Navigation Links
Anabolic steroids provide a competitive edge in power lifting years after doping has ended

HILTON HEAD, SCAnabolic steroids are synthetic hormones derived from the human male hormone testosterone. The use of steroids has been suspected in professional baseball and other sports where building muscle strength, rather than endurance, is paramount. Power lifting is such a sport. A team of researchers has examined the impact of anabolic steroid use on power lifters years after the athletes had ceased to take the drugs. The researchers found that while physical traces of the drug no longer remained, changes in the shoulder and quadriceps still gave lifters an advantage years later.

The research was conducted by Anders Eriksson and Lars-Eric Thornell, Department of Integrative Medical Biology, Section conducted the study for Anatomy, Umea University, Umea, Sweden; Christer Malm, Ume University and Winternet and Patrik Bonnerud, Department of Health Science, Section for Medical Science, Lulea University of Technology, Lulea, Sweden; and Fawzi Kadi, Department of Physical Education and Health, Orebro University, Orebro, Sweden.

Dr. Eriksson will discuss the team's study, "Anabolic Steroids Withdrawal in Strength Trained Athletes: How Does It Affect Skeletal Muscles?," at a conference sponsored by the American Physiological Society (APS; The conference, The Integrative Biology of Exercise V, will be held September 24-27, 2008 in Hilton Head, SC.


Power lifting is a strength sport, requiring the use of a heavy dumbbell to perform three repetitions each of a squat, a bench press and a dead lift. It is in some ways similar to weight lifting, but where weightlifting is a dynamic sport, power lifting is a static one.

Power lifters focus on body strength, which relies heavily on muscle. The body's main muscle fiber types: type I, type IIA and type IIB. Type I is the weakest and slowest, but has the most endurance. Type IIA is the strongest and fastest, but has the least endurance. Human muscles occur along a continuum of fiber types. For power lifters, type IIB fiber, the most powerful, is most frequently used. The use of anabolic steroids can add more nuclei to the muscle, and enhance muscle fiber size.

The researchers examined data in two muscles: the vastus lateralis, found in the quadriceps, and the trapezius, a part of the shoulder-neck muscle. Each muscle is key to power lifting.

Three groups were examined. One group was comprised of seven power lifters who had previously used anabolic steroids for long periods of time but stopped their usage some years ago (PREV). One group was currently power lifting but did not use steroids (P). The third group was power lifting and taking steroids (PAS). The researchers examined muscle fiber distribution, fiber area, subsarcolemmal and internal myonuclei number per fiber, myonuclei expressing androgen receptors, satellite cell numbers per fiber, and proportion of split fibers in each muscle for each individual.


The researchers found that several years after anabolic steroid withdrawal, and with no or low current strength-training, the muscle fiber area intensity, the number of nuclei per fiber in the quadriceps was still comparable to that of athletes that were currently performing high intensity strength-training. They also discovered that the shoulder-neck fiber areas were comparable to high-intensity trained athletes and the number of nuclei per fiber was even higher than found in the current steroid-using group.


According to the lead researcher, Dr. Eriksson, "It is possible that the high number of nuclei we found in the muscle might be beneficial for an athlete who continues or resumes strength training because increased myonuclei opens up the possibility of increasing protein synthesis, which can lead to muscle mass." He added, "Based on the characteristics between doped and non-doped power lifters, we conclude that a period of anabolic steroid usage is an advantage for a power lifter in competition, even several years after they stop taking a doping drug."

Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society

Related biology news :

1. Too much sugar turns off gene that controls the effects of sex steroids
2. Plant steroids offer new paradigm for how hormones work
3. M2SYS Partners With Gnosis Medical Services to Provide Accurate Patient Identification in Developing Countries Through Innovative Biometrics Solution
4. Improved e-jet printing provides higher resolution and more versatility
5. Canada provides $1.4M for removal of hazardous trees from provincial recreation sites
6. Fujitsu and HT Systems Partner to Provide Biometric Patient Identity Management
7. Fujitsu and HT Systems Partner to Provide Biometric Patient Identity Management
8. M2SYS Technology Partners with TeraCorp Enterprises to Provide Added Security Within Check Cashing Solution
9. Study involving more than 100 scientists provides new insights on green algae
10. Shell Provides Consumers Gasoline Industrys First Pay By Touch Technology at the Pump
11. Antioxidants could provide all-purpose radiation protection
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... October 13, 2015 Dragon Capital Group ... in China , announced today that its ... has received a contract for Multi-Format Naked Eye 3D System ... approximately $450,000 for the project that is expected to be ... to 35% in gross profits. --> ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- --> --> ... "Digital Security Control Market by Hardware (Smart Card, SIM ... Authentication, Network Surveillance, & Others), Service, Application, and Geography ... is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.01% ... by 2020. Browse 65 market data Tables ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric ... on the recent SNS Future in Review Conference in ... ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused ... SNS Future in Review Conference in Park City, ... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication company ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... systems, material handling solutions and components, is opening its latest Parker Store retail ... the facility is Exotic’s second major expansion in Metropolitan Detroit in less than ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... -- the United States , ... about 14% of all new cases of kidney cancer.   ... and Europe .  PRCC represents about ... Hutchison China MediTech Limited ("Chi-Med") (AIM: HCM) today announces that ... (publ) ("AstraZeneca") have completed enrolment in a global Phase II study ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... 2015  Rebiotix Inc. today announced that U.S. ... lead Microbiota Restoration Therapy (MRT) RBX2660 as a ... Clostridium difficile (C diff) infection, a challenging ... deaths in the U.S. annually. 1 Rebiotix ... founded to revolutionize the treatment of debilitating GI ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... 12, 2015 LabStyle Innovations Corp. ... Solution, today announced its Medical Director, Dr. Moshe ... MobiHealth,s 5th EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile ... innovations in mobile and wireless technologies," the conference will ... from October 14 - 16, 2015. The conference is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: