A small study suggests that androstenedione is not only ineffective for improving muscle strength; it may also raise the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
Marketed as a natural alternative to anabolic steroids, androstenedione is a plant-based precursor to testosterone purported to increase user’s ability to gain muscle mass.
Researchers at Iowa State University, Ames compared the results of 20 young men on an eight-week training program, 10 of whom were taking 300 milligrams/day.
Instead of increasing muscle strength, the andro users lowered their levels of HDL (the good) cholesterol. In fact, researchers believe that much of the supplement was converted into forms of estrogen, which has been associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
Source: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) 1999; 281: 2020-2028
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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