• Androstenedione became famous in 1998 when a reporter claimed that major league baseball player Mark McGwire carried a bottle of it. Sold as "Andro," it was a popular dietary supplement in the 1990s, but is now illegal.


    According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), androstenedione is an anabolic steroid precursor, which is "a steroid that does not itself cause muscle growth, but can be converted by the body into such a steroid." Androstenedione converts to testosterone.


    Researchers discovered androstenedione in the 1930s. They were looking for the key to revitalizing male characteristics in older men but decided that androstenedione had little effect on the male prostate, according to


    In the early 1980s, East German scientists produced sprays containing androstenedione and testosterone. They found that the sprays lessened stress and enhanced concentration and aggression in athletes, according to

    Androstenedione in the U.S.

    Supplement producer Osmo introduced androstenedione capsules to the U.S. market in 1996. The FDA effectively outlawed the sale of androstenedione as a dietary supplement in 2004.


    An article in the February 2000 Journal of the American Medical Association found that 100 mg daily doses of androstenedione had little or no effect on raising testosterone levels or increasing muscle mass in young men.

    Source: Androstenedione

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Questions and Answers: Androstenedione

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Sample Warning Letter on Androstenedione

    More Information:

    Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

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