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Harmful Effects Of Dietary Supplements And Steroids

Harmful Effects Of Dietary Supplements And Steroids

A dietary or nutritional supplement is a commercially available product. We can use these as an addition to the usual diet and include vitamins, minerals, herbs (botanicals), amino acids, and a variety of other compounds. We wish to discuss the harmful effects of dietary supplements and steroids.

(Multi)vitamin/minerals, vitamin C, proteins/amino acids, sports drinks, and sports bars are among the most popular supplements.

Around 15 years back, only used by athletes or patients were consuming these. Recently, dietary supplements especially protein powders have become a common product of use. This happened because of extensive marketing and health claims.

Adding a flavored protein powder or some dietary supplement to your milk may seem like a simple way to boost your health. But, be careful as their long-term or everyday use can cause many harmful effects in the body. Almost half of the drug-induced liver problems from dietary supplements are due to weight loss and bodybuilding supplements.

Effect of protein supplements

  • Consumption of protein powders for long can increase acid load on kidneys, increase risk of stone formation and risk for bone loss.
  • Many protein powders contain heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury), bisphenol-A (BPA, used to make plastic), pesticides. These contaminants are linked to cancer and other health conditions.
  • Melamine is a compound that falsely increases the declared protein content. A variety of effects associated with melamine intake are kidney stones, chronic kidney damage and cancer of the bladder, etc.
  • Powders consisting of soy-protein isolates can increase the risk of breast cancer, infertility when taken at high doses or for too long.
  • Producers add other components in sport supplements like nitrates which can cause liver problems and cancer.
  • Protein supplements can also increase risk of acne in young people. This could be because whey protein, especially whey protein concentrate, contains intact milk hormones, which can cause acne.
  • Intake of impure protein or protein contaminated with harmful additives can be life threatening as well.

Other dietary supplements

Very high dose of omega-3 and fish oil, deriving from supplements can cause ulcers and bleeding in stomach and intestine. Most commonly used nutraceuticals are compounds derived from fruits and vegetables with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

They are not usually toxic. But green tea extract is associated with liver injury. Soy-derived products can affect fertility. Usually green tea, as well as many fruits, vegetables, and spices, are quite healthy. Dietary supplements that deliver much higher doses of their antioxidants may not be healthy.

Effect of steroid intake

Similarly, people use anabolic steroids as performance-enhancing drugs that increase muscle mass and decrease fat. These cause many harmful effects. Some athletes, weightlifters and bodybuilders take them regularly. The purpose is to improve their physical performance and build up their bodies.

Steroids taken orally (by mouth) are linked to liver disease. Steroids taken by injection (by needle) can increase the risk of infectious diseases such as hepatitis or AIDS.

Possible Health Effects of Steroid Use:

  • Increased risk of liver, kidney, and prostate cancer
  • High blood pressure, which increases the chance of heart attack and stroke
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels, which increase the chance of heart attack and blood vessel disease
  • Premature stopping of bone development and linear growth (height)
  • Damage to the liver, including the formation of blood filled liver cysts that can rupture, causing death
  • Acne
  • Increased risk of HIV and hepatitis because of risks from sharing needles
  • In males: Baldness, breast formation, shrunken testicles, and the temporary inability to father a child
  • In females: Decreased breast size, irregular menstrual cycles, and masculine appearance, particularly an enlarged clitoris, facial and body hair, and a deep voice
  • Psychological Symptoms include:
    • Mood swings
    • Sleep disruption
    • Aggressive behaviour
    • Extreme irritability
    • Delusions
    • Impaired judgment because of feelings that nothing can hurt you
    • Paranoid jealousy
    • Euphoria or an exaggerated feeling of well-being
    • Depression after stopping steroids
    • Lack of sexual drive after stopping steroid use

Like many other substances, anabolic steroids are addictive. This means you can crave the drug and require more to get the same effect. You may have withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking them.

The market for dietary supplements and nutraceuticals is huge. As seen during this pandemic, people have been consuming all kinds of ‘immunity-boosting’ supplements due to fear.

We must know that immunity cannot be built over a few days or weeks. These spices or herbs or any other are already present in our homemade meals. Also, we require them in minute amounts only. High doses of these will likely cause harmful effects in the long run.

In conclusion, we must prefer balanced diet for normal cases. Connect with us for preparing a personalised balalnced diet.

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