Vintage Muscle Review: The Dangers of OTC Steroid Use

Vintage Muscle Review: The Dangers of OTC Steroid Use


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Disclaimer: This article doesn’t constitute medical advice and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that individuals speak with their doctor about men's health supplements.

Vintage Muscle is a men's health brand that sells supplements for muscle growth and hormonal optimization. Their products include ingredients not commonly seen in over-the-counter (OTC) supplements, like steroids and prohormones.

But do Vintage Muscle supplements contain ingredients proven in medical studies to increase hormone levels like testosterone and fuel muscle growth? Are there health risks associated with the use of these ingredients? Who's behind Vintage Muscle? And how do real customers rate and describe the effects of Vintage Muscle supplements? 

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review the ingredients in two of Vintage's Muscle's most popular products (Alpha Test Stack and Muscle Growth Stack) based on medical studies to give our take on whether the supplements are likely to be safe and effective.

We'll share our concerns about some of the ingredients included in Vintage Muscle formulations, explain who's behind this company and whether they have relevant medical credentials, and share real, unsponsored user reviews of Vintage Muscle supplements.

Alpha Test Stack Review

Vintage Muscle Alpha Test Stack ingredients

Vintage Muscle’s Alpha Test Stack consists of two testosterone support supplements to build “hard, lean muscle and strength." The ingredients for the liquid formulation (Epi-Test) are shown above.

Epiandrosterone is an anabolic steroid which is illegal for use in supplements according to WebMD. In 2021, the founder of a supplement brand called CCB Nutrition LLC pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to distributing anabolic steroids including epiandrostesrone according to the Department of Justice.

We're somewhat surprised that Vintage Muscle is openly marketing this supplement of such questionable legality, and we hope that the DoJ and FTC investigate.

We are unable to identify any medical studies proving that this steroid increases testosterone levels at the 100 milligram (mg) dose in Epi-Test, and we're also unable to identify any long-term studies proving the safety of this compound.

The capsule supplement included in Alpha Test Stack is called Methyl-Test. It contains nine active ingredients: magnesium, zinc, Tribulus terrestris extract, chrysin, horny goat weed extract, tongkat ali, saw palmetto, hawthorne and Cissus quadrangularis extract.

Zinc and magnesium are minerals that influence testosterone metabolism, but we haven't come across any convincing medical research suggesting that their supplementation increases testosterone levels in healthy adults.

It seems illogical to take minerals to improve testosterone without first knowing your mineral status. Getting bloodwork done to check for a zinc or magnesium (or other) mineral deficiency seems more sensible in our opinion.

Tribulus terrestris is a plant that can increase sex drive, but a clinical trial published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported no increase in testosterone when this ingredient was supplemented at doses similar to that in Methyl-Test.

Chrysin is a plant-derived compound shown to have no effect on testosterone levels in a 2003 clinical trial.

Tongkat ali has been shown in research studies to naturally increase testosterone, but as we documented in our Nugenix review article, the minimum effective dose appears to be 200 mg daily. Only 50 mg is included in Vintage Muscle's supplement.

The remaining active ingredients in this formulation are included at too low of a dose (50 mg each) for them to have any effect on testosterone in our opinion.

Overall we consider Alpha Test Stack to be a very poor formulation and we do not recommend it. We are unable to identify any medical studies proving the active ingredients in either supplement to be effective for increasing T levels at their stated doses.

We are concerned about the safety risk of using a steroid ingredient like epiandrosterone over long periods of time, and we hope that Vintage Muscle removes this product.

Muscle Support Stack Review

Vintage Muscle Muscle Support Stack ingredients

Vintage Muscle Muscle Support Stack consists of two supplements to help "increase natural testosterone production:" Cycle Support and Armidione. The ingredients in the liquid formulation (Armidione) are shown above.

3b-hydroxy-androsta-4 6-diene-17-one is the active ingredient in this formulation. It appears to be another prohormone but we can't identify one single clinical trial on this ingredient proving its efficacy or safety. 

The Cycle Support supplement is a capsule formulation and contains three different proprietary blends: "EstroControl Blend," "TestSupport Blend" and "LivSupport Blend."

The TestSupport blend is the one with ingredients for testosterone support: fenugreek extract, Cissus quadrangularis, tongkat ali and 3,4- divanillyltetrahydrofuran.

Fenugreek extract has been clinically proven to increase testosterone levels, as we documented in our Ageless Male reviews article.

Cissus quadrangularis is a plant extract and we can't find any proof of its efficacy for increasing T levels in men.

Tongkat ali may be effective for improving T as we discussed in the previous section, but its dose in this formulation is still relatively low (180 mg average ingredient dose), and Vintage Muscle uses a raw powder while the majority of clinical studies we've come across on tongkat ali for testosterone support used a more potent extract.

3,4- divanillyltetrahydrofuran was shown in a clinical trial published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology to increase testosterone levels in mice. This doesn't necessarily mean the same effect will apply to humans.

Overall we consider this stack potentially effective for testosterone enhancement due to the inclusion of fenugreek, but we very strongly recommend avoiding it because the active ingredient in the liquid formulation doesn't appear to even have been studied or proven safe at all.

Highly Questionable Health Claims on Vintage Muscle Website

There are so many uncited, unscientific and questionable health claims on the Vintage Muscle website that we disagree with that we can't feature all of them, but here are a select few.

Vintage Muscle questionable health claim 1

The brand claims that their Epi-Andro supplement is "10x more androgenic than testosterone" without any proof or citation.

Vintage Muscle questionable health claim 2

The brand claims that their Anabolic Shred Stack "gets rid of boatloads of calories, even when you're sitting around or watching TV." There is no proof or citation.

Vintage Muscle questionable health claim 3

The brand claims that something called the "Estrogen Rebound" tries to "balance" natural testosterone increase. This is false and unscientific. There is no clinically-defined term of "Estrogen Rebound," and the brand again provides zero proof of this claim.

This claim essentially suggests that any attempt to naturally increase testosterone like resistance training, improved diet or increased sleep are futile because the body will sabotage such efforts. This is false and there are ways to naturally increase testosterone levels over the long-term through lifestyle changes such as the ones listed above. 

We consider it to be a red flag of a low-quality brand to make bold health claims without any proof of those claims.

Real, Unsponsored Vintage Muscle User Reviews

A YouTube creator named "Jersey Flex Fitness" reviewed a Vintage Muscle supplement called Win-Test:

Another YouTube creator named Brian Duclos reviewed a variety of Vintage Muscle supplements:

Who's Behind Vintage Muscle?

We recommend that consumers investigate who's behind the supplements they're taking. It's a good sign if there are publicly-listed scientific experts like doctors, PhDs and clinical researchers. Formulating dietary supplements requires extensive knowledge on the efficacy, safety and interactions between various compounds.

The Vintage Muscle website does not have an "About Us" page with any information about the team.

Some research determines that the founder of Vintage Muscle is a man by the name of Jared Van Yperen. He has a personal website and wants to “mentor entrepreneurs.” His website makes no mention of any relevant scientific or medical credentials or education that would qualify him to formulate exotic prohormone supplements.

No Published Test Results

The only way you can know what you’re getting when you buy supplements online is if the company publishes (ideally third-party) test results proving that their products are accurately labeled and have no contaminants. Vintage Muscle does not do this.

The need for independent testing is even greater for muscle building products than for most supplement categories, because this type of product is so frequently contaminated with harmful or illegal drugs. 

The FDA publishes reports on tainted bodybuilding products, and those listed probably make up a very small percentage of those available for sale, because the FDA “cannot test all products on the market” as they say themselves.

We do not recommend taking novel research compounds without any proof or test results suggesting those compounds are safe for long-term use.

Our Testosterone Support Picks

Bulletproof Magnesium is our top overall testosterone support pick, because magnesium is a mineral that is clinically shown to increase free and total testosterone in athletes and in sedentary individuals.

Bulletproof Magnesium costs under $17 at the time of updating this article.

Momentous Tongkat Ali is our top herbal testosterone support pick, and costs under $20 at the time of updating this article.

Tongkat ali's effects on testosterone were reviewed in a 2022 meta-study, and the researchers concluded that "A significant improvement in total testosterone levels after [tongkat ali] treatment was mostly reported in both healthy volunteers and hypogonadal men."

Panax ginseng extract is an herbal libido enhancer, and was shown in a medical review published in the Spermatogenesis journal to increase sex drive in men when taken daily.

Illuminate Labs sells a Panax Ginseng Extract supplement which is third-party tested, and costs only $15 on a subscription basis.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of additive ingredients that we consider unhealthy.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We do not recommend any Vintage Muscle products and strongly advise consumers to avoid this brand entirely. We have published around 500 reviews on Illuminate Health at the time of updating this article, and very rarely have we considered a supplement brand to be dangerous.

We consider Vintage Muscle to be dangerous.

The company is selling steroids over the internet with no proof of efficacy, no proof of safety, no third-party test results and in some cases they are selling compounds that may be illegal.

We hope that the FDA, DoJ and FTC investigate this brand, because we honestly feel like they are a risk to the safety of consumers. The founder of a supplement company selling similar products pled guilty to felony charges related to the distribution of steroids in 2021.

There are long-term health risks associated with the use of steroids, and we hope that at the very least consumers would discuss these supplements with their doctor prior to taking them.