Androstenedione

Androstenedione became well known to the public after the baseball player Mark McGwire acknowledged that he used it in 1998. Androstenedione is a hormone sold as a dietary supplement. In the body, it is converted to testosterone, the male sex hormone. Androstenedione is of potential interest to people with MS because it is claimed to increase strength and energy.

However, clinical studies do not support its claimed benefits. Androstenedione does not increase muscle strength or muscle size. Androstenedione does not appear to increase testosterone levels on a long-term basis. It does increase estrogen levels, which may increase the risk of conditions and cancers that are sensitive to this hormone, including endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, uterus, ovaries, and prostate. Androstenedione decreases levels of HDL, the "good" form of cholesterol, and may thereby increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Multiple other possible side effects may occur with androstenedione.

Androstenedione should be avoided because of its unclear benefits and its multiple possible side effects.

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