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Where do anabolic steroids come from?

      The body produces testosterone naturally, but natural
 testosterone cannot be used as a medicine.  In the normal body,
 testosterone is released continuously into the bloodstream by the
 pituitary gland. In males, it is also released by the testes.  It
 reaches different parts of the body, has its effects, and then body
 enzymes quickly break it down.  

      When males reach the end of puberty, the amount of
 testosterone rises suddenly and stays at a high level for four to
 six months before returning to normal.  During this time, the
 growth plates in the long bones of the arms and legs close, the
 voice deepens, facial hair begins to grow and the male sex organs
 grow in size.  It is this surge in testosterone that completes the
 sexual maturation of males.

      Some males do not experience this burst of testosterone.  When
 the role of testosterone was discovered, medical researchers tried
 to treat delayed puberty by giving them testosterone.  They
 discovered that a single dose of testosterone, even a very large
 one, is so rapidly broken down by body enzymes that it cannot
 imitate the natural hormone surge.  To use natural testosterone for
 this purpose, a boy would have to have an intravenous infusion bag
 constantly putting testosterone into his veins day and night for at
 least four months!

      The researchers needed to find a way to prevent the body from
 breaking down the testosterone so quickly.  Through trial and
 error, chemists discovered how to alter the testosterone molecule
 so it would last longer.(1,2)  

      There are many kinds of anabolic steroids available to treat
 several disease states.  In the past, anabolic steroids were taken
 from animal tissues for use in early experiments.(1)  Today,
 anabolic steroids are chemically manufactured rather than being
 purified from natural sources.

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REFERENCES 1. Kleiner SM. Performance-enhancing aids in sport - health consequences and nutritional alternatives. J Amer Coll Nutr 1991 Apr;10(2):163-76. 2. Smith DA, Perry PJ. The efficacy of ergogenic agents in athletic competition. part 1: androgenic-anabolic steroids. Annals Pharmacother 1992 Apr;26:520-8. 3. Kopera H. The history of anabolic steroids and a review of clinical experience with anabolic steroids. Acta Endocrin 1985;271:11-8. 4. Johnson MD. Steroids. Adolescent Med 1991 Feb;2(1):79-93. 5. Wilson JD. Androgen abuse by athletes. Endocrine Reviews 1988;9(2):181-99. 6. Kashkin KB, Kleber HD. Hooked on hormones - an anabolic steroid addiction hypothesis. J Am Med Assoc 1989 Dec 8;262(22):3166-70. by Trent Tschirgi, R. Ph. (c) 1992 University of Maryland Office of Substance Abuse Studies. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Steroid use is illegal in a vast number of countries around the world. This is not without reason. Steroids should only be used when prescribed by your doctor and under close supervision. Steroid use is not to be taken lightly and we do not in any way endorse or approve of illegal drug use. The information is provided on the same basis as all the other information on this site, as informational/entertainment value.

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