Sample research paper about steroids

Steroids and Misconceptions

Drugs generally referred to ‘steroids’ can be categorized as corticosteroids and anabolic. Corticosteroids are drugs that doctors usually prescribe for controlling inflammation in the human body. They are mostly used to help specific conditions like lupus and asthma. They are not similar to the anabolic steroids that attract a huge media attention because of their usage by some bodybuilders and athletes. Anabolic steroids referred to as synthetic hormones have the ability to boost the human body’s capability in producing muscles and preventing their breakdown. (Roberts 221-234)

Some athletes use steroids with the hope of improving their capability to hit farther, run faster, lift extra weight, jump relatively higher and have more stamina or patience. In most of the countries, including United States, the usage of anabolic steroids without doctor’s prescription is against law. Androstenedione is a type of anabolic steroid that is used by athletes who wish to build their muscles. However, it is a misconception, as research suggests, that Androstenedione, if taken in large quantity or doses every day, can increase testosterone level significantly, ultimately leading to different health problems. Steroids usage can cause the liver to develop tumor or increase chances of heart attacks ultimately shortening the life. Steroids can cause hair loss and affect user’s reproductive organs. Moreover abusers of steroids can become more violent and angry, aggressive in behavior. (Burns)

A specific research made in this regard hypothesized that Testosterone supplementation in male induces fiber hypertrophy of muscle. (Sinha-Hikim, Indrani, Roth, Lee and Bhasin) Testosterone, directs the human body to enhance or produce male features like facial hair growth, increase muscle power and deepening of the voice. It is a significant element of male development in the phase of puberty. When the testosterone level is increased by anabolic steroids in the blood, they rouse muscle tissue in the human body to grow stronger and larger. However, the overall effects of excess testosterone circulating in the human body can be harmful and dangerous over time.

Other misconception about steroids includes a general opinion that steroids, in fact, do not effect growth of human body. Adolescents and teenagers who abuse anabolic steroids are exposed to a risk, throughout their lives, of remaining short and not reaching the natural body height. It is pertinent to highlight a false impression that only specific persons use steroids. In fact, there are many types of people who use, rather abuse steroids. For instance some teenagers abusing steroids fear of not being noticed by their colleges or coaches and persons sensitive of their performance or appearance abuse steroids for the sake of their self-esteem. (

How Do Steroids Work?

Anabolic steroids impact the metabolism in each and every cell, in some cells producing complications such as changed lipid metabolism specifically in the liver, while in other cells producing required adaptation, for instance increase in muscle size. Training or exercise along with proper nutrition is needed to build large muscles and ensure that fats do not increase in large amount. Steroids are taken in pill form or through injection. They stimulate specific proteins which are involved in the building of muscle tissue. The side effects of steroids, without a proper medication or doctor’s prescription, are; cancer; liver tumors; jaundice; fluid retention; high blood pressure; increased risk of heart attack; kidney tumors; and severe acne. (DrugAbuse.Gov 2005)

Anabolic steroids specifically assist athletes by facilitating endeavors to gain extra strength and also produce muscle mass for more muscular endurance, speed and power. For instance, Barry Bonds, a Major League Baseball outfielder started using steroids just after 1998, according to media reports. Although Bonds categorically denied such allegations but reports asserted that Bonds added 15p of solid muscle and increased his weight from 210 to 225 pounds. (Kroichick)

Male hormones like testosterone are primarily responsible for certain developmental changes that take place in the body of men through adolescence. Steroids possess both anabolic and androgenic properties. Some of the androgenic impacts include significant changes in sexual characteristics like; hair growth; shrinking of testicles; loss of hair on scalp; growth of hair on the face as well as body; and increased aggressiveness. (Willey, 176-178)

Steroids are Dangerous

Anabolic steroids which are not prescribed by a doctor or a licensed physician can also be described as steroid abuse. While using steroids, lawfully and as per doctor’s instructions, is not dangerous, its abuse is dangerous and could lead to different health dilemmas, some of which may have permanent ramifications. The abuse of steroids is dangerous due to two basic reasons; first it is illegal; second it can damage the health of persons particularly if taken in large doses. Moreover, health problems that are caused due to abuse of steroids may not surface for a long period after their usage.

Even though, steroids might support in the process of muscle building, they produce significant side effects. Using of steroids over a long period of time can impact the reproductive system negatively. In males, abuse of steroids can also result in impotence and even reduced size of testicles. Females abusing steroids are also exposed to grave dangers. They may have certain difficulties with menstrual cycles as steroids can upset the maturation as well as release of eggs from ovaries. Such disruption may result eventually in problems related to fertility over time. The illegal dose of anabolic steroids is ten to hundred times higher as compared with the dose prescribed by a doctor for medical problems. (Poore)

Apart from health problems, there are other dangers of abusing or unlawfully using steroids. Usage of steroids without prescription is, in fact, breaking the law. Drug testing has become more common and prevalent for all athletes. The failure of a drug test by an athlete may have legal consequences including monetary fines, jail time, forfeiture of medals or trophies or exclusion from team or an event. For example many players in baseball have been named as abusers of steroids, their reputations negatively affected. However, the fight against abuse of steroids, especially among athletes, is the responsibility of every stakeholder. (Wilson, Schmidt)

Steroids can cause fusion and advancements of the epiphysis. As there is increase in the androgen levels, it leads to advancement of bone age. Growth is ultimately finished when bone plates are entirely fused. Most of the times, users of anabolic steroid do not have proper access to adequate amount of sterile and clean needles, or do not follow proper injection protocol, the dangers of contracting HIV or Hepatitis significantly increases. There is also a danger of hair loss due to abuse of steroids. Anabolic steroids can also convert to variations of Dihydrotestosterone, a standard reason of early hair loss.

Steroids can also increase the process of male baldness specifically in predisposed users. Because the natural testosterone of human body is not required when anabolic steroids are used, the body halts generating its own testosterone supply which results in testicles shrinking. Abuse of steroids can result in the significant rise of blood pressure due to their overall ability to increase red blood cell count. The steroids users are more exposed to ‘Roid Rage’ or increased aggression. Evidence suggests that abuse of anabolic steroids significantly increase aggressive and violent behavior among some users.

Works Cited

Burns, Jim. “Steroids: Worth the Risk?” Campus Life’s Ignite Your Faith November/December

2005. Retrieved 02 Nov. 2008 from <>.

Indrani, Stephen M. Roth, Martin I. Lee and Shalender Bhasin, Sinha-Hikim. “Testosterone-

Induced Muscle Hypertrophy is Associated with an increase in Satellite Cell Number in Healthy, Young Men. Bethesda: American Physiological Society, 2005. Retrieved

02 Nov. 2008 from <>.

Kroichick, Ron. “Book Traces Bond’s Steroids use to McGwire-Sosa Hh Race.”

San Francisco Chronicle 7 Mach 2006. Retrieved 02 Nov. 2008 from


Poore, Ralph. “Anabolic Steroid Abuse.” Health Magazine Vital Information with a Human

Touch 16 July 2007. Retrieved 2 Nov. 2008 from


Roberts, Anthony. “Anabolic Steroids: Ultimate Research Guide.”Anabolic Books, LLC. 2006

p. 221-234

Willey, Warren. “Better Than Steroids.”Trafford Publishing; Ist edition. 2007, p.176-178

Wilson, Duff. Schmidt, Michael. “Steroid Report Cites’ Collective Failure.” The New York

Times 14 Dec. 2007. 02 Nov. 2008 from


“Steroid Myths-Fact or Fiction.” 2007. Retrieved 02 Nov. 2008 from


“What are Anabolic Steroids?”DrugAbuse.Gov 2005. Retrieved 02 Nov. 2008 from


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