Androstenedione is a hormone precursor secreted by the adrenal glands, and found in meat and (oddly) the pollen of Scotch pine. It’s been used for quite some time by athletes needing endurance or porn stars looking for a different sort of endurance. The latter also benefit from increased sperm production, by the way.
The prohormone affects the body by being transformed to either testosterone or estrogen, and for the most part according to the sex of the user. According to the German patent for androstenedione, 50mg given orally to men raised plasma testosterone levels at least 140%, and a 100mg dose more than tripled the subject’s initial levels. Blood testosterone levels start rising about 15 minutes after taking androstenedione, and stay elevated for around three hours. A peak in the levels is seen around 60 to 90 minutes after ingestion. However, later studies show a dose of 100mg or less having no effect at all, and it all gets rather complicated rather quickly.
Andro was legal in the U.S. until April of 2004, when it was declared dangerous for similar reasons to anabolic steroids. Now, it is not directly a steroid, and does not directly promote muscle growth the way they do, but as livestrong.com says,
“Now it is known that human bodies require an equal amount of testosterone and androstenedione. The supplement of androstenedione works by increasing the amount of androstenedione which in turn increases the amount of testosterone in the body and then the effects are similar to those of anabolic steroids.”
Although for the most part it produces testosterone in men and estrogen in women, regular usage also can cause men to grow breasts and women to grow facial hair and get a lower voice. As well, the body’s reaction varies wildly from one person to the next.
So what of our question, that is if it is an aphrodisiac? It is possible to use it for a brief boost, but in general it is too unreliable and too laden with side effects.