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A steroid is a chemical, either natural or man-made, which has four cycloalkane rings in its structure. Steroids are important because some of them act as a hormone in the body. Examples of steroid hormones include estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and cholecalciferol (commonly known as Vitamin D3). Prednisone is an important man-made steroid medication, used to treat inflammation. Cholesterol is a plentiful steroid in animal cells, it is important for the membranes in cells. The body uses cholesterol to make the other steroids. Steroids that are important for vertebrates are either hormones, or cholesterol.

Certain anabolic steroids, such as testosterone, are used as drugs to help make muscles stronger. Such steroids are used to improve a person's performance, but they are sometimes overused and abused by athletes that depend on steroids. The rate of steroid abuse grew greatly in the early 21st century, all over the world. Anabolic steroids can have very bad effects on the human body. They can cripple or kill. Some sports forbid them.

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