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Review

Androstenedione (a Natural Steroid and a Drug Supplement): A Comprehensive Review of Its Consumption, Metabolism, Health Effects, and Toxicity with Sex Differences

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Department of Biology, School of Sciences and Engineering, The American University in Cairo, New Cairo 11835, Egypt
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AgroBioSciences, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Lot 660, Hay Moulay Rachid, Ben-Guerir 43150, Morocco
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International Research Center for Food Nutrition and Safety, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China
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Department of Analytical Chemistry and Food Science, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, University of Vigo, E-36310 Vigo, Spain
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Pharmacognosy Department, College of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Kasr el Aini St., Cairo P.B. 11562, Egypt
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Chemistry Department, School of Sciences Engineering, The American University in Cairo, New Cairo 11835, Egypt
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maria Ines Dias, José Pinela and Lillian Barros
Molecules 2021, 26(20), 6210; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26206210
Received: 13 September 2021 / Revised: 25 September 2021 / Accepted: 27 September 2021 / Published: 14 October 2021
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: androstenedione; health effects; toxicity; pharmacokinetics; metabolism; drug interaction; pharmacogenetics androstenedione; health effects; toxicity; pharmacokinetics; metabolism; drug interaction; pharmacogenetics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Badawy, M.T.; Sobeh, M.; Xiao, J.; Farag, M.A. Androstenedione (a Natural Steroid and a Drug Supplement): A Comprehensive Review of Its Consumption, Metabolism, Health Effects, and Toxicity with Sex Differences. Molecules 2021, 26, 6210. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26206210

AMA Style

Badawy MT, Sobeh M, Xiao J, Farag MA. Androstenedione (a Natural Steroid and a Drug Supplement): A Comprehensive Review of Its Consumption, Metabolism, Health Effects, and Toxicity with Sex Differences. Molecules. 2021; 26(20):6210. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26206210

Chicago/Turabian Style

Badawy, Marwa T., Mansour Sobeh, Jianbo Xiao, and Mohamed A. Farag 2021. "Androstenedione (a Natural Steroid and a Drug Supplement): A Comprehensive Review of Its Consumption, Metabolism, Health Effects, and Toxicity with Sex Differences" Molecules 26, no. 20: 6210. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26206210

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