Turinabol vs Dianabol: Which is the Better Steroid?

Dr George TouliatosDisclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and NOT to promote the use of illegal steroids. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultations.


Turinabol (Chlorodehydromethyltestosterone) and Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) are very similar anabolic steroids from a chemical perspective, with Turinabol being a derivative of Dianabol.

The only difference on paper is that Turinabol possesses an additional 4-chloro alteration of clostebol.

The objective of German scientists, when creating Turinabol, was to create a compound that replicated the anabolic effects of Dianabol (in terms of muscle hypertrophy and strength); but without the estrogenic effects (fluid retention and gynecomastia).

The purpose of Turinabol’s creation was to give German Olympic swimmers and gymnasts an advantage over their competition.

Due to its similar chemical structure to Dianabol, Turinabol is commonly referred to by bodybuilders as ‘baby Dbol’. 

Muscle and Strength Gains

Scientists successfully created a compound (Turinabol) that mimicked the anabolic effects of Dianabol, but without the estrogenic side effects.

In theory, Turinabol should build notably less amounts of muscle mass, with a lower anabolic rating of 54 vs Dianabol’s 210.

However, in practice, bodybuilders often report building a similar amount of lean muscle mass as Dianabol. Although the overall weight gain is more prominent on Dbol due to increased water retention.

Turinabol is the more mild compound on a mg per mg basis, with bodybuilders typically using it in dosages of 40-80mg/day vs Dianabol’s 30-50mg/day. Thus, a higher dosage of Turinabol is required in order to see similar anabolic effects to Dianabol.

A beginner steroid user taking a standard dose of Turinabol is likely to gain up to 15lbs of weight from a 6-8 week cycle. Almost all of this weight will be in the form of lean muscle tissue.

However, a novice taking Dianabol may gain over 20lbs from a 6-week cycle. The majority of this will be muscle mass; however, 20-30% can be attributed to water accumulation.

Both of these anabolic steroids will significantly increase muscular strength. However, Dianabol is likely to be superior in this regard, with it causing notable amounts of intracellular water retention—aiding adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy production.

However, strength gains on Turinabol are not to be underestimated, with a 1973 report detailing a female shot put athlete increasing her throwing distance by 2 meters in 11 weeks on a dose of 10mg/day (1).

Thus, Dianabol and Turinabol can both be used during bulking cycles; however, Dbol may be the superior compound for sheer mass gain in the short term. Whereas Turinabol is more suitable for bodybuilders trying to lean bulk, whilst remaining as lean and aesthetic-looking as possible.

It is worth noting that results on Dianabol may be obtained notably faster than Turinabol, due to Dbol containing shorter esters and possessing a shorter half-life (3-6 hours vs Tbol’s 16 hours).

Fat Loss

Dianabol is almost always utilized in bulking cycles; however, Turinabol is utilized in both bulking and cutting cycles.

This is due to Turinabol failing to aromatize, rather than it having more potent lipolytic effects. Thus, the actual amount of subcutaneous fat loss will be similar between the two steroids, but users will appear to be leaner on Turinabol, due to less extracellular water retention (and bloating).

Consequently, muscle definition will be more visible and vascularity more prominent on Tbol.

There is a case that Turinabol users may burn increased fat stores indirectly; due to its exceptional endurance-boosting capabilities. In such an instance, calorie expenditure is likely to increase, maximizing fat loss.

Therefore, if someone takes Turinabol and regularly performs cardio, they may burn more fat vs the same person taking Dianabol.

Dianabol actually worsens cardiovascular performance due to it having a deleterious effect on blood lipids. This can also decrease the likelihood that a user will perform regular cardio, as well as negatively affecting cardio workouts; effectively reducing calorie expenditure.

Furthermore, users are more likely to be ingesting fewer calories when cycling Turinabol, with it being viewed as a lean bulking agent, or even a cutting agent. Thus, a correlational relationship between fat loss and Turinabol may also exist.

Side Effects (Safety)

Liver Health

Both Turinabol and Dianabol are oral anabolic steroids and thus c-17 alpha-alkylated. Therefore, ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase) enzymes will rise on both compounds—signifying liver inflammation.

However, Turinabol’s hepatotoxicity is believed to be less. Consequently, users sometimes report their appetite being strong on Turinabol, but reduced on Dianabol.

This is because when the liver is overtaxed, the body’s defence mechanism is to reduce food consumption, to reduce the workload on the organ.

Although Turinabol may be safer than Dianabol from a hepatic perspective, it is important users don’t become complacent with this fact. Dr. O’Connor once oversaw a patient develop peliosis hepatis, as a result of taking Turinabol for up to 2 years (without a break).

Thus, Turinabol cycles should be kept to 6-8 weeks, and Dianabol cycles 4-6 weeks to prevent hepatic damage. TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid) can also be taken at 500mg/day to protect the liver on-cycle (2).

Gynecomastia and Water Retention

Turinabol does not aromatize and thus gynecomastia and water retention are not experienced by users, which is contrary to Dianabol usage.

This may be comforting to some bodybuilders, considering the irreversible nature of gynecomastia (without surgery); at least when experienced in the more severe, latter stages.

Testosterone Suppression

Dianabol may cause more impairment to the HPTA (Hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis) than Turinabol, causing lower endogenous testosterone levels.

Consequently, Dianabol may require a more effective post-cycle therapy protocol than Turinabol; such as Clomid and Nolvadex combined, vs just one medication.

Cardiovascular Health

HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol are likely to be more negatively affected by Dianabol, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis.

Hypertension is more of a risk on Dianabol, due to increased blood viscosity (a byproduct of the body retaining more H2o).

Turinabol will also cause an increase in blood pressure, albeit a more modest one.

Oral steroids such as Turinabol and Dianabol are unsuitable for individuals with poor cardiovascular health, due to orals passing through the liver and stimulating hepatic lipase. This enzyme has a reductive effect on low-density lipoprotein and thus increases the risk of myocardial infarction.

Bodybuilders can also lower their cardiovascular risk by taking 4g/day of fish oil, eating a low-sodium diet and performing regular cardio.

Acne and Hair Loss

Acne vulgaris and male pattern baldness are less likely to occur on Turinabol, which has an even lower androgen rating than Dianabol (0 vs 40-60).

Thus, DHT (dihydrotestosterone) levels will be less on Turinabol and the sebaceous glands will be less stimulated.

Benign prostate enlargement also will be less of an issue on Turinabol, due to decreased androgenicity.

However, it is worth noting that Dianabol itself is not overly androgenic (which were Dr. Ziegler’s intentions when formulating it); thus androgenic side effects are unlikely to be harsh.

Muscular Endurance

All anabolic steroids should increase muscular endurance in theory, due to an increase in exogenous testosterone and red blood cell production.

However, because of spikes in blood pressure and liver damage, energy and blood flow can become compromised—affecting muscular endurance.

Thus, compounds like Turinabol have an excellent balance of spiking serum testosterone to high levels, whilst minimizing excessive cardiotoxicity and hepatotoxicity.

Suitability for Women

Dianabol is known to cause virilization in women. In contrast, Turinabol is better tolerated by females, due to less androgenicity.

Female Olympic athletes did not experience virilization in the first few years of Turinabol-use. Consequently, many female bodybuilders have successfully utilized Tbol in small dosages.

Various German Olympic women did experience masculinization effects after the initial first few years of Turinabol-use. However, the reasons for such may be due to not cycling off and the presence of other virilizing anabolic steroids in their systems — such as testosterone esters and Deca Durabolin (which were commonly cycled alongside Turinabol in the 1970s).

Conclusion

Turinabol replicates many of Dianabol’s benefits, but with reduced toxicity.

Bodybuilders commonly report building similar amounts of lean muscle on Turinabol vs Dianabol, and with decreased fluctuations in size.

It is common for Dianabol-users to blow up faster, but then lose some hypertrophy during cycle cessation (due to water loss).

Endurance athletes and those who regularly perform cardio will also be benefited from Turinabol, due to its non-aromatizing nature (preventing excessive weight gain).

Women are also more suited to cycling Turinabol, which is one of the few female-friendly anabolic steroids available today.