A little history
Steroidal anabolic agents have been known for over 40 years, since the 50’s were chemically synthesized derivatives of the male sex hormone testosterone. Initially, they were used exclusively for medical purposes, when required additional stimulation of anabolic processes in the human body. However, very soon, these features steroids interested athletes. The era of steroid use anabolic agents in sports practice. To date, it created a number of anabolic steroids, there were more than one hundred items. They are all derivatives of testosterone and its related substances, and have its properties. State of the problem according to the doping control laboratory VNIIFK, competitions school, about 50% of the competitors from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Tula, Smolensk regions used manage anabolic steroids, cocaine, amphetamines and other drugs. In response to this depressing statistic, as well as in connection with a variety of the most crazy rumors on the problem of anabolic steroids, the editors consider the need to publish truthful information about anabolichesih steroids, precluding any speculation and delusion. Education on the subject should be as accessible to everyone, in one way or another involved in sports.
What are steroids
Anabolic steroids – is a class of pharmaceutical products that in their chemical structure and pharmacological effect similar to testosterone, as its derivatives. They enhance the processes of nucleic acid synthesis, protein in the cells, various enzymes and, thereby, affect almost all types of metabolism in the body. This eventually leads to increase in body mass due to the enhanced growth of muscle tissue, adipose tissue reduction percentage and the increase in physical performance: power-speed and endurance. There are two effects of testosterone action: androgenic and anabolic.
Androgenic effect (maskulizatsiya) manifests itself in the development of male secondary sexual characteristics – height and body structure – narrow hips, broad shoulders, masculine facial features, lower body fat, hair growth on the face, low voice, typical of male libido, aggressiveness in behavior and et al. The anabolic effect is primarily due to increased growth of muscle tissue. Speaking of anabolic steroids with a clear emphasis on the first word, mean, firstly, the desirability of this particular effect, and, secondly, as it were, in contrast to the term “androgenic” emphasize that the steroid by changing the molecular testosterone structures attempt strengthen the function of the impact on the growth of tissues and inhibit the function of the gain of the secondary sexual characteristics.
It should be noted that the drugs, which would fully meet these requirements, yet failed to create, and almost all anabolic steroids have androgenic activity. Natural testosterone molecule artificially modified to impart the properties more slowly absorbed by the body for the rollover anabolic effect. It is known that if you take a dose of pure testosterone, the result of natural metabolic processes it will be taken quickly by the liver, unable to exert any significant effect on muscle tissue and other processes, for example, providing stamina increase when performing physical work.
In order to achieve an anabolic effect the drug should “stay” in the body several times to pass through the blood system before it is removed from the body. This attempt to achieve by weighting molecules administration of additional steroid chemical structure radicals (a number of chemical compounds), the use of different dosage forms anabolic drugs. From most of the dosage form (tablet, capsule, an oil solution for intramuscular injection, rectal suppository, etc.) Depend on the duration and strength of the drug effect and toxicity.
Once in the bloodstream, manage anabolic steroids are associated with transport proteins and in the combined form are spread to all the organs. All steroids are poorly soluble in water and well in lipids (fats). Therefore, they accumulate in the lipid structure of cell membranes and other fat depots, from which they can be involved for a long time into the bloodstream. This effect and the intended dosage form of anabolic steroids in oily solutions. Consequently, if the steroid drugs used in oil solutions, they will have properties much more prolonged exposure to the organism. Enteral (via the gastrointestinal tract) and parenteral (bypassing the gastrointestinal tract) administration of different in that in the first case, the drug “pass” through the liver, and is exposed to its transforming enzymes that neutralize the action of steroids while in the second case will be able to get around these systems, while the steroid will not make a “second revolution” of the circulatory system and does not meet with these systems transformation. In the liver, anabolic steroids undergo chemical modifications and related compounds as are excreted in the urine. At this stage, they may find experts doping control services. You should know that steroid tablets are quite toxic to the liver.
Steroids are intended for administration by injection, usually less toxic. In humans possess anabolic effect as growth hormone (STH – STH) and gonadotropin – pituitary hormones. The first of them acting directly on tissues and organs, the second enhances synthesis of endogenous testosterone in the body. Both are prohibited for use in sport MK IOC.
As steroids act
The mechanism of action of steroids at the cellular level is very complicated, however, if general, schematic representation of the process should be. Once in the blood, the steroid molecules spread throughout the body, where they react to the cells of the skeletal muscles, sebaceous glands, hair follicles, certain areas of the brain and some endocrine glands. Selective accumulation of anabolic steroids and testosterone in the body due to the presence in the cells of the so-called “target organs” – the specific molecular structures of protein nature, which are called receptors. These intracellular receptors for testosterone, firstly, different from other steroid receptors (estrogen, progestins, corticosteroids, and others) and, secondly, interacting with both anabolic steroid compounds related to testosterone. In a related form of the steroid-receptor complex is transported through the cytoplasm to the nucleus, where it interacts with proteins. The result is a stimulation of the synthesis of nucleic acid species and “runs” the process of formation of new protein molecules. These novel molecules within the cell or used by or released from the cells and carried by blood (immunoglobulins, fibrinogen, blood transport proteins, and others).
Another important aspect is the anabolic effect of manage anabolic steroids on the structure and permeability of cell membranes and subcellular components. As a result, cells and subcellular structures actively fed nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, macro- and trace elements, oxygen, glucose, fatty acids and many other molecules that are essential for physiological flow of all metabolic processes. Anabolic steroids stimulate the synthesis of creatine phosphate and ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which are the major cell energy suppliers working muscle. ATP is directly involved in the functioning of the contractile protein of muscle cells. Without it, there is no movement, speed and power.
Also creatine phosphate and ATP, there are other substances operating energy functions, to which are active anabolic steroids. It glycogen and lipids (fats). Thus, anabolic steroids stimulate the synthesis of new cells, boost energy production in the body. This explains why anabolic steroids allow longer and more intensive training, as well as increase the strength of the athletes even without significant weight gain. It should be noted that this function is enhanced cellular respiration and oxygen-transport function of blood, as the total number of erythrocytes and blood and increases. Anabolic steroids reduce the formation of thrombi in the microvasculature and reduced coagulability of blood, which is essential for the improvement of microcirculation under intensive physical work. In the last decade, scientists has been found that during intensive physical work accumulated in the body free radicals which have a deleterious effect on biological membranes, energy metabolism, and many other functions that facilitate exercise. They are the factors limiting athletic performance. Reduction of the amount of binding and preventing their negative effect leads to normalization of vital cells and restoring force and speed. Virtually all of anabolic steroids have such properties by providing antioxidant effects in humans. This fact has been known for over 20 years, but the fact that it is directly related to the sport, it has become apparent recently. A number of researchers believe that anabolic steroids reduces the breakdown of muscle fibers caused by intense workouts. This assumes a possible restriction of the activity of cortisol – a catabolic hormone human. There is a view that steroids help reduce the amount of the catabolic hormone entering into muscle tissue. The decrease in cortisol increases the effects of anabolic steroids, with all the ensuing consequences. Steroidal Anabolic also act on cells and organs other than muscle, as they have a universal effect in humans. However, any effects of steroids, other than the above-mentioned positive, it is considered undesirable side reactions.
the effectiveness of steroids
The molecules of some steroids can stay active for a few weeks, as other molecules in the body to quickly mutate, becoming inefficient form after a couple of days after eating. Some steroids have significantly greater efficacy than others. What determines and what determines the effectiveness of anabolic steroids? If the answer very briefly, it all depends on the following factors: the specificity of the steroid; the individual characteristics of the organism a particular person; circuit steroids; the availability of sufficient amounts of amino acids and energy for synthesis of a new protein in the cell (full problem, including specialized nutrition athlete); level of physical activity while taking drugs because of their lack of volume will adversely affect the effectiveness of the drug (the problem of the correct selection of mode and exercise intensity). Not all steroids have the same chemical structure, which determines the rate of conversion of the drug in the liver to biologically inactive compound and its excretion from the body and respectively have different degrees of influence on the human body. In general, the formulations having the largest anabolic effect, promote the growth of muscle tissue to the greatest extent. Traditionally, for example, it is believed that drugs such as Anavar, Winstrol® Primobalan and steroids are highly anabolic effects on the body. Even stronger effect have Anadrol®, Dianabol and testosterone. In medicine anabolic activity of a drug is defined with respect to the testosterone anabolic activity, which is assumed conventionally for 1. Similarly expressed androgenic steroid activity relative to androgenic activity of testosterone. The ratio of the anabolic activity of the androgen called anabolic index. Hence it becomes clear that the most valuable is the drug that has the greatest anabolic index (AI), as an indicator of the maximum prevalence of the anabolic activity of the androgen.
In the table given below (for Yu. B. Bulanovu) is anabolic and androgenic activity of various preparations according to different authors, which is used as a standard testosterone. As we have said, another important factor in the effectiveness of manage anabolic steroids are the individual characteristics of a particular user’s body.
Some athletes have extremely high sensitivity biotransformed individual systems as well as a large number of receptor molecules which enter into interaction with the steroid and initiating a complex biological effect. This provides a compound of receptors with a much larger amount of free molecules, which in turn dramatically enhances anabolic effect. This explains the well-known fact that some weightlifters, taking small doses of steroids, continuously increasing productivity. Among the athletes, there are individuals with a small number of receptor molecules in muscle cells, in this regard, for they are effective in only the most potent steroids in high dosages. Very often, these users are taking large doses of a mixture of different steroids without visible effect.
Manage Anabolic Steroids
As regards schemes use of anabolic steroids, the foreign authors describe, at least several modes of administration of anabolic steroids in the body athletes who, in their opinion, cause maximal effects with minimal side effects: o method “coupling,” involves the simultaneous application of several anabolic steroids (oral and injection) to increase the effect of each other; o phenomenon “plateau” involves the use of anabolic steroids in the case where the already used drugs do not give the desired growth of muscle mass and strength; method o “fast switching” from one to the other steroid that allows effective action following preparation after previous closure of influence; method o “narrowing” is slow (4-6 weeks) decrease the dosage of steroids after long-term course of reception to reduce side effects and a return to the original state; o method “shot firing” allows the use of many drugs in small doses in the hope that one of them will complement the action of another. But whatever may be the regimen of steroids, we should not forget the rather intensive special training, and the corresponding high-grade high-protein diet. And if an athlete taking steroids, but not enough trains, powered somehow, then no one should not expect an anabolic effect. The effect here would be extremely negative, associated with toxic effects on the body and, above all – on the liver. This truth is especially useful to remember the young people, especially those who love not regularly and a lot of training and is calculated primarily on the wonders of “chemistry.”
There are other reasons for unequal actions of anabolic steroids and their effectiveness on different individuals, which we’ll cover in future articles of this column. Based on all the above may be mentioned the following positive effects from the use of anabolic steroids: increased power as a result of adequate nutrition and exercise by increasing the number of contractile fibers in muscle cells; reducing the amount of fat by increasing the respiratory rate, influence the metabolism, food and exercise; increase endurance by increasing the numbers of mitochondria and increase in oxygen consumption; improve blood circulation to the muscles associated with the acceleration of blood flow in the microvasculature; prevention of disintegration of the muscle fibers induced by intensive training; reconstitution after traumas and surgeries depending upon the increased protein synthesis and influences the metabolism. However, there is another side to the coin. Steroid anabolics is known to cause a number of side effects, you should know those who are going to recommend them or apply on yourself. Only carefully studied the negative side of the use of steroids, each athlete will be able to take for themselves the only correct decision.
The issue of negative side effects of anabolic steroids are considered by us to the next issue.