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Studies Show Andro Ineffective, Affects Cholesterol Levels 37959

December 1, 2000

2 Min Read
Studies Show Andro Ineffective, Affects Cholesterol Levels

Studies Show Andro Ineffective, Affects Cholesterol Levels

AMES, Iowa--Results from two current studies suggest that androstenedione (andro)may not only be an ineffective muscle-building supplement for older men, but itmay also adversely affect blood cholesterol levels.

In a study published in the November issue of The Journal of ClinicalEndocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) (85(11): 4074-4080, 2000), researchersconducted a four-week, double-blind, randomly assigned study on 55 men betweenthe ages of 30 and 56. Subjects, consuming either 100 mg of andro or a placebothree times per day, were recorded as having unchanged free testosterone levels.Conversely, dihydrotestosterone (the by-product of testosterone conversion) didincrease substantially, which may lead to potential prostate problems. The studynoted there was no increase in prostate-specific antigen levels, a marker thatsignals an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer.

The researchers, led by Gregory Brown of Iowa State University, also found norelationship between age and changes in serum androstenedione, free testosteroneor estradiol concentrations in those taking andro; however, serumdihydrotestosterone response to andro supplementation was found to be related toage. In addition, concentrations of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterolwere decreased 10 percent through andro consumption.

Another study confirmed that andro may be ineffective in older men, butnegated the JCEM study's blood cholesterol level results. In a 12-week,random, double-blind study appearing in the Nov. 13 American MedicalAssociation's (AMA) Archives of Internal Medicine, androstenedione andandrostenediol supplementation briefly raised testosterone levels, but theincrease was fleeting. At the end of the 12 weeks--after consuming 200 mg/day ofandro--testosterone levels in the 50 male subjects (ages 35 to 65) returned tobaseline.

Moreover, it was found that HDL levels were increased by 6.5 percent(compared to 5.1 percent in the placebo group). Nonetheless, there was still a12.3-percent decrease found in HDL/LDL ratio.

The researchers, led by Craig Broeder, Ph.D., from East Tennessee StateUniversity, concluded that testosterone precursors do not enhance adaptations toresistance training and may produce unfavorable alterations in blood lipidlevels when consumed in dosages recommended by manufacturers.

Also, taking more than the labeled amount may not be wise. "Even if youwere to take an exorbitant amount [of andro], you are not likely to see[positive] results," said Conrad Earnest, Ph.D., a researcher at the CooperInstitute of Aerobics Research and a co-author of the AMA study."Statistically, you get a small bump in testosterone, but you get theseexponential alterations in estrogen." He added that this additionalestrogen throws off the body's natural hormonal balance, which may lead topotentially harmful side effects after long-term use.

For a copy of these abstracts, visit http://jcem.endojournals.organd http://archinte.ama-assn.org.

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