Skip to content

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size

No Gain (and No Pain) for Andro and DHEA

continued...

If they don't work and since at least one may have potentially harmful side effects, how then have these products become so popular? King explains one reason is that supplement companies have been promoting their use based on questionable data. "They used two sources of information," King says. "One was a 1962 paper where androstenedione and DHEA were given to two women, and it did raise their blood testosterone levels. The other reference frequently used was an East German patent for androstenedione use."

King says that the East German data claims a huge rise in blood testosterone levels following androstenedione but gives no details on the age, condition, or sex of the patients studied -- factors which could skew the results.

More studies on these products -- including one sponsored by Major League Baseball -- should be coming out in the months ahead. But for now, there is concern -- even from the supplements industry -- over the use of "andro" and DHEA among adolescents. "If you ever pick up a muscle magazine -- that's where young athletes get their information," says Chris Rosenbloom, RD, PhD, associate professor of nutrition at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

"What I always tell people is, 'You want deregulation, this is the price you pay. You have to be more vigilant as a consumer.'"

Vital Information:

  • Theoretically, androstenedione and DHEA should cause an increase in lean body mass because they are both transformed into testosterone in the body.
  • A new study, however, shows that neither supplement significantly affects muscle mass, body fat content, muscular strength, or aerobic capacity.
  • One criticism of the study is that the dosage of the supplements may have been too low.

1|2

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

pilates instructor
15 moves that get results.
woman stretching before exercise
How and when to do it.
 
couple working out
Moves you can do at home.
woman exercising
Strengthen your core with these moves.
 
man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
woman walking
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article