Anabol-5 Review: “The World’s Strongest Anabolic Agent?”

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Nutrex Research claims that Anabol-5 is an “anabolic amplifier”—that is, it’s “…the first product to effectively boost the body’s own protein building cycle on a non-hormonal, non-steroidal level.”

The Anabol-5 formula is divided into fast-acting and extended-release phases to ensure anabolism stays high throughout the day. According to Nutrex’s web site, both Dennis Wolf and Armin Scholz rely on Anabol-5 to achieve “maximum anabolism and muscle growth.”

Uh-huh.

Anabol-5 claims to have an anabolic/androgenic Ratio of 33:1, but does not explain where this figure comes from: there is no research cited on the Nutrex web site. But Nutrex isn’t the only company making this claim, so the source wasn’t difficult to trace.

Farmakol Toksikol. 1976 Sep-Oct;39(5):631-5.

[Experimental study of the anabolic activity of 6-ketoderivatives of certain natural sapogenins][Article in Russian]

Syrov VN, Kurmukov AG.

It is shown that 6-ketoderivatives of natural sapogenins, viz. agigenin, diosgenin and alliogenin, display the anabolic activity and do not manifest any androgenic properties. The compound IV/(25 R)-5alpha-spirostan-2alpha, 3beta, 5alpha-triol-6-OH/produces an accelerated gain of weight in rats, and also an increase in the weight of the liver, heart, kidneys, musculus tibiliasis anterior and augments the total amount of protein therein. All of the above-mentioned changes become more pronounced with the study substance introduced to young animals. Castration of sexually immature rats greatly mitigates the anabolic effect of the compound IV.

That’s it: a single, 30+ year old, Russian study on rats from an obscure, Russian language publication. This work has never been replicated by any Western, peer-reviewed research that I could find, let alone any “in-house” studies.

Somehow, this doesn’t inspire confidence…

Most of the compounds used in Anabol-5 are phytosteroids—that is, steroidal compounds from plants.

Serving Size: 2 Multi-Phasing Capsules
Servings Per Container60
Amount Per Serving

Non-Steroidal Anabolic Multi-Phase Stack 155mg

Dicyclopentanone 10mg
6-Keto Diosgenin 100mg
Acetate Ester 25mg
Propionate Ester 25mg
Cypionate Ester 25mg
Decanoate Ester 25mg

Hecogenin Acetate 10mg
25R Spirostan-5A-Diol-6-One-3-One-Undecanoate 25mg
Rhaponticum Carthamoides 10mg

The primary ingredient is 6-keto diosgenin.

Diosgenin was briefly covered in the review of 17-HD. To recap, diosgenin is the aglycone form of a steroidal saponin ((25R)-Spirost-5-en-3beta-ol). In English, “saponins” are compounds from plants that have foaming (i.e., soap-like) characteristics. In nature, these are bound to sugar molecules, which makes them “glycones”—so “aglycone” simply means that the sugar has been removed.

Diosgenin is a useful base for the pharmaceutical production of active human steroids, but the necessary conversion steps take place only in the laboratory, not the human body. Although diosgenin has some potential medicinal uses, it has no direct hormonal or anabolic activity in humans or animals.

What about the 6-keto derivative? In the past, diosgenin has been touted as an anabolic due to its resemblance to human steroids. The argument made for 6-keto diosgenin, however, is that it stimulates protein synthesis via non-steroidal mechanisms. The only support for this is the afore-mentioned Russian study.

There are problems with this study beyond the fact that it’s old and inaccessible to non-Russian speakers. For starters, Russian research is notoriously unreliable. In addition, the Russian study used rats, not people.

Finally, there are details we can’t obtain: for example, we don’t know the doses used, or whether the compounds were given orally. In the absence of this information, or any other independent, expert judgement, I have a difficult time buying the claims for 6-keto diosgenin.

Needless to state, the addition of the acetate/propionate/cypionate/decanoate groups confuses the issue even more.

Presumably, these increase lipid solubility and facilitate uptake via the lymphatic system. Nice idea, I suppose, but the downside is that the side chains also add to the molecular weight of the compound.

This means you end up with less than the listed 100 mg of “active” 6-keto diosgenin in each dose.

The dicyclopentanone presents similar problems. Once again, there’s only the abstract from a single, Russian animal study to go by. It does reveal one bit of useful information, though: the dose. The study used 1 mg per 100 g bodyweight—the equivalent of 10 mg/kg. This is a large dose compared to what Anabol-5 provides, in equivalent human terms. So even if dicyclopentanone’s anabolic activity was confirmed, it’s likely that 10 mg still wouldn’t be enough to have a significant effect.

What about the hecogenin acetate? Hecogenin is another saponin derivative from sisal waste, that’s used to manufacture cortisone and other steroids. Just as with diosgenin, however, these are produced only through laboratory reactions. There is no evidence that hecogenin has any anabolic activity.

Moving right along…

25R Spirostan-5A-Diol-6-One-3-One-Undecanoate is the esterified version of still another saponin derivative with no confirmed anabolic activity. It’s also an ingredient in Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals’ Anavar. Hi-Tech claims this is the one Syrov discovered with the 33:1 anabolic/androgenic ratio, although it’s not the “compound IV” featured in the above abstract (similar, but not identical).

Lastly, there’s the Rhaponticum carthamoides to consider…this is a source of 20-hydroxyecdysone—yet another phytosteroid reputed to have anabolic activity in mammals. It’s been used in bodybuilding circles for several years now, in both branded supplements and in bulk powder form—despite the lack of positive human data.

In one recent study, a 200 mg dose of purified compound was shown to have no influence on mass or strength in exercising humans. Under the circumstances, I seriously doubt the effectiveness of the meager 10 mg dose of plant material included in Anabol-5.

Despite the less-than-promising prospects, I was willing to give Anabol-5 a try, using the recommended dose of 2 caps twice a day (morning and evening). Admittedly, I only went through a single bottle (4 weeks), vs. the recommended 12 week cycle. This may not seem “fair,” I suppose, but I experienced no gains in mass or strength that would justify the purchase of 2 more bottles. Enough was enough.

When a supplement company puts a supplement on the market, they are—in effect—saying “trust us.” Trust, however, should be earned. As a former research scientist, I offer my trust—and dollars—to companies that provide sufficient information for me to judge the effectiveness of their product.

The purchased endorsement of a product by pro bodybuilders means nothing to me. The science, however, does—and in my opinion, what’s available is inadequate, to say the least.

Is Anabol-5 worth a try? I report, you decide.

Summary of Anabol-5
  • N/A
  • Scientific support for ingredients is obscure and inadequate, at best.
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