What Are Anabolic Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are the synthetic steroid hormone drugs, which are derived from testosterone, a potent androgenic hormone produced chiefly by the testes; responsible for the development of male secondary sex characteristics. These drugs help to trigger up the rate of growth and division of cells, which consequently results in the growth of body tissues, particularly the muscles and bones.
Anabolic Steroids, also termed as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), are the drugs associated with the Anabolism, the metabolic process of synthesis of more complex substances from simpler ones. Actually, the words “anabolic” and “androgenic” have come from the Greek language; anabolic means ‘to build’ and androgenic means ‘masculinizing’.
Since their discovery in the early 1930s, Anabolic Steroids have been extensively used treating various medical conditions, such as, hypogonadism, delayed puberty, and some types of impotence. They are also used against several chronic wasting diseases, such as AIDS and Cancer. Anabolic Steroids are often prescribed to the aging people who are unable to produce adequate amount of testosterone in their bodies. These steroids help old people live healthy life in the later years.
Undoubtedly, anabolic steroids are magical drugs for the aging people, but these drugs are controversial drugs. They are widely abused drugs nowadays. Anabolic steroids are often used as performance enhancing drugs. These are used to enhance strength and stamina by professional bodybuilders, weightlifters, athletes, jocks, and others.
Anabolic steroids have many effects on human body. They have androgenic effects in humans. Androgens activate the myogenesis, which is muscular tissue formation. Androgens also cause the hypertrophy of the both types of the muscle fibers. Different types of the anabolic steroids bind to the androgen receptor for varying degree depending on their different chemical structure. If taken during the time of pregnancy, Anabolic Steroids can affect the development of the fetus. They can also affect the growth of the muscle and bone mass, puberty, hair growth, sebaceous gland oil production, and sexuality. Anabolic steroids also help to enhance protein synthesis, muscle mass, appetite, strength, and bone growth.
However, there are several side effects associated with the excessive use or over doses of Anabolic steroids. Some of the AAS side effects include adverse changes in cholesterol levels – increase in LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) and decrease in HDL (High Density Lipoprotein), severe acne, increased blood pressure, hepatotoxicity, liver damage, and alterations in the left ventricle morphology.