Anabolic steroids have been around since the 1930s. While they started out solely for medical purposes, they have now become widely accepted for recreational endeavors and heightened athletic performance. Though highly accepted, they are still very illegal without a written prescription. While they have surpassed their medical uses and found their way into top athletes and body builders, they have also crossed the gender barrier. Men are not the only users anymore. More and more women have felt the effects of anabolic steroids and before you think they are the thing for you maybe you should read this first.
I. What are Anabolic Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that mimic the male sex hormones known as androgens. This is where the true name anabolic-androgenic steroid is derived, but for familiarity purposes they are referred to only as anabolic steroids (no purely anabolic agent has ever been synthesized). Specifically, they are synthetically produced to act as the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone has a 17-carbon core, like its replication- the anabolic steroid, and is credited for the promotion of growth of skeletal muscles and the development of male sexual characteristics. It has both androgenic (masculinization) and anabolic (tissue-building) effects in the human body. Functions of testosterone include increased numbers of red blood cells, improved calcium deposition in the bones, muscle enlargement, increased body hair, thickening of vocal chords, and growth and development of the prostate gland (Hickson, Ball, Falduto; 1989). Women have naturally occurring testosterone already present in their bodies, but in such sm...
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Hughes, T.K. Jr., Rady, P.L., Smith, E.M. (1998) Potential for the effects of anabolic steroid abuse in the immune and neuroendocrine axis. Journal of
Neuroimmunol, 83, 162-167
Malarkey, W.B., Strauss, R.H., Leizman, D.J., Liggett, M., Demers, L.M. (1991) Endocrine effects in female weight lifters who self-administer testosterone and
anabolic steroids. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 165, 1385-1390
Strauss, R.H., Liggett, M.T., Lanese, R.R. (1985) Anabolic steroids use and perceived effects in ten weight-trained women athletes. JAMA, 253, 2871-2873
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