1-Andro: 1-Andro, Ergogenic Evaluation
Again, a post on something a little different, continuing in the theme of compound analysis. Since I am writing these for a different project, where there are crossovers I will post my research in here too.
So, a good buddy of mine sent me a link to a supplement site. Browsing around it aimlessly, I clicked on a product that looked interesting, called ‘Super Mandro’.
There's a lot of promises being made here. And you should be skeptical, I know I am.
Besides, who would trust a site that employs this guy straight from a gay sex hotline ad as their customer service support?
I had already mentally dismissed this site and product until my friend continued to push the subject. While I don’t put much faith in supplement companies, let’s take a look at the actual science here.
The compound in question is 3-beta-hydroxy-5-alpha-androst-1-en-17-one, aka 1-Androsterone. The study I am referencing for most of this article is from JAP, a legit medical journal. If you want to read it for yourself, I have uploaded it here. In short, 1-Andro is performance enhancing, but at a heck of a cost - specifically high risk of heart disease, impacts kidney and liver functions and destroys your ability to do cardio.
The journal article opens with ‘Prohormone supplementation 3-beta-hydroxy-5-alpha-androst-1-en-17-one enhances resistance training gains but impairs user health’... great. Let's get swole while killing ourselves. We already have steroids for that and at least with those we have decades of data to look at. The researchers actually make a very interesting comparison between 1-Andro and testosterone, but more on that in just a sec. First, let’s look at the results of using 1-Andro.
As you can see by the change from baseline to posttest in the prohormone, both groups increased their strength, indicating benefit from the programming that both groups were obliged to follow. That said, the prohoromone group clearly exhibits more change, despite starting from a higher mean baseline. If I can read the table right, the total of the 1 rep max for Deadlift, Bench and Squat went from ~575kg to ~650kg (+75kg, +12%), compared to ~525kg to ~550kg (+25kg, +5%) for the placebo group. That gives the 1-andro group an 8% delta in strength gain over the placebo.
But this increase in strength that the 1-Andro group benefit from came at a cost – specifically their cardiovascular health and liver and kidney function. After just a month, HDL was significantly reduced by 18.7 points to 27.3. At this level, this is considered a major risk for heart disease. LDL was also elevated by 12.3 points to 128.7, which is just outside of normal range. In regards to the liver and kidney function, creatinine, albumin, ALP, AST and GFRs all changed detrimentally to the subjects health.
Let’s compare this to steroids, specifically exogenous testosterone enanthate. At 300mg/wk, or roughly 1.5x my personal TRT dose (testosterone cypionate, but close enough), subjects increased fat-free mass by 8.2%, and their leg press strength by 19.5%. The results of this past study by the same researchers are remarked upon in their article, and they note that they find it interesting that the improvements are remarkably similar. On the face of it, that might be encouraging to the gym rat looking for steroid like results without taking steroids, but also consider that an intramuscular application of testosterone enanthate has a markedly lower impact on HDL, LDL and liver and kidney function than compounds taken orally, such as this prohormone.
It is clearly ergogenic to those looking to build strength (and ergolytic for those interested in endurance and cardio heavy sports), delivering a result similar to a supraphysiological steroid dose, but at a much higher cost. And it’s these costs that outweigh the benefits. To me, it seems that if you want a compound with the same results that is objectively safer, there are better choices available. But to my buddy's point, this stuff is legal, and the 'better choices' usually aren't.
I’m adding this compound to the PEDsR database, somewhat grudgingly with the TL:DR that it is ergogenic for those interested in strength, detrimental to those looking for endurance, and carries health risks.