The Price Of Success Essay

1629 words - 7 pages

“At age 18, John Doe was a senior in high school bench-pressing 300 pounds. His abilities were backed by countless hours of training in the gym throughout his tenure in high school. John then went on to college and continued his strength-training regimen for his four years spent there. During that time, he raised his benching ability from 300 pounds to 420 pounds. Many athletes would be thrilled to get even 200 pounds let alone 420, but John wanted to test his capabilities and kept going. John began a cycle of anabolic steroids after graduating from college. He again raised his bench-press a significant amount, now up to 500, but this time it only took him four months” (Planet Muscle). So why isn’t everyone taking these drugs and walking around looking like Mr. or Mrs. Olympia? Anabolic steroids are like a catalyst for physical and athletic development; they won’t make a non-athlete a Hall-of-Famer, but rather decrease the amount of time muscular development takes. Additionally, the detrimental side effects caused by anabolic steroids are often enough to scare potential users away. Many users, though, have asserted that the claimed detrimental side effects are grossly exaggerated. Even though there are arguments about the negative side effects of steroids, there is no concrete evidence that abuse will ultimately have harmful effects.
The first steroid was discovered in 1931 by German chemist Adolf Butenandt. Butenandt was able to isolate androstenone from thousands of litres of urine collected over time. Three years later, Leopold Ruzicka was able to synthetically produce androstenone. In the 1937, scientists conducted the first trials on humans for anabolic steroids, most infamously in Nazi concentration camps leading up to World War II. Finally, the news of steroids and their effects on performance reached the public when Strength and Health magazine published an article in 1938. Shortly after during1940s and 1950s, clinical testing on humans was the primary focus. Then in 1958, the FDA approved Dianabol, commonly known as D-Bol, for use in the United States. These findings in the mid-twentieth century would go on to completely change the nature of all athletic competition, as well as aid in the recovery of major injuries and illnesses.
According to Wikipedia, “Anabolic steroids are drugs that mimic the effects of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone in the body.” Testosterone is a naturally produced hormone that provides masculine characteristics such as body hair, a deep voice, muscle definition, and the production of sperm cells. The basic structure of a steroid is a chain of seventeen carbon atoms that are arranged into four rings. The angles and sizes of the rings are unique in different steroids. Anabolic steroids are unlike other hormone-based drugs in that the molecules are fat-soluble and can penetrate the cell membrane for direct effects to the cell. This fast means of absorption and consequent effects on the cell are one of the...

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