T Nation

Zerogains: New Health Promotion Program Designed to Curb the Use of AAS


#1

Soooooo, there’s a new health promotion program out intended to curb the illicit use of anabolic-androgenic steroids… The program is a joke in my opinion. The official website of the health promotion program is “zerogains.ie”

Here are some quotes from the website

"Tuesday gains got me… feeling angry and depressed"

"Shredded! My chances of having a family"

"Maximum gains… of acne and liver issues"

Upon further examination of the website, one can find a side effect profile, physical side effects seem pretty on point with

  • baldness and hair loss

  • severe acne

  • Liver Damage

  • Kidney problems

  • Heart failure

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol and blood clots

  • Fluid retention

except the notion of kidney and liver problems are almost entirely attributed to the use of C17AA anabolic steroids, fluid retention is a property of aromatising steroids (although most will cause sodium retention), severe acne is dependent on the type of steroid taken and "balding and hair loss" are the same thing. Upon reading the emotion side effects is when this becomes more interesting (and full of BS). The listen emotional and psychological side effects are

  • Aggressive and potentially violent behaviour, categorized as roid rage (a phenomenon which in my opinion doesn’t really exist)

  • Mood swings and depression

  • Extreme irritability or manic behaviour (debatable, if a guy is irritable during contest prep… that’s probably the contest prep, not the steroids)

  • Hallucinations and delusions (Wait, what the fuck, that’s not a side effect)

  • problems sleeping

Finally, the stated dangers of injecting AAS are

“damaged veins and muscles, infections and abscess, transmittion of HIV and hepatitis C throughout needle sharing”

AAS are not intravenous injections…. AAS users don’t share needles either.

The website doesn’t list a single study to back up its claims, besides acknowledging it gets its information is from the national institute on drug abuse, the NHS and drugs.ie, of which upon inspection, the drugs.ie article and the National institute on drug abuse articles both fail to link any studies backing up their claims.

This reminds me of that kid who died (may he rest in peace) of brain swelling, yet the death was blamed on stanozolol without any definite proof the drug in question was the cause of death despite the fact he was a rugby player, a football player and an avid sportsman, I’m sure contact sport could’ve had nothing to do with a head injury causing swelling of the brain……

I’m obviously biased as anabolic agents have had a profoundly positive impact on my overall quality of life, and yes, abuse of AAS or abuse in those with undiagnosed heart defects/conditions does increase the risk of heart failure, development of cardiac dysfunction, cardiovascular disease and whatnot, however there isn’t a single large scale study that is enough to back up the notion that heart failure is a significant risk from RESPONSIBLE, reasonably dosed steroid usage, I highly doubt using 300mg of test/wk. is going to kill anyone. Anyway, penny for everyone’s thoughts on the program, no judgement no matter the response (even if it’s flaming me for posting this). My opinion is, surely they must have better things to do than try tackle an issue that isn’t causing an alarming amount of deaths right? I mean, compare the amount of people who use anabolic steroids (statistically) and compare the amount of kids dying from heart disease, there isn’t exactly a strong positive correlation, why not work to further address

As to the kid who died, there is a single case of cerebral edema related to extreme AAS abuse https://www.researchgate.net/publication/12540806_Fatal_outcome_with_cerebral_edema_following_abuse_of_anabolic_steroids, however this kid was seemingly just taking a bit of winny…

This isn’t to be saying that people everyone should be taking steroids, or that they’re good for you. It just doesn’t make sense that this would be targeted when there’s other things (that are LEGAL mind you), and other illicit substances that are far more harmful that AAS. The creation of these programs creates distrust between athletes/bodybuilders and health promoting organisations and medical professionals, as they see this and think “ha, I don’t know a single person who has hallucinated from AAS, clearly they’re talking out of their ass”. If one wants to educate people on the dangers of AAS abuse, at least do it realistically.


#2

Not particularly sound logic, this. So because other things are worse, they shouldn’t be targeting this particular harmful family of drugs? Seems a little specious to me.

Steroids are super bad for you. The trick is just to not care.


#3

How does one even find a site like this? Do people google “I’m angry find me a cause to be angry about” and go from there?


#4

If it ends in “lol” how bad can it be?!?

Controlled substances are varying degrees of legal/illegal.

A quick look at any recent and many “I blew up my balls and now I’m growing titties, plz help” threads will tell you why they are a controlled substance.


#5

“zerogains” Lulz


#6

The site was on my newsfeed, well not specifically the site, an article promoting the website. Then I was bored so I decided to create a topic on it. My newsfeed appears to be tailored to whatever I look up #cookies, somehow anabolic steroids are related to public health promotion programs against the use of anabolic steroids?


#7

Alright let’s think of it this way then. I don’t know which country you live in, but statistically around 0.5 percent of Americans have used anabolic steroids during their lifetime, compare that to other drug statistics, the prevalence of steroid use is relatively low, to add to that it doesn’t appear to be a particularly lethal habit either, the acute toxicity of anabolic steroids is very low, on the other hand you can use opiates once and die from profound respiratory depression, the same can be said with alcohol, now the argument can be made “yeh but alcohol is far more accessible, hence the death toll, the amount of people who die from alcohol in comparison to the amount of people who regularly consume alcohol is low” and you’d be correct, however binge drinking still poses a risk of acute toxicity that anabolic steroid usage doesn’t. back to the lethality of AAS use being low, I’m saying what I think, as there’s no clear data on the case, there has been a troubling amount of premature deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease in the bodybuilding/fitness community, the death toll of gym-rats using AAS is unknown, there have been a few case reports of sudden death in individuals using anabolic steroids, however there’s also been many reports of people suddenly dropping dead whilst exercising for no reason (no underlying heart defects, conditions of diseases), lifestyle factors also aren’t factored in during these case reports, the dietary and lifestyle habits of an individual make a big difference with regards to overall mortality. A guy using say 400mg/wk of test who lives a clean lifestyle with a spotless diet and a regular workout routine with both weights and plenty of cardiovascular exercise isn’t nearly as likely to drop dead as a guy using the same amount of test, but going out every night, snorting coke and getting drunk, eating fast food frequently etc, take out the anabolic steroids from the second guys myriad of unhealthy decisions and odds still aren’t great, cocaine is highly cardiotoxic in itself. I’m not here to judge one based on their lifestyle decisions, I’m just providing a reference of factors most case reports don’t look into. Anabolic steroids, when abused cause problems there’s no way around that fact, however I believe the extent/severity of the issues (when anabolic steroids are used responsibly) are highly, HIGHLY over-exaggerated. If one looks at the limited amount of clinical data I have at my disposal with regards to high doses of anabolic steroids, the tolerability and safety profile of these agents in the short, medium and long term appears to be pretty good. If there isn’t a myriad of human trials or even enough evidence to suggest that anabolic steroids are these incredibly dangerous substances, why are people going out of their way to make campaigns against them? Why not focus on the drugs that are actually doing serious harm, or at the very least try get large scale trials put in place so we can get an accurate representation as to how harmful these chemicals actually are? If one wants to make a campaign about anabolic steroids, why not accurately educate the people with the relatively limited amount of data available, the clear majority, if educated properly on anabolic steroids probably won’t want to use them anyway, the potential side effects (like acne, gyno, balding and whatnot) sound unpleasant enough to deter most teenagers from using anyway.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11701431 600mgs of test for 20 weeks, no serious adverse effects

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199607043350101 600mg testosterone 10 wks. no serious adverse effects

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199607043350101 Nandrolone 600mg weekly in HIV+ individuals, no serious adverse effects

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8774299 200mg testosterone enanthate weekly for 18 months, adverse effects were noted, however nothing serious.

However you won’t find any sound data on anabolic steroids causing “hallucinations or delusions, violent outbursts” and the chances of liver complications from non C17AA anabolics is extraordinarily low, there’s even a few studies monitoring the cardiac function of athletes taking cycles and no cardiac alterations were noted in the period of time on (durations lasting up to 20 weeks) I’d link the study, but I can’t because it’s not accessible to the general public. The study is called “prospective echocardiographic assessment of androgenic anabolic steroids effects on cardiac structure and function in strength athletes”. Finally, not all AAS are the same, therefore it isn’t exactly fair to lump them all into one category, it’s like the spectrum of recreational drug use, test would be like weed right, and methyltrienolone (methyltrenbolone) is like heroin, there’s a huge difference between using those two drugs, you can’t possibly attempt to lump them into the same category. There’s another one that is available in which athletes were monitored if you’re interested. @Yogi1

These threads typically stem from uneducated individuals hopping on tons a boatload of sauce without knowing what they’re doing or what they’re potentially getting themselves into, these individuals have a high incidence of failure/ side effects. It’s like driving from Philly to NY, but you’ve never driven a car in your life before, the chances of an issue arising is fairly high.

The overarching question is, why waste money and resources on this when money and resources can be used to combat real, more life threatening issues.


#8

I don’t which country you’re in, but in the U.S. there is virtually no money or resources wasted on AAS. The last major bust we had was “Operation Raw Deal” which cleared the way for modern TRT practices.


#9

@SkyzykS

I’m not in the USA, but I did live there for like seven years. When people get arrested and charged for mere posession of AAS (and it does happen) I consider that to be a waste of resources, especially if said person has to serve a jail sentence. Or someone importing some gear and getting raided because of it…

It’s similar to how people still are/ were getting arrested for small amounts of weed and sometimes even serving jail sentences, this can do more harm than it does good. Why not reserve jail for those who actually pose a danger to society?


#10

It depends on what you consider a danger. When you have a house full of drugs and money you better have guns. People are going to study and know your patterns, not just the cops. We have knock down crews here that specialize in robbing drug dealers.

Any time you have those 3 elements you have created a very dangerous situation.

You also have to realize that just because this is your pet substance doesn’t mean that it is entirely harmless.

I had a similar conversation with a guy at work about pot. He loved it and lived it. Didn’t understand why…

Literally that night there was a massive shootout between gangs, then involving cops, multiple injuries, etc. blocks away from his house and literally within minutes of his daughters being right where it happened. All over a few lbs. of weed and a few grand. Not a peep out of him after that!

Its not just about the end user. Things get ugly up stream. I have some very good insights on this, and believe me, once you get past the gym bro with a couple of vials or tablets, shit can get very ugly. Especially when you start talking import level.


#11

I never said AAS use was harmless, just that the risks were greatly over-exxagerated. The risks such as infertility, development of cardiac dysfunction (whether it be from prolonged high blood pressure, prolonged altered lipid profiles or a direct effect on the myocardium itself as cardiac myocytes do contain androgen receptors) exist. The potential cardiovascular side effects of AAS are probably the scariest of them all (in my opinion), however I do believe it’s genetic and drug dependant. Someone with a familial history/ genetic predisposition for heart disease or a congenital heart defect is far more likely to run into problems. With drug dependant, testosterone at high doses has minimal effect on cholesterol (however it’s effects on heart structure and function aren’t known at high doses, but since it exerts many of it’s actions by binding to the AR, I’d say it isn’t good for you. Stanozolol absolutely destroys the lipid profiles of most, it’s hepatotoxic to boot too, however I seriously, seriously, seriously doubt the kid who died of brain swelling (and played a lot of contact sport) died because he was taking some stanozolol. Stanozolol is falsely believed to be mild, while it’s effects may be mild, it’s effects (invisible or not) on the cardiovascular system certainly aren’t.

Yea I understand, this is one of the arguements as to why drugs should be legalised and regulated, although I partly agree, I have the counterarguement that a black market will still exist despite the drugs being legal and regulated, take states in the US where weed is legal for instance, it’s expensive, and not everyone can afford or will want to pay such prices for marijuana, hence the black market will be able to supply it cheaper, however in countries where AAS is legal and OTC, they’re super cheap (think south america), however I think you’re limited to like, test or nandrolone (which is fine with me lol, I only use test, and I wouldn’t have used anything for at least another ten years had I not been struck by an unfathomably huge pile of bad luck in which I had hypogonadism which ceased to correct itself and ended up requiring treatment.

As to your previous statement, I think this is actually why they beefed up steroid laws in QLD, from what I can recall the bikie gangs were big into selling anabolic steroids, and due to ties with organised crime they decided to beef up the laws, however this also potentially puts otherwise law abaiding citizens at risk. What’s the solution? I don’t know if there is a solution :frowning:

Anyway one of the things I like about this website is the ability to debate this kind of stuff without having the opposing party getting all angry and spitting out nonsense and insults, it’s very rare in real life amongst other peers of my age group that one can have a respectful, mature and intellectual debate, because people let their emotions get the best of them (another thing which I don’t understand, why can’t people just chill the fuck out? There’s no need to get angry if I disagree with another person’s opinion. I think my lack of expressing emotion stems from the fact that I have autism but that’s a different story) @SkyzykS


#12

Yeah, I like that too. I can be a bit of a bastard at times, but I try to save that for special people. It simply isn’t necessary for my purposes here. I’m usually more than happy to gain a new or better understanding of the many subjects we kick around on here. I’m a bit aspy myself, so I can relate to where you’re coming from.


#13

I do understand where you’re coming from - and I’m right there with you in that I think that steroids are vilified unnecessarily, and I totally, totally agree that they are nowhere near as dangerous as other drugs.

But they are still dangerous, they are still abused and people do still die from them, so I do understand why people should be deterred from their use.

So that’s why, when I see a campaign like the one you posted, I don’t think about all the other more harmful things they could be campaigning against. I just think it’s fair enough.

A lot of these charities come about from a personal place too. Case in point: an ex girlfriend had a friend who died in a car crash. They were young, like 18 or so. The girl driving the car didn’t have a license, and the parents of the other girl (not the one driving) started a charity which tried to raise awareness of the dangers of getting in the car with your mate if your mate’s been drinking, doesn’t have a license or whatever. Thing is - I’m sure if you were to actually look at the statistics, probably very few car crash fatalities are teenagers driving without a license, so by your logic you could argue their time would be better spent campaigning against those, however this was an issue close to their heart. It could well be the case that this Zerogains founder has a similar story.

You and I agree on this topic way more than we disagree, but I wonder if you have ever seen the rougher side of this lifestyle. I have lost a friend to a heart attack brought on by his steroid use (died aged 32 - younger then than I am now), and I’ve known another person (not a close friend, but someone I knew) who fucked up his slin protocol and almost died from that. I hope you never experience anything like that, but spend enough time around this lifestyle and you probably will.

Steroids are great but they can fuck you up, just like any other drug. We absolutely need people spreading the word on that.


#14

It depends what you mean by rougher side, if you’re talking about the violence, gang activity and whatnot then no, however I did indirectly know someone who was using AAS starting at a seemingly very, very, very young age and died in his 40’s (heart attack) and another who a family member of mine knew a guy who was using AAS young… and got hit by a bus and died (totally unrelated to AAS, but still a sad and premature death). I don’t know if this is related to the low prevelence of AAS abuse within the general community, but I personally and indirectly know more people that have overdosed or died of drug overdose (particularly heroin, oxycodone and other opiates, but I think alcohol was the cause in one of the cases).

I’m sorry for your loss, must have been tough. I apologize if this is insensitive to ask, but did he have an un-diagnosed heart defect/ condition? Heart defect or not, that’s scary shit

@Yogi1 you don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to as it’s an impossible question to answer and an innapropriate question to ask but ILL POWER THROUGH, but how do long do you expect you’re life expectancy to be? Do you expect to live until old age?


#15

Absolutely, and that’ll never change, but my point is that just because there are things out there that are worse, we can’t treat steroids as if they’re benign. Do you see what I mean?

Only his family ever found out the results of the autopsy, and they didn’t volunteer the information. It’s not the sort of thing I’d ever have asked, y’know? I suspect he must have, but given his age and lifestyle (he was into steroids in a big way) I think it’d be fairly naive not to blame steroids for pulling the trigger, so to speak.

Interesting question! The men in my family tend to drink themselves to death before natural causes gets to them so it’s hard to say. My old man has a few minor problems with his heart but nothing you wouldn’t half-expect from a man approaching 70. My lifestyle was absolutely appalling in my late teens until mid 20s but it’s been a few years now since I’ve used any hard drugs, I drink infrequently and do enjoy a cigarette now and then if I’m drinking but am coming round to the idea I need to knock that shit on the head.

I do think the healthier aspects of my lifestyle like my attention to diet and exercise probably do even the field a little, so I’d expect around 80 (life expectancy in this country is a little less than that and the average Scottish man is gross so I’d expect a little more).

So I would think somewhere around that.

What do you think for yourself? (I say this realising how young you are


#16

So I’ve had a plethora of health issues stemming from a young age (chronic pain, hypogonadism etc) nothing serious, however I was born extremely premature, and I had some issues such as meningitis and whatnot. My body is fucked enough as it is, my AAS use is mild, I’m currently on 250mg of test/wk and that’s the most I’ve ever used, however I’ve tried var before @25mg/day (shot up my blood pressure so I stopped) and NPP at 100ish mgs/ wk as an attempt to alleviate joint pain, and while it worked, I stopped as I was uncomfortable taking nandrolone as it is implicated in long term cardiotoxicity moreso than most anabolic steroids. Members of my immidiate family tend to have very long lifespans (I had an uncle that lived to be over 100), my lifestyle is fairly good, however I do very infrequently consume alcohol to the point of mild inebriation, I don’t use hard or soft drugs, and don’t suspect I ever will. Given the health problems I’ve had so far, I think it’s only a matter of time before something serious pops up, whether the issues are AAS mediated or not, I don’t know. I’m just trying to live my life to the best ability possible now, and before I go I want to positively change the world in some way, therefore I know my life wasn’t for nothing (as depressing as that sounds) as I’m not sure there is a meaning to life, after death it might just be lights out, and if that’s the case and I lived without contributing positively to society then what was the point of living, ya know. I should also say my hypogonadism wasn’t caused by AAS use, it was just bad luck, if it wasn’t for me being on TRT, I probably would’ve waited until I was 25+ before I touched AAS.

I think 60’s to early 70’s is a good bet for me

As to early deaths from AAS, this one in particular comes to mind https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2594949/amp/Fitness-obsessed-bodybuilder-said-invincible-died-massive-steroid-use-started-working-despite-TWO-heart-attacks-THREE-strokes.html

This kid died aged 20, by the time he was 18 he’d had 3 heart attacks and 2 strokes, given he’d only been using AAS for 2 years it can be almost assured someone like this had a heart defect and/ or serious genetic predisposition/ defect to heart attacks or stroke. This is far from the norm, however it does happen. Hence why I always think it’s a good idea to get an ECG done before using anabolic steroids. I got one when I was born and one fairly recently and both checked out totally normal, therefore I know the current risk to my cardiovascular system is very low considering my age and no family history of heart disease. Whether an ECG would come out normal now… Maybe, it’s hard to lift weights and exercise constantly and not end up with left ventricular hypertrophy. I don’t think my cardiac function would be significantly impaired per se but the starting phases of LVH are probably going to be arising by now.


#17

#18

As a police officer I can assure you that most prosecutors don’t care about personal use of any drug. People start to take notice when you’re dealing and you have nice things. Those nice things can be seized as drug proceeds. The agency seizing them gets to go through asset forfeiture and keep them. Some of it is actually kept; some is auctioned off.

As far as negative effects and all, I agree that it’s silly to put money and effort into a campaign against something so small. But @Yogi1 is right - it’s probably personal.

The funny thing about making AAS the villain is that no one addresses the obvious - intentionally making your body larger is going to stress the cardiovascular system. Bigger people tend to have sleep apnea which can cause a cardiovascular episode and death in otherwise healthy people.

If I fell over dead today then it’d be unexpected. But if I was on AAS and had the same cause of death then do you think they’d be blamed? People always want answers and explanations. There isn’t always an answer but it’s easier to accept sudden death if we blame something (car crash, head trauma, heart attack with clogged arteries, drug overdose, etc).