Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Testes to Testy: A Look at Anabolic Steroids

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Testes to Testy: A Look at Anabolic Steroids

Article excerpt

Today, the word, "steroid" connotes ideas of illegal activity, toxic self-destruction, and testosterone-fueled competition. The frenzied power and eruptible behavior exercised by people on steroids has not always been the primary focus, nor was this aggressive combination the intention for the first incidents of chemically synthesized testosterone usage. In the 19th century, scientific and biological interests piqued during the investigation into what features were truly demonstrative of male identity. It is speculated that the question posed was, "What really made a man a man?" To find answers, scientists isolated the testes of various male birds and erroneously hypothesized that displacing these organs in their abdomens or other locations throughout the body would affect the male sexual reproductive system.

Their findings suggested that the anabolic functions of testoserone could serve many purposes including prolonged and elevated states of physical and mental prowess. To be anabolic means to take simple substances and make them more complex. Testosterone is not harmful discretely, but when compounded with synthetic matter, the hormones take on a life of their own. These discoveries were invaluable to scientists who undertook the synthesization of testosterone, which later produced an extract that would come to be known as the first anabolic steroid. To trace the history of steroids from the initial intended usages to its modem appeal requires a look at the historical, physiological, and cultural aspects of these controversial hormones.

As a synthetic derivative of testosterone, steriods' multifaceted effects have both legitimate and illegal subtexts. Because the steroids in question are known to be anabolic, they refer to complex substances made from simpler ones as opposed to catabolic substances that are broken down from their complex origins. Natural anabolism, taking place in all humans, activates cell growth and promotes overall muscle and bone enhancement by way of protein creation and other systematic swelling agents cued by cell division. Unnaturally generated anabolism imparted by illegal steroid use tends to give way to a host of unwanted effects often overlooked by exiting or potential steroid users. Participating in the process of anabolism, steroidal use of testosterone synthesizes simple compounds into more complex ones. Our naturally processed tesosterone is essentially drowning in extraneous amounts of its own kind at the receptor site when steroids are injected, thereby causing extremely hazardous side effects and the likelihood of an overdose.

A choice to engage in illegal steroid use translates to a choice in sabotaging the natural testosterone mechanics in one's body. Anabolic steroids not only affect growth, baldness, impotence, and susceptibility to disease, but the desired outcomes of usage may derail from hyperactivity muscle and bone strength to out of control fits of aggression and hostility. Most steroid users do so to maximize body weight regimens and increase muscle development, but the long-term and side effects of habitual use can prove to be addictive and deadly. Steroids have been known to cause erratic behavior that matches sociopathic tendencies as both mind and body are affected by hormone injections of this magnitude. Using steroids in cycles is a common tactic, which throws the state of the user's mental and physical systems into a chaotic world of highs and lows. Because steroids target the hormone receptors responsible for increased and rapid physical activity, their potency can be alarming and addictive. Enter the illegalization of anabolic steroids.

While the isolation of testosterone was initially done in the early twentieth century to better understand the physiological mechanisms of change in male sexual development, the anabolistic tendencies of steroidal use, such as the directed enhancement of both sexual and physical endurance, was not considered until chemically synthetic compounds were pulled into the experiment. …

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