Use of anabolic steroids in body building

Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of the male hormone testosterone; their use produces outcomes mimicking those of the male sex hormones dihydrotestosterone and testosterone (Monaghan 5). Anabolic steroids have been around for a long time, and their use is rampant among body builders, as it is among many athletes in strength-power events. The objectives of bodybuilding are to cause muscle hypertrophy as much as possible, to balance the muscular development of the body into a symmetrical whole, and to produce as much vascularity as possible. Use of anabolic steroids causes a positive nitrogen balance in the cell, which facilitates the addition of muscle mass. The paper will review information on anabolic steroids, their impacts, pros and cons of their use in body building.

Anabolic steroids work by enhancing the rate of protein synthesis within the cells thus causing an anabolic increase of cellular tissue, particularly in muscles. Since they are derivatives of male sex hormones, they also produce androgenic and virilizing effects on the user such as the development of secondary sexual characteristics, masculinity, increased growth of hair on the body and development the vocal cords (Yesalis 140, 232). Anabolic steroids also work reducing muscle catabolism through inhibition of the effects of the hormones cortisol and glucocorticoids (Yesalis 161-162). When used in body building, they by increasing the basal metabolic rate (BMR) and stimulating the differentiation of adipocytes into muscle cells thus decreasing fat cells. Anabolic steroids can be administered orally, through injections or trans-dermal route by use of skin patches. In bodybuilding, the most common method of use is through oral administration of steroid pills (Monaghan 26).

The use of Anabolic steroids in competitive body building is banned by the various rules and policies governing the sport; this is because it gives those using them a competitive advantage over the nonusers. However, surveys indicate that 79% of bodybuilders using anabolic steroids were noncompetitive (Monaghan, 28). Further, it is reported that considerable use of anabolic steroids exists amongst teenagers and high-school students particularly by those engaging in competitive sports; it has been estimated that the use in United States may be as high as 2.7% among students in high-school. (Yesalis 176-178). In terms of frequency and prevalence, the use is more rampant in male students as compared to female students. Go to legal, social and medical issues associated with use of anabolic steroids in body building.

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