Turinabol vs Dianabol: Which is the Better Steroid?
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.
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 muscle mass, with a lower anabolic rating of 54 vs. 210 for Dianabol.
However, in our experience, Tbol-users often report building similar amounts of lean muscle to Dianabol. We see the overall weight gain being more prominent with Dbol due to increased water retention.
Turinabol is the more mild compound on a mg per mg basis. Bodybuilders we treat typically use it in dosages of 40–80 mg/day vs. Dianabol’s 30–50 mg/day. Thus, a higher dosage of Turinabol is required in order to see similar anabolic effects to Dianabol.
Anecdotally, we have seen beginners take a standard dose of Turinabol and gain up to 15 pounds of weight in a 6- to 8-week cycle. Furthermore, almost all of this weight was in the form of lean muscle tissue.
In contrast, we have seen novices taking Dianabol and gaining over 20 pounds in a 6-week cycle. The majority of this was muscle mass; however, 20–30% was attributed to water accumulation.
Both of these anabolic steroids will significantly increase muscular strength. However, we have found Dianabol 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 10 mg/day (1).
Thus, Dianabol and Turinabol can both be used during bulking cycles; however, Dbol is the superior compound for sheer mass gain in the short term. Whereas Turinabol is more suitable for bodybuilders trying to lean bulk while 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).
Bodybuilders who see us almost always utilize Dianabol in bulking cycles; however, Turinabol is utilized in both bulking and cutting cycles.
This is due to Turinabol failing to aromatize rather than 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 will be more prominent on Tbol.
There is a case where 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 than the same person taking Dianabol.
We have observed that Dianabol actually worsens cardiovascular performance due to its deleterious effect on blood lipids. This can also decrease the likelihood that a user will perform regular cardio, as well as negatively affect 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)
Both Turinabol and Dianabol are oral anabolic steroids and, thus, c-17 alpha-alkylated. Therefore, we see ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase) enzymes rise on both compounds, signifying liver inflammation. However, our liver panel results suggest Turinabol’s hepatotoxicity is lower.
Consequently, our patients sometimes report their appetite being strong on Turinabol but reduced on Dianabol.
This is because when the liver is overtaxed, the body’s defense 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 that users don’t become complacent with this fact. Dr. O’Connor once oversaw a patient with 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 should be kept to 4–6 weeks to prevent hepatic damage. TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid) can also be taken at 500 mg/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 our patients, which is contrary to Dianabol usage (3).
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.
We have seen Dianabol cause further impairment of the HPTA (hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis) compared to Turinabol, causing lower endogenous testosterone levels.
Consequently, Dianabol typically requires a more effective post-cycle therapy protocol than Turinabol, such as Clomid and Nolvadex combined, vs. just one medication.
We have seen both Dianabol and Turinabol cause severe cardiovascular side effects (4).
However, based on our lipid profile tests, 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 for 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.
We have successfully lowered bodybuilders’ cardiovascular risk with these compounds by taking 4 g/day of fish oil, adopting a low-sodium diet, and performing regular cardio (5).
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 lower on Turinabol, and the sebaceous glands will be less stimulated.
Benign prostate enlargement will also 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.
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 while minimizing excessive cardiotoxicity and hepatotoxicity.
Suitability for Women
Several women in our clinic have experienced masculinization as a result of using Dianabol. In contrast, Turinabol is better tolerated by females due to its lower androgenicity.
Female Olympic athletes did not experience virilization in the first few years of Turinabol use. Consequently, we see many female bodybuilders successfully utilize Tbol in small doses.
Various German Olympic women did experience masculinization effects after the initial few years of Turinabol use. However, the reasons for this 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).
Turinabol replicates many of Dianabol’s benefits, but with reduced toxicity.
Bodybuilders commonly report building similar amounts of lean muscle on Turinabol vs. Dianabol, 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 benefit from Turinabol due to its non-aromatizing nature (preventing excessive weight gain).
Women are also more suited to Turinabol cycles, with it being one of the few female-friendly anabolic steroids available today.
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