Anabolic and Androgenic EffectsAnabolic-androgenic prohormones and steroids have two different, but overlapping, types of effects:
Examples of anabolic effects include:
- Anabolic: promote cell growth
- Androgenic: affect the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics
Androgenic effects experienced by prohormone and steroid users are greatly dependant on the length of use. Some side effects can be irreversible.
- increased protein synthesis from amino acids
- increased appetite
- increased bone remodeling and growth
- stimulation of bone marrow, which increases the production of red blood cells
- stimulation of the formation of muscle cells leading to an increase in the size and strength of skeletal muscles
Processes affected include pubertal growth, sebaceous gland oil production, and sexuality. Side effect can include but are not limited tot:
The androgenic:anabolic ratio of a steroid is an important factor when determining clinical application. Compounds with a high ratio of androgenic to an anabolic effects are preferred in androgen-replacement therapy (such as treating hypogonadism in males). Compounds with a reduced androgenic:anabolic ratio are preferred for anemia and osteoporosis and to reverse protein loss following trauma, surgery, or prolonged immobilization.
- growth of the clitoris in females and the penis in male children (the adult penis does not grow and will eventually get smaller)
- increased growth of androgen-sensitive hair (pubic, beard, chest, and limb hair)
- increased vocal cord size, deepening the voice
- increased libido
- suppression of natural sex hormones
- impaired production of sperm.
Determination of androgenic:anabolic ratio is typically performed in animal studies, which has led to the marketing of some compounds claimed to have anabolic activity with weak androgenic effects. It should be noted that all anabolic steroids have significant androgenic effects.
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