Dehennin, L., Bonnaire, Y., & Plou, P. (2001). Human nutritional supplements in the horse. Dehydroepiandrosterone versus androstenedione: comparative effects on the androgen profile and consequences for doping analysis. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 25, 685-690.

"Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and androstenedione are weak androgens, which need conversion to more potent testosterone 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 microg/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 ratio 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 action by supplementation with DHEA and androstenedione along the oral route".

Implication. In horses, high levels (1 mg/kg) of androstenedione produce some increase in testosterone if supplemented with DHEA. No claim for performance enhancement was made.

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