I have been seeing ads and have had tons of questions by friends that want to bulk up quickly and get totally ripped in half then time, using Andro 400. Now, I think at this point in time all of my loyal readers know that I am usually touting that if something seems to good to be true, it usually is, right? The makers of this “supplement” claim that it will boost your metabolism and burn away belly fat, while simultaneously helping to build muscle. But is that really possible and does the supplement meet those claims?
What is Andro 400?
Andro 400 is a supplement containing androstenedione which is a precursor to testosterone and estrogen. Apparently, the company claims that it can boost your testosterone levels by 400% to help you grow stronger, faster, along with improving sexual function (and arousal), and cuts down on recovery time after hard workouts just by taking 100-200mg per day. I guess on paper that sounds pretty good: get cut, perform like a porn star, and feel great right after hard workouts? It would be even better if those claims were scientifically founded…
Does it work?
The key question, right? Well, there was one major study that was performed in the late 1990’s when steroids and supplements were being banned from use by professional athletes, and people were claiming they were getting all bulked up from these supplements, so Iowa State University did a small study to assess the effects. Bummer for Andro makers. The study was performed on 20 men over an 8 week period, where half of the men enrolled were given 300 mg of Andro and the other half were given placebo (insignificant supplement- sugar/flour) that would have no effect on them. What did they find? After 8 weeks of heavy training, lo an behold, they found NO significant difference between the men that took the placebo and those that took Andro. The men who took the Andro did have an increase in estrogen levels (another bummer there). But the positive side is that they were able to figure out that those with lower levels of testosterone were able to boost them up a bit, but if you had normal levels of testosterone in your body baseline, there was no change. They also noted that the men who took the supplement in the study, had a 12% drop in their High density lipoprotein levels (HDL- the good cholesterol), which can lead to a build up of plaques in their arteries and significantly increase their risk of stroke and heart attack.
Is there a downside?
The problem with these supplements, and with anything that you put into your body that isn’t organic food, is that there are side effects, which can be bad. And as well all should have guessed by now, most medications/supplements are filtered through your liver, so you are putting yourself at risk for causing some damage to your liver, because on top of not truly knowing what the drug is doing to your body, they are not FDA approved, so you aren’t totally sure what you are ingesting. Your liver had a major part in converting estrogen to testosterone too, so flooding it with Andro can cause some major strain and could lead to some liver damage. Also, if you have any sort of cancer or history of hormone sensitive cancers, it may increase your risk of tumors re-growing if you are changing your hormonal balance. So anyone with any sore of hormonal imbalances should not take Andro 400 (or any other hormonal changing supplement- if you do need hormonal supplementation, you should be on a prescribed regimen from your HCP.) The boost in estrogen levels that some of the test subjects saw did not cause any effects because they took the supplement short-term, but long-term they could start to have female like features (grow breasts, shrinking of the testicles, etc), and for those that do increase their testosterone, they can have increased rage and mood swings, acne, and an increase in body hair. Also, the drop in HDL, as stated above, can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack significantly.
Don’t do it. Eat a high protein diet, lift weights, get your favorite cardio on, and skip the Andro 400. It truly did sound too good to be true. If you are a woman, it can increase your testosterone and make you dude-like, and if you are a dude, you can start becoming more feminine, all while stressing out your liver (one of our most loved and vital of organs). That does not sound like anything I want to be a part of for certain, and I don’t think you should either. If you do insist on taking either Andro 400 and any other Andro containing supplement, please get a physical by your HCP with some labs drawn to check your liver, cholesterol levels, and check your heart out, then follow-up with them a couple of months into taking the supplement. It is unfortunate that these supplements, despite being found to only appear to cause harm, are still on the market, but they are. So if you must take them, be safe, talk to your HCP, and note any side effects you may have…and if you are told to stop taking them by your HCP, please stop. It is not with doing long-term damage to your body to have some pumped up muscle-filled physique now.
Yours in Good Health