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January 22, 1982

Steroids: Keys to Life

Author Affiliations

Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine Hahnemann Medical College Philadelphia

JAMA. 1982;247(4):527. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320290061043

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Witzmann successfully presents steroids in an organized fashion as evidenced by the natural progression of topics: discovery of the biologic steroids, the steroid mechanism, deliberate synthesis of steroids, and steroids of the future. A historical perspective of the advances in steroid research through the important work of many investigators, including several Nobel Prize laureates, is examined in detail. Some of these major discoveries include Wieland's first steroid formula, Butenandt's sex steroids, Ruzicka's synthesis of the first steroid, Hench's work on adrenal corticoids, and Sutherland's mechanism of hormone action.

Starting with cholesterol and ergosterol, the reader is given insight into the research that led to the biosynthesis of many of the steroid hormones and their isolation. The spectrum of areas covered includes cholesterol and the cell membrane, vitamin D and the skeletal framework, bile acids and the digestion of fat, endocrine secretion and control, sex hormones and reproduction, protective steroids and