Anabolic Anabolic steroids also increase nitrogen retention

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Anabolic Steroids
Description:
Anabolic steroids are performance enhancing drugs. They are a
synthetic form of the chemical testosterone that is normally found in the body.

By taking anabolic steroids, a person’s testosterone level can be raised up to a
hundred times more than the usual amount of 2.5 to 10 mg. Per day. The increase
in testosterone increases anabolic activity, which results in greater muscle
bulk. It also increases protein synthesis and androgenic activity (enhanced
secondary sexual characteristics) in males. The users of steroids want to
increase the anabolic effects and reduce the androgenic effects, but no steroid
is known to have just anabolic effects.


Use:
Anabolic steroids can be taken in two ways, by injection or they can be
taken orally. Both oral and injected steroids carry benefits and adverse
effects. Orally taken steroids are well absorbed into the stomach and they are
excreted fairly rapidly. The bad side of taking oral steroids is that they are
more toxic than injected steroids. They are highly potent, which makes the risk
of overdosing very high. Steroids that are injected are less toxic to the liver
and are less potent than oral steroids on an equal dosage basis. Injected
steroids have a delayed take up, which makes them last longer. It also allows
them to be detected in drug tests for a longer period of time.

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How they work in the body:
When anabolic steroids are introduced into the body, under certain
conditions they increase: protein synthesis, lean body mass, and the nitrogen
balance in the body. A steroid receptor is formed which stimulates the
synthesis of enzymes. With the stimulus of enzymes in the body, protein
synthesis is also increased. One enzyme system that is placed into the body by
the receptor is the ribonucleic acid (RNA)-polymerose system. This system
promotes cellular protein metabolism and synthesis which utilizes nitrogen. By
utilizing the nitrogen, the anabolic action is increased, which leads to larger
muscle size and strength. Anabolic steroids also increase nitrogen retention in
the body. They move the nitrogen equilibrium to the positive side. This allows
the body to utilize ingested protein better, but the balance does not last
forever. The body’s homeostatic mechanisms regulate the balance and change it
back to normal. This is one set back to anabolic steroid use. In order to gain
lean body mass a person may have to eat up to 10,000 calories / day and must
continue a rigorous weight training program. If this is not followed, taking
the steroids would be worthless.


Adverse Effects:
Despite the increase in muscle size and strength, anabolic steroids
carry an even greater risk, the side effects. The side effects can be permanent
or even deadly. Serious side effects are seen in the liver, the cardiovascular,
central nervous and reproductive/endocrine systems.

One major side effect that can be found in the liver is hepatotoxicity.

This is the poisoning of the liver. It shuts down the liver’s ability to
process blood, which in turn shuts down the whole body. Prolonged use of
anabolic steroids can cause cholestosis and jaundice (yellowish coloring of the
eyes, skin and body fluids). Even though most adverse side effects in the liver
are reversible upon discontinuation of steroids, fatalities can occur. The
fatalities occur from hepatic cholestosis, liver tumors or peliosis hepatitis
(blood filled cysts that can rupture and cause bleeding and liver failure).

Very noticeable effects occur in the reproductive system. In males the
testicles shrink by about 20%. They become impotent. Their sperm count can
decrease by 90%. Also gynecomastia can be seen in males. Gynecomastia is the
enlargement of the breasts. One adverse effect that can be seen in both males
and females using steroids is inappropriate hair growth. In females, anabolic
steroids can cause irregularities in their menstrual cycles. It causes the
female voice to deepen and clitoral hypertrophy. Clitoral hypertrophy is the
enlargement of the clitoris. Many of these things are irreversible, but some
can be changed with the discontinuation of steroid use.

In the cardiovascular system adverse effects can be very deadly. When
taking steroids an increase in LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol and a
decrease in HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol occurs in the bloodstream.

This can carry a risk of coronary heart disease and myocardial infarctions.

They can also cause retention of fluids. High blood pressure can cause an
increased risk of congestive heart failure and strokes.

The adverse effects in the musculoskeletal systems are not life
threatening, but they are very noticeable. Younger steroids users can have a
premature closure of the epiphyses (growth plates) in the long bones. This
irreversibly limits the full adult height potential. With the use of steroids,
muscle/tendon strength changes. The muscles become stronger, but the tendons
become stiffer and less able to withstand force. This causes an increase in
muscle strains or ruptures.

The central nervous system is also effected by the use of steroids. In
the person taking steroids, aggressive behavior, self confidence and a sense of
well being are seen. Also manic mood swings can occur. These mood swings can
range from euphoria to sexual arousal to irritability and hostility. Cognitive
impairment can also set in on the user. Cognitive impairment can involve
distractibility, forgetfulness, and confusion.


History:
The use of steroids is nothing new to the world. Since the time of the
Greek Olympics athletes have been using performance enhancing drugs in order to
heighten their athletic performance. In 1886 the 1st person to die due to
performance enhancing drugs was a French cyclist. He took a speed-ball, a mix
of cocaine and heroin, which eventually killed him. Physicians in the 20’s ran
tests on athletes by inserting monkey testicles into male athletes to help boost
their vitality. Adolf Hitler supposedly administered the hormone testosterone
to himself and his troops in order to increase aggressiveness. In 1953 the
first anabolic steroid was introduced. It had five times more strength building
effects than natural hormones. In the 1960’s the IOC (International Olympic
Committee) started to ban performance enhancing drugs due to their popular use.

At the 1976 summer games in Montreal, the IOC initiated the first testing for
steroids. Today testing is done routinely on the collegiate and international
level. The USOC (United States Olympic Committee) can suspend an athlete for up
to two years if caught using steroids. Repeat offenders may be suspended from
competing on the Olympic level for life. The NCAA does year round testing
regardless if the athlete is in season or not. Selected teams are notified two
days in advance of being tested, and 18 players are tested at that time.

Positive testing results in a one year suspension of the student athlete.


Signs of use:
The physical signs that are portrayed by steroid users are extremely
noticeable. They include:Rapid weight gain
Alterations in body composition, with marked muscle hypertrophy
Disproportionate development of the upper torso
Severe acne
Needle marks in large muscle groups
Development of male pattern baldness
Gynecomastia (breast enlargement)
Increased susceptibility to tendon strains and injuries
More frequent hematoma or bruising
Jaundice
Elevated blood pressure
Hirsutism (abnormal development of facial / body hair)
Atrophied breasts in females
Deepening of the voice in females
Legal penalties:
The use of steroids can carry a maximum of 10 years in prison. Also a
fine can be imposed in addition to the jail sentence, or by itself. The fine
can be as high as $250,000.


Statistics:
260,000 students in grades 7 to 12 either use or have used steroids.

The American Heart Assoc. estimates at least half of all Division I
college football players have used steroids over a substantial period of
time.


Black market steroids are topping sales of $400 million per year.


One million Americans, half of them adolescents use black market
steroids.


In order to obtain good muscle mass building a person may have to consume 10,000
calories / day or the steroids will be useless.


Social Issues

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Anabolic to whether this is affiliated with an

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Anabolic steroids (steroids for short) are used widely among bodybuilders to
increase their testosterone, thus to get stacked or larger. Steroids seem to be a
wonderful thing for these bodybuilders, but very few of them know just how they work
and what the effects are.
History
The word anabolic portrays any substance, which accumulates nitrogen in
muscle protein and from there builds muscle tissue. The bodys natural anabolic steroid
is called testosterone, which men (naturally) obtain more of, than women do.
Testosterone brings on the development of speed, mass, endurance, definition, and
strength. Testosterone is naturally released into the blood stream, goes to different
locations, accomplishes its goal, and is broken down by enzymes. This process is done
rather quickly. Eventually chemists discovered how to modify testosterone molecules to
make them last longer, and this is how anabolic steroids came into play.


What Steroids do (biologically)?
In a normal body, the procedures of catabolism (breaking down and removal of old cells)
and anabolism (building up of new cells) are in an equilibrium. When anabolic steroids
are used, this balance is thrown off by the supremacy of the building up of new cells, and
from cells come muscle, so therefore muscle mass is increased. As previously stated, all
anabolic steroids are chemical derivatives of testosterone. Because testosterone has a
short biological half-life, pharmacological use requires the steroid to be altered to slow
metabolism by the liver. Commonly, oral steroids are modified by alkylation (replacing
H with a CH3 group), and injectable steroids are modified by esterification of the
hydroxyl group.


Anabolic steroids work by coupling with the cytoplasmic androgen receptor,
where the steroid-receptor complex moves into the nucleus and binds to DNA. The
steroid and receptor may also dissociate in the nucleus and act on DNA separately, but it
is uncertain if this actually happens. Testosterone may also inhibit the catabolic pathway
associated with glucocorticoids, but this is also uncertain as to whether this is affiliated
with an interaction between testosterone and glucocorticoid or the nuclear manner of the
steroid-receptor complex. In the nucleus steroids seem to intensify specific gene material.

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Then mRNA is prepared to be sent out of the nucleus, leaving increased protein
synthesis. If the complex inhibits the catabolic enzymes then it is possible that catabolic
inhibition may also occur in the nucleus. By looking at the concentration of the androgen
receptor, it is an example of how sensitive it is. Skeletal muscle typically contains 0.5-3
femto (1E-12) moles per milligram of protein, at the same time other androgen sensitive
organs, may have up to 25 times more receptors.
Oral Steroids and their effect on The Liver
Oral steroids have a negative effect on the liver due to the fact that they have an alkyl
group (methyl or ethyl) assembled at the 17-alpha position. The 17-beta hydroxyl (OH)
is now changed from a secondary to an unoxidizable teritary one (an irregular disfigure),
which obstructs the natural hepatic oxidation of the 17 hydroxyl group. When this
metabolic inactivation is blocked, the liver turns to less proficient and more complex
mechanisms of inactivation. Injectable steroids are conceived to go in the system and get
hydrolyzed and become a natural metabolizable secondary 17-beta hydroxyl steroid, and
are not considered to be dangerous to the liver.


Common/Known Effects of Steroid Use
Water retention is a known sign of a steroid user. Usually the neck and facial are
become puffy, or puffier than normal. It may be hard to recognize in someone you first
met, but once his or her steroid use is complete, you can see the difference. Acne is
another effect through steroid use. A person who has never had a problem can develop
one from steroids. Also acne can appear in places that were never a problem. The
formation of breast-like glands can arise, this is called gynecomastia. Roid rages or
overly aggressive behavior can take place through steroid use. People often joke about
the term roid rage, but it is not a joke. People who use steroids often find that their
performance during their workouts are enhanced because they can take out their
aggression through lifting more, but they also take aggression out on other parts of their
surroundings (people around them, walls, slamming doors, etc). High blood pressure can
become a problem after or during steroid use. Because steroids affect cholesterol levels
(by clogging the arteries), heart problems may arise in steroid users. The elevated level
on the nervous system can trigger heart Palpitations. When a steroid user begins using,
sexual arousal increases,

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