Anabolic steroids

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An anabolic steroid is a compound belonging to the androgen family that leads to the development of muscle mass. In humans, testosterone is the most common anabolic steroid. Testosterone is produced in the testes of males, and in small amounts in the ovaries of females.

Due to it's properties as a muscle builder, synthetic anabolic steroids are sometimes taken by athletes who are aiming for muscular hypertrophy. Even in small doses this can have side effects which differ between males and females. Side effects seen in males include; testicular atrophy, hair growth, breast development, infertility, and mood swings. Females, on the other hand, can suffer from side effects such as, loss of breasts, swelling of the clitoris, a deepend voice, and facial hair growth. There is an increased risk of some medical conditions too. These include; liver or kidney tumours, hypertension, blood clots and high cholesterol[1]. As well as this, the body often stops secreting as much testosterone naturally[2].


  1. Anabolic steroid misuse Last reviewed 08/11/2013
  2. Berg J, Tymoczko J, Stryer L. (2012) Biochemistry, Seventh edition, New York: WH Freeman
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