Johann de Jager
8 March 2011
Steroids : The Under Rated Miracle Drug
There are only three deaths per year due to the use of anabolic steroids, compared to tobacco at 438,000 deaths a year and alcohol reaching a total of 75 000 deaths. (cancer.com) Only one of these drugs are illegal. Would you of been able to of guessed which one? There has never been a long-term epidemiological study conducted in America on the use and abuse of steroids, and yet we all blindly follow whats been told to us. (The Center for Disease Control).
If you think about Steroids, what are the first couple of thoughts that pop into mind? The image of ‘roid raging body builders? Do you think of star athletes careers ruined by this drug? Or do you refrain from thinking of the image the media portray and think about all the countless lives steroids save everyday? Why do we only seem to hear about the abusive side? If Steroids abusing athletes are headline news, then why doesn’t a life, saved by steroids, also appear in the news. In this paper I am going to explain why there has been a shadow lurking over steroids. I will provide a short history on the use of the drug, followed by the all the possible beneficial uses this drug. By putting the use of Steroids into perspective I will change the perception people have.
The first experiments involving the isolation of gonadal steroids was conducted by Adolf Butenandt when he successfully purified a very small amount of Androstenone. He extracted the the compounds from thousands of liters of urine. It then became known that there are hormones in testes, and these hormones were more powerful than Androstenone. This discovery lead to scientists trying to isolate these powerful hormones. Switzerland , Netherlands and Nazi Germany all competed to put this discovery in to practical use. (Shore)
The first scientists who successfully completed the experiment were Dr. Ruzicka and Dr A. Wettstein. Their paper "On the Artificial Preparation of the Testicular Hormone Testosterone” won them a Noble Prize in 1939. (nobelprize.org) . The Soviet Union took research a step further and started testing the steroids on humans. It was not a coincidence that the Soviet Union athletes dominated during 1940’s. Russian weight lifters won numerous medals in the 1952 Olympics and embarrassed the USA team especially when it came down to endurance and strength. (Shore)
The competitiveness surrounding Olympic sport forced other countries to react, and as the old saying goes, “if you cant beat them, join them”. Dr. John Ziegler , the U.S team physician at the time, together with American scientists and synthetic chemists joined together to utilize the steroids in the same way the Russians have been. In true American fashion, Dr Ziegler didn’t try to emulate the Soviets but instead intended to improve the effects it had on athletes. He intended to do so by developing a steroid with less Androgenes. After strenuous testing and vigorous experimenting they came up with Dianabol. The new and improved steroid provided its users with an advantage that meticulous testing, and sport statistics clearly show. (Steroid.com)
This sparked a revolution as scientists and chemists a like tried to emulate the success Dr. Ziegler had with his record breaking athletes. This increased the number of products on the market, and soon effectivity combined with efficiency as consumption was made easy by mass producing suppliers. (Pietaro)
Over the course of the next couple of years countries continued to upstage one another, and Germany seemed to be benefitting the most while testing and experimenting in America took a turn for the worse as authorities tried to break down this revolution by conducting studies that did not justify the true potential of this drug. Despite the results showing no real improvements in performance, the use of the drug was...
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