Does Anavar Raise or Lower Cholesterol Levels? All Explained

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: August 11, 2023
Does Anavar Raise or Lower Cholesterol Levels?

Anavar, also known as Oxandrolone, is a popular anabolic steroid often used by bodybuilders and athletes for performance enhancement.

However, its effects on cholesterol levels have raised concerns in the medical community.

This article aims to delve into the relationship between Anavar and cholesterol levels, discussing whether Anavar tends to raise or lower them, and the potential health implications of these changes.

Does Anavar Raise or Lower Cholesterol?

Anavar, also known as Oxandrolone, can significantly affect cholesterol levels. According to various sources, Anavar has been found to increase Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol, and decrease High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, known as the “good” cholesterol.

In a study published on PubMed, the drug-treated group had 50% less LDL cholesterol and 25% less HDL cholesterol. Another article from suggests that Anavar can disrupt the ratio of HDL to LDL, lowering HDL while raising LDL and triglycerides.

An article from indicates that an Anavar cycle will spike an athlete’s LDL cholesterol levels. Similarly, Max Health Living states that Anavar increases total and LDL cholesterol levels because steroids cause the body to produce more low-density lipoproteins.

However, Inside Bodybuilding mentions that LDL cholesterol levels do not rise excessively on Anavar, making it a more tolerable option.

The International Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine reported that the use of anabolic steroids, like Anavar, significantly decreases HDL-C (> 90%) and increases LDL-C (~50%).

WebMD also warns that this drug may affect your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart or blood vessel problems.

In conclusion, Anavar can raise LDL cholesterol levels and lower HDL cholesterol levels, which could potentially increase the risk of heart disease. Therefore, anyone considering or currently using Anavar should monitor their cholesterol levels closely and consult with a healthcare professional.

Why does Anavar cause high cholesterol?

Anavar is known to cause changes in cholesterol levels. It can greatly impair cholesterol levels, causing a significant decrease in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), often referred to as “good cholesterol,” and an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad cholesterol”.

The reason behind this is related to the way Anavar interacts with the body’s lipid metabolism. The drug-treated group had 50% less LDL cholesterol and 25% less HDL cholesterol. This alteration in cholesterol levels can lead to an increased risk of heart or blood vessel problems, including coronary artery disease.

Anavar has been found to increase total and LDL cholesterol levels because it causes the body to produce more low-density lipoproteins. Furthermore, the use of anabolic steroids like Anavar significantly decreases HDL-C (> 90%) and increases LDL-C (~50%), but these effects are reversible.

However, it’s important to note that not all individuals may experience these changes in cholesterol levels to the same degree. Some studies suggest that low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels do not rise excessively on Anavar.

Can anabolic steroids cause high cholesterol?

Yes, anabolic steroids can cause high cholesterol levels. Numerous studies and sources have shown a correlation between the use of anabolic steroids and changes in cholesterol levels.

For instance, a study titled “Single dose testosterone increases total cholesterol levels” provides a molecular explanation of how anabolic androgenic steroids may impact cholesterol homeostasis, potentially leading to an increase.

The article, “The Adverse Effects of Anabolic Steroids on Serum Lipids,” states that anabolic steroids have been shown to adversely affect the lipid profile.

Another source lists anabolic steroids among medications that may cause high LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol.

A research paper on the “Effects of androgenic-anabolic steroids on apolipoproteins” found a considerable increase in LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol) and a significant fall in HDL-C (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or ‘good’ cholesterol) with AAS use.

The document “Anabolic Steroid Use Causing Extreme Hyperlipidemia in a Young Male Adult” also mentions that anabolic steroids increase serum LDL, reduce serum HDL, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly coronary artery disease.

How Does Anavar Influence Your Lipid Levels?

Anavar, also known as Oxandrolone, has a significant impact on lipid levels in the body, particularly on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.

Research indicates that Anavar usage can lead to a 50% increase in LDL cholesterol – the ‘bad’ cholesterol that can clog arteries – and a 25% decrease in HDL cholesterol, which is considered the ‘good’ cholesterol.

Anavar’s influence on lipid levels appears to be quite selective, as it tends to profoundly lower all plasma lipids only when a lipid disorder is present. Furthermore, studies have shown that the lipid effects from anabolic steroid use like Anavar are reversible.

However, it’s important to note that despite these changes, there was an absolute decrease in total serum cholesterol in both LDL and HDL cholesterol cases. This could potentially be linked to the increased production of low-density lipoproteins caused by steroids like Anavar.

Identifying the Most Cardio-Friendly Anabolic Steroid

Anabolic steroids are widely used for their muscle-building effects, but they can have negative impacts on cardiovascular health. However, some anabolic steroids may be less harmful to the cardiovascular system than others.

Testosterone is often cited as the most cardio-friendly anabolic steroid. This is because it is a naturally occurring hormone in the body and is essential for many bodily functions, including the maintenance of heart health. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that men with higher levels of testosterone tend to have reduced rates of cardiovascular disease.

However, it’s important to note that even though testosterone is considered relatively cardio-friendly, misuse can still lead to cardiovascular problems. High doses can lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), a decrease in HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol), and other adverse effects.

Primobolan is another anabolic steroid that is often mentioned as being relatively gentle on the cardiovascular system. It does not convert to estrogen, which means it doesn’t lead to water retention and high blood pressure, common side effects of many other steroids.

The Impact of Anavar on Blood Pressure: What You Need to Know

Anavar, also known as Oxandrolone, can have a significant impact on blood pressure. Various sources suggest that an increase in blood pressure can be expected while using Anavar, which typically regulates back to normal levels post-cycle. reports that Anavar can cause headaches due to a rise in blood pressure. And according to a study published on PubMed, systolic blood pressure in anabolic steroid users was found to be higher at rest and during both forms of exercise. suggests that research indicates Anavar can increase blood pressure levels in some individuals, primarily due to its potential to cause fluid retention.

In contrast, suggests that the increase in blood pressure is largely a function of excessive estrogen in the body and since Anavar does not affect estrogen levels, it usually doesn’t cause a significant increase in blood pressure.

Heart-Safe Steroids: Is There Such a Thing?

The term “heart-safe steroids” can be seen as somewhat misleading, given that research indicates all anabolic steroids have some level of risk to cardiovascular health. Long-term use of steroids is linked to increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, and even low doses of steroids have been found to increase this risk.

Anabolic steroids such as Anavar, Primobolan, and Winstrol are often considered ‘safer’ due to their lower impact on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, it’s important to note that ‘safer’ does not mean ‘safe’. Even these steroids can lead to adverse effects on the heart over time.

For example, Anavar can cause significant alterations in cholesterol levels, leading to potential health risks such as heart disease.

Moreover, steroid misuse has been linked to severe cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, and sudden death. Even former users of anabolic steroids are more likely to develop heart diseases.

Interestingly, some research suggests that certain steroids could potentially have protective effects against heart disease. However, these findings are preliminary, and more research is needed to confirm these effects and understand the potential risks and benefits.

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Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.