Steroids And The Impact On The Human Body
Steroids is categorized as one of the major lipid groups. Lipids are “fats, oils, waxes and fat-like molecules (such as steroids) found in the body. Their roles include components of cell membranes (phospholipids and cholesterol), energy stores, chemical messengers (steroid ‘hormones’), protection, waterproofing, insulation and buoyancy agents,” (Lipids). Its structure is made up of carbons and hydrogens and “the main feature of steroids is the ring system of three cyclohexane’s and one cyclopentane in a fused ring system,” (Libretext). This image is a basic structure of a steroid *(Introduction to Chemistry). Steroids can be found in animals, plants and humans. The focus of this paper is on humans. Unlike other lipids, steroids do not interact with alkali making it nonsaponifiable.
Steroids and Cholesterol
Cholesterol is one of the main places in which steroids is found within the human body. Steroids are formed in places such as brain tissue, nervous tissues as well as found in the bloodstream. Cholesterol, “navigates through lipid bilayers of cell membranes,” (Introduction to Chemistry). Cholesterol is not soluble with matter thus not making it soluble in blood unless it is combines with a complex protein which would make it easy for the lipid to be able to move throughout the body. Cholesterol also helps with the formation of sex hormones and steroid hormones. Within the body, “excess cholesterol not metabolized by the body is released from the liver and transported by blood to the gallbladder,” (Introduction to Chemistry). This is a picture of the structure of a cholesterol* (Introduction to Chemistry).
Steroids also chemically help create certain hormones. Steroids are involved in the formation and structure of sex hormones for both male and females. For males steroids are located in testosterone which helps with the formation and development of male sex organs and male characteristics. Testosterone is also one feature that helps with body increase muscle. This is the steroid in particular in which athletes are most interested in. This image is the chemical structure of testosterone*(Introduction to Chemistry). As for females steroids help chemical in the formation of estrogen and progesterone. As for the female sex hormones, “Estrogen helps with the control and regulation of female organs in the menstrual cycle while progesterone helps the female organs during the period of ovulation, in control/regulation” (Libre Text). Estrogen also helps in the formation and development of female characteristics and of the female sex organs. These are pictures of the structure of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
Another steroid hormones is produced in the adrenal gland called aldosterone and cortisol, and cortisone. Aldosterone helps with the “regulation and reabsorption of sodium ions and chloride ions as well as the increase of secretion of potassium ions, which turns into water retentions” (Libretext). Because of water retention people are unable to release excess sodium still retained and which may cause further health complications if the body is not able to secrete. Another steroid hormone that sends messages is that of cortisol and its objective with the liver. Cortisol helps in the making of glucose and glycogen in the liver. Cortisol also helps control inflammation within certain tissues of the body. This in turn also influences the making of cortisone which also helps with the inflammation of body tissue in which inflammation may occur. These are the structures of cortisone, cortisol, and aldosterone *Libre Text.
Impact on Health
Due to the natural formation of steroids and being able to understand the structures of steroids, studies have been conducted and reviewed to how steroids have helped in understanding of certain diseases, protection against unwanted pregnancies, and certain preventions for health complications that may potentially arise.
In the case of cholesterol when there is an increase of cholesterol in the thin walls of the blood vessels, “formations of deposits of cholesterol found in the walls of the blood vessels, can obstruct the flow of blood which can then lead to heart diseases…heart diseases have claimed 631,636 lives in the United States in 2006” (Introduction to Chemistry). It is with this kind of understanding diseases that the review sees that cholesterol (a steroid) plays a vital role in the health of the heart and that limitations or a moderation of cholesterol in the diet of one is vital for a healthy life.
Another impact that steroids had is the fact that companies have been able to synthesize chemically female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone as well as testosterone (in the form of anabolic steroids and cortisol/cortisone. For women pharmaceutical creation of estrogen and progesterone help in the formation of women contraceptives, in which help in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. Cortisol and cortisone are also created in order to help relieve certain health issues such as arthritis and “…used pharmacologically as immunosuppressant’s after transplant operations and in the treatment of severe skin allegories and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis” (Introduction to Chemistry). Testosterone when medically given for those who have low testosterone are affect by other health conditions, its development of muscle as well as male characteristics can be beneficial to them.
Steroids and Our Athletes
As much introduction this paper has given to the job of steroids and how they affect our body whether it is produced naturally or given because of necessity medically, there are also those who abuse certain steroids in order to gain an unfair advantage. This has been seen across the board by many athletes in professions such as baseball, Olympic athletes, mix martial artist and more. Famous players such as Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, and Barry are baseball players tested positive for steroid use. Essentially, many athletes take illegal substances containing testosterone which would help promote muscle building, essentially giving them a better chance of becoming stronger athletes. In a study done, “Hartgens and Kuipers found that 21 out of 29 studies they reviewed found an increase in humans’ strength after steroid use, with improvements in strength ranging from 5% to 20%,” (Jerry). As much as these certain types of steroids help in one department, it can be seen that it has negative effect in other departments. In studies in can be shown that, “… Medical researchers have determined that the use of anabolic steroids may lead to heart disease, sexual and reproductive disorders, immune deficiencies, liver damage, stunted growth (in teenager and young adults), and aggressive, violent behavior” (Clayton). Other studies show that, “long term use can lead to baldness, development of breast tissue” (“What are Steroids”). It is with these conflicting studies that even seeing the negative harms that can occur athletes still cheat. As a result, World Anti-doping Agency was made and now “added steroid modules…urine test specifically to check for testosterone…” (Azvolinksy). With stricter ways to find out whether athletes have been taking certain steroids, it seems as those people still take it, knowing well the risk that come with it.