'Use of steroids for faster muscle growth can wreak havoc on heart'

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 07, 2018 13:01 hrs

[India], July 7 (ANI): Working out at gym to gain large muscles has become a popular aspiration among men over the past few years. Even women desire to gain lean muscles to flaunt their picture perfect cuts.

While the desire to boast off nicely carved out muscles has promoted the concept of exercising among the people for good, it has also given prevalence to the use of unnatural products like steroids and protein supplements which many people consume to gain muscles faster.

However, these shortcuts have serious impediments on health, especially cardiovascular health.

"Large amounts of steroids, taken for prolonged time periods, can wreak havoc on the heart, even leading to a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest. There's a sizeable subsection of athletes, bodybuilders in particular that have been using staggering amounts of steroids and proteins for a long time and it is time that they get educated about their health effects," said Dr. Vanita Arora, Max Super Specialty Hospital.

Let us understand in detail how steroids and proteins are different from each other and what their health effects are.

-The effects of steroids and protein supplements

Proteins are actually beneficial in muscle gain and are a safe source of nutrition as they do not interfere with the immune system and do not cause any ill effects on the health if taken in appropriate portions and as per the prescribed usage.

However, the same cannot be said for steroids. Steroids are essentially synthetic versions of testosterone. They help in the growth of muscles artificially, and heart also being a kind of muscle, too can get spurred to grow when introduced to steroids.

While growth of the heart doesn't sound like a bad thing at first, it can lead to the thickening of the walls of the heart to a point where they lose pliability and have difficulty pumping blood.

-Steroids can negatively impact the heart

Steroid users have significantly weaker hearts than those who never use steroids. A weakened heart can't pump enough blood around the body and the condition is linked to an increased risk of heart failure and sudden cardiac death.

Secondly, long-term use of anabolic steroids has been implicated in increased coronary artery disease. The heart cannot contract with the same force as it usually does, and it also becomes less flexible among steroid users. Steroid users also have significantly more plaque build-up in their arteries than non-users.

The longer men continue taking steroids, the worse their arteries become. Plaque build-up is a leading causative agent of heart disease, which is the number one killer of men and women across the globe. Taking steroids, even for a short period of time, may cause permanent damage to the heart. The more steroids a person takes over time, the worse the heart damage will be.

Speaking on the same lines, Dr. Sanjay Mittal, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad said, "People who use steroids for faster muscle growth have significantly weaker hearts than those who never use steroids. A weakened heart can't pump enough blood around the body and the condition is linked to an increased risk of heart failure and sudden cardiac death."

"Secondly, long-term use of anabolic steroids has been implicated in increased coronary artery disease. The heart cannot contract with the same force as it usually does, and it also becomes less flexible among steroid users. Usage of steroids also significantly increases plaque build-up in arteries of the heart. The longer people continue taking steroids, the worse their arteries become. Plaque build-up is a leading causative agent of heart disease, which is the number one killer of men and women across the globe," concluded Dr. Sanjay Mittal. (ANI)



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