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Am J Sports Med. 2004 Mar;32(2):534-42.

Current concepts in anabolic-androgenic steroids.

Author information

  • UCLA-Orthopaedic Hospital, Los Angeles, California, USA. drnicke@yahoo.com

Abstract

Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are synthetic derivatives of testosterone. According to surveys and media reports, the legal and illegal use of these drugs is gaining popularity. Testosterone restores sex drive and boosts muscle mass, making it central to 2 of society's rising preoccupations: perfecting the male body and sustaining the male libido. The anabolic effects of AAS have been questioned for decades, but recent scientific investigation of supraphysiologic doses supports the efficacy of these regimens. Testosterone has potent anabolic effects on the musculoskeletal system, including an increase in lean body mass, a dose-related hypertrophy of muscle fibers, and an increase in muscle strength. For athletes requiring speed and strength and men desiring a cosmetic muscle makeover, illegal steroids are a powerful lure, despite the risk of subjective side effects. Recent clinical studies have discovered novel therapeutic uses for physiologic doses of AAS, without any significant adverse effects in the short term. In the wake of important scientific advances during the past decade, the positive and negative effects of AAS warrant reevaluation. Guidelines for the clinical evaluation of AAS users will be presented for sports medicine practitioners.

PMID:
14977687
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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