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Study: Muscle-Building Benefits of Steroid Use Last for Decades

“Three months after withdrawal from steroid use,  the mice were put on a strength-training exercise program and researchers found their muscles grew by 30 per cent over a six day period.  The growth of muscles in the mice that were never given steroids was found to be insignificant.”

Steroids

In a study conducted at the University of Oslo and published in the Journal of Physiology has found that the effects of steroid use last more than a decade.  The team of researchers led by physiologist Kristian Gunderson investigated the effects on mice, and what they found was that the muscle-building capacity of those mice was increased for at least a decade after dosing with steroids had ceased.  “It is rare to have data thats clear cut, I was pretty satisfied with that,” said Kristian.

Three months after withdrawal from steroid use,  the mice were put on an exercise program using load and researchers found their muscles grew by 30 per cent over a six day period.  The growth of muscles in the mice that were never put on steroids was found to be insignificant.  It is the increase in cell nuclei that make building muscle easier after cessation of the use of steroids.

effect-of-steroids-1003

This image shows an increase in muscle density of the anabolic steroid treated mice.

Interestingly, the research also suggests that building muscle during youth may provide benefits that last well into old age.  “Training studio folklore suggests that people that have once been strong easily can get strong again even after a long de-training period,” said Kristian. 

Implications for Professional Sports

One of the implications of these findings for professional sports – where virtually every athlete is on steroids but lies about it – is the amount of time an athlete caught taking steroids should be suspended.  Since this study has found that muscle-building effects of steroids last more than a decade, the only fair way to deal with athletes caught taking steroids is to suspend them for 10 years or more until their performance enhancing effects of the steroids they used to cheat have completely ceased.  Since professional sports are about making money, this is not likely to happen.  Perhaps it’s time to legalize steroids in professional sports.

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