Is Tren Safe? The Truth on its Effects
Disclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and does not promote the use of illegal steroids. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultation.
Tren, or trenbolone, is a popular anabolic steroid used by bodybuilders to build muscle and burn fat. Primarily, trenbolone is utilized during bulking cycles to add significant amounts of lean mass without the bloating and water retention of other AAS.
Tren’s benefits are undeniable, with it being among the most potent anabolic steroids in existence. However, tren is also notorious for its side effects, with users rarely being able to cycle it without compromising their short-term health.
Is Tren Safe?
We cannot consider tren safe as it is not an FDA-approved anabolic steroid in medicine.
Furthermore, we have seen physiological and psychological risks in its users.
However, we have various users in our practice who have previously taken tren and remain in relatively good health. Thus, there are lifestyle and genetic factors that come into play when determining if someone will be left unscathed or not from a trenbolone cycle.
The Main Dangers of Trenbolone
From our testing, we find that Trenbolone poses the biggest risks from a cardiac and HPTA perspective.
Thus, users who are suffering from hypertension, high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and hypogonadism should avoid tren, as it will exacerbate each of these conditions.
Therefore, for such individuals, tren should be considered unsafe due to the elevated risk of arteriosclerosis and myocardial infarction.
Other side effects are common too, such as insomnia, anxiety, hair loss, and raised liver enzymes, although we have not found these to be life-threatening.
Note: In our liver function tests, we see that injectable trenbolone does not raise liver enzymes significantly in comparison to oral anabolic steroids. However, if oral tren is taken, known as methyltrienolone, ALT and AST levels will rise excessively, posing great risks to the liver.
How to Minimize the Risks from Tren
The main risk from Tren is from a cardiovascular standpoint. Thus, inhibiting excessive elevations of LDL cholesterol and blood pressure should be the main objective of a tren cycle.
Our patients have had great success from taking 4 g/day of fish oil, combined with a reduced sugar diet and regular cardiovascular exercise (3–4 times per week).
Fish oil has a notably positive effect on cholesterol, preventing the buildup of plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis).
We have found a high-sugar diet to be one of the leading causes of high cholesterol and blood pressure in research and in patients; thus, reducing such intake will cause reductions in LDL levels.
Equally, users may choose to adopt a ketogenic diet when cycling tren which will provide even greater cardioprotective effects (1). To enter a ketogenic state, users should aim for 30 grams of carbs or less per day. In one study, researchers found that forty people who followed a Mediterranean ketogenic diet (which involved a diet with red wine, olive oil, and less than 30 grams of carbs) reduced their systolic blood pressure score by 17 points and their diastolic score by 10 points (2). A ketogenic diet will also enhance subcutaneous and visceral fat loss, which is advantageous for bodybuilders.
Tren users should also be aware of their salt and saturated fat intake, as high amounts may contribute to increased blood viscosity and elevated LDL cholesterol during their cycle.
Stimulants should also be avoided, such as caffeine in energy drinks or pre-workouts, as these can cause a vasoconstrictive effect. Coffee is acceptable due to its rich antioxidant profile, which inhibits spikes in blood pressure.
We see that when tren is stacked with other anabolic steroids, or PEDs, its risks amplify. Thus, to minimize side effects, tren should be taken by itself. However, some bodybuilders choose to cycle tren with anadrol or testosterone, which will exacerbate testosterone suppression, blood pressure, and liver toxicity readings.
If tren is stacked with a hepatotoxic oral, then tudca should be taken to keep ALT and AST levels as close to a normal range as possible (3).
The Least and Most Dangerous Dosages
The safest dose of tren is to take none. However, if someone is to administer this anabolic steroid, the lower doses will provide the least risk.
We have found high doses of tren to be particularly damaging, even when taken in the short term.
A conservative dose of tren that we see produces notable results with the fewest side effects is 150 mg/week. This is typically followed for 10 weeks.
A standard dose would be 250 mg/week, and an aggressive dose is 500 mg/week or more.
A user’s first cycle of tren should be on a lower dose to see how their body reacts to it. You typically will only see seasoned elite bodybuilders utilize the higher doses, as their bodies have become accustomed to the drug over many years, building up tolerance.
How Safe is Tren Compared to Other Steroids?
We have found tren to be one of the most toxic anabolic steroids taken by bodybuilders today. Only anadrol’s toxicity is arguably greater than its own when taken in typical bodybuilding doses.
However, one benefit of tren is that it is not very hepatotoxic; therefore, hepatic strain is not significant.
Testosterone, in comparison, is considerably safer, having a less deleterious effect on cholesterol.
Other anabolic steroids, such as dianabol, winstrol, and anavar, will also pose fewer risks; however, due to their oral nature, they will cause more inflammation in the liver.
Psychological Side Effects
Although rare, we have had a couple of users report significant depression and even suicidal thoughts when taking tren. We understand that many underestimate the psychological effects of this steroid, with it being common to increase bouts of anxiety and depression.
This could be a potentially dangerous side effect if users do begin to develop suicidal tendencies. Thus, if you have poor mental health, it would be wise to avoid trenbolone.
It is unclear as to the mechanism behind such deteriorations in well-being; however, it is clear that such feelings pass after cycle cessation.
The stimulative effects of tren could lead to decreased mental health. This typically translates to a short-term increase in dopamine and adrenaline levels for the first few weeks and then significantly less dopamine from then onward. Our patients typically report initial euphoria at the start of tren cycles and then a crash toward the end. Extreme endogenous testosterone suppression can also contribute to decreased wellbeing.
Tren cannot be considered safe as it is an illegal steroid that has been shown to produce damaging effects on the heart in research and in our anecdotal experience.
Tren is certainly not for beginners or the faint of heart. However, we do see elite bodybuilders take tren sporadically with ample time off in between cycles and remain in relatively good health.
Thus, lifestyle, genetics, and dosages all play a role in how safe or dangerous taking tren is for each individual.