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STEROIDS – What Are They? Are They Safe?

Madhura Mohan

Posted on February 23 2021

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 uying a new bike and going on it for a long ride is a thrilling experience for anyone. Going in the form at optimal speed will cause no harm to you and will give you a pleasant experience. Trying to overtake others on the route or trying to reach the destination at a very high speed not minding your safety will no doubt put you at a risk.

In our fast-paced lives, the fast-food culture will make a bodybuilder turn to supplements to compensate for the shortfall of nutrients in whole foods. This is fine. The surge in fast-track muscle building has grown so high that some individuals are lead to turn to short cut means that cause them harm. Guys, I am trying to give you all a clue at the very beginning of the post that steroids are unsafe!!!

This post will tell you everything about steroids, the types of steroids and their mechanism of action.

 

STEROIDS

Steroids constitute an important class of hormones that our body naturally makes. Natural steroids like cholesterol, progesterone and testosterone are produced in the body by in-which they interact with hormone receptor proteins to elicit a physiological response. These chemical compounds are produced by specialized cells in the body and are released into the circulatory system.

Steroids in short are a class of compounds that have a similar structure and bind to hormone receptors in the body.

 

ANABOLIC STEROIDS 

Anabolic steroids are synthetic (laboratory-made) derivatives that are chemically identical to natural hormones. Anabolic steroids bind to the androgen receptors in the body and promote the growth of muscle (anabolic effect) and male characteristics.

Anabolic steroids are sometimes referred to as androgenic anabolic steroids because they are man-made versions of testosterone, a male sex hormone that plays a role in the development and maintenance of male characteristics. Anabolic steroids are either by injection or orally that influences the body’s hormonal system to produce extra testosterone.

 

CORTICOSTEROIDS                                                                          

Corticosteroids are synthetic versions of steroid hormones naturally produced by adrenal glands and gonads.

Corticosteroids are man-made steroid hormone that works like the hormone cortisol which your adrenal glands make. Corticosteroids possess pronounced anti-inflammatory activity. Corticosteroids keep the immune system from making substances that cause inflammation. Corticosteroids like prednisone help reduce swelling (arthritis) and redness and suppress the way the overactive immune system works.

Corticosteroids include glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Glucocorticoids like cortisone regulate important aspects of metabolism and immune function and often use to treat rashes, asthma. Mineralocorticoids like vasopressin help maintain blood volume and control renal excretion of electrolytes.

 

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANABOLIC STEROIDS & CORTICOSTEROIDS

It is important that you do not confuse anabolic steroids with corticosteroids. Although both are synthetic versions of natural hormones, they serve different purposes. Anabolic steroids bind to the androgen receptors while corticosteroids bind to the glucocorticoid receptors.

As explained earlier, corticosteroids are commonly used to reduce pain and swelling or musculoskeletal problems caused by inflammation.

Anabolic steroids are used by athletes and bodybuilders for fast-paced muscle building. Testosterone is produced naturally by men and women in varying degrees but to get amplified effects of the anabolic hormone, and to get speedy results of muscle building, anabolic steroids are being misused.

 

HOW DO ANABOLIC STEROIDS WORK?

When you lift weights, you’ll create tiny micro-tears in muscle fibres. The body’s natural repair process repairs the tears and stimulates them to grow bigger. This repeated process of tearing and rebuilding will result in muscle growth. Natural testosterone will assist in the process of muscle building.

Anabolic-androgenic steroid once injected, travels through the bloodstream to the muscle tissue. It is drawn into the muscle cell’s androgen receptor to stimulate the process of protein synthesis that promote muscle tissue growth.

Anabolic steroids work by altering testosterone to prolong its effects, these steroids act on androgen receptors on certain cells like muscle cells increasing tissue production. Steroids can also block the effects of cortisol, a catabolic hormone. Anabolic steroids are also responsible for the development of male characteristics like deeper voice and facial hair.

 

WHY IS STEROID USAGE RISKY/UNSAFE?

Please pay special attention to the below-mentioned information.

Anabolic steroids are supposed to be used for certain medical conditions, but people use them illegally in some sports. Anabolic steroids are prescribed by doctors to men with low testosterone, and for those who lose muscle mass because of cancer, AIDS, and other health conditions.

Different variants and amounts of anabolic steroids can cause different reactions producing massive or unnatural physique.

 

  • Increased risk of joint-related injuries because the increase in muscle mass is not accompanied by a corresponding increase in the tendon, ligament.

  • Anxiety, aggression, decreased sperm production, rapid mood swings, irritation.

  • Excessive anabolic steroids can cause male testes to shrink, female menstrual cycle to go out of the track, weight gain, hair loss.

  • Can damage the immune system and may cause liver damage and even cancer.

  • Can lead to a dramatic increase in muscle mass (greater anabolism), organ damage, gynaecomastia (abnormal breast enlargement in men), shrinking of testicles, high blood pressure, not to reject, risk of bacterial and viral infections due to use of unsterile injections.

  • The worst part is anabolic steroids eventually limit the body’s natural capacity to produce the much-needed hormone and may eventually entail premature termination of skeletal and muscular growth.

 

SOME OF THE EXAMPLES OF ANABOLIC STEROIDS?

Androstenedione, Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (Turinabol), Metandienone (Dianabol), Methyltestosterone (Android), Nandrolone (Durabolin), Oxandrolone (Oxandrin), Oxymetholone (Anadrol), Stanozolol (Winstrol), DHEA, bambuterol, clenbuterol, tibolone.

 

IS THERE ANY PROHIBITION FOR STEROIDS?

The Indian government passed the Anabolic Steroid Act of 1990 to respond to the increasing levels of illicit traffic in steroids. The Act amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to apply penalties currently applicable to the distribution of anabolic steroids. Serious penalties are imposed for the manufacturer, distribution or nonmedically prescribed use of anabolic steroids.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established in 1999 to deal with the increasing doping in the sports world. Androgenic steroids fall under the banned category as per this Act.

Apart from this, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) monitors the doping control program in sports.

After having heard so much, you’d definitely want to know about protein supplements and their safety.

 

DO PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS CONTAIN STEROIDS?

Well, that’s a great question! Protein supplements are the concentrated macronutrient powder that support muscle growth, repair muscle tissue and synthesize muscle protein. Some of the brands used to illegally add steroids in their supplements decades ago. But now it’s all safe, yet there are a few suggestions I’d like to give you before considering a protein supplement.

1. As much as possible, go for the raw, unflavoured variety of protein supplement (Your intension should be to meet protein demand, you don’t need enzymes or flavours in it).

2. Check if the supplement is 3rd party lab-tested.

3. Read the label thoroughly before buying.

4. Check if the supplement you buy has been certified by NADA and WADA and includes a dope-free logo on it.

5. If the supplement says, lab-door certified, still good. Don’t have to think twice, simply go for it.     

                               

Beware!!! Anabolic steroids can cause serious side effects which could be irreversible…

Never look for shortcuts to muscle building, a steady pace will fetch you healthy results…

 

 Also read: Meal Replacement Vs Protein Shakes

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