WHILE STUFFING YOUR FACE WITH MOUTH-WATERING BROWNIES
AND BLUEBERRY MUFFINS EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Anabolic steroids, also known more properly as anabolic–androgenic steroids (AAS), are steroidal androgens that include natural androgens like testosterone as well as synthetic androgens that are structurally related and have similar effects to testosterone. They are anabolic and increase protein within cells, especially in skeletal muscles, and also have varying degrees of androgenic and virilizing effects, including induction of the development and maintenance of masculine secondary sexual characteristics such as the growth of facial and body hair. The word anabolic, referring to anabolism, comes from the Greek ἀναβολή anabole, “that which is thrown up, mound”. Androgens or AAS are one of three types of sex hormone agonists, the others being estrogens like estradiol and progestogens like progesterone.
AAS were synthesized in the 1930s, and are now used therapeutically in medicine to stimulate muscle growth and appetite, induce male puberty and treat chronic wasting conditions, such as cancer and AIDS. The American College of Sports Medicine acknowledges that AAS, in the presence of adequate diet, can contribute to increases in body weight, often as lean mass increases and that the gains in muscular strength achieved through high-intensity exercise and proper diet can be additionally increased by the use of AAS in some individuals.
Health risks can be produced by long-term use or excessive doses of AAS. These effects include harmful changes in cholesterol levels (increased low-density lipoprotein and decreased high-density lipoprotein), acne, high blood pressure, liver damage (mainly with most oral AAS), and dangerous changes in the structure of the left ventricle of the heart. These risks are further increased when, as they often do, athletes take steroids alongside other drugs, causing significantly more damage to their bodies. The effect of anabolic steroids on the heart can cause myocardial infarction and strokes. Conditions pertaining to hormonal imbalances such as gynecomastia and testicular size reduction may also be caused by AAS. In women and children, AAS can cause irreversible masculinization.
Ergogenic uses for AAS in sports, racing, and bodybuilding as performance-enhancing drugs are controversial because of their adverse effects and the potential to gain unfair advantage in physical competitions. Their use is referred to as doping and banned by most major sporting bodies. Athletes have been looking for drugs to enhance their athletic abilities since the Olympics started in Ancient Greece. For many years, AAS have been by far the most detected doping substances in IOC-accredited laboratories. In countries where AAS are controlled substances, there is often a black market in which smuggled, clandestinely manufactured or even counterfeit drugs are sold to users.