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Today, almost everyone at the word “steroids” immediately thinks about anabolic steroids, known to amateurs under the name “anabolics”. At the same time, it is often forgotten that steroids are the common name of a whole group of various steroid hormones. Among them: adrenal cortex hormones (gluco – and mineral corticoids), female sex hormones (estrogens and gestagens), as well as male sex hormones (androgens). In this article we will focus exclusively on the latter – androgens. Henceforth, when the word “steroids” will have in mind anabolic-androgenic steroids.
Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids is a synthetic education obtained, similar in some of its qualities to the natural male hormone androgen-testosterone. The main reason for their development was the intention to create a drug that would have high anabolic qualities of testosterone, but at the same time excluding its strong androgenic capabilities.
“Was applied great efforts to create a pure anabolic with no androgenic impurities “side effects” (Sahakian, 1976; Kruskemper, 1965).”
To realize this idea, huge changes have been made to the steroid molecule. The newly created steroids differ at that time either in an understated anabolic androgenic function, or have increased efficiency with respect to both qualities. Some steroids have received such structural changes, which have led to even higher androgenicity and understated anabolic activity. This explains the differences in the action, effectiveness, side effects of existing steroids. The creation of a pure anabolic, where the anabolic and androgenic qualities of the steroid would be completely separated, failed. Therefore, the so-called anabolic steroid (anabolic) has a certain proportion of androgenic effects, and Vice versa, androgenic steroid (androgen) has anabolic qualities.
And so you think that to quickly gain strength and build muscle it is better to use an anabolic steroid with minimal androgenicity. Nothing like this, because the name “anabolic steroid” does not tell you anything about the power of anabolic action, it is known only that the anabolic-androgenic ratio of the original testosterone – ancestor is shifted here. To determine this ratio and (determine) the steroid as an anabolic or androgen, testosterone is used as a parameter. And so, steroids, in which androgenic qualities are reduced, are defined as” anabolic steroids”, and those where androgenic qualities are higher – “androgenic steroids”. What’s wrong? That reduction in androgenic activity of the drug invariably entails reduced and its anabolic qualities, and therefore the anabolic androgenous less than the original testosterone, but at the same time and has a lower anabolic qualities. When reading the following chapters, the reader will understand that the so-called “mass steroids” come exclusively from the group of androgenic steroids, where, along with enhanced androgenic qualities, very strong anabolic ones are observed.
“… the best androgen, or rather testosterone, is the most important anabolic for a man.”
Before the athlete there is a dilemma that to choose since androgenic steroids are not only strong concerning their anabolic qualities, but also unfortunately, possess a large number of side effects. From this it follows: the more effective the steroid, the more androgenic it is, and therefore more dangerous for the body.
Therefore, we should not agree with the opinion often heard today everywhere that anabolic steroids cause persistent irreversible damage to those taking them. This is partly true and androgen steroids are responsible for most side effects.
The General opinion: “Steroids destroy the liver” is absurd, because all steroids are different.
The first anabolic-androgenic steroids officially entered the trade in the early 50s And within a decade sold a large part of today’s drugs were on the market. Since recently there was only a small number of new drugs, these above are only relatively called old. Of course, some changes have been made over the years, especially with regard to the steroid sector of the drug. Many drugs are withdrawn from trade, some originated in other countries under a different name and re-sold, in the 80’s added a few new.
Steroids are still considered to be the most effective means to improve athletic performance.
Back in the 50s, they firmly won their place in the world of sports. A significant role in the emergence of the relationship between steroids and sports played the introduction of Dianabol (oral steroid) which was created by the team doctor, American weightlifters Dr. John Ziegler, in his joint work with the pharmaceutical company C1BA in 1956. This drug and its followers found their place in the late 50’s, first among weightlifters, then widely spread in all other sports areas. Then lightning spread in the 60-70-ies contributed to the movement “Воdybulding”. Increasingly, they began using devushki. In 1974, the International Olympic Committee adopted decisions on the introduction of anabolics in General the list of performance enhancing drugs.
“The Olympic games of 1976 in Montreal was the first, where we had a control on the use of anabolic steroids”.
Today there is an unprecedented proliferation of these drugs, says in his book “the records with the help of doping?” Melvin H. Williams:” Anabolic steroids are a group of drugs that are like an epidemic in sports.” It is estimated that more than a million Americans take anabolic steroids, including athletes and athletes of all age groups, from professionals to teenagers (schoolchildren).
“One of the reasons for the growing use of anabolic-androgenic steroids is the growing popularity of bodybuilding. It’s quite clear that bodybuilding is in close connection with the spread of steroids. Their consumption is in direct proportion to the growing love of bodybuilding. When the 70s came to the arena of bodybuilding, steroids have become more popular. In the 80s, when this sport became even more widespread, it happened with steroids. At the end of this decade, when bodybuilding became popular in universities, it touched and steroids.”
And while we admire the muscles of the human body, while the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids has nothing to oppose from natural drugs, it is impossible to achieve the refusal of athletes from taking these pharmaceuticals. The popularity of Clenbuterol shows that It helps athletes reach their goal faster. And if HGH were on sale at reasonable prices, they would be as widespread as steroids.
And yet steroids are not a miracle drug, because its effectiveness depends on such factors as training, nutrition, mood, genetic predisposition of each individual athlete. The decisive factor is the last of these, showing how much the athlete corresponds to a particular steroid genetics.
The Mode of Action of Steroids
The physiology of anabolic-androgenic steroids is a complex topic. An accurate description of all biochemical processes occurring in the human body when taking steroids is impossible. Nevertheless, we would like to give the reader a General overview of these processes, as some of their knowledge and understanding are essential. Since the athlete is always interested in the exclusively stimulating qualities of steroids, we want to talk in this article mainly about their impact on the muscle cell.
Steroids are either administered intramuscularly or taken orally. When injected, the substance enters directly into the blood, in the form of a tablet goes through the gastrointestinal tract to the liver, where either completely or partially destroyed, or enters the blood in its original state. The accepted steroid enters the blood in the form of numerous steroid molecules that move through the bloodstream throughout the body. Each steroid molecule carries information that it has to transmit to certain cell bodies. The cells provided for this purpose have different types of receptors on their outer membrane. One of them is a steroid receptor, which is found in large quantities in muscle cells. Steroid receptors and steroid molecules are the same size and shape: fit together like a key to a lock. The steroid receptor takes a steroid molecule, passing by all other types of molecules. The same happens with other types of receptors that do not perceive steroid molecules, because they are intended only for “their” molecules. When the steroid receptor and steroid molecule are combined into a complex, the molecule is capable of transmitting information to the muscle cell. It should be noted that most steroid molecules are in the blood in a bound state, forming compounds with proteins: sex hormone binding globulin. This means that 98% of the steroid molecules in the blood are bound and only 1-2% are free. The latter just refer to steroid molecules capable of forming a steroid-receptor complex. The bound steroid molecules are the passive part, because. in this state, they will not accept the muscle cell. For the sake of accuracy, let’s say that this percentage fluctuates.
The formed steroid-receptor complex goes to the cell nucleus, where it binds to specific segments on the segments of nucleic acids DNA (discriminationby acids). This is followed by transcription, i.e. DNA is imprinted. The resulting ribonucleic acid leaves the cell nucleus and in the cytoplasm joins the RNA located here, where by means of translation there is an increase in protein synthesis. In combination with intensive anabolic training with weight lifting, this leads to a transverse increase in muscle cells (muscle hypertrophy). Enhanced protein synthesis is seen as the main effect of steroids on the muscle cell, while steroid molecules carry other important information for athletes. Much speaks in favor of the fact that steroids also have a strong anti-catabolic effect. Thanks to them, the percentage of protein that breaks down in the muscle cell is reduced. In addition, steroid molecules block cortisol receptors located on the muscle cell membrane. And produced by the body cortisol, a strong catabolic hormone, loses its ability and the muscle cell does not lose protein.
Another advantage of steroids is that they increase the synthesis of creatine phosphate (CP) in the muscle cell. CP plays a crucial role in the recovery of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a prerequisite for all muscle movements, because it is a combustible material necessary for the cell to perform the work. ATP accumulates in the muscle cell and, if necessary, turns into adenosine diphosphate. This process releases the energy that allows the muscle cell to function. CP is also required for the reverse ADP process in the APR. The more it is, the faster is the recovery and the more ATP is available to the muscle cell. In practice, this means that the muscle becomes stronger, but not more. Anyone who has ever used the steroid “Anavar”, knows that this drug affects mainly on muscle strength. The fact is that it causes increased CP synthesis in the muscle cell. Another factor that is useful to athletes is that steroids accumulate carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in the muscle cell. This process goes along with the increased accumulation of fluid, which together with increased muscle volume entails and improved muscle endurance, as well as an increased surge of strength. Steroids reduce the production of endogenous insulin, because the muscle cell can absorb nutrients (carbohydrates in the form of glycogen and protein in the form of amino acids) with their intake in less dependence on insulin. This gives athletes the opportunity to reduce the percentage of fat and improve muscle hardness. insulin, along with its quality as a potent anabolic hormone, converts glucose into glycerol and ultimately into triglyceride, which leads to the growth of fat cells.
Who has ever tried steroids, knows that during training in the muscles involved clearly observed “pump effect“, which professionals call “steroid pump” . The fact that steroids increase blood volume and the number of red blood cells in the human body. The muscles become more solid look. Along with these benefits, increased blood flow to the muscle cell increases the delivery of nutrients to it. Androgen steroids such as Dianabol, Testosterone and, above all, Anadrol provide a significantly high blood volume, which is partly reflected in the strong, even painful effect of the pump during training. Associated with this phenomenon of increased supply of oxygen to the body is often used by runners at medium and short distances. After the steroid-receptor complex has fulfilled its duty in the nucleus of the cell, the steroid molecule returns to the bloodstream and either for a while again becomes suitable for the above function, or turns into an inactive molecule and eventually excreted from the body through urine. Not all steroid molecules in the blood immediately connect to the sex hormone binding globulin or are in a free, active state. Some of them are immediately used by the body in the process of metabolism and excreted from it. Another part can be converted by the body into female sex hormones-estrogens. This phenomenon is called aromatization and seems at first glance something unthinkable. But, if we consider the structure of the male sex hormone testosterone and female Estradiol closer, striking is that they are very similar. The body easily copes with the task (development) of the necessary structural changes in the molecule by means of enzymes. Some steroid molecules are converted, like individual endogenous and exogenous parts of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DNT). It has a greater chemical affinity with muscle cell receptors than testosterone itself, and therefore some experts believe that dihydrotestosterone – a more effective hormone in comparison with both male and female sex hormones, at the same time it has a high binding potential for receptors (thyroid) of the sebaceous glands and their hair follicles. It is interesting that he can’t turn into estrogen. Eventually, all these molecules are excreted from the body with urine after a while.
We are aware that when reading this article one or another question is not cut off for you and that not all of you became immediately clear and understandable because of the heap of complex information. And yet the athlete should be given a certain look at the processes taking place in the human body when taking steroids in order to understand the different qualities and types of effects of the drugs described below.