Being Adept

Category Archives: Performance Enhancing Drugs

Myostatin Inhibitors: The Next PED on the Horizon?

Belgian Blue bulls look like they are made of muscle because they have a mutation in the gene that codes for the protein myostatin. In humans, as in other types of cattle, myostatin normally limits the number of muscle fibers that form before birth, and then limits the growth of those fibers later on.

As the recent Biogenesis suspensions demonstrate, professional athletes are willing to go to absurd lengths in order to improve their performance on the field. And while sports governing bodies have managed to implement testing for EPO and hGH, there are always new drugs being produced.

Jon Hamilton, of NPR, reports that the next PED may already be on the horizon, and come in the form of myostatin inhibitors. Myostatin is a naturally secreted protein that inhibits muscle growth, in order to prevent muscles from becoming too large. Recently, scientists have created drugs that can block the process, leading to engorged muscles. The effects can clearly be seen in the two mice below.

There is a clear distinction between the normal mouse (left), and the mouse treated with myotasin inhibitors (right)

Hamilton notes that while performance enhancing drugs used to be created by “rogue chemists”, now days, they are simply a byproduct of the pharmaceutical business. EPO was originally created to treat anemia, but has become the world’s most popular biotech drug because of its enhancing properties.

Some worry that new Myostatin inhibiting drugs, which are incredibly valuable to the small portion of the population that suffers from muscular dystrophy, might prove irresistible to cheating athletes.

Being Adept, a Bay Area drug and alcohol curriculum, encourages parents and teens to understand the consequences of the substances that we put in our bodies. Being Adept seeks to inform teens so that they can make healthy decisions.

 

Source: Hamilton, Jon. “New Muscle Drugs Could Be the Next Big Thing in Sports Doping”. NPR. August 12, 2013. <http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/08/12/210487410/new-muscle-drugs-could-be-the-next-big-thing-in-sports-doping>.

 

Biogenesis Supplied High Schoolers with Steriods

Anthony Bosch, founder of Biogenesis, is facing federal scrutiny for supplying minors with performance enhancing drugs.

Two weeks ago, Being Adept ran a series on the effects of performance enhancing drugs and the dangers they pose to athletes, particularly adolescent athletes. It appears that the information may be even more pertinent than we originally thought, given today’s headlines.

The Miami Herald reports that the Federal Government is now getting involved with the Biogenesis saga, because it has come to light that the “anti-aging clinic” was not only supplying PED’s to high-profile major league baseball players, but also to high schoolers. Whistle-blower Porter Fischer alleges that that Anthony Bosch, the founder of Biogenesis, often was “injecting minors with steroid concoctions.”[1]

The implication of these reports are that not only are high school athletes being modeled poor behavior, but predatory sports clinics, like Biogenesis, are more than willing to supply them with such drugs.

Being Adept, a drug and alcohol curriculum working in several schools in the Bay Area, is very concerned with the implications of steroid use (see articles on hGH, Anabolic Steriods, and EPO) for adolescent athletes, and encourages parents to take a proactive approach to educating their children about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs.



[1] Brown, Julie K. “Feds now zeroing in on Biogenesis.” Miami Herald. July 31, 2013. http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/31/3534955/feds-now-zeroing-in-on-biogenesis.html.

Anabolic Steroids; The Dangers

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens both had their careers tarnished by allegations of steroid abuse

When “PED’s” are mentioned, anabolic steroids are often the first drug to come to mind. This is probably because steroids are some of the oldest modern performance enhancing drugs known to man. Steroids are a derivative of the male sex hormone Testosterone was first synthesized in the 1930’s, and was used to help children who needed more testosterone in order to develop normally. Following WWII, athletes, especially Soviet athletes, began to use steroids in order to enhance their athletic performance. In the 1970’s, a more selective form of testosterone was created, which was called “anabolic steroids”. In 1975, the International Olympic Committee banned steroids, and in 1988 sweeping regulations were placed over the production and sale of anabolic steroids.[1]

But why take steroids? The answer lies in the fact that testosterone helps the body retain dietary protein, which enables athletes to increase muscle mass and strength.[2]

The muscle mass and strength that steroids provide comes with serious consequences. In men, steroids can immediately reduce sperm count, result in impotency, lead to the development of the breasts, and shrink testacies.  In women, steroids can have immediate effects like facial hair growth, deepened voice, breast reduction and menstrual changes. Long-term effects for both sexes include; acne, bloating, rapid weight gain, blood clots, elevated risk of heart attack and stroke, weakened tendons and increased cholesterol levels. In addition, steroids can alter the behavior of users, leading to depression, extreme irritation and aggression. Findings also suggest that steroids might have classic addictive effects as well. [3]

Finally, steroids can have an especially harmful effect on adolescents by closing their growth plates, leading to stunted development.[4] Given the host of negative effects, it is a wonder that any informed individual would want to partake in steroid abuse. Unfortunately, the pressure to compete and perform at a high level can be overwhelming, and steroids might be tempting to adolescents who do not know about the wide reaching effects. Being Adept seeks to prevent teen drug abuse and encourages parents to have conversations with their adolescent athletes in order to prevent abuse.

 



[1] CESAR. “Anabolic Steriods.” University of Maryland. < http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/steroids.asp>.

 

[2] ESPN. “Anabolic Steriods.” < http://espn.go.com/special/s/drugsandsports/steroids.html>.

 

[3] ESPN. “Anabolic Steriods.” < http://espn.go.com/special/s/drugsandsports/steroids.html>.

 

[4] ESPN. “Anabolic Steriods.” < http://espn.go.com/special/s/drugsandsports/steroids.html>.