There are many signals that control catabolism. Most of the known signals are hormones and the molecules involved in metabolism itself. Endocrinologists have traditionally classified many of the hormones as anabolic or catabolic, depending on which part of metabolism they stimulate. The so-called classic catabolic hormones known since the early 20th century are cortisol , glucagon , and adrenaline (and other catecholamines ). In recent decades, many more hormones with at least some catabolic effects have been discovered, including cytokines , orexin (also known as hypocretin ), and melatonin . [ citation needed ]
According to Ayurveda, the living body is regulated by subtle matter or energy systems called Doshas. Doshas are three in number - Vata (catabolic force), Pitta (metabolic force) and Kapha. (anabolic force). Doshas heal or destroy the body based upon whether they are in balance or not. The Doshas get out of balance easily and rather quickly due to variations in diet, seasons, time of day, thoughts more frequently present in the mind, physical activities, flux of emotions, etc. Some basic tools of assessment provide the Ayurvedic healers with insights on the current state of the Doshas such as which ones are dominant over the others and which Doshas are out of balance and why.
The gains made by athletes in uncontrolled observations have been much more impressive. Weight gains of thirty or forty pounds, coupled with thirty percent increases in strength, are not unusual. Such case studies lack credibility because of the absence of scientific controls. However, it would be foolish to completely disregard such observations because the "subjects" have been highly trained and motivated see the articles on pharmacology of sport and sports medicine in the countries of the former Soviet Union for more information on anabolic steroids.