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Nandrolone Is 11x Worse for Blood Vessels Than Testosterone

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

Evidence-Based. Scientifically Reviewed by Michael Sharpe, MSc and Dr. Michael Tamber, MD.

Nandrolone reduces growth of endothelium cells at a concentration eleven times lower than that at which testosterone kills them. This means nandrolone is more dangerous to the blood vessels and cardiac system than testosterone.

blood vessel

The use of anabolic steroids such as testosterone and nandrolone on a regular and long-term basis raises the risk of severe heart failure.

There are several hypotheses as to why anabolic steroids have this effect, as shown below.

  • Cardiac hypertrophy

  • Damage to cardiac cells

  • Damage to blood vessels

  • Blood vessel constriction (stenosis)

  • Blood vessel hardening

  • Thickening of blood

  • Increase in blood pressure

  • Increased risk of blood clots

The most well-known effect of anabolic steroids is that they cause the heart muscle to physically grow bigger, often leading in substantial left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).

This effect is commonly seen after a lengthy period of anabolic steroid usage. When anabolic steroids are used with human growth hormone and other PEDs such as insulin and IGF-1, the risk of cardiac muscle enlargement rises significantly.

Anabolic steroids have a direct impact on the heart and blood vessels. They damage cardiac cells and can cause blood clots.

Another disadvantage of androgens is that they cause blood vessels to constrict (stenosis). Some studies show that even mild DHEA can cause this.

Endothelial cells, which line blood arteries, play a critical role in all of these processes. Anabolic steroids harden these cells, resulting in increased blood pressure.

This, in turn, induces cardiac muscle hypertrophy. Hardened cells are also more prone to blood clots.

The Study

Endothelial cells were exposed to testosterone, the testosterone precursor androstenedione, and two nandrolone precursors.

The concentration at which half of the cells stopped growing was then recorded.

The greater an anabolic steroid's ability to inhibit blood vessel cell proliferation, the more harmful the anabolic steroid is for the heart and blood vessels.

The figures below illustrate that nandrolone is much more harmful than testosterone.

IC50 Values of Anabolic Steroids on HUVECs


9 ± 0.1


100 ± 0.2


375 ± 20


500 ± 30



The graphs below show the effects of testosterone (blue graph), nandrolone (black graph), and norandrostenediol (green graph) on endothelial cell growth and development.

Effect of anabolic steroids on endothelium cell growth
Effects of three anabolic steroids on endothelium cell growth.

Damage caused by nandrolone is produced at much lower concentrations compared with testosterone.

Norandrostenediol on the other hand turns out to be surprisingly mild.

The researchers discovered that anabolic steroids increase the concentration of calcium inside the cell. Suicide enzymes are activated by cellular calcium, resulting in cellular damage.

To conclude, nandrolone, and possibly its derivatives, are much more damaging to the blood vessels and cardiac system than testosterone and other anabolic steroids.

Further Reading



Below are definitions and short explanations of what some of the terms in this article mean.

  • Testosterone: Testosterone is a steroid hormone produced mostly in the testes, but also in the ovaries and adrenal cortex. It accelerates the development of secondary male sexual characteristics, as well as a variety of other functions.

  • Nandrolone: Nandrolone decanoate, often known as Deca-Durabolin, is an androgen and anabolic steroid (AAS) that is mainly used to treat anaemias and wasting syndromes, as well as osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

  • HUVECs: Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) are cells generated from the endothelium of umbilical cord veins. They are employed as a laboratory model system for studying endothelial cell function and disease.

  • IC50 Value: In pharmacology, it is an important measure of potency for a given agent. As reported by the FDA, the IC50 value represents the minimal concentration of a drug that is required for 50% inhibition in vitro.

  • Endothelial Cells: Endothelial cells form a single cell layer that lines all blood vessels and regulates exchanges between the bloodstream and the surrounding tissues. Signals from endothelial cells organize the growth and development of connective tissue cells that form the surrounding layers of the blood-vessel wall.


This section contains links to research, studies, and sources of information for this article, as well as authors, contributors, etc. All sources, along with the article and facts, are subjected to a series of quality, reliability, and relevance checks.

Real Muscle primarily uses high-quality sources, such as peer-reviewed publications, to back up the information in our articles. To understand more about how we fact-check and keep our information accurate, dependable, and trustworthy, read more about us.

This evidence-based analysis of nandrolones effect on blood vessels features 3 references, listed below.

1. Nandrolone. ✔

2. Wikipedia. Nandrolone decanoate. ✔

3. D'Ascenzo S, Millimaggi D, Di Massimo C, Saccani-Jotti G, Botrè F, Carta G, Tozzi-Ciancarelli MG, Pavan A, Dolo V. Detrimental effects of anabolic steroids on human endothelial cells. Toxicol Lett. (2007, Mar 8) ✔

Citations with a tick indicate the information is from a trusted source.


The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a physician or other competent professional before following advice or taking any supplement. See our terms and conditions.

We strictly do not advise anyone to use, or consider using, any exogenous hormone or chemical such as nandrolone, unless advised or prescribed to do so by a qualified doctor. Doing so could result in serious and long-term adverse effects.


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