Cholesterol - Cholesterol is a major precursor of cholesterol ester, bile acids, and steroid hormones and is a component of plasma membranes. It is a necessary component of all cell membranes. It is the precursor to all steroid hormone (including estrogen , testosterone , cortisol , and vitamin D ). It is the leading organic molecule in the brain and is needed for brain function. However, too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can be unhealthy, it builds up in the artery wall and can lead to the signs and symptoms of coronary heart disease.
Physiological effects of steroids can be estimated reasonably well because it can reasonably be supposed that few if any potential users are going to have significant pre-existing medical problems. But when trying to evaluate mental effects, that supposition has no basis. As Darkes (see farther below) and many others have pointed out, one of the chief failings of many studies of steroids and psychiatry is the failure to design the studies so that the cause-and-effect relationship is not tangled. While there are, in some reports, evidences of some possible correlation of steroid use and mental problems, what few if any of those studies address is which is cause and which effect .
Awareness and educational efforts are working to help prevent anabolic steroid abuse in schools and communities. The Adolescents Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS) and the Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENA) programs, funded by the NIDA, and supported by the Oregon Health & Science University programs is teaching athletes that they do not need steroids to build powerful muscles and improve athletic performance. These programs provide weight-training and nutrition alternatives, increase healthy behaviors, less likelihood to try steroids, and less likelihood to engage in other dangerous behaviors such as drinking and driving, use of marijuana and alcohol , and and improved body image. Bother Congress and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration endorsed these model prevention programs. 4