Abuse of Anabolic Steroids May Impair Insulin Resistance For Years After Discontinuation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jon Rasmussen, MD, PhD fellow
Department of Internal Medicine
Herlev Hospital, Denmark

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids has become highly prevalent among young men involved in recreational strength training. A recent meta-analysis estimated that approximately 18% of young men involved recreational strength training abuse anabolic steroids.

Well-known adverse effects following abuse of anabolic steroids include hypogonadism (For those who have interest, we have recently published a paper concerning this issue, it can be read and downloaded at: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0161208).

Yet, we have a poor understanding on the adverse effects these compounds might have on the metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Our main findings were that both current and former abusers of anabolic steroids had decreased insulin sensitivity compared with control participants. Additionally, especially current abusers clearly had more visceral fat than control participants. Our results indicate these findings could be caused by anabolic steroids-suppression of the cardiac natriuretic peptides which have recently shown to be key components in metabolic processes.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids potentially has numerous adverse effects on the body which go beyond the side effects on the reproductive system and we poor understanding of these. Moreover, our findings suggest the adverse effect on the metabolism may persist years after discontinuation of anabolic steroids abuse.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: It would be very interesting to look more into the exact mechanism behind decreased insulin sensitivity among abusers of anabolic steroids at a more basic level on muscle and fat tissue. To see if it is the suppression of cardiac peptides which is the driving factor or if the mechanism is entirely different.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: The study is cross-sectional and therefore does not give a final answer on whether abusers of anabolic steroids are more prone to develop diabetes. Nevertheless, the former abusers had decreased insulin sensitivity years after discontinuation of their abuse, so it is possible that abuse of anabolic steroids may increase the risk of diabetes years even after discontinuation.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation: EASD 2016  abstract:

History of anabolic androgenic misuse is associated with impaired insulin sensitivity and increased visceral abdominal fat among younger men

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Last Updated on September 19, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD