Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances related to male sex hormones (androgens). Although it is illegal in the United States to possess or distribute anabolic steroids for nonmedical use, a "black market" for them exists, and many amateur and professional athletes take them to enhance performance. In many cases, the athletes take doses that are extremely high—perhaps 100 times the doses that might be prescribed for medical use. As a result, they put themselves in real danger of short-term and long-term health problems. Blood testing, as has been used in the Olympic Games, can detect, identify, and quantify the presence of anabolic steroids in the blood of athletes, which can lead to the disqualification of an athlete.
Recent work in endocrinology focuses on the molecular mechanisms responsible for triggering the effects of hormones . The first example of such work being done was in 1962 by Earl Sutherland . Sutherland investigated whether hormones enter cells to evoke action, or stayed outside of cells. He studied norepinephrine , which acts on the liver to convert glycogen into glucose via the activation of the phosphorylase enzyme. He homogenized the liver into a membrane fraction and soluble fraction (phosphorylase is soluble), added norepinephrine to the membrane fraction, extracted its soluble products, and added them to the first soluble fraction. Phosphorylase activated, indicating that norepinephrine's target receptor was on the cell membrane, not located intracellularly. He later identified the compound as cyclic AMP ( cAMP ) and with his discovery created the concept of second-messenger-mediated pathways. He, like Loewi, won the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking work in endocrinology. 
Tracy Marsden holds both a BSc and a BSc in Pharmacy. She received a Diploma in Homeopathic Pharmacy in 1996, and was subsequently awarded a Fellowship in the British Institute of Homeopathy. She was a community pharmacist for 15 years. Tracy is a Past-President of the Alberta College of Pharmacists and has given presentations and written articles on all areas of natural health for public and professional audiences. She is co-author of the Canadian bestseller, You've Hit Menopause: Now What?, and is currently Vice-President and part-owner of Rocky Mountain Analytical, Canada's largest laboratory specializing in preventive testing ().