Mechanism of action
MECHANISM OF ACTION
HOW DO ANABOLIC STEROIDS WORK?
Anabolic steroids change muscle mass and strength by two processes. First, the steroids lead to an increased production of proteins, which are the building blocks of muscle. The steroids also block the effect of the hormone cortisol on muscle tissue, so that existing muscle is broken down at a slower rate. Additionally, anabolic steroids lead to cells differentiating into muscle more readily than fat.
The effect of anabolic steroids on muscle mass is caused in at least two ways,
First, they increase the production of proteins;
Second, they reduce recovery time by blocking the effects of stress hormone cortisol on muscle tissue, so that catabolism of muscle is greatly reduced.
It has been hypothesized that this reduction in muscle breakdown may occur through anabolic steroids inhibiting the action of other steroid hormones called glucocorticoids that promote the breakdown of muscles. Anabolic steroids also affect the number of cells that develop into fat-storage cells, by favouring cellular differentiation into muscle cells instead. Anabolic steroids can also decrease fat by increasing basal metabolic rate (BMR), since an increase in muscle mass increases BMR.