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J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Oct;20(5):520-8.

Endocrine and lipid responses to chronic androstenediol-herbal supplementation in 30 to 58 year old men.

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  • 1Department of Health and Hunan Performance, Iowa State University, Ames 50011, USA.



The effectiveness of an androgenic nutritional supplement designed to enhance serum testosterone concentrations and prevent the formation of dihydrotestosterone and estrogen was investigated in healthy 3 to 58 year old men.


Subjects were randomly assigned to consume a nutritional supplement (AND-HB) containing 300-mg androstenediol, 480-mg saw palmetto, 450-mg indole-3-carbinol, 300-mg chrysin, 1,500 mg gamma-linolenic acid and 1.350-mg Tribulus terrestris per day (n = 28), or placebo (n = 27) for 28 days. Subjects were stratified into age groups to represent the fourth (30 year olds, n = 20), fifth (40 year olds, n = 20) and sixth (50 year olds, n = 16) decades of life.


Serum free testosterone, total testosterone, androstenedione, dihydrotestosterone, estradiol, prostate specific antigen and lipid concentrations were measured before supplementation and weekly for four weeks.


Basal serum total testosterone, estradiol, and prostate specific antigen (PSA) concentrations were not different between age groups. Basal serum free testosterone concentrations were higher (p < 0.05) in the 30- (70.5 +/- 3.6 pmol/L) than in the 50 year olds (50.8 +/- 4.5 pmol/L). Basal serum androstenedione and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) concentrations were significantly higher in the 30- (for androstenedione and DHT, respectively, 10.4 +/- 0.6 nmol/L and 2198.2 +/- 166.5 pmol/L) than in the 40- (6.8 +/- 0.5 nmol/L and 1736.8 +/- 152.0 pmol/L) or 50 year olds (6.0 +/- 0.7 nmol/L and 1983.7 +/- 147.8 pmol/L). Basal serum hormone concentrations did not differ between the treatment groups. Serum concentrations of total testosterone and PSA were unchanged by supplementation. Ingestion of AND-HB resulted in increased (p < 0.05) serum androstenedione (174%), free testosterone (37%), DHT (57%) and estradiol (86%) throughout the four weeks. There was no relationship between the increases in serum free testosterone, androstenedione, DHT, or estradiol and age (r2 = 0.08, 0.03, 0.05 and 0.02, respectively). Serum HDL-C concentrations were reduced (p < 0.05) by 0.14 mmol/L in AND-HB.


These data indicate that ingestion of androstenediol combined with herbal products does not prevent the formation of estradiol and dihydrotestosterone.

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