Main Difference – Androgenic vs Anabolic
Androgenic and anabolic are two varieties of steroids that are synthetic, structural derivatives of testosterone. Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, which stimulates the development of male reproductive tissues such as the prostate and testis, and promotes the secondary sexual characteristics in males. The secondary sexual characteristics are the increased muscle mass, bone mass, and body hair. Therefore, testosterone serves as both androgenic and anabolic steroids. The main difference between androgenic and anabolic is that androgenic steroids generate male sex hormone-related activity whereas anabolic steroids increase both muscle mass and the bone mass. This means androgenic steroids affect the development and maintenance of the characteristics of males. In contrast, anabolic steroids promote the anabolism or the cell growth of the body.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Androgenic
– Definition, Characteristics, Function
2. What is Anabolic
– Definition, Characteristics, Function
3. What are the Similarities Between Androgenic and Anabolic
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Androgenic and Anabolic
– Comparison of Common Features
Key Terms: Anabolic, Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids (AAS), Androgenic, Androgens, Bone Mass, Muscle Mass, Puberty, Steroids, Testosterone
What is Androgenic
Androgenic are the substances related to the development of male characteristics. These characteristics include genital organs, muscle mass, bone mass, and body hair. The substances that exert androgenic effects are called androgens. An androgen can be any sex hormone such as testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, luteinizing hormone, and androsterone. The development of the secondary male characteristics occurs after puberty. Puberty is the life stage when a person physically becomes capable of producing offspring. The deepening of the voice is a sign of puberty in males. Males produce androgens inside the testis and adrenal glands. The adrenal glands of the females also produce androgens. The over-production of androgens in females introduces some male characteristics to females.
The androgenic effects include;
- Pubertal growth
- Increased growth of androgen-sensitive hair in the chest, limb hair, and pubic areas
- Oil production in the sebaceous gland
- Increased vocal cord size and the deepening of the voice
- Increased production of sperms
- Increased libido
What is Anabolic
Anabolic refers to the substances with structures to testosterone in promoting the growth of muscles. During the anabolism, the large and strengthened molecules are produced. Thus, it promotes the growth of the tissues such as muscles and bones. Some anabolic effects are;
- Increased protein synthesis
- Increased bone remodeling and growth
- Stimulation of bone marrow to produce red blood cells
- Increased apatite
Ultimately, these effects increase the size of the skeletal muscles with increased strength. Typically, all steroids show both androgenic and anabolic effects of the same compound. Therefore, these steroids are called anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). The androgenic to anabolic ratio is important in determining the clinical applications of the substances that exert an anabolic effect. The compounds that are used in clinical applications should be diminished with the androgenic effect when providing anabolic treatment.
The anabolic treatments are used in osteoporosis, anemia, and following a trauma, surgery or immobilization. Drugs with high androgenic ratio are used in the androgen-replacement therapy. Some anabolic steroid drugs are shown in figure 2.
Similarities Between Androgenic and Anabolic
- Both androgenic and anabolic substances are steroids that significantly occur in males.
- Steroids possess both androgenic and anabolic characteristics.
- Testosterone generates both androgenic and anabolic effects on males.
- Synthetic androgenic and anabolic substances are structurally similar to testosterone.
- Both androgenic and anabolic steroids are used to treat individuals.
Difference Between Androgenic and Anabolic
Androgenic: Androgenic refers to a substance that is related to the development of male characteristics.
Anabolic: Anabolic refers to a substance that resembles testosterone in promoting the growth of muscles.
Androgenic: Androgenic substances promote the development of secondary male characteristics in the body.
Anabolic: Anabolic substances promote the growth of the tissues, especially muscles and bones.
Androgenic: Androgenic substances are used in androgenic replacement therapy.
Anabolic: Anabolic substances are used to treat anemia and osteoporosis.
Androgenic and anabolic substances are steroids that affect the tissues of the body. Androgens promote the development of secondary sex characteristics in males. Anabolic substances promote the growth of the muscles and bone. The main difference between androgenic and anabolic is the effect of each substance in the body.
1.“ Medical Definition of Androgenic.” MedicineNet, Available here. Accessed 14 Sept. 2017.
2. “Anabolic steroid.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Sept. 2017, Available here. Accessed 14 Sept. 2017.
1. “Testosteron” By NEUROtiker – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Anabolicsteroids41” By Wikidudeman at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons. (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia