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        Chapter 14
 Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids
    Androgenic-anabolic steroids
•   Androgenic-anabolic steroids are
    chemicals related to the male hormone
    –   They have:
        1. Muscle –building (anabolic) effects
        2. Masculinizing effects
    Steroids and Body Functions
•    Steroids affect body functions by:
    1. Overwhelming the system that regulates
       levels of testosterone including the testes,
       hypothalamus, and pituitary gland.
    2. Shut off production of gonadotropin-releasing
       factor (GRF), follicle stimulating hormone
       (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH).
    3. Shut off process of spermatogenesis.
           Anabolic Steroids
• In summary, anabolic steroids:
  – Block the normal process that regulates
    spermatogenesis, testosterone, and male
  – Exert peripheral hormone actions to increase
    muscle mass and produce a more masculine
  – Exert central effects that increase aggression.
           Steroids and Muscles
•    Steroids increase muscle mass by:
    1. Steroids enter the blood stream and pass through cell
       walls of target tissues.
    2. Attaches to steroid receptors in the cytoplasm of the
    3. The hormone-receptor complex moves into the
       nucleus of the cell, attaching to DNA.
    4. Genetic transcription occurs, producing RNA, a new
    5. RNA translation results in the production of specific
       new proteins that leave the cell and mediate the
       biological functions of the hormone.
    6. Increased protein synthesis = increased muscle mass.
• Withdrawal from anabolic steroids can be
  accompanied by psychological depression, fatigue,
  restlessness, insomnia, loss of appetite, and
  decreased libido, however no defined withdrawal
  syndrome has been described, although depression
  is commonplace.
• Similar to all psychoactive drugs, treatment of
  steroid dependence requires abstaining from the
  drug, treating withdrawal symptoms, and
  maintaining drug abstinence.
• The two most frequent users of steroids are teenage and
  young adult males and competitive athletes.
   – Similarities
      • Both use the drug to gain more muscle strength and
        a more powerful, muscular appearance.
   – Differences
      • Competitive athletes often choose to terminate drug
        use when competition ends, but nonathlete youths
        may continue to take steroids in order to maintain
        the cosmetic effect.
• Anticatabolic effects
  – Anabolic steroids block the action of natural
    cortisone, which normally functions to increase
    energy stores during periods of stress and
    training. Also the major mechanism by which
    these drugs increase body mass.
• Anabolic effects
  – Follow both the synthesis of new protein in
    muscle cells and steroid-induced release of
    endogenous growth hormone. The increased
    protein synthesis increases muscle mass and
    strength and produces a more masculine
• Motivational effects
  – Athletes taking steroids often develop very
    aggressive personalities, “roid rage,” serving
    the purpose of enhancing combativeness.
                Side Effects
• Endocrine effects
  – Males experience a hypogonadal state
    characterized by atrophy of the testicles,
    impaired production of sperm, and infertility,
    causing reduced libido and impotence.
                   Side Effects
•    Cardiovascular effects
    Increased risk of coronary artery disease due to:
       a. Reduction in serum HDL cholesterol (“good”
       B. Elevation in LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
       C. a + b = greater risk of developing atheromatous
          plaques within arteries
                Side Effects
• Effects on the liver
  – Increased risk of liver diseases (i.e. jaundice
    and tumors).
    Summary of Side Effects
1. Cardiovascular – increase in cardiac risk factors.
2. Hepatic effects associated with oral compounds –
    liver tumors.
3. Reproductive system:
   – Males – infertility, testicular atrophy
   – Females – Altered menstruation
4. Endocrine effects – decreased thyroid function.
5. Musculoskeletal – increased risk of tendon tears
6. Cosmetic:
   – Males – accelerated male pattern baldness, acne,
       testicular atrophy
   – Females – Increased facial/body hair, deepened
           Psychological Effects
•    Psychological effects associated with the use of
     steroids include:
    1. Risk of habituation
    2. Severe mood swings
    3. Aggressive tendencies
       –   Aggression
       –   Competitiveness
       –   Combativeness
    4. Psychotic episodes - Large doses may produce
       marked signs of mania and or aggression
    5. Depression
    6. Reports of suicide
• The misuse of these substances may be
  prevented by education. Education is
  needed because steroids produce a desirable
  outer appearance often associated with good
  health, therefore many people may not
  know about the adverse and damaging
  effects of the drug.

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