate. The majority of Testosterone products that have been designed are single products that contain a single esterified form (such as this one), as opposed to Testosterone products which consist of a blend of several different esterified variants in the liquid (such as Sustanon 250, for example). Testosterone that is un-esterified holds a very short half-life, making its use very inconvenient and impractical (Testosterone suspension is one such Testosterone product that consists of pure un-esterified Testosterone, and does not have an ester bonded to its structure). The Propionate ester expands Testosterone’s half-life to that of 4.5 days. Testosterone itself is considered the most natural and safest anabolic steroid any individual can use, and it is easily the most versatile and flexible anabolic steroid in terms of how it can be utilized in cycles and for different purposes and goals.
Testosterone Propionate’s details and information were first published and released in 1935 as a result of various methods to determine the best possible manner of maximizing the uses of Testosterone itself, because as mentioned above, Testosterone un-esterified possesses a very short half-life. Shortly afterwards, Schering AG (located in Germany) began manufacturing and releasing on the market the very first Testosterone Propionate product under the trade name Testoviron, which is to this day still a very popular brand name. Testosterone Propionate was the very first esterified variant of Testosterone to ever be created, and is the oldest used esterified form of Testosterone dating back to the mid-1930s. Because of this, vast amounts of Testosterone Propionate was found among the prescription drug market in the United States, and was the most widely utilized form of Testosterone in the world until the 1960s. During the 1950s, Testosterone Propionate was but only one of 3 available anabolic steroids in existence (Testosterone suspension, Testosterone Propionate, and Methyltestosterone). Today there exist hundreds of anabolic steroid analogues. A little known fact as well is that Testosterone Propionate was also developed into a buccal and sublingual format that was not very popular and subsequently discontinued during the 1980s. Sublingual and buccal forms are tablets designed to be absorbed by the mucous membranes under the tongue (sublingual) as the tablet dissolves or by the mucous membranes between the surface of the gums and the cheek/lip.
Testosterone Propionate enjoyed a great amount of medical uses for various medical treatments shortly after its release. These included: treatment for male androgen deficiency (andropause or hypogonadism), treatment for sexual dysfunction, and treatment for menopause, treatment for chronic dysfunctional uterine bleeding (menorrhagia), treatment for endometriosis, and many additional countless medical applications. Eventually, as with all anabolic steroids, Testosterone Propionate’s approved medical treatments were eventually reduced by the FDA as a result of the increased control over the prescription drug market granted to the FDA by the United States government. Eventually, Testosterone would only be utilized for male patients.
Testosterone Propionate is a very popular anabolic steroid, and as such, enjoyed a very wide and common availability not only in the US market, but globally even today. This is due in large part, however, to the fact that for a long time the only Testosterone preparation available was Testosterone Propionate, and not because of preference. Later on, more convenient esterified forms of Testosterone were developed (Testosterone Enanthate and Testosterone Cypionate) which exhibited longer half-lives and windows of release, which therefore appealed to more individuals who preferred less frequent injections, which is what the later developed esterified Testosterone formats provided. Today Testosterone Propionate is still sold on the American prescription drug market, but its use is lower than it historically has been, and how much longer it will remain on the market is under question due to the more common use of other forms of Testosterone that have been developed that are more convenient and comfortable to use for most people.
Chemical Characteristics of Testosterone Propionate
As previously mentioned, Testosterone Propionate is simply Testosterone with the Propionate ester bound to the Testosterone chemical structure. Specifically ‘Propionate’ is Propionic acid, but once bound to Testosterone it is properly referred to in chemistry as an ester bond (or ester linkage). Propanoic acid is bonded to the 17-beta hydroxyl group on the Testosterone structure. Esterified anabolic steroids are more fat soluble, and release slowly from the injection site – however, this is not the main reason as to why esters extend the release rate of the anabolic steroid. The primary reason for the augmentation of its half-life and release rate is because once Testosterone Propionate Enters the bloodstream, enzymes work to break the bond between the ester and the hormone, which takes a varying amount of time. The end result is that the ester is removed from the hormone by enzymes, and what is left is pure Testosterone that is free to do its work in the body. This process of enzymes cleaving off the ester from the Testosterone molecule is what is responsible for the slower release rates. Testosterone alone with no ester bonded to it possesses a half-life of approximately 2 – 4 hours. When the Propionate ester is attached to it, creating Testosterone Propionate, the half-life of Testosterone is now extended to 4.5 days, providing a slower release and activity of the hormone.
Properties of Testosterone Propionate
The properties of Testosterone Propionate are what any individual would expect from any other type of Testosterone preparation, with the exception of the differing release rates and half-life. Testosterone is what could be considered quite literally the original anabolic steroid, which is manufactured endogenously naturally in all humans and in the vast majority of animal species. Because of this, Testosterone is considered the safest anabolic steroid for use, as every individual’s body is already accustomed to the effects of Testosterone only to a lesser degree. Essentially, the use of Testosterone for the purpose of physique and performance enhancement is simply the supplementation of additional hormones – the act of inserting more of a hormone into the body that it already manufactures and uses.
Testosterone itself possesses a moderate level of Estrogenic activity, whereby it holds a moderate affinity to bind to the aromatase enzyme (the enzyme responsible for the conversion of Testosterone into Estrogen). Therefore, a moderate level of aromatization is to be expected with Testosterone use unless an aromatase inhibitor is utilized (such as Arimidex, Aromasin, and Letrozole) to inhibit the aromatase enzyme and therefore render it unable to aromatize any Testosterone into Estrogen. Therefore, Testosterone serves as a preferable compound for bulking but can also be utilized for cutting and fat loss phases as well. At the end of the day, however, Testosterone of any type is required in any cycle of any anabolic steroid if at least for the maintenance of proper physiological function of Testosterone in the body during a period in which the endogenous production of Testosterone has been suppressed or shut down from the use of anabolic steroids. Testosterone itself is also a very strong anabolic compound, suitable even on its own for any purpose, and is in fact suggested as the very first and only anabolic steroid that should be utilized in all first-time and beginner cycles.
Testosterone Propionate historically succumbed to the rumor among athletes and bodybuilders that it is better for cutting and fat loss phases, and many claimed that it provided less water retention than other esterified forms of Testosterone. This must be clarified as a large rumor and misunderstanding as a result of individuals developing improper conclusions not based on any proper scientific reasoning. As previously explained, the Propionate ester (or any ester affixed to Testosterone) is always broken off by enzymes in the body, after which 100% pure bio-identical Testosterone is left as a result. This Testosterone is then free to do its job in the body, and this occurs with all esterified forms of Testosterone. Therefore, the only possible augmentation that esterification has to Testosterone’s properties/effects are on its half-life and rate of release. If there is any difference in the actual reported experiences by different bodybuilders and athletes, it would most likely be extremely minimal, as the esters essentially only determine how much Testosterone is released into the bloodstream in any one given time frame.
Chemical Name: 4-androsten-3-one-17beta-ol, 17beta-hydroxy-androst-4-en-3-one
Molecular Weight: 288.42 g/mol
Original Manufacturer: Schering
Half Life: 4.5 days
Detection Time: 2 weeks
Anabolic Rating: 100
Androgenic Rating: 100