Pop quiz time!  What do the following compounds have in common?

  1. 3β-Hydroxyandrost-5-en-17-one
  2. Diandrone
  3. Androstenolone
  4. 5,6-Didehydroisoandrosterone
  5. Prasterone

The answer is that they have everything in common…they’re the exact same thing.  These are just a few of the different ways you can write dehydroepiandrosterone, otherwise known as DHEA.  Just as there are a lot of ways to skin a cat, there can be a lot of different ways to write a compound.
This is a trick that a number of supplement manufacturers use. “Chemicalese” is often used to make familiar compounds look unfamiliar.  There’s a bonus too, as it makes the label look all high-tech and “sciencey.”
A twist on this trick is to use archaic terminology, so that it won’t come up in a search.  A classic case came up on the “Bodybuilding Revealed” forum, when a member asked a question about a supplement compound he was trying to ID: “3-beta-hydroxyetioallocholan-5-ene-17-one.” 
Yup, DHEA again – but the older, non-standard terminology made it almost impossible to trace.  I had to walk through the nomenclature to make the connection.
The moral of the story?  Don’t be blown away by the presence of chemical jargon on a label.  There’s a good chance that the terminology is being used to conceal, rather than reveal, useful information.

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5 Comments
  1. Corey Bachmeier, M.Ed 11 years ago

    Good information to know!
    thanks.
    -Corey

  2. Dave 11 years ago

    Interesting , your average consumer wouldn’t have a clue, great blog here.

  3. Kenneth Denmark 11 years ago

    Hi There,Think this is well Done Site!!!
    A to the Q. is they All end with A “one”
    simpel as that. thats the First thing they have in common.
    else its somthing about what it does and Do.
    A’m I Right or Right !!!???
    Thanks From Denmark (Europe).

  4. Elissa 11 years ago

    Hi Kenneth:
    Yes they do all end in the suffix “one” – which provides a hint when you see them all together like that. It’s a little trickier when you see them on a supplement label, however. Many people are familiar with the name “DHEA” – which is why I used it as an example…but they would not recognize it written in a different way.
    For example, here are the ingredients for “Hi Tech Sustanon 250” – which contains the “legal prohormone” Prasterone, which is, as we know, DHEA.
    Prasterone Propionate 30mg
    Prasterone Phenylproprionate 60mg
    Prasterone Isocaproate 60mg
    Prasterone Decanoate 100mg
    6-Keto Diosgenin Cypionate 50mg
    Diosgenin Enanthate 50mg
    25R Spirostan-5A-Diol-6-One-3-One Undecanoate 50mg
    Rhaponticum Carthemoids 95% 100mg
    Belizian Man Vine 90% 150mg
    3b-Hydroxy-5-Androsten-17 One 25mg
    Androstenolone 25mg
    But in addition to the 4 different “Prasterone” esters, we also see “3b-Hydroxy-5-Androsten-17 One,” and “Androstenolone” – which are also DHEA. Yet a consumer would be left with the impression that these were all different compounds, and that this is a more sophisticated supplement than it really is.
    Needless to state, DHEA isn’t the only compound that gets this treatment…which makes labels far more confusing than they need to be. IMHO, you shouldn’t need the equivalent of a BS degree in Chemistry to figure out what you’re taking. Caveat emptor!

  5. online guitar 8 years ago

    nice! i can tell this was important! great occupation!

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