Anabolic steroids increase protein synthesis within cells, which results in the buildup of cellular tissue (anabolism), especially in muscles. They also have androgenic and virilizing properties, including the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics such as the growth of the vocal cords and body hair.
Anabolic steroids were first isolated, identified and synthesized in the 1930s, and are now used therapeutically in medicine to stimulate bone growth and appetite, induce male puberty, and treat chronic wasting conditions, such as cancer and AIDS. Anabolic steroids also produce increases in muscle mass and physical strength, and are consequently used in sport and bodybuilding to enhance strength or physique.
But steroids can cause serious health problems. Many changes take place inside the body and may not be noticed until it is too late. Some of the effects will go away when steroid use stops, but some may not.
It is important to note that many anabolic steroids proliferating in the market are not regulated by government regulatory agencies and are not held to the same strict standards as drugs. Also, the use of steroids is banned by the International Olympic Committee and legitimate sports organizations.
Although both creatine and androstenedione occur naturally in foods, there are serious concerns about the long-term effects of using them as supplements. These products may be unsafe. Remember, there is no replacement for a healthy diet, proper training and practice.
Success in sports takes talent, skill and most of all, practice and hard work. Using steroids is a form of cheating and interferes with fair competition. More importantly, they are dangerous to health. There are also many healthy ways to increase strength or improve appearance.
--- PHOTO: The Incredible Hulk in all his glory in a scene from the movie trailer.