Anabolic steroids are natural and synthetic steroid hormones, which enhance the cell growth and division, resulting in the growth of many types of the tissues, particularly the muscle and bone. Anabolic Steroids are also known as anabolic-androgenic steroids. Anabolic Steroids, also known as anabolic-androgenic steroids, are the synthetic derivatives of the naturally occurring male anabolic hormone testosterone. Different anabolic steroids have different combinations of the androgenic and anabolic properties. ‘Anabolism’ is the metabolic process of building the larger molecules from the smaller ones. The words anabolic and androgenic are originated from the Greek – anabolic, means ‘to build’ and androgenic, meaning ‘masculinizing’. Anabolic steroids were first discovered in the early 1930s. These have been used for the various medical purposes including the stimulation of the bone growth, muscle growth, appetite and puberty. Anabolic steroids are widely used for the chronic wasting conditions such as AIDS and cancer. These can generate certain physiological effects including the increase in the protein synthesis, muscle mass, appetite, strength, and bone growth. In spite of their positive side, when these are taken in excessive amounts, these result in many side effects such as high cholesterol level – rise in LDL, fall in HDL levels, increased blood pressure, hepatotoxicity and alterations in the left ventricle morphology. Testosterone and di-hydrotestosterone are the physiological effects of the anabolic steroids. If it is taken during the time of pregnancy, then it can affect the development of the fetus. The maintenance of the muscle and bone mass in the adulthood including the stimulation of the puberty growth spurts, including the hair growth, sebaceous gland oil production, and sexuality, are also affected by the intake of excessive amounts. Anabolic steroids are androgenic and generate the androgenic effects in the human body. Androgens stimulate the myogenesis that is the muscular tissue’s formation. The androgens also cause the hypertrophy of the both types of the muscle fibers. Various types of the anabolic steroids bind to the androgen receptor for varying degree depending on their chemical structure.
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