Androstenedione. Andro. The substance that ramped up the rhetoric over the steroids in baseball issue. The stuff that Mark McGwire left in plain sight for all to see — or at least for an AP writer to see — and as a result brought the steroid issue to the masses. Without andro it might have taken us a bit longer to catch on to the cheaters.
Too bad andro wonâ€™t do anything for you.
Whatâ€™s funny about this whole thing is that the only study to show that androstenedione can raise serum testosterone levels was funded by Major League Baseball. And this study did NOT find evidence that andro can help build muscle mass or improve athletic performance.
Besides this study there is hardly any real evidence that andro can do anything significant for anybody.
However, one thing is for sure; Mark McGwire did not get huge because he used andro.
The study sponsored by Major League Baseball and conducted by the Harvard Medical School showed that 14 people who took 300 mgs of andro daily had their testosterone levels raised 34 percent, and one third of these subjects had their levels rise above the normal range. Iâ€™m not sure what one third of 14 is when youâ€™re talking about people, but letâ€™s say five people had their levels rise above normal levels.
I donâ€™t know if I need to state the obvious, but this means that for the other nine people in this group who had their testosterone levels rise, their levels were raised within the normal range. Therefore, these people wouldnâ€™t enjoy the benefits of increased muscle mass or improved athletic performance â€¦ if there were any â€¦ which there arenâ€™t.
Within this group the researchers noted that andro had a different effect on different individuals and that the data suggests, â€śthat certain people may be more or less sensitiveâ€ť to andro.
There were other people in this study as well. The 15 people who received 100 mgs of andro, and the 13 poor saps in the placebo group who got nothing and liked it, didnâ€™t show any increases in their testosterone levels.
So the entire â€śandro hullabalooâ€ť is basically due to the five people who had their testosterone levels raised above normal levels. Thereâ€™s no indication in this study with regards to how high above normal the testosterone levels were raised and if these levels were raised enough above normal â€“ at or near levels seen in testosterone supplementation - to result in any benefits. Folks, this is hardly a grand slam. This is not even as good as anecdotal evidence.