Anabolic steroids are defined as a group of synthetic derivatives of testosterone that promote muscle and bone growth. Anabolic steroids are androgenic steroids. These are the group of natural and synthetic steroid hormones that helps to promote cell growth and division, resulting in growth of several types of tissues, especially muscle and bone.
Anabolic refers to muscle-building, androgenic refers to masculine growth, and Steroids refers to the class of drugs. Thus, androgenic anabolic steroids are man-made substances or drugs associated with the male sex hormones. Androgenic anabolic steroids are often referred to as AAS (androgenic anabolic steroids) in the medical terms.
There are a number of androgenic anabolic steroids available on the market. Some of androgenic anabolic steroids include Anadrol ® (oxymetholone), Dianabol (methandrostenolone), Testosterone, Anadur (nandrolone hexylphenylpropionate), Anavar (oxandrolone), Andriol (testosterone undecanoate), AndroGel® (testosterone), Cheque Drops (mibolerone), and Danocrine (danozol).
Androgenic anabolic steroids have anabolic properties and play great role in anabolism, which is the metabolic process that builds larger molecules from smaller ones. There are varying combinations of androgenic and anabolic properties in different androgenic anabolic steroids.
Androgenic anabolic steroids are the drugs that are available legally only by prescription. These steroids are often used in treating conditions that occur due to abnormally low amounts of testosterone production in the body; some of the conditions include delayed puberty and some types of impotence. These steroids are also used treat uncontrolled weight loss in wasting diseases, such as AIDS and other diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass.
Androgenic anabolic steroids are often used by bodybuilders and athletes to enhance their muscle mass, strength, and stamina. Such usage of anabolic steroids for competitive purposes is legally banned. This abuse of anabolic steroids may lead to elevated cholesterol levels, liver disease, blood clots leading to heart attack or stroke, increased aggressiveness and irritability, and, in adolescents, permanent stunting of growth.
Anabolic steroids were first discovered in the early 1930s. The distribution of anabolic steroids for nontherapeutic uses was illegalized under a 1988 federal law. Anabolic steroids joined the class of abused drugs as controlled substances in 1991. However, a precursor hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) that can help producing testosterone in the body is available as a dietary supplement without a prescription.