Effects of oral administration of androstenedione on plasma androgens in young women using hormonal contraception

Effects of oral administration of androstenedione on plasma androgens in young women using hormonal contraception / Thomas Bassindale, David A. Cowan, Sian Dale, Andrew J. Hutt, Anthony R. Leeds, Michael J. Wheeler, Andrew T. Kicman. - (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 89 (2004) 12 (1 December); p. 6030-6038)

  • PMID: 15579755
  • DOI: 10.1210/jc.2004-0790


Androstenedione as a dietary supplement has been targeted at the sporting community, but there are limited data regarding its effects on plasma androgens in young women. A double-blind, cross-over study was undertaken involving 10 women (20-32 yr) using hormonal contraception. Because contamination of supplements has been reported, an in-house oral formulation was prepared containing purified androstenedione, the control being lactose only. After oral administration of a single dose of androstenedione (100 mg), blood was collected frequently up to 8 h and at 24 h. Maximum plasma androgen concentrations observed between volunteers were well above the upper limit of reference ranges for women, being 121-346 nmol/liter for androstenedione, 14-54 nmol/liter for testosterone (T), 11-32 nmol/liter for 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone, and 23-90 nmol/liter for 3alpha-androstanediol glucuronide. The free androgen index and T concentration changed in a similar manner. The mean change in area under the plasma concentration-time curve (0-24 h), compared with control data were: androstenedione approximately 7-fold, T approximately 16-fold, 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone approximately 9-fold, and 3alpha-androstanediol glucuronide approximately 5-fold; the mean conversion ratio of androstenedione to T was 12.5% (range 7.8-21.6%). Increases in T area under the plasma concentration-time curve were correlated with SHBG concentration (r = 0.80; P = 0.005). Formulation characteristics and SHBG levels appear to be important factors when considering plasma androgen increases after acute androstenedione administration.

Original document


Research / Study
1 December 2004
Bassindale, Thomas
Cowan, David A.
Dale, Sian
Hutt, Andrew J.
Kicman, Andrew T.
Leeds, Anthony R.
Wheeler, Michael J.
United Kingdom
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King's College London (KCL)
London, United Kingdom: Drug Control Centre
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
Androstenedione (androst-4-ene-3,17-dione)
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Health effects
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Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
2 December 2020
Date of last modification
5 December 2020
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