Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), commonly called steroids or just roids include endogenous and artificial chemicals able to increase muscle and bone mass.
Anabolic steroid positive effects[edit | edit source]
- Muscle Growth
- Greater Strength and Endurance
- Faster fat burning (not in all Steroids)
- Deeper, more masculine voice
Other positive effects include: wider facial fat distribution, which gives the illusion of a wider FWHR. More aggressive personality. Being the first to cause a conflict instead of merely reacting. There is also some evidence that testosterone (in particular) can exert a "moderate" anti-depressive effect.
In what could be viewed as a positive or negative effect based on one's circumstances, a long enough usage of AAS also results in nearly complete infertility in most men. This is typically reversible after several months of ceasing AAS usage, though some men are more resilient to this effect (at least in the doses frequently used in clinical trials, which are far below what most recreational steroid users take) and require concomitant adminstration of progestins.
Anabolic steroid negative effects[edit | edit source]
Long or short term steroid side effects can include acne, hair loss, kidney disease, heart disease, mental disorders, high blood pressure, gyno (breast tissue growth), testosterone level lowering due to negative feedback on the gonads and concomitant shrinkage of the testicles (not the phallus). Furthermore most oral steroids are toxic for the liver, apart from oxandrolone (Anavar) which has been found to be only slightly liver toxic in moderate doses.
Side effect prevention[edit | edit source]
Anabolic steroid users commonly take finasteride to prevent hair loss (this will only work for androgens that are converted via 5-alpha reductase to DHT), sylimarine to prevent liver damage, aromatase inhibitors to prevent gynecomastia (breast tissue growth) during the cycle and SERMs (selective estrogen receptor modulators) to increase testosterone production after the cycle.
Some steroids such as trenbolone are not acted upon by the enzyme aromatase and therefore often do not require the administration of agents such as SERMs or Aromatase inhibitors to negate any potential estrogenic or progestational effects. However, if these substances are taken without aromatising steroids, this will result in low or non existent estrogen levels which can often lead to a number of highly unpleasant side effects.
HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) is also commonly used to restore/maintain reproductive ability before/after a steroid cycle, and prevent/reverse shrinkage of the gonads.
In case the testosterone user experiences acne as side effect, he may apply a retinoid on his skin (Retin Acid or Adapalene) or take Isotretinoin in the most severe cases.
Steroid usage among male population[edit | edit source]
According to an online survey on a sample of American online dating users, 36.4% of male users reporting using steroids, as opposed to only 3.8% of non online dating men who reported AAS use. This suggests that due to the highly competitive nature of online dating for men, men are being driven to increasingly extreme measures to improve their looks in order to compete. Steroid usage is very common in PSL community, because users often consider a lean muscular body a key to attract women
Anabolic vs androgenic steroids[edit | edit source]
The term anabolic refers to the so called "anabolic ratio" of the various androgenic substances. Substances that were developed for medical use were especially designed to have less androgenic activity on tissues such as the scalp, the prostrate, etc, and greater androgenic activity on the muscle cells. This was typically tested by injecting rodents with anabolic steroids and comparing the tissue growth in the levator ani muscle vs tissues such the seminal vesicles and comparing the growth of the various tissues to testosterone, the reference compound.
From this a ratio of anabolic/androgenic effects vs testosterone was derived for many androgens. However, this procedure has been criticized as lacking scientific rigor due to the dissimilarity between the supposed levator ani muscle targeted in rat studies vs the human counterpart to the muscle. Even so called 'anabolic steroids' can still exert strong androgenic effects (and therefore lead to the side effects associated with AAS use) in high enough doses or in those who are especially sensitive to their effects.
Non-steroid anabolic agents[edit | edit source]
Some substances like SARMs(selective androgen receptor modulators), Cardarine (a PPARδ receptor agonist, often incorrectly labelled a SARM) a research chemical that was abandoned by its manufacturer after experiments found that high doses of the substance are often carcinogenic in rats, Insulin, Clenbuterol and HGH (human growth hormone) also have anabolic effects like anabolic-androgenic steroids, but don't have a steroidal chemical structure. Clenbuterol, a bronchodilator originally developed to treat asthma, also can exhibit weak to moderate anabolic effects as well as having fat loss promoting properties.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]