By Kevin Leland
What is the difference between androgens and anabolics?
Androgens make up the majority of a man’s hormones. A woman with heavy facial hair will have a higher level of androgens than estrogens in her body. This could occur genetically or artificially as in the case of trans-gender females. Testosterone is the most common and well known hormone. We call androgens male hormones, but they are naturally present in females also -to a lesser degree. The inverse is true as well. Where women have a small amount of male hormones, in normal male physiology, small amounts of female hormones can be present -I don’t know why. Maybe for the same odd reason that men have nipples? The word “androgenic” relates to the sexual characteristics of males, as in: a deep voice, thicker muscle, hairy limbs and upper body. Androgens also bring about the adolescent growth of male sex organs and pubic hair. Synthetic anabolic androgenic steroids are laboratory made substances that mimic what the natural testosterone (male sex hormone) you have in your body does.
Where the androgenic steroids promote sexual characteristics, the term “anabolic” relates specifically to building muscle. Anabolic androgenic steroids are molecules related to testosterone. Testosterone, as previously mentioned is generated in the bodies of both males and females. Testosterone is produced in the gonads of men and women, i.e.; the testicles and the ovaries. Besides the gonads, both males and females produce trace amounts of testosterone in their adrenal glands, the gland responsible for producing another commonly referred to hormone: Adrenaline.
Testosterone, in effect, is both an anabolic and androgenic steroid. This natural steroid was isolated in the 1930s and was then synthesized. This won the German chemists, Ruzicka and Butenandt, who developed the methods of isolation and synthetic manufacture of these compounds the Nobel peace prize. About ten years later Eastern block countries were beginning to experiment with this new discovery to gain a competitive edge in Olympic sports. By 1976, the East German government was secretly administering male hormones to the adolescent girls on their swim team. They told the girls they were vitamins. They coded this operation “State Plan 14.25.” Sadly, this caused the girls many problems later in life, like miscarriages and other gynecological disorders. One swimmer said she had seven miscarriages. Other girls on the team had babies with birth defects.
How does AAS work to rapidly build muscle?
“Anabolic” comes from the Greek word meaning ”to mound up.” Anabolic androgenic steroids cause muscle cells to pump up due to more efficient protein synthesis. Within the nucleus of muscle cells are receptors that receive this synthetic or natural hormone, and the process of anabolism begins and the muscles begin to build up. The process of building new muscle is accomplished when the protein in the anabolic androgenic steroid binds to a protein molecule in the DNA. AAS, with the assistance of ligands , which are the molecules that bind the hormones the DNA, seem to flip a switch in the DNA to activate growth and development of the muscle cells and tissues.
We jump-start in a more organic way, anabolic androgenic steroids with heavy exercise. Building muscle mass by weight lifting will increase the effects of these natural steroids, as well as the synthenthetic. Homeostasis (the body staying in balance) is maintained as these steroids are produced naturally. Synthesized AAS can interfere with the body’s natural balance, and produce life threatening conditions within the body.
I am testing out a personal theory that a small, steady dose of topically applied anabolic anrdogenic steroids (testosterone) can be a healthy supplement for men over 40, when their normal levels begin to decrease. Synthetic anabolic androgenic steroids are sometimes used illegally by people. AAS are sold in the United States by prescription only.
My experiment is under a doctor’s supervision. I suggest that you also ask your doctor’s opinion prior to starting a supplemental steroid program. I am using a drug named Androgel. It’s applied to the skin in areas that can be covered by a T-shirt. I will be writing about what it is like from my own point of view. I would like to interview other guys who have had experience with testosterone supplements, so, please comment.
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