Androstenedione is a hormone produced naturally in the body by the adrenal glands, the ovaries (in women), and the testicles (in men). The body first manufactures DHEA, then turns DHEA into androstenedione, and finally transforms androstenedione into testosterone, the principal male sex hormone. Androstenedione is also transformed into estrogen.

Androstenedione is widely used by athletes who believe that it can build muscle and increase strength. However, there is no evidence that it works. Furthermore, androstenedione supplements may cause positive urine tests for illegal steroid use, due to the common presence of a contaminant (19-norandrostenedione).1

Androstenedione is not an essential nutrient—your body manufactures it from scratch. It is found in meat and in some plants, but to get a therapeutic dosage, you will need to take supplements.