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Chemistry behind steroids and short term/long term impact on human body
Mechanism of action inside the body 4
Short term and long term Impacts on the human body 5
Positive impacts 5
Adverse impacts 6
Works Cited 7
The term steroid was coined by Callow and Young for a particular type of compounds containing hydrogenated cyclopentenophenanthrene-ring scheme. Steroids develop naturally inside the body. These compounds are associated chemically with cholesterol. Steroids include sterols, cardiac aglycones, bile acids, certain poisons and saponins (Schoenheimer and Evans Jr 139).
There are various types of steroids with different applications. Corticosteroids have a positive impact on the human body and are used as medication for several diseases. Corticosteroids are equivalent to adrenal hormones that are prescribed to combat stress, asthma, arthritis, several skin conditions like eczema, and cancers. Steroids are useful and have beneficial effects on the body if used in a limit. Long-term use of steroids is not considered healthy (Brandt 1-2; Nlm.nih.gov).
Androgenic-Anabolic steroids belong to man-made anabolic steroid category which is used for athletic body and stamina enhancement (Hartgens and Kuipers, 513-555). These are synthetic derivative of sex hormones, testosterone, in males and females to treat hormonal problems in men, muscle loss, and delayed puberty. Owing to steroids potential for boosting body stamina it is majorly used by bodybuilders and sportspersons. Usage of steroids for a lengthy period is dangerous to the human body (Hartgens and Kuipers, 513-555).
This research paper highlights the basics of steroids, its chemistry and mechanism of action, along with its influence on the human body.
Lipid can be divided into two groups. One group involves fats and waxes and second involves steroids. Steroids can not be hydrolyzed, unlike Fats and waxes. In human steroids originate from cholesterol accumulated in the liver. The basic structure of steroids consists of a tetracyclic ring scheme, in which three rings are hexane, and remaining one is pentane ring. Steroids are nominated according to the unique arrangement of four backbones. Steroids have a unique feature of interconversion in which the conformational changes in the molecule backbones yield different derivatives (Brandt 4). To verify the nature of steroids, the formation of γ-methyl cyclopentenophenanthrene is the best illustration. The relationship of bile acids with cholesterol can be established through the transformation or degradation of compounds into common intermediates (Schoenheimer and Evans Jr 141).
Figure 1: Basic backbone structures of physiological steroids (Brandt 3)
Mineralocorticoids: Theses steroids are involved in electrolyte balance. e.g., aldosterone, a pregnane with 21-C. It has 200 times higher activity in comparison of corticosterone due to its specific 18-aldehyde (Fig 1,2) (Brandt 5).
Glucocorticoids: These steroids influence energy metabolism inside the human body, e.g., Cortisol. Cortisol is a Pregnane with 21- C. (Fig 1,2). It is highly similar to aldosterone except it has a 17a-hydroxyl group and lacks an aldehyde group at 18-methyl position (Brandt 5).
Figure 2: The structures of cortisol (4-pregnene-11b,17a,21-triol-3,20-dione), and aldosterone (4-pregnene-11b,21-diol-3,18,20-trione) (Brandt 5).
Sex steroids: These steroids are involved in sexual development and reproductive functions in the human body. There are androgens, progestins, and estrogens (Fig 3) (Brandt 6).
Figure 3: The structures of progestin progesterone (4-pregnene- 3,20-dione), androgen testosterone (4-androstene-17b-ol-3-one), and estrogen estradiol (1,3,5(10)-estratriene-3,17b-diol) (Brandt 6).
Mechanism of action inside the body
The main functions of steroids are to transport information where steroids act as a signal to stimulate or deactivate a cellular process. The mechanism of functioning of steroids varies according to the type of target cells. Steroids hormones penetrate into the target cells via passive diffusion. Inside cells, steroids attach themselves to the receptors made up of intracellular proteins (Brandt 7). Binding of Steroids activates receptors via a hormone-reliant process. This stimulation of receptor any result in the conformational alterations and phosphorylation of receptors. Subsequently receptor binds to DNA and other nuclear proteins and impacts the mRNA transcription frequency of the cell. The affected mRNA starts translating novel proteins capable enough to alter the other cellular functions, such as transcription rate of other genes. These alterations result in various biological changes (Brandt 7).
Short term and long term Impacts on the human body
As pharmaceutical agents oral; steroids are prescribed to treat several biological problems. Steroids have shown positive effects in the treatment of inflammatory disorders, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease. The basic functioning of steroids involves suppression of the immune system, through blocking DNA transcription. This process also blocks histamine chemical in allergic reactions. Steroids are efficient to affect the immune system and intervene with immune functioning that is why these are suggested in autoimmune diseases to suppress hyperactivity and inflammation. Several other problems can be cured through steroids administration including musculoskeletal disorders and joints problems, (such as arthritis) and allergies and asthma (Nlm.nih.gov). A research has revealed the positive effects of Sex steroids containing estrogen or androgens on delayed puberty. The administration of Sex hormones resulted in an increase of growth hormone (Shalet et al., 203-223).
Androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) are used to boost up the body stamina, strengthening and increasing the muscle volume that is highly advantageous for athletes. The history of AAS started with the treatment of hypogonadism to induce the growth of testicles in men. It is now used to cure impotence, late puberty and muscle wasting in AIDS positive patients (Hartgens and Kuipers, 513-555). In a study, the supply of anabolic steroids to malnourished males with COPD did not show any adverse effects except the enhancement in BMI and lean body mass. Though, endurance exercise aptitude was not affected by steroid dosages (Ferreira et al. 19-28.).
AAS are also applicable in treating nitrogen balancing disorders, muscular development, osteoporosis, breast carcinoma and nonendocrine diseases, such as anaemia, genetic oedema. Now scientists are trying to develop male contraceptives from testosterone steroids (Hartgens and Kuipers, 516).
Steroids consumption interferes with hormone production and most of them reverse on the termination of practice while several are permanent. Several effects are sperm reduction and testicular atrophy, baldness and breast enlargement or gynecomastia in males. In females anabolic steroids result in masculinization, reduction in breast and body fat, enlargement of the clitoris and the voice deepening. High dosages of AAS can stop the growth in children. Above the age of 30 the chances of cardiovascular diseases and blood clotting increases. The low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels are elevated due to steroids and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels are decreased that in turn causes risk of atherosclerosis. Other adverse impacts are changes in behaviour, aggressiveness, irritability (Nlm.nih.gov).
In the anabolic steroid consumers, main effects are acne, pimples, enlargement of breasts in males. Certain Mutated steroids have exhibited the oncogenic potential. The mutant steroid contends with normal receptor and substitutes the responsive element. Thus, whole DNA transcription process is negatively interfered giving birth to oncogenes. Dominant mutation is responsible for Oncogenes origin, thus called domines, such as in retinoblastoma (Sluyser 451).
The tissue and muscle enhancing capabilities of anabolic steroids led to excessive and long term consumption by bodybuilders and sportsperson. It became an issue of concern because long-term use of any steroid results in crucial side effects. Life-threatening diseases such as heart problems or cancerous growth are seen as the steroid impact.
Brandt,. 'Steroid Chemistry And Steroid Hormone Action'. https://www.rose-hulman.edu/. Web.
28 Mar. 2015
Ferreira, Ivone Martins, et al. "The influence of 6 months of oral anabolic steroids on body mass
and respiratory muscles in undernourished COPD patients." CHEST Journal 114.1
Hartgens, Fred, and Harm Kuipers. "Effects of androgenic-anabolic steroids in athletes." Sports
Medicine 34.8 (2004): 513-554.
Nlm.nih.gov,. 'Steroids: Medlineplus'. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Mar. 2015.
Schoenheimer, Rudolf, and E. A. Evans Jr. "The chemistry of the steroids."Annual Review of
Biochemistry 6.1 (1937): 139-162.
Shalet, Stephen Michael, et al. "The diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency in children and
adults." Endocrine reviews 19.2 (1998): 203-223.
Sluyser, Mels. "Steroid/thyroid receptor-like proteins with oncogenic potential: a
review." Cancer research 50.3 (1990): 451-458.
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