Friday, December 27, 2013

Boost Your Anabolic Hormone Levels

Anabolic steroids use appears to be on the rise. With the great increase in modern recombinant DNA technology, steroids such as growth hormone, growth factors and testosterone-based analogs have become increasingly more available and affordable. Despite their renewed popularity however, anabolic steroids are illegal and have negative effects on health, reproductive status and even personality. In response, this article aims to provide some basic information on anabolic steroids and how to boost the body's own production levels naturally, using exercise.

What is an anabolic hormone?

The definition of anabolic is "to build up"- therefore anabolic steroids are hormones that cause increases body and muscle size. Actually, not all "anabolic steroids" are steroids but they are all hormones. An example of an anabolic steroid hormone is testosterone and its analogs. An example of an anabolic polypeptide/non-steroid hormone is growth hormone. Basically, hormones are chemical messengers released from certain tissues into the blood in response to a stimulus. Their role is essentially to help the human body adapt and remain in a state of balance or "homeostasis". While the body is quite efficient at regulating its anabolic state on its own - the temptation exists to use large quantities of anabolic hormones to magnify the results. As recently as 15-20 years ago, growth hormone had to be extracted form the pituitary glands of cadavers. Now however, modern science is able to manipulate the DNA of bacteria to produce large quantities of the hormone. Steroid use has always been rife in bodybuilding arena, but with peer pressure and ever-increasing expectations of sport performance, anabolic steroid use has become commonplace in sports too - even among high school age athletes.

How do I boost my levels of testosterone and growth hormone?

It is possible to increase anabolic hormone production naturally however - the simplest method of doing this is by regulating the intensity of the weightlifting session. This is achieved by manipulating volume (sets and reps), load (%1RM*) and rest periods. Evidence indicates that exercises that recruit large muscle groups (legs and back) in exercises such as squats and deadlifts and that are performed with high intensity and moderate volume boost serum testosterone concentrations. Therefore the exerciser should use heavy loads (85-95% 1 RM) and multiple sets/exercises separated by short rest periods (30 -60s). Testosterone, the male sex hormone is responsible for the increased muscle mass and strength observed in men. This steroid hormone operates both on a gene level to increase muscle protein production (increased gene transcription). It is also suspected to work on the central nervous system, allowing greater muscle activation by motor neurons, resulting in greater force production. (It is unlikely that herbal testosterone "precursors" such as tribulus terestris have a large impact on production - the exerciser should save his time and money and devote more effort into sensible eating and exercising according to these guidelines.)

Human growth hormone (HGH) is a polypeptide (non steroid) hormone released form the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, and its release similar to testosterone, is dependent on the level of "stress" experienced by the body. Its main functions are to increase the transport of amino acids over cell membranes and to increase the synthesis of muscle protein, connective tissue (e.g. collagen) bone and cartilage thus directly causing "growth". It also is responsible for increasing the level of glucose and fatty acids in the blood, and therefore has a direct body-fat reducing quality. Studies involving the release of growth hormone during exercise indicate that a typical bodybuilding program of multiple sets (higher volumes) of moderate intensity (e.g. 10RM) separated by short (1 min.) rest periods produce the largest increases. Many of the actions of growth hormone are actually mediated by another hormone called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) released by the liver and other organs in response to HGH. The release of this powerful stimulator of muscle growth has been shown to increase in response to the consumption of a carbohydrate and protein supplement before and immediately after a weightlifting workout.

In conclusion, it is hoped that this article has demonstrated that there are alternatives to using illegal and health threatening anabolic steroids. The human body is a marvel at adapting to stresses such as exercise and weightlifting without the need for external hormone administration. This article has highlighted that is in fact possible to manipulate the body's own natural production of the same substances simply by regulating the intensity of the weightlifting session.

*1RM = the maximum amount of weight that can be lifted with good form for a single repetition.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Can Steroids Cause a Low Sperm Count?

 The bottom line is that steroids can really affect male fertility, especially causing a low sperm count. Find out if the effects are reversible.

There are many things that can cause a low sperm count. From diet, to medical issues, to lifestyle choices, these are all things that can affect sperm count and quality. Today we are going to find out if steroids are another thing that can cause a low sperm count. Keep reading to learn more.

What are steroids?

Steroids are commonly used drugs. They are often used by men who play sports or wish to build muscle. Basically, anabolic steroids are a synthetic form of testosterone, which is the male hormone. Most men inject them, but they can also be taken orally.

The problems with steroids

There can be many problems attributed to steroid use and abuse, but one of the most prominent side effects is low sperm count. Most men don’t see lowered sperm counts right away, but they do see them months, or even years down the road. Even if your man doesn’t take steroids now, but has done so in the past, he could still be suffering from low sperm count due to his steroid use.

Other reproductive problems

Steroids can cause widespread problems with a guy’s reproductive tract, not just low sperm counts. Steroid use can cause impotence and low sex drive in men. Steroid use can also cause shrinking of the testicles and other male reproductive problems. Some of these problems can be reversed by stopping the use of the drugs, but some of the side effects could possibly be permanent.

What to do

Of course, the most important thing to do if you are taking anabolic steroids is to stop right away. While some of the effects of steroid use can be reversed just by quitting, that is not always the case. Sometimes, doctors will be able to help the body to begin producing testosterone again by prescribing Clomid, often used to help jump start ovulation in women. Sometimes an aromatase inhibitor can do the trick as well.

What this means

The bottom line is that steroids can really affect male fertility, especially sperm count. The best option is to never, ever use steroids at all. If you know someone who is using steroids, and they want to have a baby, they need to stop using them all together. Doctors can also help figure out if the steroid damage is permanent or if it is something that can be reversed. The best advice is that if you have a history of steroid use; seek the advice and help of a doctor as soon as possible.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Effects Of Steroids On Fertility And Reproductive Organs

The use of steroids may have a severe side effect on the reproductive system of both males and females and may affect fertility permanently ...
The synthetic form of the male sex hormone testosterone is called steroid. Consequently, use of steroids may have a severe side effect on the reproductive system of both males and females and may affect fertility permanently. The use of any steroid can lead to anabolic (tissue building) and androgenic (masculinizing) effects.
More than 70 side effects of use of steroids have been identified so far. These side effects may range from liver cancer to acne. The areas of the human body most affected by steroids are the liver, the cardiovascular and the reproductive systems. Some side effects like heart attacks or strokes may not be recognized for a long time. On the other hand, side effects like stunted growth may even remain unnoticed.
Steroid is used either in tablet form or by injection. However, the use of injection forms of steroids involves the risk of infection in a case the needles are shared. Thus, it carries the risk of contracting AIDS.
Often steroids are taken by sports people to increase their performance or by occupational users like bouncers, security personnel etc. to increase their muscle size and strength.
Effect of Steroids Use on Male Fertility

Steroid use in men leads to enlargement of the prostrate gland and may increase the chances of prostrate cancer. Besides these, it may lead to accelerated male pattern hair loss. Since steroids are a synthetic form of testosterone, their effect on the reproductive system is obvious. Supra physiological elevations of testosterone are also the result of use of steroids.
Long time use of steroids in high doses results in hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism, along with reduced serum elevations of LH and FSH and testosterone.
Atrophy of the testes and decreased sperm cell production are caused by a moderate reduction in gonadotropin secretion. It has been reported that oligo, azoospermia and increased sperm cells have been identified in athletes, thus resulting in a decreased fertility.
Steroids cessation will make gonadal functions normal within few months. Also, changes in fertility that occur due to steroids use usually can be reversed within a few months. However, it may take some more time than usual in some cases.

Effects of Steroids Use in Female Fertility

In a normal female body, testosterones are produced in a small amount. Similar to males, synthetically elevated testosterones due to anabolic steroids use can affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. The production and release of LH and FSH gets hampered due to increase in circulating androgens.
Consequently, serum levels of LH, FSH, estrogens and progesterone are reduced. It may lead to follicle formation, ovulation and an irregular menstrual cycle. Other side effects of steroids use in females include increased sexual desire and clitoral hypertrophy.
However, steroids used by pregnant women may result in the slow growth of the female fetus. More adversely, it may even lead to fetal death.
Besides all these, if steroids are used during adolescence, then it may lead to stunted growth. The condition of acne gets worse with the use of steroids. Also, prolonged use may have long-term undesirable effects on fertility.