Sample research paper about steroids
Drugs generally referred to as ‘steroids’ can be categorized as anabolic and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are drugs prescribed by the doctors to help managing inflammation in the human body and mostly used in conditions such as lupus and asthma. They are, in fact, not similar to the anabolic steroids which receive a high degree of media attention as they are used by some bodybuilders and athletes. Anabolic steroids can boost the ability of body to prevent breakdown of muscle and increase muscle growth. (Llewellyn, 2007)
To understand steroids and how they work in the body, it is pertinent to define the concept of Anabolic steroids. Anabolic means building up, as contrary to catabolic which means breaking down. The term ‘Anabolic steroids’ is related to synthesizing or manufacturing derivatives specifically of the male hormone, testosterone. There are two major functions of testosterone on the body, the androgenic and anabolic effect. The anabolic effect is mainly responsible for muscular development, growth and the adult male’s masculine body contour. The androgenic impact provokes the growth of the male secondary features after puberty, resulting in the growth of pubic hair, beard, voice change and development of penis.
Anabolic steroids basically work by arousing the anabolic effect either by binding or plugging into the cells that ultimately help in generating new proteins specifically in the cells. This enhanced biological activity is known as an enhancement in Ribonucleic Acid Activity. The creation of new proteins ultimately results in increasing muscle strength and size. The steroids increase or stimulate this particular biological process by connecting to the receptor sties.
Steroids can also increase retention of nitrogen which is also a biological activity. Nitrogen is present in proteins where it performs building tissues. The users of steroids experience a constructive nitrogen balance which is a preferred condition where ingestion of nitrogen from protein is much more than excretion of nitrogen.
Anabolic steroids are particular drugs similar with the chemical structure of the human body’s sex hormone ‘testosterone’, made naturally within body. Testosterone ultimately directs the body to enhance or produce male features discussed above. When the level of testosterone is increased by the anabolic steroids in blood, they result in stimulating muscle tissue to grow stronger and larger. However, the impact of excess testosterone circulating in the human body can be much harmful in the long run. (Willey, 2007)
There is no concrete evidence that exclusive high steroids doses can result in muscle growth through a specific chemical effect. In most of the animal species, the much higher quantity of anabolic steroids produces no significant muscle growth as a normal dose would. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that steroids increase muscle growth provided they are taken with scrupulous physical training and also an increased protein diet.
Once a person takes drug, it is processed in the body including four major processes; absorption; distribution; metabolism; and excretion. In ‘Absorption’, drugs are generally administered orally or intravenously. In case, drugs are processed orally, then absorption is more complex as compared to the scenario when administered intravenously. The ‘Distribution’ process involves the drug transportation all the way through blood stream. ‘Metabolism’ can be described as the chemical change created by the drug in the body. The main place where this change occurs is the liver where most of the people face problems by using steroids. ‘Excretion’ is the removal of drug from the person’s body. (Willey, 2007)
Anabolic steroids are, in fact, more toxic to the liver where they are excreted and metabolized. It is firmly believed that the side effects resulting from usage of steroids are actually dose related. Most of the body builders take high steroids than they actually need to view the desired results. However, it is not necessary to take four tablets when only one is effective.
The major risk associated with the steroids is a serious damage to liver. As is the case, the liver is more amazing and versatile organ in the body. Almost three pints of blood, in every minute, pass through liver. At one particular time, about ten percent of entire blood in the body is found in the liver. Liver stores, glycogen, copper, sugar, vitamin A, some B vitamins and also vitamin D. (Willey, 2007)
In case a liver is not working properly, the human body can face high complexities. When steroids are taken orally, they should be detoxified by liver via metabolism process already discussed. The liver then has to work much harder for abolishing toxins or poisonous substances produced by steroids. Resultantly, inflammation or hepatitis of the liver can take place. Hepatitis can lead directly to cirrhosis of the liver, a state of progressive scarring. Cirrhosis is a severe disease that kills all cells in the liver, ultimately resulting in liver failure. (Roberts, 2006)
Effects of steroids on Young Athletes
A primary objective of youth sports is to support young athletes observe and experience significant life lessons, developing a physically, healthy active lifestyle. Continuous improvement of young athletes is a vital part of the entire process. As discussed above, the anabolic steroids impact the metabolism in each and every cell. However, in some cells metabolism produce the required adaptation such as increase in the size of muscle, while in other cells creating complexities like changed lipid metabolism specifically in the liver.
Training, exercise or proper nutrition is needed for muscle growth without any extra amount of fat. For instance, in football, Olympic weight lifting and different other sports, the aim is to become explosively strong. In such cases, the steroids work in combination with a certain weight training and dietary regime particular to those sports. On the other hand, for long distance runners or road cyclists, the aim is to be capable in maintaining an extensive training load and at the same time keeping light body weight. As such anabolic steroids may be used to support these athletes recovering from such training. (More, 2004)
Anabolic steroids are specifically designed to take off the bodybuilding features of testosterone. The amount of testosterone can be significantly increased in the human body by using these anabolic steroids, which further supports the human body in muscle growth. As such the anabolic impact of steroids attracts attention of athletes who require an increase in strength and muscle mass.
An increasing number of young athletes use steroids as an instant shortcut for the purpose of performing better. However, when younger athletes use steroids either through injection or orally, they are, in fact, exposing their health and body to a wide array of threats. Buying or using steroids without a physician’s prescription is dangerous as well as illegal. (More, 2004)
Anabolic steroids have considerable effects on the moods of young athletes. Athletes taking steroids on regular basis become more irritable, aggressive and angrier, ultimately becoming depressed after they have stopped using steroids. In some cases, usage of steroids can also cause psychotic episodes. In case of boy athletes, steroids can not only terminate the growth of athlete but may cause facial blemishes, shrinking of testicles, the development of breasts and increased weight.
In girl athletes, steroids can result in the development of some male characteristics and acne can also be aggravated. More grave reactions, in young athletes of both sexes, have been associated with steroids like heart attacks, suicidal behavior and liver damage. As such it is essential for the coaches and parents to realize the phenomenon that anabolic steroids can have different grave side effects. Moreover the long-term risks associated with using steroids far outweigh the possible short-term benefits.
There are some exclusive factors related to using steroids by young athletes. Steroids load up a young athlete, especially in teenage, with synthetic testosterone. As discussed above, it can lead ultimately to premature puberty while among complexities are; premature puberty in young athletes using steroids with growth plates that are particularly open in bones causing such growth plates to close before time. (Roberts, 2006)
Several studies have highlighted a relation of steroid usage with different other high-risk attitudes such as having insecure sex, driving drunk and using other illegal drugs. Young athletes are placed in a high-risk group and as such using steroids intensifies the problem. A better solution to increase awareness about the negative and long-term effects of steroids in young athletes is to provide education about risks associated with steroids and programs for supervised confrontation training to increase substantial strength.
Difference of Steroid Abuse in Men and Women
Steroids, similar to all drugs, have many side effects- most of them can be dangerous for health while other simply undesirable. Because drugs treated as steroids can affect women and men differently, it is pertinent to separately focus on steroids abuse in both. Steroid abuse is found to be higher in men as compared with women, although the trend of abusing steroid among young women is increasing. People are motivated to abuse the steroid due to an intense desire for reducing fats in body, building muscles and improving performance in sports. Bodybuilders, according to an estimate, are the high users of anabolic steroids, while it is also widespread in other sportspersons. Some of the men abusing anabolic steroids view their body as weak and small, even if they are muscular and large. On the other hand, women abuse such drugs as they perceive their looks are obese, although they are actually muscular and lean.
Other reasons of abusing anabolic steroids by women include endeavors to lose weight. Many women eat healthy and attend gym when they are just few pounds away from normal weight, resorting to drugs. These women are more focused on different celebrities who although look thin but have considerable muscles. (Assael, 2007)
Even though, anabolic steroids assure a toned human body with specific muscle mass, yet thin. Women are of the view that recovery time from exercises is far less when they use anabolic steroids. Moreover, they also think that their mental capabilities become much shaper by using steroids. Women also abuse anabolic steroids as they perceive it to improve body image and self esteem along with increased sexual energy.
Most of the men abuse steroids to attain perfect body as they are in continuous scrutiny. Even though, the motive is becoming thin, it is, in fact, muscular body, that remains as the main attraction for abusing steroids by men. The general consensus is that the issues relating to body image commence in high school as well as in college, when men are viewed as sexual. The overall atmosphere of high schools and colleges is competitive and boys feel much insecure as compared with their friends. It has been highlighted that serious risks are related with steroid abuse, but most of the time people ignore the threats or not seeks support because they do not view themselves as drug users. (Assael, 2007)
Assael, S (2007) Steroid Nation: Juiced Home Run Totals, Anti-aging Miracles, and a Hercules in Every High School: The Secret History of America’s True Drug Addiction. ESPN; Ist edition
More, J (2004) Steroids, Sports, and Body Image: The Risks of Performance-Enhancing Drugs. Enslow Publishers
Llewellyn, W (2007) Anabolic 2007: Anabolic Steroids Reference Manual. Body of Science.
Roberts, A (2006) Anabolic Steroids: Ultimate Research Guide. Anabolic Books, LLC.
Willey, W (2007) Better Than Steroids. Trafford Publishing; Ist edition