A study was recently performed by a team of researchers from the Southern Cross University (SCU) in Australia. It revealed anabolic steroids to have a negative effect on the immune system. It increased risk for viral infections and cancer.
The study involved multi-national volunteers who were divided into two groups. One group received testosterone enanthate while the other group received placebo. Both researchers and scientists were not aware which among the two groups received placebo and which received anabolic steroids. The volunteers then underwent a training regime for six weeks.
Results showed a decrease of 20% on natural killer cells, a type of lymphocyte that helps reject tumors and cells infected by viruses. The cells kill by releasing a type of protein that causes the target cell to self-destruct.
Several personality changes were noted like mood swings and a diminished sense of responsibility. The person becomes less empathic and more compliant.
This is perhaps the first instance that a test on humans has been performed, linking anabolic steroids to weakening of the immune system. Bodybuilders and athletes are more susceptible to infection since they have the tendency to overstress their bodies during vigorous trainings.
According to The Medical News:
The SCU study, led by Dr Robert Weatherby, has revealed that the use of anabolic steroids may significantly increase susceptibility to viral infections and cancers and raises questions about the dangers of long-term use of the banned substances.