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How To Recognise Misuse Of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids
- May 11, 2018 -


How To Recognise Misuse Of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids


Anabolic steroids, or more accurately, anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), are derivatives of testosterone, which have different properties.

The anabolic effects of testosterone and AAS promote protein and collagen synthesis, and increase muscle size and bone metabolism. Androgenic effects are most evident in the adolescent male and elicit the onset of secondary male characteristics in hair pattern growth, sebaceous gland activity and maturation of sperm and libido.

Testosterone exerts its androgenic effect via the androgen receptor in target tissue. It may be reduced to 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone, which binds more avidly to the androgen receptor than testosterone. It may also be aromatised to estradiol, causing water retention, breast tissue growth and body fat deposition.

AAS that are more anabolic bind more weakly to the androgen receptor, but all AAS are virilising if used for long enough at high enough doses.1

The use of AAS is not confined to bodybuilders or high-level athletes; it has spread to casual fitness enthusiasts who wish to improve their strength or appearance. AAS have limited legitimate use in the UK - their main clinical use is in the treatment of male hypogonadism.