The hormone testosterone, one of the most widely used natural substances in the body, may help boost your performance, a Harvard University team reports.
Researchers found that testosterone levels in mice, hamsters, rats and guinea pigs were about 25 per cent higher when they were given an alpha-tocopherol-boosting dose of the hormone.
The drug has been used to boost muscle mass, improve muscle endurance and improve cardiovascular fitness.
“We’ve found that this drug may increase testosterone levels at levels comparable to those seen in recreational athletes,” said lead author Dr. James R. Cramer, a professor of genetics and evolutionary biology at Harvard Medical School and a senior author on the study.
“In a group of animals, where there are many different levels of testosterone, we may find a drug that may improve performance and endurance.”
The drug works by binding to the receptors in the endocrine system, where the body’s production of testosterone is regulated.
The higher the testosterone levels, the more likely a drug will affect the body in ways that could have beneficial effects.
The hormone, also known as T and D, is made in the liver and secreted into the bloodstream when you urinate.
But because it’s secreted in large amounts, it can’t be metabolized and can’t pass through the body to reach the brain or other organs.
“T and D may be useful in improving athletic performance because they have a short half-life, so they have to be taken daily for a long time,” Cramer said.
A similar molecule called androstenedione was used to show that the drug also can help improve the immune system. “
If you’re going to compete, you need to be very good at the sports that you’re competing in, and that may include high-intensity sports like basketball or swimming.”
A similar molecule called androstenedione was used to show that the drug also can help improve the immune system.
The researchers tested the compound in a group that received the alpha-tocopherol, and found it did improve immune response.
The researchers also tested the alpha testosterone, andfound that the compound did improve the immunosuppressive effect of the drug, reducing the number of antibodies that the body makes to other proteins in the immune response to infection.
The study was published today (July 17) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Follow AP’s bioscience and environmental reporting on Twitter @APbiosci and @EPA, and sign up for our daily newsletter at www.apnews.com/newsletter.
The Globe And M…