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What Are Anabolic Supplements?

by
author image Helen Nnama
Helen Nnama has six years of writing experience. She is a health contributor to TBR Journal, editor of fertility confidential manuals, published poet, and a greeting card writer. She has a B.S. in microbiology, an M.S. in epidemiology, and is an M.D. candidate. A former state HIV/AIDS epidemiologist and NIA fellow at Johns Hopkins, she has research experience with published work.
What Are Anabolic Supplements?
Anabolic supplements can help with developing muscles and increasing physical stamina. Photo Credit bodybuilding,muscle image by yam from Fotolia.com

Anabolic supplements, also known as anabolic steroids, are artificially produced hormones, according to Kids Health.org. These synthetic hormones are designed to act like androgens, a type of male sex hormone. The most common and potent among these male hormones is testosterone. Anabolic steroids come in various preparations such as pills, powders and injectables. Most anabolic steroids and supplements containing them are illegal drugs, so using and selling such substances could warrant a criminal case against the person and can even lead to his arrest. Using anabolic supplements can be dangerous.

Body Building Supplements

According to Kids Health.org, anabolic steroids are used as body building supplements. Both athletes and non-athletes take anabolic steroids because of its testosterone-like effects on the body. These supplements can help increase muscle size as well as enhance muscle mass. Weight gain is one of the possible effects of anabolic supplements. These supplements increases muscle mass and body weight by increasing the amount of protein produced by the body. For athletes, using anabolic supplements is strictly prohibited. Other than the long term health consequences, these drugs give athletes an unfair advantage over non-steroid using athletes.

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Addictive Effects

Addictive and habit forming effects result from taking anabolic supplements, as mentioned in The Hormone Foundation. Large doses and high amounts of these supplements have an effect on the brain's chemistry and activity. Some long lasting effects include mental changes, dizziness, mood swings, hallucinations and paranoia. Adolescents make up a big percentage of those using anabolic steroids. To prevent steroid abuse in this age group, it is important to promote a well balanced diet, proper nutrition as well as the right type of physical training.

Performance-Enhancing Drugs

According to MayoClinic.com, anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the testosterone hormone. These performance-enhancers allow fast recovery from intense physical activity, increased strength and stamina and an improved over-all athletic performance. Football players and weight lifters are among the athletes who use this type of supplement.

Harmful Side Effects

Anabolic supplements have several harmful and damaging side effects. According to Medline Plus, a website supported by the National Institutes of Health, Oxandrolone, an anabolic steroid used to prevent bone pain, can cause side effects such as insomnia, depression, constipation and changes in sexual ability. The specific side effects of anabolic supplements in girls include decreased breast size, deepening of the voice, menstrual changes and facial hair growth; for boys, breast development and testicular shrinkage can occur.

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