Natural steroids and their application-A Systematic review
Guest blog by Jessica Smith
Steroids are naturally produced in our bodies to carry out various functions like maintaining cell structures to acting as chemical messengers within multiple organs. Often, our bodies require steroids for small problems like muscle ache or at times for severe issues like cancer. Natural steroids, available as tablets or as liquids, find extensive usage in treating a wide range of diseases or conditions.
What are steroids?
Corticosteroids, abbreviated as steroids, are synthetically produced drugs that bear an uncanny resemblance to cortisol, which occurs naturally in the adrenal glands of your body. They are a component of our cells (cell membrane) and otherwise present as hormones mostly to help in things like muscle building.
What are natural steroids?
Natural steroids are a special class of hormones produced in our bodies. They are organic compounds containing carbon. Natural steroids are responsible for creating specific physiological reactions by maneuvering some genes in particular. Stress, for example, produces cortisol from the adrenal glands.
We will review the applications of steroids in our body in an upcoming segment of the article.
Classification of steroids
Given below is the classification of natural steroids found organically present in living things. These, produced naturally by humans, are better at working efficiently.
Steroids from animals: Steroids from animals include the steroid hormones, besides cholesterol. Cholesterol, a structural fragment of cell membranes, is an essential part of steroids found from animals. It is also responsible for determining the cell membranes' fluidity.
Steroids from insects: Ecdysteroids are derived from insects.
An example of this would be ecdysterone
Sex steroids are responsible for distinguishing characteristics among the different genders. These steroids play a crucial role in supporting reproduction.
Corticosteroids: Usually, the steroids used for medical purposes are corticosteroids. Given below is the classification of corticosteroids:
Glucocorticoids: Glucocorticoids act as the agent of metabolic regulation and facilitates the proper functioning of the immune system.
Mineralocorticoids: Mineralocorticoids are responsible for maintaining the level of blood volume. It finds a requirement for the control of renal excretion, especially of electrolytes.
Steroids from plants: The inclusion of steroidal alkaloids is commonly found in plants.
Application of natural steroids
Natural steroids find a wide range of applications in medical science. Doctors prefer natural steroids to synthetic steroids because of the safety that the former guarantees. Since it is entirely organic, the side effects are either non-existent or are negligible. They are useful and help patients recover from some of the most dangerous diseases.
Corticosteroids find usage as anticancer agents: Corticosteroids have found a panorama of uses in this field. Doctors use these to treat tumors and severe cases of breast cancer. Prostate cancer is another kind that has found its remedy through this class of steroids. In the case of abandonment of chemotherapeutic methods, corticosteroids have been found useful in the treatment of leukemia, even in its advanced stages. These steroids treat diseases like multiple refractory myelomas. Hence, a controlled dose of these, wards off cancer, too. Doctors, thus, speak highly of corticosteroids.
Steroids are an essential part of contraceptive pills: Birth control pills that are often used by women to restrict conceiving after coitus, contain steroids. These pills are usually taken by mouth at regular intervals. Doctors recommend these to women who are sexually active but do not wish to conceive. They are safe to consume and act as effective contraceptive pills. However, overdose can result in impotence and pregnancy complications. Therefore, consulting a doctor before consuming these is a safe option.
Corticosteroids act as efficient anti-inflammatory agents: Doctors and researchers found that the usage of corticosteroids in large doses can act as anti-inflammatory agents. As a consequence, they began being prescribed to treat inflammation-related diseases. Patients who have arthritis or psoriasis take doses of corticosteroids to help them through it. Asthma is another disease that finds a quick remedy by the usage of these drugs. For asthma, steroids in the form of tablets or liquid medicines by patients. They effectively reduce the inflammation present within the bronchial tubes.
Steroids find usage in Endodontics: The pain associated with Endodontics, or tooth pain can be unbearable. Inflammation and the presence of bacterial infection manifest as the leading causes underlying this pain. Steroids treat chronic pain and other related diseases. Hence, doctors are quick to recommend these to patients suffering from pain related to Endodontics.
Steroids prescribed to patients after certain surgeries: Men who have testicular cancer often have their testes removed. Steroids, prescribed by doctors, ensure the proper production of sexual hormones so that the patient can retain his sexual characteristics.
The importance of cortisol in our bodies: Cortisol, an essential steroid hormone, finds an association with the adrenal cortex. It is responsible for regulating the metabolic activities around carbohydrates in our body. It is also useful in the case of anti-inflammatory diseases and plays a significant role in combating the same.
The importance of aldosterone in our bodies: Associated with the adrenal cortex, aldosterone is responsible for maintaining the blood pressure of the body. It also regulates the balance of salt and water in the body.
Vitamin D is a derivative of a steroid hormone: Calcitriol, a steroid hormone, is referred to as Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a principal role in the body. It is responsible for the regulation of phosphorus and calcium levels, besides helping in the mineralization of the bones in the body.
Anabolic steroids used for muscle building: Anabolic steroids, derived from testosterone, a male hormone, finds usage for muscle building. Doctors often recommend these to people with weak muscles. However, these are infamous for their illegal use by athletes to increase their muscle strength, and hence, their performance.
Although the overuse of steroids can cause chronic disorders, intake in controlled doses can be beneficial for patients. Doctors prescribe these readily to patients because of the fast-acting nature in providing relief, which most drugs take longer in comparison. Corticosteroids, among all, find the most useful among patients. If you are looking for steroids Canada or the USA there is a huge marketplace of online stores that sell natural steroids.