A Brazilian bodybuilder who has been injecting oil into his biceps for years continues the abuse despite life-threatening warnings from doctors.
Valdir Segato has raised eyebrows across the internet for years showing off his synthol-injected biceps, pectorals, and back muscles, Daily Mail reports.
Now in his late 50s, the Sao Paulo native was first inspired by seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger and fictional characters like The Hulk. He prides himself in being called "the monster" on the streets.
Doctors warned Segato three years ago that he could face amputation, nerve damage, or even muscle disfigurement due to his continued abuse of the chemical. However, these are only at the minor scale of lethal health risks faced by the synthol addict.
"They call me Hulk, Schwarzenegger, and He-Man all the time and I like that," Segato, a construction worker, said in 2016. "I've doubled my biceps but I still want to be bigger."
His Instagram handle "Valdir Synthol" boasts over 18,000 followers and features several photos and videos of himself flaunting his bloated muscles.
Segato claims he was an emaciated, skinny drug addict during his youth, and that many called him "Skinny Dog."
"I got involved with drugs and I started losing weight because you don't eat... You lead a wrong life," he previously stated.
While Segato quit drugs in his later years and joined a gym, he wasn't satisfied with his gains. He wanted more extreme effects from his limited exercise routine.
Segato got hooked on synthol after he was first offered the drug by someone in the gym. He eventually became dependent on the muscle-enhancing substance owing to his addictive personality.
The lengthy list of side effects posed by anabolic steroids has repeatedly been decried by many prominent bodybuilders. However, the risk posed by the oil is no less.
"The side effects of synthol are manifold and they can also cause a damage of nerves, oil embolic of the pulmonary, occlusion of the pulmonary artery, myocardial infarction, cerebral stroke, and infectious complications," according to Europe PubMed Central.
Synthol comprises of 85 percent oil, (often sesame oil) 7.5 percent lidocaine, a painkiller, and 7.5 percent alcohol, which sterilizes the composition. That said, the concoction does not help to increase strength and is purely a cosmetic supplement.
Segato's close friend Fernando Carvalho da Silva previously stated: "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."
When doctors warned Segato about the ill-effects of his abuse three years ago, Segato said: "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."