Anabolic steroids are steroidal androgens
Anabolic steroids, also known more properly as anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), are steroidal androgens that include natural androgens like testosterone as well as synthetic androgens that are structurally related and have similar effects to testosterone
They are anabolic and increase protein within cells, especially in skeletal muscles, and also have varying degrees of androgenic and virilizing effects, including induction of the development and maintenance of masculine secondary sexual characteristics such as the growth of the vocal cords and body hair. The word anabolic, referring to anabolism, comes from the Greek anabole, that which is thrown up, mound. They are one of three types of sex hormone agonists, the others being estrogens like estradiol and progestogens like progesterone.
AAS were synthesized in the 1930s, and are now used therapeutically in medicine to stimulate muscle growth and appetite, induce male puberty and treat chronic wasting conditions, such as cancer and AIDS. The American College of Sports Medicine acknowledges that AAS, in the presence of adequate diet, can contribute to increases in body weight, often as lean mass increases and that the gains in muscular strength achieved through high-intensity exercise and proper diet can be additionally increased by the use of AAS in some individuals.
Health risks can be produced by long-term use or excessive doses of AAS. These effects include harmful changes in cholesterol levels (increased low-density lipoprotein and decreased high-density lipoprotein), acne, high blood pressure, liver damage (mainly with most oral AAS), and dangerous changes in the structure of the left ventricle of the heart. Conditions pertaining to hormonal imbalances such as gynecomastia and testicular size reduction may also be caused by AAS.
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