Celery is claimed to contain androsterone however this is a mistake. Celery actually contains androstenone, which has a different structure to Androsterone and is otherwise unrelated. Androsterone is often advertised as influencing human behavior, but there is little data to substantiate its use as a pheromone. Androsterone has been shown to naturally occur in pine pollen and is well known in many animal species. (2)
Androsterone and its 3b isomer (epiandrosterone) are naturally produced by the enzyme 5aReductase from the adrenal hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). Androsterone can also be converted from the natural steroids 5aAndrostanediol via 17b-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase or from 5aAndrostanedione via 3a-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.
Androsterone provides the basic skeleton describing an androgen with a 3 a/b hydroxyl group and a 17 position ketone. Descriptive modifiers can be added like "epi" to signify a 3b hydroxyl and "#-ene" to signify the double bond placement. This basic structure can be modified in mammals by dehydrogenating it via many enzymes to create DHEA compounds that include 1-ene, 4-ene, 5-ene isomers. These isomers have been shown to be naturally occurring in mammals along with several unique structures including 4-Hydroxy-4-Dehydroepiandrosterone and 6-Keto-4-Dehydroepiandrosterone. Synthetically the combinations of dehydrogenated variants are vast and can include many unique structures.
1. Experientia. 1979 Dec 15;35(12):1674-5.Links The boar-pheromone steroid identified in vegetables. Claus R, Hoppen HO.
2. FOLIA HISTOCHEMICA ET CYTOBIOLOGICA Vol. 43, No. 2, 2005 pp. 71-79 Mammalian sex hormones in plants Anna Janeczko and Andrzej Skoczowski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland
3. Rao MS, Ide H, Alvares K, Subbarao V, Reddy JK, Hechter O, Yeldandi AV. Comparative effects of dehydroepiandrosterone and related steroids on peroxisome proliferation in rat liver. Life Sci. 52(21):1709-16, 1993
4.McGregor SJ, Erickson AJ. Identification of 5alpha-androst-1-ene-3beta,17beta-diol in the fat of Sus scrofa L.: a "nutritional supplement" not found previously in the food supply. J Nat Prod. 2003 Sep;66(9):1147-8.