IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- St. Louis Cardinals' homerun hero Mark McGwire takes a teeny little pill with a five-syllable name, and suddenly sportscasters and reporters around the world are tripping over the tongue-twister of a name. But androstenedione (andro - steen - DIE - own), andro for short, is not just being mispronounced. It's being misunderstood by most of the people talking about it. "There are some common mistakes being made as people report on McGwire's use of androstenedione," says Patrick Arnold, an American chemist who developed andro into a pill that is marketed in the U.S. Following are the two most common misconceptions Arnold has noted: MISCONCEPTION #1: Andro is a drug. It is not a drug, and it is not regulated as a drug. It is a legal, over-the-counter substance. MISCONCEPTION #2: Andro is an anabolic steriod. Andro is a steriod compound. The term steroid simply means a structural configuration to a which a wide variety of compounds, including cholesterol, belong. When people hear the term steroid, they are thinking of an anabolic steroid which is related to tissue-building, and sex-specific testosterone activity like deepening of the voice, facial hair, etc. Another point of difference: Anabolic steroids are pure testosterone, injected directly into the body in any quantity; andro, on the other hand, is a precursor to testosterone. The body converts andro into testosterone naturally, so that for a few hours andro will raise the amount of testosterone in the body by approximately 15 percent. History behind andro Andro was first used as a performance enhancing supplement by East German scientists in the 1970s. Athletes snorted it through nasal spray to enhance their performance. The Germans patented andro in the U.S. in the 1990s, but only for nasal usage. At about that time, American chemist Patrick Arnold developed andro into a pill that is being marketed today through a company called Substrate Solutions, a division of MET-Rx Engineered Nutrition. MET-Rx is owned by Dr. Scott Connelly, a leading physician in nutrition and sport supplements who established the Connelly Lab for Applied Nutritional Science at UCLA. Arnold and Dr. Connelly are currently developing a more effective second-generation andro supplement called androstenediol. Lower total dosage requirements and reduced potential side effects are important goals of their research and development efforts. Arnold said this second generation supplement works through a different enzyme than the original andro, and can raise testosterone levels up to 45 percent. BIOGRAPHY -- SCOTT CONNELLY, M.D. Dr. A. Scott Connelly, a critical care and metabolic specialist is also a leading physician in nutrition and sport supplements as well as founder of MET-Rx Engineered Nutrition. He has studied medicine and nutrition for over 20 years, including studies at some of the finest medical institutions and universities in the country. He received his post graduate medical training at Harvard Medical School's prestigious Massachusetts General Hospital and continued his medical training at Stanford University as a Senior Fellow in Intensive Care Medicine, where he subsequently became a member of the clinical faculty instructing medical students and residents in Intensive Care medicine. At UCLA, Dr. Connelly established the Connelly Lab for Applied Nutritional Science, a division of the Clinical Nutrition Center, Department of Medicine. He is also a visiting lecturer on nutritional physiology at UCLA. Dr. Connelly is currently collaborating with researchers and scientists to study how better nutrition can increase muscle mass and strength, improve the immune system and enhance overall health.