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 Natural Hormones: Androstenedione: The Father of Testosterone 
 

Cautions and Side Effects
If you plan to take Andro, do so under medical supervision, and take it, at most, only a few days a month.

Most of the short-term side effects are not serious and include acne, mood changes, and irritability. These side effects are minimal on low dosages, particularly if Andro is only taken for two or three days. Acne results from increased sebum production. I am aware of several reports of aggressive behavior by individuals taking Andro.

When Andro is taken for prolonged periods, it can have additional side effects that include thinning of scalp hair, facial hair growth in women, and alterations in menstrual cycles. Blurred vision is another side effect that a few Andro users have experienced. Thinning of scalp hair may occur due to the conversion of Andro into testosterone, which then converts in the hair follicles into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Hair follicles do not like too much DHT. There's actually a hair-growth medicine called finasteride that works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Andro can also raise levels of estrogen, something that could potentially lead to enlarged breasts and an increased risk of certain types of cancer if Andro is taken daily for many years. Prostate enlargement could be a concern in older men. I am aware that DHEA, in doses greater than 25 mg, sometimes causes irregular heart rhythms. It is possible that Andro may do the same in susceptible individuals.

A letter to the editor of The New England Journal of Medicine reports an individual who took Andro to improve his physique experienced priapism (painful continuous erection) for over 30 hours after taking the hormone for one week. The priapism required a visit to the emergency room. Priapism is named after Priapus, the Greek god of fertility often shown in sculpture endowed with a large phallus.

Interactions
If you plan to use Andro, note that other steroid hormones, such as DHEA, pregnenolone, and Andro cousins, will have an additive effect if taken at the same time.

Dosage and Availability
Andro is available in health food and vitamin stores in 25, 50 and 100 mg capsules, but is also available in other forms including percutaneous gels, transdermal patches, and chewing gum. A dose of 10 to 50 mg a day for one to four days is usually effective for most people as a sex booster. Some people find a pill taken a couple of hours before sex to be effective.

Summary
The young and those with high levels of androgens in their system are not likely to notice as much of a sex boosting effect from Andro as would middle aged and older individuals. As with any supplement, there will be those who will notice benefits while others only have side effects. It is difficult to predict a person's response to a nutrient, herb, or hormone. Andro seems to be best suited for those who have a low libido or a decrease in genital sensation. Andro can be safely used in low dosages for short periods of time in order to enhance libido, particularly if done so under medical supervision. The dosage may vary between 10 mg to 50 mg a day for one to four days followed by a break for several weeks. Those who are found to be deficient in androgens due to a medical condition or aging, could take Andro or DHEA for prolonged periods as long as they are monitored by a physician.

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 About The Author
Ray Sahelian MDRay Sahelian, M.D., is a popular and respected physician who has been seen on numerous television programs including NBC Today, Dateline NBC, and CNN, and quoted by countless major magazines such as Newsweek He......more
 
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