Androstenedione (a Natural Steroid and a Drug Supplement) : A Comprehensive Review of Its Consumption, Metabolism, Health Effects, and Toxicity with Sex Differences / Marwa T. Badawy, Mansour Sobeh, Jianbo Xiao, Mohamed A. Farag. - (Molecules 26 (2021) 20 (14 October) 6210; p. 1-16)
- PMID: 34684800
- PMCID: PMC8539210
- DOI: 10.3390/molecules26206210
Androstenedione is a steroidal hormone produced in male and female gonads, as well as in the adrenal glands, and it is known for its key role in the production of estrogen and testosterone. Androstenedione is also sold as an oral supplement, that is being utilized to increase testosterone levels. Simply known as "andro" by athletes, it is commonly touted as a natural alternative to anabolic steroids. By boosting testosterone levels, it is thought to be an enhancer for athletic performance, build body muscles, reduce fats, increase energy, maintain healthy RBCs, and increase sexual performance. Nevertheless, several of these effects are not yet scientifically proven. Though commonly used as a supplement for body building, it is listed among performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) which is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, as well as the International Olympic Committee. This review focuses on the action mechanism behind androstenedione's health effects, and further side effects including clinical features, populations at risk, pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and toxicokinetics. A review of androstenedione regulation in drug doping is also presented.