News & Perspectives

Body-Building Danger

According to the first randomized double-blind study to examine its effects in humans, androstenedione, the supplement popularized by the baseball champ Mark McGwire, does not increase muscle strength or mass  (Journal of the American Medical Association, Jun. 2, 1999).

The steroid hormone, a precursor to testosterone, is marketed as a workout enhancer that will build muscle and decrease body fat. The study, which looked at 30 men who performed resistance training over the course of eight weeks also found that the supplement may jeopardize heart health because it lowered levels of "good" (HDL) cholesterol.

Date Published: 04/19/2001
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