Top 3 Myths and Facts When it Comes to Testosterone
Testosterone is the male sex hormone.
As the major sex steroid hormone in men, its effects are wide-ranging and powerful. In adults, testosterone is important for sexual desire, erections, and sperm production. It also affects other important body functions not directly related to sex like maintaining normal blood counts, bone strength, muscle mass, and mood. However, there are some important Myths when it comes to testosterone that we’d like to discuss.
Myth #1: Testosterone supercharges your love life.
Ads for testosterone boosters promise “vigor & vitality,” increased “stamina” and “improved confidence in the bedroom.” Unfortunately for marketers, “studies of men’s testosterone and sexual behavior suggest either weak or null relationships,” as one review of the scholarly literature put it. A certain (relatively low) level of testosterone is necessary for optimal sexual functioning, but above that threshold, more testoterone doesn’t make much difference, for men or women.
Myth #2: The more testosterone, the better the athlete.
At the most basic level, no study has ever concluded that you can predict the outcome of speed or strength events by knowing competitors’ testosterone levels. And while testosterone does affect parameters related to athleticism, including muscle size and oxygen uptake, the relationships don’t translate into better sports performance in a clear-cut way. Consider a study of 52 teenage Olympic weightlifters — an elite group, male and female. Among the boys, there was no relationship between testosterone levels and strength, and among girls, the athletes with lower testosterone lifted more weight. In one widely disputed study, researchers claimed to have found that high testosterone levels predict high performance across various track-and-field events. But in one of several analyses produced by the authors, in three of 11 running events athletes with the lowest testosterone levels did better than those with the highest levels.
Myth #3: The safety of testosterone use in women is not well established
Many women worry that testosterone treatment will make them seem more masculine by triggering hair growth and bigger muscles. While this is true with high doses of testosterone, low doses of the hormone actually stimulate femininity.