What causes the risks of taking steroids?

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I understand that anabolic steroids are a synthetic modification of testosterone, the natural body hormone. My question is, are the risks of taking steroids caused by defects in synthesizing the hormone or is it because of how the human body works to counteract the effects of adding more testosterone to it? Back in high school, one of my buddies said "Steroids will eventually be legal, it's just a matter of time before they perfect it" which made me wonder what actually causes the certain risks.
 

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  • #2
.Scott
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My question is, are the risks of taking steroids caused by defects in synthesizing the hormone or is it because of how the human body works to counteract the effects of adding more testosterone to it? Back in high school, one of my buddies said "Steroids will eventually be legal, it's just a matter of time before they perfect it" which made me wonder what actually causes the certain risks.
Here is a better source of data:
https://www.drugabuse.gov/publicati...se/what-are-health-consequences-steroid-abuse


Steroid abuse has been associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart attacks and strokes, even in athletes younger than 30. Steroids contribute to the development of CVD, partly by changing the levels of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol in the blood. Steroids, particularly oral steroids, increase the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and decrease the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). High LDL and low HDL levels increase the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty substances are deposited inside arteries and disrupt blood flow. If blood is prevented from reaching the heart, the result can be a heart attack. If blood is prevented from reaching the brain, the result can be a stroke.

Steroids also increase the risk that blood clots will form in blood vessels, potentially disrupting blood flow and damaging the heart muscle so that it does not pump blood effectively.
 
  • #3
jim mcnamara
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To answer your posted question:
1. hormones have profound effects on your biochemistry and subsequently on your behavior and physical health. Lifelong effects.
2. the things you are talking about are anabolic androgenic steroids - there are more; not just testosterone. So, no it is not due to "bad" or problematic testosterone, it is because your body did not evolve to deal with these steroids, most especially at the doses people think they require to get into professional sports. Or whatever the motivation. Hormones have incredible effects at unbelievably small doses. Take some of them that you do not need and all kinds of bad things and some good things as well. If you view abnormal strength and musculature as good. They effect moods bigtime.

For example, check out Vitamin D, which is actually a steroid hormone. And people think it is a "good guy". 400 IU of Vit D is actually 10mcg; that is 10 millionths of a gram. This is a speck of stuff so small you could never see it with the naked eye. You would need a microscope. Guess what? This is the recommended amount for babies. 15mcg (600 IU) of Vit D is the RDA for most adults. You cannot see that speck either. Too much Vit D causes nasty problems.

Whoever you talked with on this subject is full of misinformation. @.Scott link is a good one.
 
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Interesting, I was taught that exercising regularly has great benefits such as decreasing LDL and then to find out that taking steroids actually increases it. I wasn’t informed by anyone about steroids, just surfing the web for quick articles. When I was in high-school, we covered the risks of taking anabolic steroids but never went in deeper than that. Nothing about why the risks came to be. Thank you for the link and the information!
 
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For example, check out Vitamin D, which is actually a steroid hormone. And people think it is a "good guy". 400 IU of Vit D is actually 10mcg; that is 10 millionths of a gram. This is a speck of stuff so small you could never see it with the naked eye. You would need a microscope. Guess what? This is the recommended amount for babies. 15mcg (600 IU) of Vit D is the RDA for most adults. You cannot see that speck either. Too much Vit D causes nasty problems.

If that’s the case, what’s your opinion on multivitamin tablets? I just looked at a bottle of multivitamins that I have (‘Opti-Men’). It says 3 tablets a day is one serving, and one serving contains 37.5 mcg of Vitamin D.
 
  • #6
jim mcnamara
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I do not want to go through a lot and confuse things. People have this concept: if one of thing is good for you, then two is better.... on up to some larger number.

This was first shown to me with the use of pesticides. People routinely over-concentrated mix-it-yourself pesticides. Manufacturers got tired of having problems so they supply many of them already diluted down correctly.

So what do you suppose vitamin peddlers do? There are limits defined by the pill labeling standards listed below, a UL - upper limit, before toxicity is exhibited.

https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/dailyvalues.aspx BTW this is for pill pushers, so there is simply a stated CFR reference, which you have get on your own. The ODS site has this information formatted for consumers. Just look around, e.g., copper, vitamin C, zinc.

Guess what the pill pushers do? Extreme example: You can buy 1000mg pills of Vit C. Does that mean it is better for you? No. Here is why, the homey version( no biochemistry):

The intestinal linings present a barrier to a lot of things in your gut that would be bad floating around in your blood. So your gut has molecules that transfer the good usable stuff out into the blood stream. Out there are transport molecules, like lipoproteins, that are a custom fit for a group of molecules. They act like taxi cabs with a set destination. When you take a vitamin pill, you swamp the transport systems, the molecules come out of the gut, wander around aimlessly in blood plasma. No transport is available. A stranger in a strange land. The water soluble vitamins and some minerals are simply dumped into your urine by the ever vigilant kidneys. Oil soluble nutrient excesses, like Vit D, accumulate in the fat and liver, providing you with a source to draw on if you run low. Or providing you with potential problems if you get too much over a long period of time. Excess D can alter calcium metabolism causing, among other things: hypervitaminosis D -> altered (increased) blood calcium levels -> kidney damage ->high blood pressure. ...As one example.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-...xpert-answers/vitamin-d-toxicity/faq-20058108
 
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  • #7
As it was said above, the reasons for steroid side-effects are many. First and most obvious would be the quantity. You need very little of any hormone to cause a significant physiological response (micrograms to miligrams per day/week). Most recreational users will use above 10 times higher doses than what would be enough for supraphysiological response. That alone puts your body in the "overdrive" in terms of all the processes regulated by androgens (testosterone).
Now add to that that some artificial steroids (trienolone, oxandrolone, stanozolol, methasteron etc.) have way stronger binding affinities to androgen receptors than testosterone. This means that even in super small doses they can be more "effective" than a gram of testosterone. Please note that an average human male produces between 30 and 80mg of testosterone per week!
So a 300mg of pure testosterone per week is 3-10 times the average production. 300mg of trienolone will produce even stronger response (since it has one of the strongest binding affinities to androgen receptor; being stronger are only it's methylated variants methyl and dimethyltrienolone which are also exceedingly liver toxic due to methylation)
But in a world of bodybuilding 300mg is considered a "puny dose" that will get you nowhere. In athletics that is usually a way to go for short periods of time (in off season).
While in scientific studies the highest doses humans were exposed to were 600mg of testosterone enanthate per week up to 6 weeks (that is at least highest that I know of). The results were remarkable in terms of muscle gain and strength gain.
However, most recreational users use way more and way stronger compounds (usually mixed together) for much longer times.

Second issue is that synthetic steroids produce metabolites that can be harmful to liver and kidneys. Trienolone at certain doses will cause your urine to darken - after you've gotten insomnia, acne, started sweating constantly and your libido is either nonexistent or is so high that it's too distracting and even frustrating (some people report lower patience and anger management issues on this notorious compound). Methasteron will cause jaundice after 6-8 weeks of using 20-40mg/day (or at least significant liver damage). Oxandrolone will not cause many issues with internal organs. At least not immediately. But it will skyrocket your blood pressure and make your lipid profile look really bad at doses higher that 50mg/day (for longer that 4-6 weeks) but at doses of 2.5-5mg per day it has great therapeutic use (HIV patients, burn victims, muscle atrophy victims etc.). Please note that most of what I am saying here in this paragraph is anecdotal evidence based on what various steroid users have recorded on the internet and shared within various online communities.

So combine the fact that high doses and problematic metabolites along with regular prolonged use will cause damage to a human body. Sometimes it will be reversible, sometimes it will not. Some people are more susceptible to it, some are not.

And will steroids ever be perfected? No...
Because the underlying issue is this: You can't use 10-100 times above the physiologial dose of anything for months and expect it to go without issues. Increase your water intake by 10-100 times (that will mean that you'll have to drink around 20 liters of water per day)... see where that gets an average human body? Increase vitamin intake, increase anything by that amount for prolonged time and you'll see issues, sometimes even issues with deadly outcome.
Of course, some substances are better tolerated than others, but that just means the issues with overuse will turn out a bit later or might not be deadly or permanent immediately.

Steroids are useful and have their place in science and medicine. Some argue they can even be "safely (ab)used" (what "safely" means here is very vague and for some individuals that means not getting jaundice and kidney failure for others it means avoiding any blood lipid profile and blood pressure changes as well as avoiding any psychological or internal issues during the steroid cycle and off the steroid cycle - so in the light of that I will end this with that no matter how "safe" a certain steroid is, an individual can hardly safely use it outside the proper medical supervision.)

I could talk about psychological changes as well. But that might be a bit too much :)
And it would only explain why most people who start (ab)using steroid never really stop.



 
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As it was said above, the reasons for steroid side-effects are many. First and most obvious would be the quantity. You need very little of any hormone to cause a significant physiological response (micrograms to miligrams per day/week). Most recreational users will use above 10 times higher doses than what would be enough for supraphysiological response. That alone puts your body in the "overdrive" in terms of all the processes regulated by androgens (testosterone).
Now add to that that some artificial steroids (trienolone, oxandrolone, stanozolol, methasteron etc.) have way stronger binding affinities to androgen receptors than testosterone. This means that even in super small doses they can be more "effective" than a gram of testosterone. Please note that an average human male produces between 30 and 80mg of testosterone per week!
So a 300mg of pure testosterone per week is 3-10 times the average production. 300mg of trienolone will produce even stronger response (since it has one of the strongest binding affinities to androgen receptor; being stronger are only it's methylated variants methyl and dimethyltrienolone which are also exceedingly liver toxic due to methylation)
But in a world of bodybuilding 300mg is considered a "puny dose" that will get you nowhere. In athletics that is usually a way to go for short periods of time (in off season).
While in scientific studies the highest doses humans were exposed to were 600mg of testosterone enanthate per week up to 6 weeks (that is at least highest that I know of). The results were remarkable in terms of muscle gain and strength gain.
However, most recreational users use way more and way stronger compounds (usually mixed together) for much longer times.

Second issue is that synthetic steroids produce metabolites that can be harmful to liver and kidneys. Trienolone at certain doses will cause your urine to darken - after you've gotten insomnia, acne, started sweating constantly and your libido is either nonexistent or is so high that it's too distracting and even frustrating (some people report lower patience and anger management issues on this notorious compound). Methasteron will cause jaundice after 6-8 weeks of using 20-40mg/day (or at least significant liver damage). Oxandrolone will not cause many issues with internal organs. At least not immediately. But it will skyrocket your blood pressure and make your lipid profile look really bad at doses higher that 50mg/day (for longer that 4-6 weeks) but at doses of 2.5-5mg per day it has great therapeutic use (HIV patients, burn victims, muscle atrophy victims etc.). Please note that most of what I am saying here in this paragraph is anecdotal evidence based on what various steroid users have recorded on the internet and shared within various online communities.

So combine the fact that high doses and problematic metabolites along with regular prolonged use will cause damage to a human body. Sometimes it will be reversible, sometimes it will not. Some people are more susceptible to it, some are not.

And will steroids ever be perfected? No...
Because the underlying issue is this: You can't use 10-100 times above the physiologial dose of anything for months and expect it to go without issues. Increase your water intake by 10-100 times (that will mean that you'll have to drink around 20 liters of water per day)... see where that gets an average human body? Increase vitamin intake, increase anything by that amount for prolonged time and you'll see issues, sometimes even issues with deadly outcome.
Of course, some substances are better tolerated than others, but that just means the issues with overuse will turn out a bit later or might not be deadly or permanent immediately.

Steroids are useful and have their place in science and medicine. Some argue they can even be "safely (ab)used" (what "safely" means here is very vague and for some individuals that means not getting jaundice and kidney failure for others it means avoiding any blood lipid profile and blood pressure changes as well as avoiding any psychological or internal issues during the steroid cycle and off the steroid cycle - so in the light of that I will end this with that no matter how "safe" a certain steroid is, an individual can hardly safely use it outside the proper medical supervision.)

I could talk about psychological changes as well. But that might be a bit too much :)
And it would only explain why most people who start (ab)using steroid never really stop.




I appreciate the time you took to post this, this is very informative!
 
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