'Natural' steroids: Are they safe?

content provided by mayoclinic.com

'Natural' steroids: Are they safe?


Is it safe to take the natural steroids sold at health food stores?

No name
No state given


So-called "natural" steroids, which are sold as over-the-counter supplements at many health food stores, aren't safe. Because natural steroids contain "natural" substances that aren't chemically altered, they can be marketed as dietary supplements — which are subject to limited regulation by the Food and Drug Administration. Still, they can have the same harmful effects as synthetic steroids.

Although prescription steroids have legitimate medical uses, it's important to remember that steroids of any type have significant risks. When used inappropriately, steroids can cause various long-lasting or irreversible health problems, including:

  • Mood swings, aggression and violent behavior
  • Acne
  • Baldness
  • Sexual dysfunction or infertility
  • Increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol
  • Decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver damage

If you're hoping to increase strength and build muscle, don't count on "natural" steroids or other medications. Eat a healthy diet and include regular strength training in your workout routine.

Last Updated: 2009-12-12
© 1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use


Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version