Muscle Strengthening Effects Of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids In Resistance Trained Athletes And Non Athletes

1222 words - 5 pages

Anabolic-androgenic steroids are a synthetic compound which are structurally related to the male sex hormone, testosterone (Amsterdam et al.,2010, Thiblin and Petersson, 2004). Testosterone has two effects on the human body; first it helps in the development and maintenance of secondary male sexual characteristics and, secondly, it promotes muscle growth. All anabolic-androgenic steroids are derivatives of testosterone and have both anabolic and androgenic properties; which is why the use of the term anabolic-androgenic steroids is more appropriate than anabolic steroids (Kuhn, 2002). All anabolic-androgenic steroids have a varying amount of anabolic and androgenic properties (Kuhn, 2002). Testosterone acts in three ways; first, it binds to androgen receptors to allow activity; second, it reduces 5 alpha in some tissues; and third, it can be turned into estradiol and act like estrogen (Kuhn, 2002). The last two are unwanted effects in anabolic drugs because they decrease the ratio of anabolic/androgenic actively (Kuhn, 2002). Many anabolic-androgenic steroids are manufactured so that they increase anabolic activities and decrease the estrogen mimicking activity (Kuhn, 2002).
Anabolic-androgenic steroids are used by male and female athletes to increase their muscle strength and athletic performance (Amsterdam et al.,2010). Body builders also use anabolic anabolic-androgenic steroids to increase their strength as well as to increase muscle growth and size in order to win competitions (Amsterdam et al.,2010). Other than professional athletes who use anabolic-androgenic steroids alongside vigorous resistance training regimes, to improve strength and muscle growth it has been found that many males not involved in professional sports or body building also use anabolic-androgenic steroids to increase their strength and skeletal muscle mass. However, their aim is not to increase physical performance but rather to increase their physical attractiveness (Amsterdam et al.,2010, Cohen et al., 2007).
The majority of the literature concludes that the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids does lead to increased muscle mass; however, region of muscle growth and amount of growth varies (Harthens and Kuipers, 2004). The increase of muscle mass with the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids is well understood (Harthens and Kuipers, 2004). This muscle mass increase is caused by muscle hypertrophy and the formation of new muscle fibers, as well as the increase in muscle nuclei (Harthens and Kuipers, 2004, Kadi et al., 1999). The formation of these new muscle fibers is due to enhancement and incorporation of satellite cells into pre-existing muscle fibers along with the expression of androgen receptors (Harthens and Kuipers, 2004). Like muscle mass growth much research has been done on the impact of the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids have on strength (Harthens and Kuipers, 2004). The overall consensus is that the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids enhances the...

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