Anabolic Steroids Essay 2

Topics: Anabolic steroid, Testosterone, Androgen Pages: 7 (2538 words) Published: February 25, 2011

Anabolic Steroid Invasion On the Youth of America
Michael G. Kennedy, Jr.
American Military University

Throughout history, man has been developing performance enhancing drugs to promote the wellness and physical characteristics of the human body. Steroids have been a hot topic on performance enhancing for many years and now, with the onslaught of professional athletes standing accused of using steroids, this steroid topic has emerged on the fore front of main stream sporting news. How exactly do steroids work in the body? Why are more and more young people abusing steroids? And what exactly are the disadvantages to both men and women that use steroids for performance enhancement? These areas and others will be covered in this essay.

Anabolic Steroid Invasion On the Youth of America
Nazi soldiers from Germany in the 1930's, Soviet Union Olympic athletes in the 1950's, and even up to today, professional athletes in the United States, have all been linked to steroid use. Scientific experiments and studies with steroids have been around since the mid 1800's, when a professor of medicine at Gottingen, Germany, by the name of Arnold A. Berthold, elected to use six roosters in an experiment involving the removal and transplantation of the testes. This experiment reinforced the centuries old idea that castration of the male results in the loss of the secondary male sex characteristics (ie. deepening of the voice, aggressive behavior), as well as the male's fertility. In fact, as noted by Kochakian (1990), Berthold deduced that since the transplanted testis were no longer connected to the body through its nerve connections, then it must produce something else that is secreted into the blood and transported to the body's tissues to regulate their growth and maintenance. It wasn't until the 1930's that a group of scientists discovered testosterone, the hormone produced by the testes, that they believed was the catalyst for these changes, and then later chemically synthesized the compound (Kochakian, 1990). Thus, anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) were identified and then later became a supplemental performance enhancer for those that needed to gain weight and improve their individual physiological capacity. Even with all the known disadvantages and health concerns surrounding the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids, their use is still widespread and common. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, steroids are illegally used by over three million Americans today (McCallum, 2008). So, what changes do steroids create in the human body and why do these changes promote such widespread use amongst soldiers, athletes, body builders, and even young adolescents in today's society?

To truly understand the reason behind the widespread use of anabolic steroids, one must first understand the physiological changes that influence the body as a result of this anabolic steroid use. Anabolic steroids have to major effects on the human body. The first effect, the anabolic effect, is responsible for the growth, muscular development, and the masculine shape of the male. Anabolic means to build up or to increase in size. The second effect, the androgenic effect, actually stimulates the development of the male secondary characteristics, such as deepening of the voice, aggressive behavior, and hirsutism, the symptom of increased hair growth. Anabolic steroids work by stimulating an anabolic effect by binding onto protein cells and helps increase muscle size and strength. This increase in protein synthesis results in the buildup of cellular tissue, primarily in the muscle. Once the steroid enters the body, either orally or intravenously, the body begins a process to utilize the steroid. If administered orally, the absorption phase of this process is much more complex and take longer for the drug to get into the bloodstream. The drug must first pass through the metabolism process and then enter...
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