Anabolic steroidAnabolic steroid abuse facts. What are anabolic steroids? Anabolic steroids are one type of performance-enhancing drug or medication. They mimic testosterone in the anabolic steroids information to enhance performance by making muscle cells larger and by allowing the body to recover more quickly from the stress of exercise. Slang for anabolic informtaion is roids.
Anabolic Steroids - Fact sheets
At present time, there are several anabolic steroid derivatives that are available to us. We can enjoy a varied range of benefits with the help of these compounds.
It is not just muscle mass gain or bone development that anabolic steroids help achieve. Anabolic steroids may be prescribed by physicians to treat anemia, osteoporosis and to control breast cancer in women. In addition, these compounds are recommended for patients suffering from severe weight loss as a result of a serious illness.
There are several reasons behind the popularity of anabolic steroids among athletes. They enhance cellular tissue development, enhance speed and endurance and speed up recovery. This, in turn, allows athletes to train harder and longer. There is no doubt that research into anabolic steroid and the resultant discoveries has transformed the way we live today. However, misinformation and a lack of proper understanding about these highly valuable compounds has led to the general feeling that anabolic steroids are harmful and dangerous.
To truly appreciate the benefits of these compounds it is important to see why research in this direction first began and how, despite immense challenges, scientists forged ahead to discover the true potential of these compounds.
In the process we will follow their endeavors to learn more about the role of hormones and their many efforts to create substitutes for them. Today, many people assume that steroids and testosterone are synonymous. However, when one revisits the history of steroids, it becomes evident that researchers and scientists went through many difficulties to understand the key role played by testosterone and other androgenic hormones.
In fact, it is more accurate to say that in the beginning, scientists working in the field of steroid research were floundering in the dark as regards the role played by various androgenic hormones in the human body. At this stage, the role of testosterone was not clearly known. To understand how the anabolic steroid research story unfolded it becomes necessary to learn more about androgens.
Androgens are sex steroid hormones that are chemically related. A steroid is a four ringed carbon atom core molecule. When enzymes act on the cholesterol core, pregnenolone, testosterone and other androgens are produced in the body. In vertebrates including humans , androgens are created in the testes, ovaries and adrenal glands. However, the adrenal glands produce only a small amount of the total testosterone in our bodies.
Hypothalamus in the brain detects the need for more testosterone Step 2: Gonadotropin releasing hormone is secreted Step 3: Gonadotropin releasing hormone reaches pituitary gland Step 4: FSH initiates sperm production, LH stimulates the Leydig cells and encourages testosterone production using cholesterol as the building block. Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone are the primary androgens produced in this way.
Androstenedione, DHEA dehydroepiandrosterone and ketotestosterone are weaker androgens also produced in the human body in small amounts. Androgens work by docking with cell receptors. Based on where the cell receptor is located, the binding with the receptor results in different outcomes. After Testosterone production, the hormone is sent into the bloodstream where it attaches itself to albumin and SHBG.
A small percentage remains free and this keeps circulating in the blood stream. This free testosterone is the purest from of the hormone. It enters various cells and stimulates receptors to produce the benefits we often see such as enhanced virility or muscle growth.
When the hypothalamus detects enough Testosterone in the bloodstream, signals are sent to the pituitary gland to cease producing this hormone. The predominant impact of androgen production is witnessed on the male sexual development and traits as well as female sexual behavior. However, in adults, hormones are found to influence muscle mass and bone development significantly. Deficient androgen production has various consequences.
Their objective was to treat men who suffered from the inability to produce adequate amounts of this hormone to support normal body functions including proper growth, sexual functioning and age proportionate development. Several animal studies made their way into the public eye at this time and these laid the basis for later studies and research in this field as well as for developments related to endocrinology.
Experimental androgen injections were successfully developed by the end of the century. At this point of time, the researchers and scientists were solely focusing their energies on the use of testosterone in a therapeutic manner. Synthetic testosterone was later also used during the World War II. During this time, the hormone was given to soldiers who suffered from malnourishment and it helped them gain body weight and perform better in the battlefield.
It was at this point in time that scientists also discovered another interesting fact- that the estrogenic, androgenic and anabolic activity of these hormones could be modified by tweaking their molecular structures. This discovery took researchers down a new path. However, it would be wrong to think that humans have used performance enhancers only in the Modern Age.
There is historic evidence of the ancients having used them to enhance their performance in various events. During the very first Olympic games, athletes ingested animal testicles over extended periods right before they had to participate in an event. Thus, we know that even during the ancient times to BC use of external performance enhancers was not only known but actually implemented.
In fact by the end of this decade, humans were being given testosterone propionate injections. This contributed immensely to the success that the people of this country enjoyed in international sporting events. It was in that the Soviet use of steroids first came to light. The wrestling team of this country was in the spotlight for enhancing their performance with these compounds.
In , nortestosterone, the first anabolic steroid was synthesized. This derivative had almost 3 to 5 times the muscle building ability of testosterone.
Coach, learned about the steroid use from a Soviet coach during the weight lifting championships held in Vienna in and he was inspired to carry out his own experiments. The United States soon followed suit with Dr. Olympic team physician is credited with the creation of the product more commonly known as Dbol or Dianabol. This heralded much research into methods of synthesizing anabolic steroids and its derivatives. With the successful use of Dianabol or Methandrostenolone, several countries began to experiment with steroids and steroid derivatives.
In , a study was conducted wherein it was accepted that steroids injections were no different from placebos. At this point in time, an unfortunate development was taking place simultaneously.
Athletes had begun to misuse steroids to enhance their performance in important events. Equating steroids to placebos was considered a strategic move to deter sportsmen from excessive use of these compounds. However, in the U. Dianobol use had already become a regular thing for athletes, especially since they had to compete against the seemingly invincible Soviet sportsmen at international events.
The Soviets had built up a formidable reputation as sportsmen par excellence and to beat them in any event was considered a huge accomplishment for athletes in any field. Steroid use was quite common in Germany even during the war. Nazi soldiers were given steroid injections to improve their aggression and resilience in the front lines.
In the later years German sportsmen came to be the public face of the country, handpicked for their talents and nurtured by coaches and doctors who worked round- the clock to enhance their performance.
The importance given to sports was such that sportsmen of caliber enjoyed special privileges that their fellow countrymen were denied. In the Summer Olympics that took place in Montreal, the world was in for a massive surprise as the East Germans walked away with an astounding 40 gold medals. In the words of a member of the U. It was decades later that the secret behind this spectacular success became known. This systematic plan had been initiated in as a means to guarantee international glory through the achievement of gold medals at the prestigious sporting event.
Oral- Turinabol , a testosterone derivative was used extensively to improve muscle mass and cut down recovery time. This allowed the German athletes to train harder and longer than other world athletes. When this state sponsored steroid use was finally revealed to the world it caused wide spread uproar and perhaps this was the beginning of the witch hunt that has led to the general condemnation of steroids ever since.
However, it is important to note here that many of the athletes were given these compounds without their permission or knowledge and the amounts used were excessive. In effect, the steroids were misused on a massive scale during this phase in Germany and this had its own adverse consequences much as the misuse of any other pharmaceutical product or medical product would have done.
One of the positives of the East German use of steroids is the extensive research into these compounds was carried out at this time. Advancements were being made in isolating and altering the hormones and esterification of testosterone. Various new anabolic steroid forms were being developed each with its own range of benefits. The knowledge that testicles have a key role to play in the development of masculine characteristics was no secret even in the late 16th century.
In Italy, young boys would undergo castration to achieve a high pitched soprano for the opera. In the beginning of the 19th century, Dr. Berthold did his groundbreaking research on steroids. However, it was during the later years in this century that isolation of androgens as well as extraction from testicles met with success. The very first hormone injections were developed at this time, sparking of a much larger foray into the world of anabolic steroids and research about their impact on the human body.
Even before the discovery and isolation of Testosterone, Adolf Butenandt had isolated Androstenone from urine samples. This happened in At this point in time, researchers and scientists were aware that another primary androgen existed within the testes but this hormone was yet to be identified. In , this hormone, testosterone was finally discovered. In the same year, scientists Hanisch and Butenandt also found a way to synthesize testosterone using cholesterol.
With this breakthrough, the doors were opened for the widespread use of testosterone to achieve various outcomes and in various applications. It was for their immense contribution during this stage of anabolic steroid research that Butenandt and Ruzicka were awarded the Nobel Prize. It was another two years before synthetic forms of testosterone made an appearance.
An oral form of the compound was used in human trails at this point.