neoforce wrote:How much of the current view is also built on anecdotal evidence?
Almost all of it. The health concerns behind these steroids have never been sufficiently proven by anybody. The value behind that video (and others like them) is exposing people to a perspective that they don't often see or hear due to the MSM.
My question here would be, which side effect are you talking about? Long term side effects I assume? It's going to be years before they have conclusive evidence about the long term side effect profile of anabolic steroids. Post marketing data is still being accumulated, as part of this is the final stage of FDA approval.
It takes a long time. Example, Zocor was released in the late 1980s. Zocor and the generic, simvastatin, were one of the most prescribed cholesterol drugs since then. In early 2011, the FDA found (in post marketing data) that Zocor induced much more severe and frequent types of muscle degeneration than initially thought. It took the FDA 25 years worth of data to find this and slap a new label on the drug (which now leads to 80mg being rarely prescribed). And that was a drug that was massively used nation wide. Anabolic steroid use is microscopic in comparison. So post marketing data for these types of products will take much, much longer. That isn't to say they do cause anything, just that proving without doubt will take longer. As it stands, people who are predisposed to prostate cancer should not use anabolic steroids.
neoforce wrote:Ummm... maybe invoking Nazi Germany is a bit of an over-reaction?
I probably presented this in the wrong way. I was only trying to get the point across that you cannot test for a negative outcome. The only instance in history where this was done was in Nazi Germany. Those types of "trials", though HIGHLY unethical, are the only studies that can prove causation without a doubt.
neoforce wrote:As i said in my small post earlier, I'm no expert on the mechanics of medical studies. I do understand the concept of double blind studies, but aren't there other potential ways to study this? Survey the body builder community who admit to taking steroids, then check up on them again 10 years later and compare their medical history against the norm?
Yes, there certainly are other types of studies. However, these studies cannot prove cause and effect. They can show data on the relationship between cause and effect.
With the type of study you mentioned, there are several problems. The first being finding a large enough sample size of steroid users (as this is illegal). Assuming you do find a group of a large enough size, you then need to find a group of people who are similar to said group. AKA you have to limit the confounding variables. You need people of similar age, health, lack of certain medical conditions, etc. Once you find a similar group, you then have to either monitor them on a daily or weekly basis OR check with them at set yearly intervals.
The problem with the former is that these types of studies tend to have a high dropout rate (which is actually the biggest problem). Dropout rate is very high in this type of scenario as it is incredibly time consuming and costly. Though ideally, you can monitor each individual person and make sure they don't stray from the guidelines of the study (in anything- meals, exercise rate, the other drugs they take, etc.).
The problem with the latter is that you cannot control all of the variables, which leads to people doing things outside of the guidelines (taking too many steroids, taking not enough, exercising habits, etc.). The list is endless. And when people stray from the guidelines, the study can be discredited.
There is no hard data proving that anabolic steroids cause cancer. There have been clinically documented cases where people predisposed to prostate problems have gotten cancer or other prostate issues (infertility for example). This was found to be about 5% vs. placebo (according to the manufacturers studies of any prescription product [Androgel, Testim, etc.]).
I'm not saying anabolic steroids can cause cancer one way or the other (aside from select people with prostate problems). But to completely rule out the possibility and dangers associated with using these (or any hormone for that matter), is silly IMO. You are altering your natural endocrine system. No way around that.
And for reference, it took how long to find a link between tobacco and cancer? About a hundred years?
And for the record, I'm not advocating that people should or should not use them. Just be smart about it. Don't overdose, don't use them if you are still growing (child/teenager) or a woman (where massive side effects have been proven).