Summary of a study looking at the effect of moderate testosterone increase on performance in active healthy women.
Testosterone – a hormone; males have 15 times higher circulating concentration of this hormone than females; normal female levels 0.1-1.8 nmol/L, normal male levels 7.7-29.4 nmol/L
48 healthy physically active women (Sweden).
Randomised double-blinded (participants, assessors) controlled trial.
- Testosterone cream 10 mg (1 mL) (Andro-Feme 1) applied every evening to the upper outer thigh for 10 weeks
- Placebo cream (1 mL) applied every evening to the upper outer thigh for 10 weeks
- Serum levels of testosterone increased to 4.3 nmol/L in the Testosterone group (from 0.9 nmol/L).
- Also, the Testosterone group had increased total lean mass, lower limbs lean mass, and running time to exhaustion when compared with the Placebo group.
- No difference between the groups in haemoglobin concentration, fat percentage, spinal bone mineral density, oxygen uptake, average power in the Wingate test, squat jump, countermovement jump, and isokinetic knee extension peak torque.
- Adverse events included increased acne, body hair growth, and menstrual disturbances (ie, prolonged cycles). Return to normal took 4 months after study completion.
- All women finished the study and adherence to the treatment was good.
Take home message
Hirschberg AL, Knutsson JE, Helge T, Godhe M, Ekblom M, Bermon S, Ekblom B. Effects of moderately increased testosterone concentration on physical performance in young women: a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled study. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2019 Sep 26:bjsports-2018.
Clinical trial registration NCT03210558.