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Bodybuilding and Cardiovascular Health



Cardiovascular health is very important for bodybuilders and anabolic steroid-using athletes. As we know certain anabolic-androgenic steroids are associated with unfavorable changes in cholesterol, heart attacks and heart failure are some of the most frequent causes of sudden death or serious injuries. Elite bodybuilders and many other anabolic steroids users have suffered heart problems.

The term”Cardiovascular” refers to the heart and the blood vessels. Heart damage is generally caused by ischemia (oxygen deprivation) but can also be electrical in nature, as the heartbeat is generated by an internal conduction system that accelerates and decelerates to meet the circulatory command of the body. When the electrical signal is disrupted, the heart does not beat well or if the disruption is severe enough, may not beat at all. Ischemic damage of the heart s often due to a increase of plaque in the arteries, but may also be due to inappropriate vasoconstriction. Many abusers of cocaine suffered heart attacks due to coronary vasoconstriction, even though their arteries were completely healthy.

Bodybuilding and Cardiovascular Health
When ischemia is mild-to-moderate and long-term, the body grows new blood vessels to cut down the distance between active cells and near capillaries. A person who lives in the mountains likely has a higher capillary density than a person who lives on the beach at sea level. This density is a measure a measure of how branched the circulation is to provide oxygen. Many endurance athletes sleep in individual chambers that copy living in the mountains. This increases their red blood cell supply by stimulating the hormone erythropoietin, and probably excites new blood vessel growth. Many cancer drugs kill tumors by slowing down the blood vessel growth, starving the malignant tumors of oxygen and nutrients.

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