Anabolic steroids provide benefits to athletes, weight trainers and to other people but they have continually raised questions wherein the answers are yet to be found. So what are steroids, anyway? Steroids are considered to be a huge group of chemicals wherein the head group is cholesterol. The structure of steroids is composed of the basic four-ring carbon structure but the difference lies in the attachment in the carbon number 17. Human bodies can store cholesterol and make large amounts of it.
There are various types of anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids are an example of a steroid which are anti-inflammatory agents and they break tissue down. They are drugs based on naturally-occurring hormones and are often a very significant part of lymphoma treatment. However, there are certain types of steroids known as anabolic steroids, which are produced synthetically. These resemble the structure and form of testosterone. Naturally produced testosterone can be found in men, primarily produced by the Leydig cells of the testes. In women, the adrenal glands are the primary source of testosterone.
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The production of testosterone in women, however, is relatively less in amount as compared to the male. The steroids have many functions in our body. This is why doctors have prescribed steroids to their patients to help them overcome or manage certain diseases. Anabolic steroids are the ones that athletes and sports men and women are fond of taking because it increases muscle strength as well as enhances the body processes. However, it is known to have side effects. Testosterone has both anabolic and androgenic characteristics. Anabolic signifies tissue build-up and muscle growth. Androgenic depicts masculine emphasis like the deepening of the voice in males as well as the growth of body hair.
Often steroids are taken orally and usually have short-term effects. However, as time goes by, drug companies and scientists have continued to adapt anabolic steroids to fit patients needs. Some steroids are injected by intramuscular injection, commonly in the buttocks, and are said to last longer than those taken orally. Furthermore, these anabolic steroids are also chemically modified and made to inhibit rapid breakdown by the liver which results in enhanced metabolism and improved utilization. Orally ingested steroids were modified by the addition of a side chain for it to withstand inactivation of the first pass in the liver. However, these modifications are said to cause harsh effects in the liver. Injected steroids are gradually absorbed in the blood stream without the first pass in the liver.
In addition, the liver goes through a lower concentration than with oral anabolic steroids. Because of this, doctors prefer injections rather than oral. Most of these injectable steroids undergo esterification to slow down the liver’s breakdown. Anabolic steroids are common to athletes. They use steroids to optimize and improve their muscle strength and performance. Anabolic steroids are also good for the therapy of certain diseases like anemias and a rare form of edema. Testosterone supplementations have been found to be a means of male contraception. Steroids have many good uses, however, there are downsides to them, too so it’s important to seek medical advice prior to taking any course of steroids.