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Violence and Athletes

After two premier players are accused of murder, one of the chief spokesmen for the National Football League states that his league has no more murderers than other members of the society. Some football players have successfully defended their criminal behavior by claiming that large doses of male hormones caused them to become abusive. They base their defense on a few case reports of people who claim that they became belligerent when they took male hormones. However, the scientific literature show that their disgusting behavior is caused by their sociopathic personalities, not the hormones (1,2). The football players claim that they had to take these anabolic steroid hormones to make themselves strong enough to play in this brutal competition.

A normal male produces the equivalent of 100 mg of testosterone (enanthate) each week. Taking ten weeks of 600 mg per week of testosterone, or six times the required masculinizing dose, causes a huge increase in muscle size and strength (2). The International Olympic Committee has banned taking male hormones because they give those who takes them an unfair advantage over those who don't.

Large doses of these hormones lower levels of the good HDL cholesterol to increase risk of heart attacks and can spread a preexisting prostate cancer or enlarge an already enlarged prostate. So men over 50 should receive a blood test for PSA, a prostate exam and a sonogram of the prostate before taking testosterone injections. (4) Giving 200 mg, or twice that dose, appears to be an ideal male contraceptive to prevent pregnancy (3).The average male's blood level of testosterone drops more than 40% from age 50 to 70, which causes a decrease in male assertiveness, bone and muscle strength and sexuality. Testosterone can help improve all these facets of their lives.

1) R Tricker, R Casaburi, TW Storer, B Clevenger, N Berman, A Shirazi, S Bhasin. The effects of supraphysiological doses of testosterone on angry behavior in healthy eugonadal men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 1996(October);81(10): 3754-3758.

2) Bhasin S et al. The effects of supraphysiologic doses of testosterone on muscle size and strength in normal men. New England Journal of Medicicne. 1996(July 4);335(1):1-7.

3) FCW Wu, TMM Farley, A Peregoudov, GMH Waites, GY Zhang, GZ Li, EM Wallace, HWG Baker, XH Wang, JC Soufir, CA Paulsen, C Gottlieb, DJ Handelsman, I Hutaniemi. Effects of testosterone enanthate in normal men: Experience from a multicenter contraceptive efficacy study. Fertility and Sterility 65: 3 (MAR 1996):626-636.

4) SA Wemyssholden, FC Hamdy, KJ Hastie. Steroid abuse in athletes, prostatic enlargement and bladder outflow obstruction - Is there a relationship? British Journal of Urology 74: 4 (OCT 1994):476-478.

Checked 8/31/08

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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