Why can taking hormone supplements be dangerous?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Judging by the size of fast-food meals and the number of X-rated Internet sites, Americans certainly think more is better. A number of quick-fix companies are trying to capitalize on that mentality by hawking extra hormones as the solution to all kinds of health problems-from weight gain to weak muscles.

However, because our hormone system is more complicated than a calculus workbook, the more-is-better philosophy doesn't fly. See, you can't just turn on all the faucets in your house, ratchet up the heat, or turn all your switches on-or you'll overload your systems and cause everything to go haywire. Any time you try fiddling with your hormones on your own with anabolic steroids or fixes for weight loss or other ailments, you're causing your body to go haywire.

For example, we often read about athletes who take androgenic steroids or supplements that get metabolized through to testosterone. This excess testosterone can lead to very aggressive behavior-as in, don't give that man a gun or even an argument-not to mention all the side effects like cardiovascular and kidney problems. If you do try to supplement your body with hormone replacement products, the best thing that can happen to you is that you'll just lose money.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

Endocrine System

Your endocrine system works with your nervous system to control important bodily functions. The endocrine systems responsibilities include regulating growth, sexual development and function, metabolism and mood. The endocrine syst...

em also helps give your body the energy it needs to function properly. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones are considered chemical messengers, coordinating your body by transferring information from one set of cells to another. Your endocrine system health can be affected by hormone imbalances resulting from impaired glands. A hormone imbalance can cause problems with bodily growth, sexual development, metabolism and other bodily functions. Endocrine system diseases or conditions include diabetes, growth disorders and osteoporosis.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.