A Muscle Building Injection Warning That You Have to See to Believe
ABC News recently reported a story about a muscle building injection that if done too often could mean loss of limb - and even life - for a bodybuilder wannabe.
Have you ever seen those images of almost too-impossible-to-believe Hulk-like bodies that are posted along with some supplement advertisements? The truth is, some of those images may be real and not the result of a little Photoshop magic. However, rather than a supplement being the cause, that Hulk-like bod is likely the result of a muscle building injection that could cost you your life.
In a recent ABC News report, writer Gillian Mohney tells readers about the story of a young Brazilian bodybuilder named Romario dos Santos Alves, who turned to muscle injection drugs to help him achieve the body he had always dreamed of. And while those injections did give him such a pumped-up physique that people referred to him as “The Hulk,” those injections nearly came at the price of him losing both of his arms.
This muscle building drug is called “synthol”―a mixture typically of a type of oil, benzyl alcohol and lidocaine that is injected directly into muscle that results in a quick and startling hypertrophic appearance of tissue around the injection site. Synthol injections are used as “site enhancement oils” by some bodybuilders just before a competition to bulk-up specific areas of muscle to give their appearance a more competitive edge.
The use of “site enhancement oils” was reportedly first introduced in 1899 for the purposes of breast augmentation and the filling of wrinkles. However, its use today is widely circulated among many in the bodybuilding business as a relatively safe practice.
Enthusiasts of synthol injections claim that the injections work by stretching the fascia covering the muscle, which in turn gives the muscle less constricting force around it and thereby allows muscle fibers to build more easily. However, medical sources state that this is not a muscle building action, but rather a cosmetic action likened to the plumping up of tissue to make it look more pronounced.
The following is an online video that tells Mr. Santos Alves' painful story:
The danger of life and limb from taking synthol injections is a matter of medical fact. In a 2012 issue of the International Journal of Sports Medicine, health experts documented one case of a 40 year old male semi-professional bodybuilder who subjected himself to multiple synthol injections and wound up with numerous painful cystic scar tissue sites, and a septic infection that required life-saving surgery. The authors of the paper describe the patient’s condition as irreversible muscle mutilation that left his muscles as some have described as “…looking like Swiss cheese.” While the patient survived, his muscles were so badly degenerated that he had to give up bodybuilding forever.
In another medical study about a patient who used synthol injections and suffered horribly for it, the researchers concluded that:
“Although the use of synthol by bodybuilders supplies them with the desired short-term effects, the compound progressively destroys the injected muscle. Users are frequently drawn to synthol as it does not share the side effects of androgenic anabolic steroid hormones. However, our case study demonstrates that, despite these perceived advantages, synthol can also have severe and potential life-threatening consequences for its users.”
Other potential side effects of synthol injection include oil embolism, myocardial infarction, cerebral stroke, ulcers and infections.
For an informative article about how working out (without injections) can help you achieve the kind of body you want, here is an article about how to prevent from having a skinny-fat body with strength training.
“Irreversible muscle damage in bodybuilding due to long-term intramuscular oil injection” International Journal of Sports Medicine, 2012 Oct, 33 (10): 829-34; Banke, IJ et al.