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Oral steroids act much faster and live shorter than injectables. In general, it is important to understand that natural testosterone has a very short period of “life” (half-life only takes a few minutes, and in an hour there will be no trace of testosterone in the blood). In order to prolong the existence of the hormone, biochemists invented 17-alpha alkylation – this is when smart guys in white coats bind a carbon atom to the drug molecule in the 17th position and thereby slowing down the metabolism of the substance.
As a result, the half-life of a steroid increases significantly (the hormone lives for hours instead of minutes), and the ability to bind to the androgen receptor decreases. 17-alpha alkylation is used in oral steroids due to the fact that the liver in such a situation does not have time to neutralize the substance and most of the hormone enters the blood. The downside is the additional toxic load on the liver.