Are Steroids Worth the Risk.docx - Dominic has baseball on...

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Dominic has baseball on the brain. Just being good isn't enough — he wants to be the best. Hedreams of playing in the majors someday, but worries about the intense competition for a positionon a major league team. His girlfriend, Deborah, is also a highly competitive athlete whoseappearance and performance are very important to her. She wants to stand out — both physicallyand athletically.Because of the pressure they each feel to excel, Dominic and Deborah wonder whether steroidswould help them. They've heard rumors about the bad side effects of steroids, but they don't havemany facts. Here's the scoop on steroids.What Are Steroids?Steroids, sometimes referred to as roids, juice, hype, weight trainers, gym candy, arnolds, stackers,or pumpers, are the same as, or similar to, certain hormones in the body. The body producessteroids naturally to support such functions as fighting stress and promoting growth anddevelopment. But some people use steroid pills, gels, creams, or injections because they thinksteroids can improve their sports performance or the way they look.Anabolic steroidsare artificially produced hormones that are the same as, or similar to,androgens, the male-type sex hormones in the body. There are more than 100 variations ofanabolic steroids. The most powerful androgen istestosterone(pronounced: tess-toss-tuh-rone).Although testosterone is mainly a mature male hormone, girls' bodies produce smaller amounts.Testosterone promotes the masculine traits that guys develop during puberty, such as deepening ofthe voice and growth of body hair. Testosterone levels can also affect how aggressive a person is.Athletes sometimes take anabolic steroids because of their testosterone-like effects.Another group of steroids, sometimes calledsteroidal supplements, containsdehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and/or androstenedione (also known as andro). For the most part,steroidal supplements, which used to be found at health food stores or gyms, are now illegal andrequire a prescription. DHEA is one of the few exceptions and can still be bought over the counter.Steroid supplements are weaker forms of androgen. Their effects aren't well known, but it's thoughtthat, when taken in large doses, they cause effects similar to other androgens like testosterone.Here's whatisknown about steroidal supplements: Companies that manufacture them often usefalse claims and very little is known about the long-term effects some of these substances have onthe body. That’s one reason why the government took action to protect citizens by passing laws
controlling steroid distribution.

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