💉STEROIDS, HOW DO THEY WORK?
🚨 This is for educational purposes only.🚨
👉 To start lets define what a hormone is a regulatory substance that is produced by glands to communicate between organs and tissue. There many type of hormones, but we’ll focus on steroid hormones which are derived from lipids cholesterol this allows them to cross cell membranes easily. Steroids vary and so do their functions, not all are anabolic (cause growth) some actually cause catabolism like corticosteroids, estrogen is also a steroid just the female version. An important characteristic of hormones is they act like a lock and key mechanism, the key being the hormone, and lock the hormone receptor. This is why synthetic anabolic steroids work, they mimic testosterones characteristics.
👇 Steroids work by increasing the natural levels of testosterones in the body to a supra physiological quantity, a normal range is between 300-1000 ng/dL with an average at ~600 ng/dL. Enhanced individuals can reach into the 3000 ng/dL. The first way which steroids work is by increasing protein synthesis, injection of 200mg a fairly low dose increased protein synthesis by 2 fold. The second way is through accretion (increase) of myonuclei. This is important because of the ceiling theory, which says that once myonuclei (brains of the cell) have a certain genetic potential to sustain muscle, once that is reached no more can be added. Enhanced individuals can have ~3-5 times the number of myonuclei compared to non enhanced individuals, this would allow for greater muscle size to be sustained. The third way is through further increase in myonuclear material from increased number of satellite cells (precursors to skeletal muscle).
⚠️ The interesting part of steroids effect on muscle is they seem to make type 1 fibers (slow twitch, aerobic) grow more than fast twitch which are usually the ones that hypertrophy the most. Type I had a 58% greater size in enhanced and type II had a 33% larger size. Lastly steroids work by increasing the rate of fat breakdown and reducing fat uptake into cells. Exogenous steroids can have severe side effects and deleterious effects on the body as a word of caution.