Andriol is a unique oral testosterone product, developed by the international drug firm Organon. One of the more recently developed anabolic steroids, Andriol first became available in the early 1980's. This compound contains 40 mg of testosterone undecanoate, based in oil (oleic acid) and sealed inside a capsule. Subtracting the ester weight, this equates to a dosage of approximately 25mg of raw testosterone per cap. The design of this steroid is quite different from that of most oral steroids. Drugs administered orally generally enter the blood stream through the liver. When a steroid compound is given this way without some form of structural protection, it will be quickly broken down during the "first pass". This process leaves very little steroid intact, basically deactivating the drug. Adding a methyl group (c-17 AA) to the structure is one way to protect it from this process, however stress is also placed on the liver as a result. In some instances this stress can lead to actual damage to liver tissues, so the designers of this steroid sought another way to protect the testosterone molecule. With Andriol, this was accomplished by making a form of testosterone that would be absorbed through the lymphatic system. This is due to its high fat solubility brought about by the ester, and its suspension in oil. Having the compound absorbed this way was thought to be very advantageous, as it allows the steroid to bypass the destructive first-pass through liver. This should permit the compound to enter the blood stream intact, without the need for a harsh chemical alteration. The ester breaks off once it is in circulation of course, yielding free active Pharmacokinetics of Orai Testosterone testosterone. In design this steroid appears to be undecanoate that of a completely liver safe and orally active form of testosterone.
On paper this drug seems like an ideal oral testosterone product. Clean, safe and worlds apart from other oral testosterone derivatives like the crude methyltestosterone. But as we always hear in life, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is. And there are definitely some issues with Andriol®. The first problem is that bioavailability, although clearly worlds apart from trying to take straight testosterone orally, is probably not significant next to c17alpha alkylated orals. Athletes typically find that in doses of less than 240mg per day (6 capsules) effects are generally not seen at all. 240mg of testosterone ester daily, the primary male androgen, and only a meager effect. When doses go higher, maybe 8-10 capsules (320-400mg), new muscle growth is slight to moderate at best, but no incredible bulky gains are ever reported. Logic leads one to think that only a little testosterone is making its way into circulation. Testosterone is a powerful hormone no matter what the ester or form of administration. If it were active in the blood stream, the results would have to be pronounced. When one injects an oil based testosterone ester like cypionate, a dosage of 400mg per week is more than sufficient. 400mg Andriol per day should be packing on an incredible amount of mass. Where does it all go? Individual problems with absorption may play into things here. The graph above shows the median response noted when this drug was given to a group of women. It does not however depict the striking differences in individual metabolism that were noted in this experiment. If we look at results from each of four subjects, the differences are dramatic to say the least. While one is off the scale with testosterone levels, another barely budges at all. What is even more confusing is that results were so inconsistent, that at times higher levels were achieved with a lower 20mg dose compared to the 40mg when given to the same subject. Clearly there is little to be said except that this drug is unpredictable in its ability to be absorbed and utilized by the body. While one day you might be getting great absorption, perhaps the next day you are getting very little. Studies with men were no better than with women, where again this drug was shown to be unpredictably absorbed and utilized with blood levels ranging from 11.5 to 60.1 nmol/L with 80mg twice daily49.
One might also pay interest to the "mildness" of this compound as described by other bodybuilding materials. Andriol® is often spoken about as some type of magic product, which to spite being a form of regular testosterone somehow allows for only minimal estrogen conversion. You should know that the way a drug is administered includes a number of factors that can slightly alter its effect, the most predominant being the speed of release. This effects the time it takes for a peak blood level to be reached, and likely the length it takes to see results. The primary reason Testosterone suspension seems more powerful than enanthate is because more drug is active on day one. At the same time estrogen builds up faster and side effects become pronounced very quickly. The ester is also part of the total weight, and 100mg testosterone contains a much larger quantity of testosterone molecules that testosterone plus ester, another reason for varying effect. But these changes do not amount to all that much. The structure of testosterone is what allows it to break down into estrogen. The only way we can really prevent an androgen from converting to estrogen is to change the base molecule, not the ester. Once free in the blood stream we cannot prevent testosterone from being aromatized without interfering with the aromatase enzyme itself. The lack of results and side effects often reported with Andriol® must be going hand in hand with poor absorption.
Most athletes today consider Andriol a very poor buy. I know other references do find use for this drug, which is defendable because some amount of steroid clearly does enter the blood stream in tact. Technically it is still an oral testosterone, and definitely does not carry the same liver-toxicity risks associated with most steroids designed for this type of administration, so all is not Post. Those specifically looking for a mild oral at times do purchase this product, and occasionally are even satisfied with their results. But for most its high price and required high daily dosages usually causes them to avoided it when crossing it on the black market. Besides, if we want a mild steroid the last thing we really should shop for is a testosterone.