Sunday, August 5, 2012

Never Mind the Anabolics, a Steroidal Beer?

the natural anabolic hormone testosterone
Just in time for the summer Olympics, a steroidal (?), performance-enhancing (?) beer, Never Mind the Anabolics, hits the marketplace. This beverage, invented by the Scottish brewing company Brewdog, is an India pale ale infused with creatine, guarana, ginseng, gingko, maca powder, matcha tea and kola nut. Its name references (in a delicious pun) the iconic 1977 Sex Pistols album "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols" which included the now classic anthems "God Save the Queen" and "Anarchy in the U.K." Upon inspection of the additives in this putatively steroidal brew, it becomes clear that none of the ingredients listed have been reported in the reputable scientific literature to contain anabolic or androgenic natural products. This is probably a very good thing, given the adverse effects associated with anabolic steroids. As a reminder from Intro to Biochemistry, anabolic-androgen steroids (e.g. testosterone, structure shown above) are molecular entities that regulate the development and maintenance of male characteristics in vertebrates by binding to androgen receptors. These are typically 19-carbon steroids (17-oxoandrostanes), synthesized in the adrenal cortex, that mediate an increase of protein synthesis in cells, resulting in the buildup of cellular tissue, particularly in muscle.
UPDATE: Only the initial test batch of this beer was supposedly brewed with actual anabolic steroids. The subseqent batches that are available to the public for purchase do not contain any steroids.