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Difference Between Steroids and Prohormones

Steroids vs. Pro hormones

Steroids can be described as terpenoid lipids that typify a sterane core with certain added functional groups. The center of steroids comprise of a complex carbon structure made from four adjoined rings, a single cyclopentane ring and three other cyclohexane rings. Steroids can be categorized on the basis of two distinct features, whether the rings in the core have functional clusters attached to them or not and also on the basis of the condition of rings after oxidation. On the other hand, as the very name suggests, a prohormone is a substance that precedes a hormone. Prohormones portray the most minimum hormonal effects when left by themselves. Prohormones are enzymic substances that need to undergo chemical reactions and interactions in order to become an active hormone. Prohormones came to the knwoledge of medical science since the mid 20th century.

Frequent kinds of steroids are,

  • Insect steroids
  • Ecdysteroids like ecdysterone
  • Vertebrate steroids
  • Steroid hormones
  • Sex steroids including androgens, estrogens, progestagens
  • Corticosteroids including mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Plant steroids including phytosterols and brassinosteroids
  • Fungus steroids like ergosterols

On the contrary, prohormones generally occur in humans. Some naturally occurring human prohormones are,

  • Proinsulin
  • Proopiomelanocortin
  • 4-androstenedione
  • 4-androstenediol (4-AD)
  • 19-norandrostenedione
  • 19-norandrostenediol
  • 1-androstenediol (1-AD)
  • 1,4-androstaienedione (1,4 AD)
  • Methyl 1-testosterone (M1-T)

Steroids form organically within macrobiotic cells from cycloartenal sterols that are commonly found in plants or lanosterol sterols that are found in animals and fungi cells. Cholesterol is one of the most identified sterols. Both of  these sterols are produced during the cyclization process of the triterpene squalene chemical. On the other hand, Prohormones actually occur as enzymes within the body. To be precise, prohormones are made of bodily enzymes under a process of transformation. During the transformation the prohormones further supplement into active forms of anabolic steroids.

1)Steroids are terpenoid lipids whereas prohormones are enzymic substances.
2)Steroids exist in their original state with a complex carbon structure in the core. On the other hand, prohormones are predecessors to hormones that exist in a minimal reactive state.
3)Steroids can be commonly found in animals, plants and fungi but prohormones are only found in human beings.
4)Sex steroids, insect steroids and anabolic steroids are some of the commonly found steroids while Methyl1-testosterone and Proinsulin are some of the commonly known prohormones.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for posting the article.Are there any different types of Pro hormones available?

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