Steroids

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Steroids List

Introduction

Steroids are biologically active organic compounds characterized by a distinctive molecular configuration of four fused rings. At the core of their structure lies a 17-carbon skeleton, comprised of three six-membered cyclohexane rings (designated as A, B, and C rings) and one five-membered cyclopentane ring (known as the D ring). Steroids exhibit remarkable diversity, encompassing a broad family of complex lipophilic molecules, such as cholesterol (Fig. 1), sitosterol, stigmasterol, ergosterol, bile acids and alcohols, adrenocorticoids, ecdysteroids, cardiac glycosides, and various others. They show multifaceted functions within the body, including the regulation of cellular, tissue, and organ processes.

Structure of cholesterol.Fig. 1 Structure of cholesterol.

Classification of Steroids

Steroids encompass a diverse array of compounds, categorized according to both their source and function.

  • In terms of sources, steroids are classified into plant, fungal, and animal varieties.
  • Plant steroids: As the name implies, plant steroids refer to steroids found in plants. For instance, steroidal alkaloids found in the Solanaceae are plant steroids.
  • Fungal steroids: Fungal steroids refer to some steroids and their derivatives distributed in fungi. Ergosterol is a typical fungal steroid.
  • Animal steroids: Animal steroids refer to steroids of vertebrate and insect origin, including steroid hormones, cholesterol, and ecdysteroids.

steroids are classified into plant, fungal, and animal varieties.

  • In terms of functions, steroids are subdivided into corticosteroids, sex steroids, and anabolic steroids.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids, naturally synthesized in the vertebrate adrenal cortex, comprise two primary classes: glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Glucocorticoids, named for their role in regulating glucose metabolism, exert control over fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism. Mineralocorticoids regulate sodium levels, which can influence blood pressure through sodium concentration modulation.
  • Sex steroids: Sex steroids, encompassing progestins, estrogens, and androgens, play crucial roles in reproductive physiology. Progestins and estrogens, originating from the ovaries, collaborate with pituitary hormones to govern the menstrual cycle. Androgens, predominant in males, influence the development of vocal cords, bones, and reproductive organs.
  • Anabolic steroids: Anabolic steroids, synthetic compounds mimicking testosterone, are primarily employed to bolster protein levels and enhance muscle strength. These substances find widespread use in various contexts, notably in athletics, where they aim to improve performance and foster muscle development.

Applications

Steroids play crucial roles in biological systems, including regulating metabolism, maintaining fluid balance, modulating immune responses, and supporting reproductive function. They also help regulate blood pressure and lipid metabolism. Overall, steroids find diverse applications across various fields due to their wide-ranging physiological effects and chemical properties. Some applications are described below.

Medicine and Healthcare

Medicine and Healthcare: Steroids are widely used in medicine for their anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and hormone-regulating properties. Corticosteroids are prescribed to treat inflammatory conditions such as asthma, arthritis, and dermatitis, as well as autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis. Hormone replacement therapy, utilizing sex steroids, is employed to manage hormonal imbalances and menopausal symptoms.

Sports and Performance Enhancement

Sports and Performance Enhancement: Anabolic steroids are frequently abused in the sports and fitness industry to enhance muscle growth, strength, and performance. Despite being banned in most competitive sports, athletes may still use them illicitly to gain a competitive edge, posing significant health risks.

Cosmetics and Skincare

Cosmetics and Skincare: Steroids, particularly glucocorticoids, are incorporated into topical formulations and skincare products for their anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing effects. They are used to alleviate symptoms of various dermatological conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and allergic reactions.

Alfa Chemistry offers a wide range of steroids, encompassing plant steroids, fungal steroids and animal steroids. For a comprehensive view of our product catalog, kindly access the link provided at the top of this page. If you do not find the product you need, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can also customize the synthesis according to customers' requirements.

Our products and services are for research use only and cannot be used for any clinical purpose.

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