Androgenic-anabolic steroids and athletes
Hartgens, Fred Department of Surgery, Sports Medicine Centre Maastricht, University Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
- Therapeutic use of AAS
- Mechanisms of action
- Effects on body composition
- Effects on performance
- Health effects
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) are synthetic manufactured drugs derived from the male sex hormone testosterone. All AAS exert both androgenic and anabolic effects. “Androgenic'' refers to the masculinizing effects, for example, growth of genital size, muscle growth, and male body hair distribution. The “anabolic” effects are characterized by the building properties on several organ systems, for example, muscle and bone growth and enlargement of organs such as the heart, kidney, and prostate. Manipulation of the chemical composition of these substances to dissipate both types of effects has failed, but has resulted in a number of compounds with different androgenic and anabolic properties (see Table 1).
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