The human endocrine glands produce amino acids and steroid hormones in the body that regulate a number of functions vital to keeping us healthy.
These glands influence the metabolic functioning of human cells via hormones that act as chemical messengers that tell the body how to function.
Are all hormones also steroids?
Hormones are divided into two chemical classes: amino acid based and steroids.
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How are steroid and non-steroid hormones similar?
Perhaps the main similarity between these two hormones is that both bind to receptors in the body. They interface with target cells to indicate the cell’s activity to change.
A full list includes:
The adrenal cortex, testes and ovaries naturally secrete hormones in the body.
Some are absorbed quickly, while others are not. In fact, the primary difference is that the protein hormones are diffused through blood plasma; the others are actually carried by various proteins to the target cells.
This is why natural or synthetic hormones, take time to create the desired effect. Protein hormones, however, act more quickly, diffusing easily through the blood and attaching themselves to cell receptors.
The thyroid hormone works to support nearly every body system. Its function is to generate energy, control cell oxygen use and moderate many important processes in men and women including heart rate and lung function.
The liver, kidneys and muscles contain the most thyroid hormones. These are intrinsically linked to the production of steroid hormones, strongly affecting how they break down and are absorbed by the body.
They affect target organ cells and are grouped by how they bind to the receptors in the body. Examples include:
Glucocorticoids like prednisone and cortisone. Helps regulate blood pressure and are anti-inflammatory.
Mineralocorticoids such as fludrocortisone. Aids in regulating balance between water and salts in the body, especially in the kidneys.
Androgens (or anabolics) that include Oxandrolone, Oxabolone, Testosterone and Nandrolone. Hormones that develop and maintain male sex characteristics as well as red blood cell and skeletal muscles.
Estrogens and Progestogens like mifepristone. These are the two female sex hormones, naturally secreted from the ovaries.
What is the function of steroid hormones?
Steroid hormones have a long list of functions, but generally they regulate the development of sexual characteristics, control metabolism, maintain the balance of water and salt in the body, and assist the body with wellness by moderating inflammation and supporting the immune system.
How does a steroid hormone work?
When it comes to these compounds, there are varied routes by which steroid hormones work that can be grouped under two broad categories: genomic effect and non-genomic effect.
Genomic effects are a slower mechanism of action that may involve an enzyme-mediated modification before the steroid binds to its target hormone receptor.
The faster mechanism of action is non-genomic, and does not experience the same transcription as genomic, but still connects with a specific receptor.
Many medicines mimic naturally occurring chemicals produced in the body or in nature. Anabolics are no different: they were created synthetically in the laboratory and designed after the naturally occurring steroid testosterone.
Anabolics stimulate the production of protein, which builds muscle. The testosterone produced by steroids is critical to the production of lean muscle tissue and skeletal growth.
Steroids were created in the 1930s as a way to treat insufficient testosterone production in males.
Physicians realized they could increase red blood cell production and increase growth of skeletal muscles during laboratory experiments.
Medical applications include treatment of a variety of muscle wasting illnesses from anemia to cancer to AIDS.
By the 1940s bodybuilders and weightlifters had begun using these compounds, and their popularity has spread across every sport imaginable for more than 50 years.
In 2004 the United States banned the sale and possession of the drugs unless prescribed by a physician. But these beneficial compounds are widely available online from overseas manufacturers.
They are often used in patterns or “cycles,” which involve taking multiple doses of steroids over a specific period of time, stopping for a period, and then starting again. Review forums often have a PPT that shows different cycles.
Steroid adopters also combine different types of steroids in “stacking,” meaning that they take two or more different drugs, mixing oral and/or injectable types, and sometimes even including compounds that are designed for veterinary use.
Athletes have adopted these drugs to supplement their own natural production of these chemicals, as a way to increase speed, endurance and strength during competition.
These compounds have been widely linked to professional sports and famous athletes such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hulk Hogan, potentially Bruce Lee, and Lance Armstrong have all been linked to these chemicals.
While the scientific research to understand the effects of performance-enhancing drugs on physical performance and how the steroid hormones produce their effects is unclear, both non-professional and professional athletes report incredible gains in musculature.
In studies documenting the beneficial effects of synthetic drugs, the average body weight (muscle mass) showed a six-pound gain, bench press strength increased on average by 15 pounds, and squats by about 30 pounds.
These studies, which typically last six to eight weeks, do not demonstrate the increased endurance that users report.
But the strength and weight gains made by athletes in non-scientific observations have been very impressive.
Weight gains of thirty or forty pounds, coupled with thirty percent increases in strength, are not unusual, and are, in fact, typical.
Such case studies lack credibility with the scientific community because of the absence of scientific controls.
However, thousands of athletes around the globe supplement their training with performance enhancing drugs and swear by the results achieved.
There is also controversy surrounding the side effects of these drugs, in part, because the detrimental effects depend on dosage and the health and predisposition of the individuals using them.
Even a website against them by the U.S. government admits that most data on the long-term effects of anabolics in humans come from case reports rather than formal epidemiological studies.
From the case reports, the incidence of life-threatening effects appears to be low, but serious adverse effects may be under recognized or underreported, especially since they may occur many years later.
Generally, it has been observed that over use of anabolic steroid hormones affects the production of naturally occurring ones in the human body.
This could create negative health effects such as infertility, heart attacks, liver tumors and hair loss.
Men could experience breast development and women could experience an increase in traditionally male characteristics such as a deeper voice or body hair growth. However, stopping these medications can reverse many of these side effects.Best Steroid AlternativeBest SteroidsBest Steroid StacksLiquid SteroidsSteroid AlternativesSteroid Drugs NamesSteroid HormonesSteroid PillsSteroid PowdersSteroid TabletsStrongest Steroid