Prohormones are supplements that cause you to produce more of a particular hormone. This then has many uses, for helping to combat infertility, to helping in the development of muscle, to improving mood, to helping manage the symptoms of PMT. In other words then this is a method through which to manage and alter hormones in much the same way that steroids do – but without using any substances that are created synthetically. To put it simply, a steroid is a synthetic version of a hormone – it is created manually in order to act the same way as a real hormone, but ultimately it was created and not natural.
A prohormone is a supplement, often completely natural, that is designed to trigger the body to release more of a certain hormone naturally. The hormone that the body is getting is unlikely to cause any negative side effects because this is the precise same hormone that the body produces itself normally. The only difference is the quantity in which the hormone is created and the means by which it is triggered. Often these prohormones will be things like herbs and plant extracts that can occur in the wild, or even minerals and vitamins – a combination of magnesium and zinc for instance can help men to produce more testosterone and is often taken as a prohormone for this reason.
Benefits of Prohormones
The benefits of prohormones then can be as diverse as the benefits of any particular hormone, and in theory they have many therapeutic and medical benefits. For instance prohormones can be used in order to combat illnesses, to cure mood disorders, to trigger sleep and to ease the symptoms of premenstrual tension. They can also theoretically help us to lose weight and to generally be healthier and fitter.
At the same time prohormones offer a much safer alternative to using steroids or synthetic alternatives to these ends, and in that respect they are very beneficial and helpful. Prohormones are also relatively much cheaper and are generally legal, and they’re relatively easy to come by. And finally, because prohormones are simply working with the body’s natural chemistry they shouldn’t create any side effects that are too pronounced.
So the question is, are there any downsides, and are they really as good as they sound?
Negatives of Prohormones
Of course nothing is perfect and unfortunately prohormones do have a few things stacked up against them. For instance some prohormones won’t do much and some forceful marketing means it’s hard to know which ones are going to be effective and which ones are scams. Even those that do work, won’t work 100% of the time. For instance Tribulus Terrestris is a testosterone booster used by men to improve muscle mass, burn fat and increase libido, but while this might be effective for older men, for those who are 40 and younger it’s unlikely to have much effect – because they are likely to already be producing as much testosterone as possible. In other cases it is just unsure whether the prohormones work at all, and for instance some prohormone sleeping aids designed to encourage the production of melatonin may not be effective as it’s unknown whether they can cross the blood-brain barrier or not.
More serious of course would be side effects and problems caused by prohormones. So are there any? Unfortunately the answer is quite probably in some cases. This is because our body produces hormones based on some very fine calculations and factors. By increasing the production of a certain hormone you might end up decreasing another hormone, or causing unwanted side effects. For instance prohormones designed to help with PMT could cause weight gain or loss, while testosterone boosters can cause acne and hair loss in extreme cases. Then there’s the possibility that body might note that levels of a certain hormone are high and so stop producing as much naturally. This can then mean that you end up leveling off at a roughly normal level while taking the supplement, and then needing the prohormone to maintain even that normal level of the hormones. Some prohormones claim to get around this problem, but in truth there haven’t been enough extensive tests to say for sure.
In short then, prohormones are a relatively mild way to alter your chemical makeup and so control mood and various other symptoms. However it’s still possible that you could be paying a fair amount of money for something that doesn’t work, or even that you may be causing more harm than good. Prohormones then are something that you should avoid unless you are at a loss for other strategies, and even then only with guidance from a doctor or medical professional.