Nutritional Effects of Anabolic Steroids Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The long-term use of steroids can lead to a change in the cholesterol profile of the individual and lead to heart disease and myocardial infarction. The drug can also lead to increased serum low-density lipoproteins. (Reeseand Exum 239) These aspects also obviously impact absorption, distribution and bodily regulation of nutritional elements.

Other effect that this substance can have on the healthy balance of the body is that it can lead to increased blood volume and hypertension. This is a result of the "... sodium-, potassium-, and water-retaining properties of anabolic steroids" (Reese, and Exum 239). Other negative aspects include Oligospermia to a decrease in the amount of sperm in semen and decreased levels of circulating hormones.

While all of the above impact on the normal body functions and chemical balance, one of the most worrying aspects noted in the literature with regard to the use of anabolic steroids and nutrition is the way that the image or perception of this substance is projected in society as an alternative to normal, healthy nutritional development. (Jenkins) Taking into account the wide range of ways that anabolic steroids can upset and seriously undermine the healthy teenager discussed above, it is of increasing concern among the medical fraternity that steroids are often seen as a more effective means of achieving good body tone and performance levels. This is a tendency that can be especially seen among sports-minded and ambitious young people, which can have a negative affect on long-term health.

Often the steps that lead to the repeated usage of steroids begin with the erroneous view that anabolic steroids are a form of nutritional enhancement. "Supplements are often used by adolescent athletes as ergogenic aids to improve physical performance. While there are risks associated with vitamin/mineral supplement use, other ergogenic aids such as steroids, amphetamines, and human growth hormone present even greater risks for adolescents involved in athletics" (Sobal, and Marquart 835) This is also referred to as the "stepping-stone" pattern of substance abuse. Therefore one of the great dangers associated with anabolic steroids is that it is taken to replace normal and healthy nutritional elements that should be used by those adolescents involved in sport or athletics.

In conclusion many medical experts see the use of steroids as being harmful in both the short- and long-term, particularly when it is used as a replacement for normal nutritional supplements. It is also significant that the perception in society is often than steroids are beneficial in terms of the performance value that they represent. "Unfortunately, many young men feel that the immediate benefits of steroids are worth the long-term damage to their livers, sexuality, cardiovascular systems, and longevity" (Samaras 26). Many experts are of the opinion that this is a view that educationists should attempt to alter.


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