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Anabolic steroids' hold on young men

Dr Andrew Kicman, Head of Research and Development at the Drug Control Centre, King’s College London, has voiced his concerns about the increasing use of anabolic steroids and the profound effect their marketing is having on young men.  

Dr Kicman recently shared his views in an article by The Times, commenting that: 'If you go back 20 years anabolic steroid abuse was confined to two groups. One was competitive body builders and the other was athletes who wanted to cheat and improve their performance. Now there is a category, which is young men who take anabolic steroids for cosmetic reasons.' 

This latter group of users tend to find information about the supplements on the internet, which can be unreliable and misleading. Even when ingredients are listed, they can be unintelligible. Dr Kicman mentions one 'testosterone booster' which lists ingredients that contain 'nonsense nomenclature'. He further expresses concern for 'roid rage', where young men who drink alcohol while taking anabolic steroids might lead to 'uncontrollable anger which can manifest itself in violence'.

The issue of supplements arose after the case of Claire Squires, the 30-year–old who died last year one mile from the end of the London Marathon. She had taken Jack3d, a workout supplement since banned in the UK, which contains an amphetamine stimulant known as DMAA (dimethylamylamine). 

Dr Kicman gave evidence at the inquest in Southwark, South London: 'The ruling was that she died because of a combination of chronic demanding exercise and the use of this stimulant which caused heart failure. I suspect many people who take supplements such as Jack3d are not aware of what DMAA is.'

Read The Times article here: Am I Ripped, Mum? The teenage boys obsessed with bulking up - at any cost