Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Jogging keeps provironmouse fit

A daily session of cardio-fitness can help steroid users to avoid the harmful effects of these on their cardiovascular system, partly. This is a conclusion you can draw at least from an animal study done by researchers at the State University of Campinas in Brazil.

That steroids are dangerous for the heart is a known fact. They raise blood pressure and enlarge the heart muscle; they also increase the chance of strokes, heart attacks, blood clots and can induce hardening of the arteries. And there are other side effects too.

But the other side of the story is that physical exercise provides protection against these complaints. That is why the Brazilians wondered whether steroids users could protect their cardiovascular system from the harmful effects of steroids by, say, using the treadmill for 45 minutes a day.

To answer the question the Brazilians did an experiment with genetically modified mice. The mice were modified so that their cholesterol regulation was similar to that of humans, with less HDL and more LDL than a real mouse has.

The researchers gave one group of mice the anabolic steroid 17-betahydroxy 1-alpha-methyl 5-alpha-androstan-3-one alias proviron or mesterolone. The structure of the formula is shown above. Proviron is a mild anabolic steroid, which steroids users mainly use to enhance the effect of other anabolic steroids. It keeps hormones away from the SHBG, therefore preventing the SHBG from neutralising the effect of other anabolic hormones.

The animals received 2 mg steroids per kg bodyweight for a period of three weeks.

Half of the mice in each group had to run in an exercise mill each day. When they started receiving the steroids the mice were able to run an hour a day. Below you can see the effect that running had on the mice’s blood pressure. Sed = non-jogging, Ex = jogging, C = no steroids, M = proviron.

Jogging keeps provironmouse fit

Administering steroids increased blood pressure, but running reduced the amount of the increase. The researchers are not sure though whether the effect is clinically significant.

The same thing happened with the cholesterol and triglyceride levels of the mice. This is shown below. The first graph shows the effect of running on mice that did not receive steroids.

Jogging keeps provironmouse fit

Below you can see the effect that running had on the mice that received provirone every day. The blood of the steroids mice looks much healthier as a result of running. TC = total cholesterol, TG = total triglycerides.

Jogging keeps provironmouse fit

When the researchers looked at how well the mice's hearts pumped the blood round their bodies, they noticed that the hearts of the mice that jogged worked better than the hearts of the sedentary mice, and that the hearts of the steroids mice performed less well. If steroids mice jog, this reduces the damage to their heart muscle.

Looking at all the results together, they all point in the same direction. If you already do cardio-training and you start to use steroids, your cardiovascular health will decrease. If you use steroids, but don't do cardio-training, your heart and blood vessels will become healthier if you take up running, rowing or cycling. But healthiest of all is still cardio-training without steroids.

Int. J. Exp. Path. (2008), 89, 358–366.