Steroids are biological compounds which are usually derived from a sex hormone ? testosterone. They are commonly consumed by the bodybuilders and sportsmen to gain in muscles and body strength. These compounds have the effects of two natural producing hormones, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, which have several physiological effects on human body.
These substances were first isolated in 1930s by a German Chemist. With passage of time, a number of experiments were made to produce more powerful substances. Today, there are more than 100 forms of steroids used for several purposes. They are commonly available in oral form, but one can purchase them in the form of injection and cream as well. These compounds have several medical and non-medical uses.
Medicinal Functions of Steroids
Steroids are recommended, by expert physicians, in treatment of numerous medical conditions, hence their medicinal uses have increased extensively. These compounds are an effective medication to treat the diseases like cancer, AIDS and lung ailments. Patients of hormonal dysfunctions, asthma, and some heart diseases can also be benefited by these drugs. Steroids have anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties, and help to balance the level of body’s immune system, manage the inflammation and swelling symptoms. Additionally, they assist to regulate the metabolism and control blood electrolyte levels.
Non-Medicinal Functions of Steroids
Steroids, commonly a form of testosterone, are partially responsible for developmental changes, especially among the teens. They have anabolic and androgenic effects. Androgenic effects are related to the changes in primary and secondary sexual characteristics such as enlargement of tests, change in voice, and growth of body hairs. On other hand, anabolic effects of these drugs include enhanced neural conduction, accelerated growth of bones and muscles, and increment in red blood cells.
Stimulating the receptor molecules in cells, steroids activate the specific genes to generate and use the protein in such a way that augments the quantity of red blood cells, and develop the muscle mass. Taking simply, steroids promote the cell growth and division, that results in rapid growth of muscle tissues and bone sizes. If used in an appropriate amount, these drugs can provide dramatic gain of 20 to 30 pounds in weight, just in a short span 3 to 4 weeks. Steroids have some anti-catabolic effects as well, which include the prevention of muscle catabolism that may accompany with intense exercise training. It is therefore recommended to use these substances under the supervision of an expert physician.
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