Steroids: Chemical | Organic composition

Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 3:35 pm

Testosterone contains 19 carbon atoms in a four-ring structure, with each numbered from one to 19. Modifications in the carbon atoms creates the hundreds of synthetic AASs that exist today. For example, many common synthetic forms of testosterone have alterations on their seventeenth carbon. AASs created in pill form have an added alkyl group, which is a chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These 17-alkylated AAS compounds are more toxic to the liver and more likely to cause cholesterol abnormalities. Common 17-aldylated AASs include Dianabol, Android, and Winstrol. When the addition to the seventeenth carbon is an ester, which is an acidic chain of carbon and hydrogen, the synthetic form is an injectable form that is less toxic on the liver and cholesterol levels. Depo-Testosterone is an example of the injectable testosterone ester. AAS abusers also use veterinary products, such as Finajet and Equipoise, that have been devised for animal usage.
Why were all these derivatives of testosterone initially developed? Researchers had several goals. They sought to make derivatives that were oral medications, that prolonged its biologic activity, and that are more anabolic (particularly, muscle-building) and less andro-genic (masculine characteristics) than the parent testosterone. Unfortunately many of the illegal steroids are manufactured under unsupervised conditions, and may be contaminated, or contain unexpected or fake ingredients. A European study analyzed 40 AASs obtained on the illegal market and found over one-third did not contain ingredients indicated on the label. One report estimates that one-third to one-half of the illegal steroids that teens buy are fake.

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