Physiological Effects of Steroids and Steroid Abuse
Competition in sports is absolutely incredible. Some athletes go as far as using drugs illegally such as anabolic steroids, a synthetic derivative of the male hormone testosterone. However, major sports bodies like the Olympics, the NBA, the NFL, and the NHL ban the use of such substances. For this reason, it is helpful to know the physiological effects of steroids as well as negative consequences of steroid abuse.
In their experiment, Anttila et al. (2008) tested if testosterone can regulate the aerobic capacity of skeletal muscles by injecting mice with certain amounts of testosterone and then studying the levels of myoglobin, a protein that plays a role in supplying oxygen to mitochondria during exercise. They demonstrated that the myoglobin concentration in skeletal muscles is directly related to testosterone. Therefore, an increase in testosterone will allow for more muscular potential. In addition, Rogozkin (1979) conducted a similar investigation to identify the effects of anabolic steroids on protein synthesis in skeletal muscles. He discovered that they increase the number of fast-twitch muscle fibers and enhance protein synthesis, which increases the size of muscle fibers. This leads to more power and speed of muscle contraction, suggesting an improved performance in sports.
However, there are negative consequences of steroid abuse. Two studies found a correlation between steroid use and poor academic performance and low school attendance rates. Another investigation reported that steroid users tend to act more violently, behave aggressively, and commit crimes. Other research indicates a link between steroid use and various illegal drugs, drunk driving, not wearing a helmet or seatbelt when appropriate, sexually transmitted diseases, as well as other hazardous activities (Bahrke et al., 2000).
Although many experiments imply that anabolic steroids enhance athletic performance, several studies...
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