Sex in Sport

Discussion in 'Women and Steroids - Open to Everyone' started by Michael Scally MD, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Effects of Moderately Increased testosterone Concentration on Physical Performance in Young Women

    Objective To investigate the effects of a moderate increase in serum testosterone on physical performance in young, physically active, healthy women.

    Methods A double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial was conducted between May 2017 and June 2018 (ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT03210558). 48 healthy, physically active women aged 18–35 years were randomised to 10 weeks of treatment with 10 mg of testosterone cream daily or placebo (1:1). All participants completed the study.

    The primary outcome measure was aerobic performance measured by running time to exhaustion (TTE). Secondary outcomes were anaerobic performance (Wingate test) and muscle strength (squat jump (SJ), counter movement jump (CMJ) and knee extension peak torque). Hormone levels were analysed and body composition assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.

    Results Serum levels of testosterone increased from 0.9 (0.4) nmol/L to 4.3 (2.8) nmol/L in the testosterone supplemented group. TTE increased significantly by 21.17 s (8.5%) in the testosterone group compared with the placebo group (mean difference 15.5 s; P=0.045).

    Wingate average power, which increased by 15.2 W in the testosterone group compared with 3.2 W in the placebo group, was not significantly different between the groups (P=0.084). There were no significant changes in CMJ, SJ and knee extension.

    Mean change from baseline in total lean mass was 923 g for the testosterone group and 135 g for the placebo group (P=0.040). Mean change in lean mass in the lower limbs was 398 g and 91 g, respectively (P=0.041).

    Conclusion The study supports a causal effect of testosterone in the increase in aerobic running time as well as lean mass in young, physically active women.

    Hirschberg AL, Elings Knutsson J, Helge T, et al. Effects of moderately increased testosterone concentration on physical performance in young women: a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled study. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2020;54:599-604. Effects of moderately increased testosterone concentration on physical performance in young women: a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled study
     
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  2. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    [OA] Transgender Women in The Female Category of Sport: Is the Male Performance Advantage Removed by testosterone Suppression?.

    Sex dimorphism starts during early embryogenesis and is further manifested in response to hormones during puberty. As this leads to physical divergence that is measurably different between sexes, males enjoy physical performance advantages over females within competitive sport.

    While this advantage is the underlying basis of the segregation into male and female sporting categories, these sex-based categories do not account for transgender persons who experience incongruence between their biological sex and their experienced gender identity. Accordingly, the International Olympic Committee determined criteria by which a transgender woman may be eligible to compete in the female category, requiring total serum testosterone levels to be suppressed below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to and during competition. Whether this regulation removes the male performance advantage has not been collectively scrutinized.

    Here, we aim to review how differences in biological characteristics between biological males and females affect sporting performance and assess whether evidence exists to support the assumption that testosterone suppression in transgender women removes the male performance advantage.

    In this review, we report that the performance gap between males and females amounts to 10-50% depending on sport. The performance gap is more pronounced in sporting activities relying on muscle mass and strength, particularly in the upper body. Longitudinal studies examining the effects of testosterone suppression on muscle mass and strength in transgender women consistently show very modest changes, where the loss of lean body mass, muscle area and strength typically amounts to approximately 5% after 1 year of treatment.

    Thus, current evidence shows that the biological advantage enjoyed by transgender women is only minimally reduced when testosterone is suppressed. Sports organizations may therefore be compelled to reassess current policies regarding participation of transgender women in the female category of sport.

    Hilton, E.N.; Lundberg, T.R. Transgender Women in The Female Category of Sport: Is the Male Performance Advantage Removed by Testosterone Suppression?. Preprints 2020, 2020050226 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0226.v1). Transgender Women in The Female Category of Sport: Is the Male Performance Advantage Removed by Testosterone Suppression?
     
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  3. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Is testosterone responsible for athletic success in female athletes?

    Background: The aim of this study was to determine the interrelationship between the resting serum testosterone (T) levels of female athletes from different types of sporting events and their athletic success.

    Methods: The study involved 599 Russian international-level female athletes (95 highly elite, 190 elite, and 314 sub-elite; age: 16-35 years) and 298 age-matched female controls. The athlete cohort was stratified into four groups according to event duration, distance, and type of activity: 1) endurance athletes, 2) athletes with mixed activity, 3) speed/strength athletes, and 4) sprinters. Athletic success was measured by determining the level of achievement of each athlete.

    Results: The mean (SD) T levels of athletes and controls were 1.65 (0.87) and 1.76 (0.6) nmol/L (P=0.057 for difference between groups) with ranges of 0.08-5.82 and 0.38-2.83 nmol/L in athletes and controls, respectively. T levels were positively associated with athletic success in sprinters (P=0.0002 adjusted for age) only. Moreover, none of the sub-elite sprinters had T>1.9 nmol/L, while 50% of elite and highly elite sprinters had T>1.9 nmol/L (OR=47.0; P<0.0001).

    Conclusions: Our data suggest that the measurement of the serum T levels significantly correlates with athletic success in sprinters but not other types of athletes and in the future may be useful in the prediction of sprinting ability.

    Ahmetov II, Stepanova AA, Biktagirova EM, et al. Is testosterone responsible for athletic success in female athletes? [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 29]. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2020;10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10171-3. doi:10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10171-3 https://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/sports-med-physical-fitness/article.php?cod=R40Y9999N00A20062901
     
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  4. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Effects of Moderately Increased testosterone Concentration on Physical Performance in Young Women

    Objective: To investigate the effects of a moderate increase in serum testosterone on physical performance in young, physically active, healthy women.

    Methods: A double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial was conducted between May 2017 and June 2018 (ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT03210558). 48 healthy, physically active women aged 18-35 years were randomised to 10 weeks of treatment with 10 mg of testosterone cream daily or placebo (1:1). All participants completed the study.

    The primary outcome measure was aerobic performance measured by running time to exhaustion (TTE). Secondary outcomes were anaerobic performance (Wingate test) and muscle strength (squat jump (SJ), counter movement jump (CMJ) and knee extension peak torque). Hormone levels were analysed and body composition assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.

    Results: Serum levels of testosterone increased from 0.9 (0.4) nmol/L to 4.3 (2.8) nmol/L in the testosterone supplemented group. TTE increased significantly by 21.17 s (8.5%) in the testosterone group compared with the placebo group (mean difference 15.5 s; P=0.045).

    Wingate average power, which increased by 15.2 W in the testosterone group compared with 3.2 W in the placebo group, was not significantly different between the groups (P=0.084). There were no significant changes in CMJ, SJ and knee extension.

    Mean change from baseline in total lean mass was 923 g for the testosterone group and 135 g for the placebo group (P=0.040). Mean change in lean mass in the lower limbs was 398 g and 91 g, respectively (P=0.041).

    Conclusion: The study supports a causal effect of testosterone in the increase in aerobic running time as well as lean mass in young, physically active women.

    Hirschberg AL, Elings Knutsson J, Helge T, et al. Effects of moderately increased testosterone concentration on physical performance in young women: a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled study. Br J Sports Med. 2020;54(10):599-604. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2018-100525 https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/54/10/599
     
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