by Mike Arnold
As bodybuilders, our unceasing quest to understand the effects of hormones on the body is driven by a singular purpose—that we might be able to manipulate them to our advantage in the pursuit of physical excellence. Over the decades, three classes of hormones have emerged as the most influential, due to both their vast range of effects in the body and their overall degree of impact on the attainment of our goals. These are steroids (AAS and estrogens), growth hormone, and insulin. Although each of these hormones can provide both positive and negative effects, for the most part, they are viewed as beneficial from a bodybuilding standpoint. But what happens when one of these produces a cosmetic side effect that is contrary to our goals? In most cases we simply employ the appropriate countermeasure and the problem goes away. However, such a remedy is not always available, leaving us to decide between the lesser of two evils.