Anabolic SteroidsGenerally, when people discuss the effects of anabolic steroids— benefits or harm— they are referring to events that occur over a short period of time. Only recently have researchers and clinicians taken a longer benefits of taking anabolic steroids of the metabolic effects of testosterone replacement therapy TRT. Farid Saad of Bayer Pharma, manufacturer of Nebido testosterone undecanoatehas published a number of articles looking at the latency to maximal benefits from TRT in men who have been treated for several years— benetits quickly or slowly benefits fully arise six takibg to six years or longer. Aside from some frightful revelations, such as those exposed by the East German doping scandal during the Cold War era late through the sthere is little published data on the long-term effects of anabolic steroids used for extended periods of years or decades. The East German program was harmful to many athletes, but realize that they were initiating the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids AAS as early as efectos secundarios de los esteroides en perros 10 in both boys and girls. Certainly, there is a risk of long-term suppression of endogenous natural testosterone production and fertility, as well as legal consequences if obtained illicitly.
Generally, when people discuss the effects of anabolic steroids— benefits or harm— they are referring to events that occur over a short period of time. Only recently have researchers and clinicians taken a longer view of the metabolic effects of testosterone replacement therapy TRT. Farid Saad of Bayer Pharma, manufacturer of Nebido testosterone undecanoate , has published a number of articles looking at the latency to maximal benefits from TRT in men who have been treated for several years— how quickly or slowly benefits fully arise six months to six years or longer.
Aside from some frightful revelations, such as those exposed by the East German doping scandal during the Cold War era late through the s , there is little published data on the long-term effects of anabolic steroids used for extended periods of years or decades. The East German program was harmful to many athletes, but realize that they were initiating the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids AAS as early as age 10 in both boys and girls.
Certainly, there is a risk of long-term suppression of endogenous natural testosterone production and fertility, as well as legal consequences if obtained illicitly. However, in the tissue of interest— skeletal muscle— what is the long-term net effect? Cycles of Six-Time Mr. Before getting into the meat of the article, it is interesting to note that the cycles described in a recent issue of Muscular Development by six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates are similar to those detailed in the studies.
His pre-contest cycle differed, but his off-season AAS use was consistent with the subjects in soon-to-be-discussed studies. Yates does acknowledge later periods wherein his AAS cycles were as much as 60 percent greater weekly dose , but with little additional self-reported benefit.
The popularity of testosterone and nandrolone were recorded during the period referenced by Mr. Yates, as documented in a report of drug testing performed in Flanders, Belgium. Numerous studies of interest followed subjects who had several years of resistance training, along with AAS use, often compared against drug-free powerlifters or weight-trained subjects.
The concluding line of the abstract in that study understated what had long been obvious: As science finally accepted that supraphysiologic AAS misuse increased muscle size and strength, attention turned to the changes occurring within the muscle to account for the observed increase in size and strength. Muscle as a tissue is similar to a rope, consisting of numerous strands that combine to provide tensile strength ability to withstand stretching forces.
Nearly unique among the tissues of the body, skeletal muscle fibers are multi-nucleated. This means that there is an absolute ceiling as to how large a muscle fiber and collectively, the whole muscle can get, UNLESS it can increase the number of nuclei the cell contains.
However, this is not the case. Mitosis only happens when a cell is getting ready to divide into two brand-new and separate cells— each taking a nucleus with it. In the skeletal muscle cell, there is not a second muscle fiber being generated from within.
New muscle fibers can be created, as will be discussed later. The process that happens in skeletal muscle, when the need for a larger muscle hypertrophy is present, involves some pretty neat mechanisms from a nerd point of view. Typically, they are just around, dormant and not doing anything to contribute to muscle size or function. When the right signals are present, such as those generated by exercise or the use of certain growth-promoting factors e.
In a setting where the muscle was near its maximal allowed by N-to-C ratio limits size, the addition of new nuclei from satellite cells allows that muscle fiber to get bigger— achieving the goal of bodybuilding.
Strength, Size and Cellular Changes. The measures of interest in the most recent studies were the overall performance strength , size fiber area and cellular changes myonuclei count in resistance-trained AAS users versus non-users.
Following the study that reported greater force production strength and muscle fiber area, a later study in looked at the muscle fibers more closely. Both groups had the same proportion of fiber types— sometimes referred to as slow-twitch and fast-twitch, though the classification is more complex than that.
So, assuming that the groups had similar proportions prior to AAS use, no change in fiber type was evident. However, the AAS-using lifters had significantly larger muscle fibers as expected , but it was also reported that the myonuclei count was higher and more nuclei in the muscle fibers were centrally located in the cell, meaning they were more active in regulating cell functions.
It is interesting that a study noted that the satellite cell population of AAS-using powerlifters differed from those of drug-free powerlifters. The reported results of two prior studies were used for the comparison groups of AAS users. The AAS users had muscles that were larger, capable of getting larger and were capable of getting closer to the N-to-C ratio ceiling.
In , a paper was published looking at many of the same features, but also looked at capillary density blood flow in the muscle as well as force production measures. Not surprisingly, the AAS users again had greater lean mass, more myonuclei and surprisingly, a greater capillary density. Perhaps even more surprising was the finding that AAS users developed muscles that were less forceful. This means the muscles were larger and stronger, but not as strong as the drug-free muscles when adjusted for muscle mass.
Well, there are a couple of issues with this study that take away from some of the value. First, the subjects in the AAS-user group were significantly older than the drug-tested group 41 versus Worse, there was no consistency regarding a doping schedule, with many of the AAS users being off-cycle at the time of testing.
Another issue is that the drug-tested athletes were all competitive powerllfters, and the calculations of strength force were based upon 1-RM one-repetition maximum personal records in the bench, squat and deadlift. This is a familiar movement for powerlifters, but is not likely familiar to bodybuilders using 1-RM weight. The AAS users consisted of bodybuilders, strongman competitors and powerlifters. In fact, the subjects using the highest dose of AAS performed worst on several measures relative to muscle mass, leading the authors to propose a ceiling to AAS-augmented force.
The force production of the drug-tested powerlifters were all closely clustered, whereas the AAS users varied widely, as did their training styles, drug regimens and hormone levels at the time of testing some were hypogonadal. If another group of drug-tested bodybuilders was included, the effect of training style on the muscle performance measures could have been clarified.
Over the last several decades, it has been shown that AAS use can promote increases in skeletal muscle size and strength.
Though no study has been specifically designed to find the threshold concentration, the results of several suggest that the minimum dose required to affect change in a healthy, adult male exists near milligrams per week of testosterone or nandrolone ester. It is interesting to note that observations and reported cycles by experienced AAS users suggest little additional benefit in strength with more than 1,, milligrams per week of total androgen exposure, and a concomitant increase in acute adverse effects.
However, fiber area seemed to be dose-dependent beyond this range. An interesting application would be the therapeutic benefits in former, or long-term AAS users in delaying fraility with aging.
Weakness and sarcopenia low muscle mass are features of aging associated with increased poor health, or mortality. If prior exposure to AAS increases myonuclei number for years past use, then past or long-term users may unknowingly be promoting their long-term survival and independence. Olympia Women's Mr.