The Effects of Anabolic Steroids on Athletes Essay

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In today’s society in athletics, muscle mass and strength seem more important than in years past. It is believed that many athletes use anabolic steroids to increase their muscle mass and also their strength. Anabolic steroids are a group of synthetic hormones that promote the storage of proteins and the growth of tissue, sometimes used by athletes to increase muscle size and strength. Before the mid 1970’s the use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) was used mainly by highly trained athletes especially those involved in weight training. Since then other athletes including those involved in recreational sports and non-competitive sports have started using the steroids. Steroids are also being used by many school age children …show more content…
For adolescents the side effects are growth halted prematurely through premature skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty changes. This could mean adolescents will remain short for the rest of their lives if they take anabolic steroids before the typical adolescent growth spurt. The question has arisen as to whether or not steroids increase the size of the heart. Studies have been done on steroid using athletes compared to non-drug users. These studies found left ventricular hypertrophy and normal diastolic function with the non drug users. Concentric hypertrophy with impairment of diastolic function was found in the drug users. An increase in left ventricular mass with normal diastolic function was found in body builders and weight lifters using steroids (6). When athletes participate in resistance training exercises without the use of anabolic steroids, it has been proven beneficial. Weight training can improve maximum oxygen consumption and cholesterol levels without the use of steroids (6). A study was done on four groups of athletic men: recreational lifters, heavy lifters, steroid users and runners to determine whether there is a difference in cardiac variables, body composition, and plasma lipids. The study used men who trained in health clubs in Morgantown, West Virginia and also members of the West Virginia University cross country team (6). Each
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