Androstenedione, a sex steroid precursor to testosterone, is marketed to increase blood testosterone levels and as a natural alternative to anabolic steroids. It is believed to increase muscle size and strength, as well as increasing libido. However, some
studies have shown that androstenedione has no effect on testosterone levels in the body. (35) The use of androstenedione was popularized when a professional baseball player admitted to using it the year he hit a record number of home runs. Although legal in baseball, androstenedione is banned by the International Olympic Committee, the National Football League, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Even though androstenedione may benefit athletes, it is dangerous and potentially deadly. (36) If this substance does increase testosterone levels, side effects may occur that are similar to those associated with androgenic-anabolic steroids, including kidney and liver damage, acne, premature baldness, enlarged prostate, reduced sperm count, and heightened aggression. (37) Androstenedione may cause testicular atrophy, reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol, disrupt liver metabolism, and cause problems in the endocrine system.
For these reasons, no one is encouraged to take androstenedione supplements.
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Since World War II, there has been a tremendous change in the makeup and direction of kid baseball, as it is called. Adults, showing an unprecedented interest in the activity, have initiated and developed programs in thousands of towns across the United States programs that providebr wholesome recreation for millions of youngsters and are often a source of pride and joy to the community in which they exist.