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Eric Galvante English 105 Prof Hobstratch 12/10/12 Would You Take It? If you were guaranteed a perfect body Just by taking one pill, would you take it? What if you knew this one pill would erase twenty years of your life? Would you take it then? Probably not. However, you would be surprised by how many people say yes to both questions. In the past three decades, anabolic steroids have been a very serious problem throughout the athletic field (Budak). It is reported that over three million athletes and body builders alone have used steroids.

Anabolic steroids are drugs hat include testosterone, the male sex hormone and estrogen, the female sex hormone. The word anabolic comes from the Greek word “anabole” which means to build up. It is pretty obvious to most that men tend to be larger than women. A clear- cut example between both sexes is the relative muscle mass. For men, the most important growth builder is testosterone, which is made from the cells of the testes. Approximately eight milligrams of testosterone is created daily, most of which is metabolized by the liver and excreted through the body in urine form (Budak).

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Testosterone is also present in the blood plasma of women, being derived from the ovaries and adrenal glands, in amounts roughly thirty times less found in men. Among the many effects of these androgens (male sex hormones), is the general growth on the body tissues and an increase in muscle strength. One of the main effects of anabolic steroids is to increase the number of red blood cells and muscle tissue without producing much of the androgenic effects of testosterone. The discovery of steroids came in the early 1930’s.

Leopold Ruiitka born in Vukovar, Croatia was the chemist who created the drug. He received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1939 and was considered one of the brightest biochemists during the 1900’s. At first, scientists pronounced the drug as medicine. It was used to help find ways to cure aids, cancer, and other terminal diseases. It was even given to young men whom have not yet gone through puberty because it was discovered that steroids helped produce testosterone. The fact that no one knew any negative side effects to steroids further increased its use.

Around World War II, steroid use furthermore increased as soldiers were given steroids to increase their strength and ecome more aggressive resulting in a better performance in battle (Silverstein). The use of steroids had gone from a drug that was used for medical purposes to a drug that gave world leaders such as Adolf Hitler them an edge in battle. After World War II, steroids found a way back on the map but for athletic purposes. During the 1950 ‘s, steroids had been used by athletes as a means of improving appearance, muscle mass, and strength.

The first groups of people to use anabolic steroids for athletic enhancement were the Russians whom immediately had great success. Soon after, cientists discovered how to make artificial testosterone and eliminate some of the dangerous side effects. This is when anabolic steroids were first born. Since then, anaDollc ster010s nave Decome avallaDle In almost every country ana local gym. There are only three legal uses for steroids: treatment for certain forms of cancer, pituitary dwarfism, and serious hormone disturbances.

They are used in controlling inflammation, strengthening weakened hearts, preventing conception, and alleviating symptoms of arthritis and asthma (O’Brien). Sad to say, research has shown that teroids have been abused in almost every kind of sport including professional football, power lifting and bodybuilding. Athletes can use anabolic steroids in two different forms. The first is oral, which is a tablet to be swallowed. Oral steroids allow the body to store more creatine phosphate (short term energy source). The second form is by injection into the muscle. This form of the drug promotes protein synthesis.

Whether taken orally or by needle, steroids increase strength and endurance. Steroids also help in the healing process of muscular tissue by first njuring them, then the muscles heal quicker, adding more fiber increasing their bulk. Athletes are also more prone to use steroids due to the inexpensive cost of the drug. A ten-week cycle of artificial testosterone costs only about one hundred dollars. Steroids are also very hard to trace because of their water base composition. They can pass through the body within two days. All these benefits of steroids help an athlete become more competitive and increase their chance of being a winner.

Of course everybody wants better biceps and triceps. But when one uses steroids to get big” and “huge”, there will be a big/huge price to pay. The drugs that most common athletes use are androgen-anabolic steroids, fake versions of testosterone. They store nitrogen, which helps in the synthesis of protein and the creation of new tissue. But because they are imitators of the male hormone, they tend to change the secondary sex characteristics. In men, steroids cause shrinkage of the testicles, decrease in sperm count, sterility, impotence, prostate enlargement and growth of female breast (Silverstein).

Some of these side effects cannot be reversed. Men who use steroids may become more or less interested in sex. The most severe effect of anabolic steroids is peliosis hepatis. This is when the cysts in one’s liver are filled with blood. If the cysts rupture, they can cause liver failure, which can kill a person. In women, steroids contribute to the growth of facial hair, enlargements of the clitoris, shrinkage of the uterus, sterility, deepening of the voice, decrease in breast size and irregularity of the menstrual cycle. In men and women, hair loss, liver ailments, acne, and cancer are very common.

When injected, ne risks the chances of developing hematoma and contracting AIDS. This dangerous drug shortens the life span up to twenty years and increases the chance of obtaining diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. The side effects and reactions from using anabolic steroids are endless. Former baseball star, Jose Canseco expressed his regrets in an interview, “l definitely regret getting involved with steroids in any way shape or form, No. 1, as a teenager… ” (Canseco). Along with the physical problems, there are also mental reactions associated with the usage of steroids.

This drug becomes very addictive and damaging to the mind. It causes violent episodes, which an athlete can claim a legal insanity defense to it. Athletes get so wrapped up psychologically that the negative effect doesn’t matter to them. Research has also discovered that steroids cause psychotic side effects sometimes reTerrea to as “Rola Rages”. Along witn tnese are w110, aggressive, combative behavior, depression, listlessness and delusions during and after performance. Even though the game is over, athletes want to continue competing. Steroids mentally destroy the brain and ability to reason.

Overall the usage of steroids is very damaging to the human body. Even though it physically builds up the body for better performance, the risks of use are enormous. Steroids physically deteriorate and mentally destroy the body. You would think that with all these life- threatening complication, the individual would leave steroids alone; but this is not the case. To add to the risk, the top bodybuilders take doses far above that which is prescribed. If they cannot get enough to take the quantity they wish, they will get prescriptions from several doctors so that their quantity is almost limitless.

The real danger lies within these individuals. They are not satisfied to take the drug over a short period of time as prescribed; but rather they take them over long periods and in much greater quantities. While these drugs are never recommended for healthy people, a number of physicians will write prescriptions anyway. It has been estimated that as many as 47% of weight lifters, have received the drug from physicians and all of them were on a dosage that were two to four times greater than the recommended dosage (O’Brien). To make a long story short yes, steroids have a great impact on one’s body.

But, you can’t say that two people will have the exact same effect while using the drug. Steroids help the body put on muscle and add strength in the short term. In the long run, steroids can have numerous negative effects on the body and can even cause death. When you take steroids you are playing with fire and may possibly get burnt. If you want to get in shape to improve your looks and strength, a proper diet as well as “clean” weight lifting may be the right answer. This has been proven over and over that it is the safest and most efficient way of getting healthy.

And next time you see a bodybuilder with those huge wenty-inch biceps, you will now know that his body is not as healthy as it looks. Works Cited Barban, John. Canseco Before and After. 2010. Photograph. N. p. Budak, John M. “Pumped Up. ” U. S. News and World Report 1 June 1992: 54+. “Drugs”, vol. 5, artlcle “Canseco: Steroids Are Overrated. ” Interview by Mike Fish. ESPN 2 June 2012: n. pag. ESPN. web. 2 Dec. 2012. O’Brien, David, and Robbie Andreu. Rx for Disaster. ” Sun-sentinel Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 14 July 1991: IC+. SIRS “Drugs”, vol. 5, article 31 . Silverstein, Robert, Steroids: Big Muscles, Big Problems. Hillside, NJ: Enslow, 1992.

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