How long have you been taking steroids

Lifelong doping effects?

Anabolic steroids could not only work while they were being taken, but could also improve physical performance long afterwards

During experiments on mice, as they write in the Journal of Physiology, Norwegian scientists discovered that, even after stopping the doping agent, the muscles of the mice grew again when they were exercised again.

The scientists had administered steroids (testosterone propionate) to female mice for 14 days, during which time they built up 70 percent more muscle mass and 60 percent more cores in the muscle fibers. Three weeks after stopping the steroid administration, they had the same muscle mass as the control mice that were not given steroids, but the number of nuclei in the muscle fibers was maintained.

The testosterone mice had to do strength training for 6 days 3 months after taking the steroid, more than 10 percent of the average lifespan of a mouse. Her muscles grew by 30 percent. In the control group, however, the muscle mass increased only slightly.

According to the result, the scientists assume that there must be a memory function in the muscles. However, the Norwegian scientists had already noticed this three years ago in mice that were only trained but not doped for this study. It has been suggested that the cores that were formed by training and were retained here, too, form a lasting memory of the muscles that is not lost and stores previous physical activity.

As early as 2010, the scientists pointed out that athletes who once took steroids could possibly benefit from them for life, even if they no longer take them. From this they concluded that if there is a similar "memory mechanism" of the muscles in humans as in mice, that athletes should be banned for life once they have taken anabolic steroids. The anti-doping agency WADA plans a ban for a maximum of two years after taking anabolic steroids.

The positive aspect of muscle memory would be that the amount of exercise people did when they were young could affect their old age. The formation of new muscle nuclei decreases in older people. (Florian Rötzer)

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