Dr. Thomas O’Connor and Tony Huge clash on the long term risks of steroids – is Tony mitigating the risks or just lucky?
Dr. Thomas O’Connor, aka The Anabolic Doc, and Tony Huge are back for part two of our GI Debate series. Last week, we discussed the ramifications of theoretically legalizing steroids in the United States. This week, we focus more on the potential negative side effects from steroid use. How dangerous are the long term health risks of steroid use? And how many or little steroids can a person safely take? “The Anabolic Doc” and the “Pioneer of Freedom” duke it out in the latest GI Debate episode above.
Tony Huge has experimented with various steroids and PED compounds for most of his adult life. About nine years as of the recording of this debate series. Huge started relatively old, waiting until he was 30 to start using steroids. Over the past nine years, he has promoted deep abuse of steroids and other substances – in the effort to better understand the real world side effects it would have on his body and how to mitigate them for “safe” use of these compounds.
Tony Huge does not deny that there are side effects but he believes that the long term side effects and health risks are overblown. He believes that his nine years of steroid use and his relatively secure health so far is proof of that.
Dr. Thomas O’Connor thinks that this is misleading. That studies have shown that even a small but consistent amount of steroid can accelerate risk of heart failure. This is particularly true for individuals with genetic predisposition towards plaque build up in arteries.
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Dr. Thomas O’Connor believes Tony Huge is still young and that he is simply lucky
During the debate, Tony Huge emphasizes that he takes his health very seriously. Despite testing many banned powerful compounds on his body, he often gets bloodwork and medical scans done to monitor his health consistently throughout his self-induced experiments. As of the time of recording this debate, Huge claims that his heart, liver, and kidneys are all healthy.
Tony Huge believes that the benefits of fitness and bodybuilding far outweigh the risks of using steroids and other PED compounds. He thinks that there are much bigger risks in simply living a sedentary lifestyle, which majority Americans do in the modern era. Obesity, lack of exercise, and processed foods all contribute far greater to heart risk than a fitness focused person that takes steroids. At least, that’s what Tony Huge believes.
Dr. O’Connor believes this is comparing apples to oranges. He emphasizes that the no matter the fitness level, if a person has a family history or genetic predisposition to atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries – the leading cause of death in men), even a small amount of steroid use can accelerate risk of heart failure.
Unfortunately, many individuals start taking steroids relatively young (20s and 30s), well before they know if they have this predisposition. This is particularly true in individuals who don’t know or don’t care to know their family health history. In a sense, this almost makes steroid use like Russian Roulette. If you don’t know your genetic predisposition, you have no way of knowing how much long term damage steroid use may do to you. Is that sort of risk really worth it?
Further, Dr. Thomas O’Connor points out that Tony Huge is relatively young in medical terms. Despite having used and experimented with steroids for nine years, Huge hasn’t really reached the “long term” window of time to know how much damage he may be doing to his body. Even ignoring that, Dr. O’Connor doesn’t think that Tony Huge is smart in his mitigation of dangerous side effects. He simply thinks that he is lucky.
Dr. O’Connor gives an example of a young man who didn’t know the full extent of his genetic deficiencies due to his family history. That man ended up having serious plaque in his arteries after using a minimal amount of steroids. He is only in his 20s. Jumping off of that point – Dr. O’Connor emphasizes Tony Huge’s luck:
“This is why I want everyone to do a detailed history and physical. Tony I’m sure you agree. You’re a super healthy man. I call that luck. It’s luck. You’re lucky… you’re 39. You’re still very young. So when you get to be 59… ten years later will you have a lower ejection fraction and be tired? Will your erections be poor? Will you have a stent or a bypass?”
Dr. Thomas O’Connor stands behind his personal experience with patients over the years on top of peer reviewed studies that back up his claims. Tony Huge focuses on his personal experience and the reality he sees in the industry and in the wider public. The two disagree on the topic of long term health risks of steroids. But they both also debate their perspective with passion and respect for each other. It’s an insightful and entertaining watch.
That’s why you should check out the second episode of GI Debate above. And make sure to check back next Monday for the third and final episode of Dr. Thomas O’Connor and Tony Huge – only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network!