From federal investigations into Major League Baseball(美国职业棒球大联盟) to allegations of substance abuse in track and field, performance enhancing drugs(兴奋剂) have been in the news a lot. The most well-known performance enhancers are steroids(类固醇), drugs that can make athletes bigger and stronger. But they can also cause serious medical problems.
So how do steroids work, and what makes them so dangerous?
First, it’s important to understand that the body naturally produces steroids. For men, the best known is testosterone(睾丸激素). Testosterone is an anabolic steroid(合成代谢类固醇), meaning that it encourages new muscle growth. So the more testosterone you have in you, the greater potential you have to be bigger and stronger. It makes sense, then, that artificial anabolic steroids mimic testosterone produced in the body.
Here’s how they work. Anabolic steroids attach to cells and encourage them to produce more protein, which muscles need to grow and become stronger. So steroids basically (1)speed up and enhance the process of muscle growth that you can accomplish by lifting weights and other kinds of exercise. A weightlifter on steroids will develop larger muscles and do so faster than a “clean” weightlifter.
Millions of people take performance enhancing drugs such as caffeine and vitamins every day. But unlike these drugs, steroids can cause serious, long lasting problems. For example, steroid use puts extra pressure on the liver to cleanse the bloodstream of the many toxins in steroids.
Prolonged steroid use can result in liver damage. They also affect brain chemistry(脑化学), and can cause depression and severe mood swings known as ‘roid rage(类固醇癫狂)’. There’s certainly nothing wrong with building your body, but using steroids to do so will ultimately (2)break you down.
(1)speed up 加速;使加速
I sped up my car as soon as I left her house.
(2)break down 分解;发生故障;失败;毁掉;制服
The bridge broke down in last earthquake.