Effects of moderately increased testosterone concentration on physical performance in young women : a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled study

Effects of moderately increased testosterone concentration on physical performance in young women : a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled study / Angelica Lindén Hirschberg, Jona Elings Knutsson, Torbjörn Helge, Manne Godhe, Maria Ekblom, Stephane Bermon, Björn Ekblom. - (Britisch Journal of Sports Medicine (2019) 15 October; p 1-7).

  • Britisch Journal of Sports Medicine 54 (2020) 10 (May), p. 599-604
  • PMID: 31615775
  • DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-100525


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.

Original document


Research / Study
15 October 2019
Bermon, Stéphane
Ekblom, Björn
Ekblom, Maria
Godhe, Manne
Helge, Torbjörn
Hirschberg, Angelica Lindén
Knutsson, Jona Elings
Other organisations
Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan (GIH) - Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences
Karolinska Institutet - Karolinska Institute
Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset - Karolinska University Hospital
Université Côte d'Azur - University of Côte d'Azur
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
Medical terms
Health effects
Document category
Scientific article
Document type
Pdf file
Date generated
23 October 2019
Date of last modification
13 February 2023
  • Legal Source
  • Education
  • Science
  • Statistics
  • History
Country & language
  • Country
  • Language
Other filters
  • ADRV
  • Legal Terms
  • Sport/IFs
  • Other organisations
  • Laboratories
  • Analytical aspects
  • Doping classes
  • Substances
  • Medical terms
  • Various
  • Version
  • Document category
  • Document type
Publication period