Monday, April 16, 2007

Steroids and narcotics

Please do not use the word 'steroid' to refer to any substance that boosts athletic performance. Some of these substances are steroids, and they belong to a group of chemicals known as anabolic steroids. But not all qualify for the designation. Molecules that are classified as steroids have a specific chemical structure which is similar to that of sterols. So what are examples of steroids? Testosterone, estrogens, cortisol, and cholesterol. When doctors use the word 'steroid' , the usually are referring to anti-inflammatory drugs that resemble cortisol.

The word 'narcotic' is also frequently misused. It should only be applied to "downers".