Anabolic effects - direct and indirect

Understanding the steroid effect on muscles

Since testosterone has been isolated, synthesized and introduced into many experiments for many decades, there is still debate about its effects on muscle mass. Currently, the main anabolic action of all steroids is understood to be the activation of the cellular androgen receptor and the increase in protein synthesis.

So if we can increase our androgenic level with an external source by adding extra testosterone or another anabolic steroid, we can significantly increase the rate of protein synthesis in the muscles.


This is the main reason for using any anabolic steroids. However, there are other mechanisms that can influence muscle growth, besides the conventional androgenic action of protein synthesis.


It should be noted that the growth of muscle tissue is caused not only by protein synthesis but also by other factors. Such factors include, for example, the transport of nutrients and the degradation of proteins.


Studies have shown that testosterone does not increase the transport of amino acids in tissues. This is due to the action of another hormone - insulin. He is responsible for the transport of nutrients to the cells.


Anti-catabolic effect of testosterone

Testosterone and synthetic anabolic steroids can help increase muscle mass and strength by creating anti-catabolic effects in cells.


Considered one of the most important indirect mechanisms of androgenic action, testosterone influences the action of another type of steroidal hormone in the body - cortisol (the main representative of the glucocorticoid group).

Cortisol has a very androgen-like effect on muscle cells.

It causes the cells to release the stored protein.


This process is called catabolism and causes destruction of muscle tissue.


Muscle growth is only achieved when the anabolic effects of testosterone are more pronounced than the catabolic processes caused by cortisol. The battle between these two hormones is constant and maintenance of diet and intensive training is necessary to maintain the newly built muscle mass.


With the use of anabolic steroids, the much higher level of androgens gains advantage over glucocorticoids and their effects are reduced in the long run. This is due to the competition between the two hormones for binding to the same receptor. Inhibition of protein degradation is achieved even in fasting, thus achieving a clear anti-catabolic effect.


Testosterone and Creatine

In addition to protein synthesis, increase of androgen levels also increases the synthesis of creatine in the body. Creatine by Creatine phosphate (CP) plays a key role in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is responsible for the storage of energy in the muscles

When the muscle cell is shortened adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to adenosine diphosphate crashes (ADP), which releases energy. Then the cell begins the process of using Creatine phosphate (CP) to the quick recovery of adenosine difosfata (ADP) to its original structure.

It restores the concentration of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). During intense activity, however, this recovery process fails to compensate and the levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).


This causes fatigue in muscles and the lower their ability to shorten. With elevated levels of Creatine phosphate (CP) in the cells, the levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) recover faster and have more muscle power for more time.

Testosterone and IGF-1

The growth is mainly regulated by androgens. However, several studies have shown that growth hormone (GH) or insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) may also participate in this process. There is a hypothesis that testosterone may induce the synthesis of IGF-1, or IGF-binding proteins (IGF-BP), which can affect cell proliferation.


Testosterone significantly increases the thymidine kinase and the production of IGF-1 and IGF-BP. However, testosterone significantly reduces cell surface of IGF-1.


Testosterone can stimulate the proliferation of fibroblasts, at least in part, by changing the balance in the production and effects of IGF-1 and IGF-1 IGF-BP. insignificant anabolic hormone in muscle tissue, but may believe that this factor, at least in some degree participate in muscle growth.


Direct and indirect anabolic effects

Pondering on effectiveness of synthetic Anabolic/Androgenic Steroids we can categorise them on those who directly or indirectly stimulate muscle growth. The belief that there are two groups of steroids ignores the fact that all steroids promote not only the growth of muscles, but also the Androgenic effects.


At this point, however, there is no complete separation of these effects, as all the steroids they activate the same cellular receptor.


The theory of the separation of the steroids of classes derived from the low affinity to connect the seemingly strong anabolic steroids such as oxymetholone and metandrostenolon, as well as their long periods of half-life, estrogenic activity and weakly interacting with proteins.


Although one can find differences, the primary mode of action of all steroids are defined by their connection to the androgen receptor.


The idea that two you didn't just flame out should not be used together because they compete for the same receptor as well as the combination of others, because they work by different mechanisms should not be taken extremely.

SCHEME: Аnabolic steroids cause not only directly stimulate the receptor androgena, but also support muscle growth by increasing the levels of free androgens increase the density of androgen receptor inhibition corticosteroid action and inhibition of GH/IGF-1 and IGF-1 proteins.



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