Human nutritional supplements in the horse. Dehydroepiandrosterone versus androstenedione: comparative effects on the androgen profile and consequences for doping analysis


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and androstenedione ar weak androgens, which need conversion to more potent estosterone in order to enhance anabolic action. Consequences of oral dosing at 1 mg/kg on the urinary and plasma androgen profile of mare and gelding have been evaluated with an analytical method involving conjugate fractionation and selective hydrolysis, group separation, and quantitation by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with selected ion monitoring of trimethylsilyl ethers. Peak levels of testosterone total conjugates in urine (range 300-6000 pg/L) were attained a few hours after dosing. Renal clearance was fast, so the testosterone detection period lasted only 20 to 33 h, the longest time being generated by androstenedione. The urinary testosterone/epitestosterone atio for detection of exogenous testosterone in the mare was inoperative after DHEA administration because there was a concomitant increase of epitestosterone, which thereby acted as a masking agent. Androstanediols and androstenediols, as well as some 17-ketosteroids, were additional markers. A transient increase of circulating free testosterone has been evidenced, and this would support possible anabolic/androgenic a tion by supplementation with DHEA and androstenedione along the oral route

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