A Brazilian bodybuilder is risking his life by injecting oil into his biceps but continues to boost them to 23 inches. Valdir Segato, in his early 50s, has been using Synthol injections for years despite risking strokes and infections to produce hulking biceps, pectorals and back muscles. Segato, from Sao Paulo, is inspired by the physiques of Arnold Schwarzenegger and fictional characters like The Hulk and is proud to be known locally as 'the monster' in the street. Three years ago he was warned he faced amputation, but nerve damage and muscle disfigurement are at the minor scale of lethal health risks he faces.
Segato, a construction worker, said in 2016: 'They call me Hulk, Schwarzenegger and He-Man all the time and I like that. I've doubled my biceps but I still want to be bigger.' Today he proudly posts images and videos to social media, calling himself 'Valdir Synthol' on Instagram. As a youth he was an emaciated skinny drug addict and lost so much weight he was known as 'Skinny Dog'.He previously stated: 'I got involved with drugs and I started losing weight because you don't eat, you lead a wrong life.' Segato quit drugs and joined a gym but he wanted more extreme effects than he could achieve from exercise alone. He was offered synthol by someone in the gym and, having an addictive personality, soon became hooked on the muscle-enhancing substance.
Many bodybuilders swerve the lengthy list of side effects posed by anabolic steroids by opting for synthol, but the oil also poses great risks. According to Europe PubMed Central: 'The side effects of synthol are manifold and they can also cause damage of nerves, oil embolic of the pulmonary, occlusion of the pulmonary artery, myocardial infarction, cerebral stroke and infectious complications.' The injections are comprised of 85 per cent oil - often sesame oil is used - 7.5 per cent lidocaine, a painkiller, and 7.5 per cent alcohol, used to sterilise the concoction. In addition, the results are purely cosmetic and do not make Segato any stronger. Three years ago he was warned his continued use could result in amputation.
His friend Fernando Carvalho da Silva, said back then: 'The oil thing is stupidity. He thinks it's good and I'm a friend so I stay quiet, but deep down I want to tell him to stop but he doesn't want to. He's happy like that.' It's the risk he takes - he wants to look good and wants to be famous.' Segato said at the time: 'The doctors tell me to stop it, the advice they give me is to stop using. But it's my decision to use it because I want to because I like to.'