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Androstenedione


Here is an interesting quote from Bill Phillips, Muscle Media 2000, August issue, regarding an initial study being done on androstenedione: "--we are seeing an effect. But it's not happening exactly like I thought it might--there is a group in this phase 1 study that's not responding positively (to androstenedione) - in fact their testosterone went down--"

We all saw it this past summer, the world was focused on it...Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa's chase for the home run record. Ah, but, turns out the winner, McGwire, according to the media, had an edge...Androstendione....Shame, shame on him.
Folks, androstendione got unnecessary pub, but supplement companies were in heaven. You have to understand, when there is even a hint in an abstract that mentions some form of increase in testosterone, or even better music to their ears, increase in muscle...they, the supplement companies are off and running, never looking back..just at the bank account.

I have yet to be sold on Andro, and I have recently looked at information on this typical "super pill" and what I have found may interest all of you who read this.

What is Androstendione?

Androstendione is the direct precursor to testosterone. It has a very short half-life. A half-life of a substance, is the amount of time it takes the body to break down a given substance to half its concentration -- the shorter the half-life, the less time it stays in the body. What this means is that long-term use is necessary to maintain raised levels of testosterone in the body. One would have to take Andro several times a day to keep levels high. The problem with androstendione is that there is an immediate increase in your testosterone levels within an hour or so, but it is followed by a tailing off.

Androstendione has an interesting characteristic: It can become either testosterone, which is great..OR, estrogen. It is the direct precusor to both hormones (See Chart). Depending on the physiological make, it can become either hormone, it doesn't matter your sex. In some cases, the conversion of androstendione to estrogen is more favorable than conversion to testosterone. Androstendione can be either dehydrogenated to testosterone or aromatized to estrogen - a SIGNIFICANT point if you are trying to build muscle. Ingesting androstendione over a long period of time may be dangerous.

History...

Most of the information that has been gathered on androstendione was done back in the 1960's. Androstendione was first synthesized back in 1935, by who else, the Germans. In 1936, Dr. Charles Kochakian, was the first in the world to show that androstendione produced both androgenic and anabolic effects. But, the experiments were performed on castrated dogs....the results were much weaker than the effects of testosterone. All the results obtained on androstendione, throughout the years, produced short, peak levels of testosterone lasting just a few minutes. In the 1970's, East German doctors used previous data to produce andro to be used as an alternative to contiuned anabolic steroid use. Androstendione was used as a nasal spray, not orally, to boost performance during competition. By the time any of the athletes could be drug tested, testosterone levels were within normal testosterone/epitestosterone ratio of 6:1.

Androstendione is not like insulin, which is a hormone that acts instantaneously in the periphery. When thinking about this form of action, true to anabolic steroid form, it can take weeks before one sees any measurable action. In keeping with this, it also makes sense that the largely androgen-induced side effects also tend to occur with prolonged use.

In closing...

As I end this take on androstendione, think about this: If this stuff was highly anabolic, then the 50-plus years it has been available, researchers would have jumped all over it long before now? Andro is no big secret. It is just the sad case of the media getting ahold of something the public deems as bad, or cheating and in turn, helps take it to star status. The bottom line is, proceed with caution.

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