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01.11.2020


Anabolic steroids make heavy physical exercise more addictive

More often than not, abuse of anabolic steroids is associated with disturbed body image and compulsive diet and exercise. The American psychiatrist Tom Hildebrandt may have found a biological explanation for the latter aspect. In 2014, Hildebrandt published a human study that suggests that steroids use enhances the addictiveness of heavy physical exercise.

Study
The researchers analyzed the blood of 26 men who work out with weights intensively. Ten men were natural [Control; Heavy exercise control], the other sixteen used anabolics. The average steroids user in this study had already completed a dozen cycles.

During this study, half of the steroids users were on-cycle, the other half was off-cycle.

The researchers analyzed the subjects' blood and measured the extent to which the men appreciated physical training using a complex test. This meant that the men were runing on a treadmill, but had to perform increasingly tedious tasks while running in order to keep running.

Results
The steroids users were appreciating their workout more than the non-users, and the users who were on-cycle scored considerably higher than the users who were off-cycle.

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Anabolic steroids make heavy physical exercise more addictive


Anabolic steroids make heavy physical exercise more addictive


Mechanism
In the blood, the researchers found a possible explanation for the greater attachment to training among steroids users. The concentration of beta-endorphins was higher in this group.

Beta-endorphins are released during intensive exercise. It is an important factor in the euphoric feelings experienced by performance athletes, which enduance athletes call runner's high. According to sports psychologists, beta-endorphins play a crucial role in sports addiction.

Beta-endorphins interact with the same receptors with which addictive opioid painkillers such as morphine interact. In the 1970s, when experimenting with lab animals, Horace Loh discovered that the analgesic effect of beta-endorphins exceeded that of morphine by a factor of 18-33. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1976 Aug;73(8):2895-8.]


Anabolic steroids make heavy physical exercise more addictive


Anabolic steroids make heavy physical exercise more addictive


Conclusion
"The results of the current study provide continued support for the role of compulsive exercise in anabolic steroids dependence and its possible incorporation into addictive model of anabolic steroids use", summarize the researchers.

"The fact that anabolic steroids increase lean muscle mass and may also enhance mood and the reinforcing value of behaviors such as exercise via effects on the HPA axis suggest a powerful environment for maintaining drug use."

Source:
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Jun 1;139:86-92.

More:
Androgens deteriorate immune system 15.09.2020
Smoking, alcohol and coke make anabolic steroids more dangerous for your heart 07.06.2020
Anabolic steroids eliminate the cancer-inhibiting effect of strength training 10.04.2020

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Anabolic steroid user ends up in prison remarkably often
Anabolic steroid users end up in prison ten times more often than non-users.

We know too little about anabolic steroids, doctors admit
Study by Stephanie Hill, affiliated with York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom.

25% of young steroids users have clogged coronary arteries
Brazilian researchers at the Universidade de Sao Paulo discovered this by comparing a group of young steroids users with a group of young natural bodybuilders.