When Were Anabolic Steroids Discovered?
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When Were Anabolic Steroids Discovered?

Anabolic steroids such as DianabolTestosterone, WinstrolAnavar, Deca Durabolin and Anadrol have been around for a long time. Not a lot of people know that anabolic steroids are not a recent phenomenon. Many insiders in the bodybuilding community have known about steroids for a long time.

In fact, steroids have been used by athletes and bodybuilders for more than 50 years. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, the greatest bodybuilder in history, has admitted to using steroids such as Deca Durabolin when he was a young man.

But when were anabolic steroids first discovered?

An Early Experiment

The discovery of anabolic steroids can be traced back to 1849, when a German scientist by the name of Adolf Bertold did a bizarre experiment of removing the testicles of one animal and attaching it surgically to another animal, to see if the male characteristics could be replicated.

That experiment was a failure, but that gave some important ideas to a British neurologist by the name of Charles-Edouard Brown-Sequard. He carried the experiment further in 1856 and actually injected the testicular extracts from guinea pigs and dogs onto himself.

The First Modern Steroid

The next big turning point in the discovery of steroids is a controversial one. German scientists working for Hitler and his Nazi forces were under pressure to create a super-soldier, one with extraordinary powers. They developed a hormone known as Androstenone. This was perhaps the first fully developed modern steroid.

The First Use of Testosterone  

The use of Androstenone was stopped after the World War II. During this time, scientists of the victorious allied forces led by the chemist Leo Ruzicka found a way to isolate the testosterone molecule.

They injected the steroid into survivors of concentration camps and prisoners of wars and this helped them regain their lost strength and prevent muscle wasting. The technique worked and Leo Ruzicka won the Nobel Prize for his efforts.

The Cold War and Dianabol

The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States saw a fight for dominance between the two world powers in the Olympics. The Russian Olympic Team was consistently outperforming the Americans through the 1950s and 60s. The Americans wondered why.

Answer – steroids. Russians had perfected the art of creating and administering steroids such as testosterone. All Russian athletes used to take those.

John Bosley Ziegler, an American physician who worked for the U.S. Olympic Team decided to do something about and created a new steroid that mimicked the properties of Testosterone without the androgenic side effects. That was how Dianabol was first created. It remains the most popular steroid even today.

Steroids Become Commercial

Anabolic steroids became big business in the 1960s and 70s with companies such as Organon, Ciba and Schering making these drugs commercially available to the public.

This was a time when bodybuilding was taken very seriously and bodybuilders like Schwarzenegger became famous all over the world. Not many knew at the time that these bodybuilders were taking steroids such as Dianabol, Testosterone, Deca Durabolin and Anadrol to build incredible muscle mass.

 Today, anabolic steroids are among the best selling products in the fitness industry and taken by millions of beginners and experienced bodybuilders around the world, including 6 million in the United States.