Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Steroids:a Jekyll and Hyde Perspective. By Veeraj Goyaram


Steroids: A Jekyll and Hyde Perspective
Researched & Composed by Veeraj Goyaram

"Bodybuilding Mauritius & South Africa does not encourage the use of steroids, neither do we vilify them. Our aim is to educate the public about them, tell you what they are and what they aren't from a scientific perspective. We are not seeking to create sensational news like some in the mainstream media. Our information is carefully researched. If we are uncertain we simply keep shut. We do not work out steroid cycles and neither do we supply them so please don't email us asking to hook you up."

The media has been very successful in unjustly portraying steroids as evil substances to the point that most people consider them as evil. However, it is no secret that the media is miserably ignorant on the topic of drugs and seems unwilling to do proper research.

People would be fine hearing all sorts of ads for booze and cigarettes, often with their kids around, but once they hear "steroid" they go crazy. They are ready to label steroid users with any name conceivable. The truth is people toss around the word steroid without even knowing what the hell a steroid is. 

Believe it or not, most of us has taken a steroid at one point in our lives as a number of drugs, like anti-inflammatories, are steroid-based. Nevertheless, what we normally refer to when using the term steroid is "anabolic steroids", steroids that are able to stimulate growth in tissues, especially skeletal muscle.

Steroids for medical use
Anabolic steroids, which are based on the male hormone testosterone, were developed for medical usage like for the treatment of muscle loss from certain diseases, delayed puberty and to replace testosterone in men whose bodies no longer produce enough testosterone. In many countries testosterone is being used to treat patients with the same diseases (Rice et al., 2008; Haider et al., 2014). Yes, type 2 diabetics are given steroids. No joke, man! 
Not making gains? You don't need steroids
Steroids use and abuse among athletes
Steroids were never designed for use among the athletic population. The first documented use of steroids is in weightlifting circles in the 50's and eventually these drugs crept into other sports for use as a performance enhancer. 

If you think that bodybuilding is the only sport in which steroids are abused then you will need to come from under the rock you've been living, my friend. Steroids are abused in many other sports but it is just that only in bodybuilding is it so obvious. Because bodybuilding is a minority sport and hard to understood subculture it is a very easy target for finger pointing. Most elite cyclists, for instance, are on steroids. Lance Armstrong admitted to use. 

Steroids when used in moderation and under close medical supervision may in fact be safer than most drugs that are prescribed to people. Don't you dare take for granted that all FDA-approved drugs are safe. A lot of them are unsafe but yet made it to the market. Very often people die because of prescription drugs, way more often than steroid-related deaths. My mom was given anti-hypertensive drugs by the doctor at the community health centre and she started complaining of swollen feet and excessive phlegm in the throat. Just to tell you that side effects of prescription drugs are manifold. Drugs are not that innocent. How they came to the market is another story. You'll be disgusted to know how. 

“We are currently in the midst of an epidemic of deaths caused by the misuse of prescription medications.” Pylkas and Bart (2014) Neurology Clinical Practice.

Not without risks, though
Of course, when abused steroids can be a serious problem. Some people looking for the famous "all kindz of gainz, bro" go on a steroid cycle extravaganza which often includes large amounts of orals for long periods of time, burdening their livers in the process. Some go on cycle, love it, feel inadequate without it and therefore never come off cycle ("Forever on cycle" LOL). Of course, we have all heard about steroid abuse-related heart, liver, and kidney complications and untimely deaths. Therefore, you'd be dumb to believe that steroids are harmless. 

How much their side effects can bite you in the bum is dependent on many factors, mainly 
(a) the type of steroids used
(b) the amount of steroids used 
(c) the duration of use and 
(d) Importantly, your genetics. 

Yes, genetics! Genetics never seem to give you a break, man. Because genetics dictate how we all respond differently to drugs we ingest too (pharmacogenetics). Some people can smoke a 10 cigarettes a day and develop lung cancer at 50 while others may smoke 40 a day and still live to blow their 80th candle. The same for steroids, not everyone will respond to steroids the same way, be it in terms of gains and side effects. Read below:

"Steroids can help give your training partner 20+ inch gunns, a ripped six pack and a lucrative endorsement contract while it may give you a pair of boobs, bad acne, a dead sex drive and an empty wallet.  Some can get away with subjecting his/ her body to chemicals while others simply cannot."

Like alcohol it's all about how you use it
"Alcohol can cause people to beat up their entourage, get their butt kicked or even kill people through drunk driving. Alcohol may cause some to lose their job, assets, friends, wife and mistress. On the flip side, there's no harm if it is alcohol in the form of a toast at a wedding or special occasion, a glass of wine before sex with your partner or enjoying one cold beer at a braai with your friends. It is not the alcohol that’s good or bad, it’s how it’s used. The same goes for steroids"

Haider A, Yassin A, Doros G, Saad F. Effects of long-term testosterone therapy on patients with "diabesity": results of observational studies of pooled analyses in obese hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes. Int J Endocrinol. 2014;2014:683515

Pylkas AM, Bart G. Prescribing controlled substances during a prescription drug epidemic. Neurol Clin Pract. 2014 Apr;4(2):99-105.

Rice D, Brannigan RE, Campbell RK, Fine S, Jack L Jr, Nelson JB, Regan-Klich J.Men's health, low testosterone, and diabetes: individualized treatment and a multidisciplinary approach. Diabetes Educ. 2008 Nov-Dec;34 Suppl 5:97S-112S;

Join us for discussions on our facebook group
Free advice & daily bodybuilding talk
Your #1 Bodybuilding destination in Mauritius 

My Bio: I am a Mauritian originally from Roche Bois, Port Louis and now based in Cape Town, South Africa where I am busy with my postgraduate studies in molecular biology of exercise. My research, supervised by Prof. Edward Ojuka and Dr. Tertius Kohn, looks at the influence of nutrition and exercise in gene expression in muscle, research which is relevant and applicable to exercising individuals, sports persons and diabetic individuals. The knowledge that I share with you stems from my 18 years of experience in bodybuilding and 8 years (and counting) of university education in the field. I have also published work in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism (2012, 2014), International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (2013) and co-authored two book chapters on exercise and diabetes. I also presented my research work at the 2012 International Sports and Exercise Nutrition Conference (UK). I am grateful to each and everyone at the UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. "Knowledge without sharing is worth nothing"
©,2013, Veeraj Goyaram, Bodybuilding Mauritius. Any reprinting in any type of media is prohibited.
Disclaimer: The Content on this site is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. BODYBUILDING MAURITIUS is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties.  Correspondence:


Post a Comment