Long term perturbation of endocrine parameters and cholesterol metabolism after discontinued abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2011 Nov;127(3-5):295-300. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2011.08.005. Epub 2011 Aug 22.


Aims: To study the long-term impact of anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse on the cholesterol profile, and the potential to suppress endocrine activity in men working out at gym facilities. To study the relation between urinary biomarkers for testosterone and nandrolone abuse and the UGT2B17 genotype and time profile.

Experimental design: Subjects (N = 56) were recruited through Anti-Doping Hot-Line. Serum levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), plasma levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL) and urinary steroid profile were regularly measured for a period of up to one year after cessation of intramuscular AAS abuse.

Results and discussion: A sustained suppression of LH, and FSH was observed for several months. The nandrolone urinary biomarker 19-NA was detectable several months after the last nandrolone intake and was correlated to the levels of LH and FSH. Testosterone abuse on the other hand was detectable only for a few weeks, and some of the testosterone abusers did not test positive due to a genetic deletion polymorphism of the UGT2B17. Significantly increased levels of HDL and decreased levels of LDL were observed for 6-months after cessation of AAS abuse.

Conclusion: Some individuals had a sustained suppression of LH and FSH for a period of 1 year whereas the cholesterol profile was normalized within 6 month. The long term consequences of these findings remain to be established.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Androgens / administration & dosage*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Androgens
  • Biomarkers
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Cholesterol
  • Glucuronosyltransferase
  • UGT2B17 protein, human