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Can steroids save your life? - Anees Bahji

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Steroids: they’re infamous for their use in sports, but they’re also found in inhalers, creams to treat poison ivy, eczema, and shots to ease inflammation. But what exactly are steroids, and how are they able to cause these seemingly different effects? Can understanding the biology of steroids reveal the way that they work?

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Anees Bahji
  • Director Nick Hilditch
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Nick Hilditch
  • Animator Nick Hilditch
  • Compositor Nick Hilditch
  • Art Director Nick Hilditch
  • Sound Designer Nick Hilditch
  • Music Audionetwork
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
The attached articles will provide you with some additional information on the impact of steroid use on different aspects of human health, including cancer, fertility, cognition, fitness, and cardiovascular health. The articles span a range of different themes, and will help you understand the diverse roles of steroids across different medical conditions.

Ray K. Restoring gluconeogenesis: steroids could treat liver cancer. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2013;10(12):693–693.

Turek PJ, Williams RH, Gilbaugh JHI, et al. The Reversibility of Anabolic Steroid-Induced Azoospermia. The Journal of Urology https://www.auajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1016/S0022-... (1995, accessed February 6, 2020).

Pope HG, Kanayama G, Athey A, et al. The lifetime prevalence of anabolic-androgenic steroid use and dependence in Americans: current best estimates. Am J Addict 2014;23(4):371–377.

Hildebrandt T, Langenbucher JW, Flores A, et al. The Influence of Age of Onset and Acute Anabolic Steroid Exposure on Cognitive Performance, Impulsivity, and Aggression in Men. Psychol Addict Behav 2014;28(4):1096–1104.

Bhasin S, Storer TW, Berman N, et al. The Effects of Supraphysiologic Doses of Testosterone on Muscle Size and Strength in Normal Men. New England Journal of Medicine 1996;335(1):1–7.

Sullivan ML, Martinez CM, Gennis P, et al. The cardiac toxicity of anabolic steroids. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases 1998;41(1):1–15.

Cunningham RL, Lumia AR, McGinnis MY. Androgenic anabolic steroid exposure during adolescence: Ramifications for brain development and behavior. Horm Behav 2013;64(2):350–356.

Lipsett MB, Korenman SG. Androgen Metabolism. JAMA 1964;190757–762.

Gleeson D, Newbould MJ, Taylor P, et al. Androgen associated hepatocellular carcinoma with an aggressive course. Gut 1991;32(9):1084–1086.

Kuhn CM. Anabolic steroids. Recent progress in hormone research 2002;57411–434.

El Osta R, Almont T, Diligent C, et al. Anabolic steroids abuse and male infertility. Basic Clin Androl;26. Epub ahead of print February 6, 2016. DOI: 10.1186/s12610-016-0029-4.

VandenBerg P, Neumark-Sztainer D, Cafri G, et al. Steroid Use Among Adolescents: Longitudinal Findings From Project EAT. Pediatrics 2007;119(3):476–486.

Kanayama G, Pope HG. History and epidemiology of anabolic androgens in athletes and non-athletes. Mol Cell Endocrinol 2018;4644–13.



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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Anees Bahji
  • Director Nick Hilditch
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Nick Hilditch
  • Animator Nick Hilditch
  • Compositor Nick Hilditch
  • Art Director Nick Hilditch
  • Sound Designer Nick Hilditch
  • Music Audionetwork
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more