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Although testosterone is well-known for fueling male sex drive, this hormone affects far more functions in the body than just the libido. In addition, women, too, need a certain amount of testosterone to maintain specific bodily functions. Learn more about testosterone hormone production and function, the effects of too much or too little testosterone, as well as testosterone supplements and possible side effects.

While testosterone is credited with regulating male sex drive, this is not the hormones only function. In fact, testosterone affects bone growth and strength, muscle size and strength, body fat distribution, sperm production, and red blood cell production. It also affects masculinization in males, such as penis and testes development, changes in voice during puberty, and the appearance of facial and pubic hair. It also could affect balding as men age, and may help maintain a normal mood level.

Because normal testosterone production varies widely between males, its not clear at what level a testosterone deficiency becomes medically relevant. A testosterone level for one male may be too much or too little for another. In addition, studies have found that testosterone works closely with estrogen, and some effects of testosterone deficiency may actually be attributed to an estrogen deficiency. Additional clinical trials are underway to study this issue.

Although often thought otherwise, having abnormally high levels of natural testosterone is not common in men. For males who do have abnormally high levels of testosterone, they could experience a wide range of problems. These include low sperm counts, impotence, liver disease, acne, headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, weight gain, high cholesterol, heart muscle damage, and increased risk of heart attack and blood clots. Too much testosterone also could negatively affect mood, ranging from mood swings and irritability to impaired judgment, delusions and euphoria.

Over time, males typically experience a very gradual drop in testosterone that is considered normal. However, an abnormally low testosterone level could result in a variety of symptoms. These include a loss in muscle mass, increased breast size, hot flashes, reduced or loss of body and/or facial hair, loss of bone strength, low sex drive, impotence, reduced size of testicles, reduced sperm count, and infertility. A testosterone deficiency also could lead to irritability, poor concentration, and depression.

Taking testosterone supplements for low testosterone can help reduce or eliminate symptoms of testosterone deficiency. However, its important to talk with your doctor before taking any testosterone supplement, as it may not be beneficial if you are otherwise healthy. Testosterone supplements typically are reserved for those with a medical condition that is reducing their testosterone levels, not for a natural decline over time. If your doctor does prescribe a testosterone supplement, these could include vitamin D, zinc, magnesium and D-aspartic acid, a natural amino acid.

If you embark on testosterone therapy to boost your testosterone levels, possible side effects could be relatively mild or extremely serious. On the mild side, these include acne, breast swelling or tenderness, and swelling in the ankles. More severe side effects include an increased risk of blood clots and a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. In addition, boosting testosterone levels could stimulate the prostate gland, spurring growth of undiagnosed prostate cancer. Therefore, its important to monitor your health carefully while undergoing any testosterone therapy to identify potential problems.

Men are not the only beneficiaries of the testosterone hormone. Produced in the ovaries and adrenal gland, testosterone in women affects ovarian function, boosts bone strength, and could help produce a normal libido. Although more data is needed, there is some evidence that testosterone and other androgens may affect normal brain function. High levels of testosterone in women could result in reduced breast size and deepening of the voice, while a testosterone deficiency could lead to reduced bone strength, poor concentration, depression or low sex drive.

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What Is Testosterone & What Does It Do? | Testosterone Hormone Function - Healthgrades

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Testosterone

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Testosteroneyou know it, you love it, you cant get enough of it. It helps you set PRs, keeps muscle on your body, and makes you more virile. At least thats mostly true. Its also true that testosterone, especially low testosterone, is misunderstood.

So we asked an expert for clarity. Dr. Faysal Yafi, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., the Director of Men's Health and Newport Urology and Chief, Division of Mens Health and Reconstructive Urology at the University of California, Irvine (thats a lot of accolades, so listen up) chatted with us about what testosterone is, how to make the most of it, and what to do as we start to ageand it starts to dip. Here are four key takeaways.

Want to make the most of your testosterone? Become a morning person.

Testosterone follows the circadianor basically the sleeprhythm, says Dr. Yafi. Testosterone levels are highest in the early in the morning, between 7:00 and 10:00, and lowest in the evening.

To take advantage of your boosted testosterone for a workout, a special moment with the S.O., or even to focus on a big project, make sure your mornings are clear.

The high levels early in the morning may be more conducive to better workouts and a bit more focus for many mensome more drive when someones trying to get things done. says Dr. Yafi.

While we may associate solid levels of testosterone with muscle growth and libido, it has implications for more than just physical wellbeing. Theres a lot of literature suggesting an association between low testosterone and depression and other mood disorders, and even early onset memory loss and dementia, says Dr. Yafi, as well as what we call a foggy braindifficulty concentrating and getting motivated.

Dr. Yafi often sees low-T patients in his practice become more mentally stable as their testosterone therapy progresses. They have more drive and theyre more focused, he says. Maybe they have better memory recall. We see this in the clinic all the time.

Theres testosterone for men and estrogen for women and those are the two big hormones, right?

Not quite.

Dr. Yafi explains that there are actually three kinds of testosterone. First, theres free testosterone, which is readily available for cells to use. The other two types of testosterone (and most of the testosterone in your blood) are attached to proteins in the blood called albumin and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), respectively. In addition to free testosterone, albumin-bound testosterone is also available for the body to use; these two types of testosterone are known as bioavailable testosterone.

The third typethe testosterone attached to SHBG proteinsis not available for use. Dr. Yafi says that SHBG increases as men get older, and so, too, does their SHBG-attached testosterone.

All of which is to say, according to Dr. Yafi, is that age-related testosterone decline doesnt necessarily reflect a mans total testosterone levels. You might only be losing a portion of your free testosterone. A blood test can help determine whether certain symptoms are actually caused by low testosterone.

Steroids are illegal to use without a prescription, so a lot of guys associate testosterone replacement therapy with those iconic locker room injections. But theyre not the same thing.

Testosterone replacement means increasing testosterone from low to normal levels, says Dr. Yafi, as you would for people who have low thyroid hormone, or diabetics who have low insulinbring them to normal levels.

In anabolic steroid abuse, people with normal testosterone levels supplement with steroids and bring their testosterone over the top. But if youve got low testosterone, then replacement therapy may actually improve your quality of life, says Dr. Yafi. And a bonus? Testosterone replacement therapy, when done in a clinical, appropriate way is extremely safe.

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4 Things Your Doctor Wants You To Know About Testosterone - menshealth.com

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Testosterone

IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Delivering testosterone via bioabsorbable pellets inserted under the skin is a low-risk approach to long-term hormone therapy for women and men, according to peer-reviewed data published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism (TAEM).

Practitioners from multiple clinical specialties reported an overall complication rate of less than 1% in 1,204,012 subcutaneous implants performed over a period of seven years. Each of the 376,254 patients treated for testosterone deficiency received implants of bioidentical hormones, either testosterone alone or combined with estradiol, with 85% of study participants being women, ages 25 to 92, and 15% men, ages 35 to 85.

Clinical experience and research continue to demonstrate the significant negative impact of testosterone deficiency in both women and men on health and well-being, but most delivery methods have been inadequate for long-term therapy: Creams are absorbed inconsistently, injections cause hormone spikes, and previous attempts at patches failed to advance into standard of care because of high rates of side effects, said study author Dr. Gary Donovitz, who has been a practicing OB/GYN for 30 years and founded hormone optimization company Biote Medical. This study adds to our understanding of one low-risk modality of long-term delivery.

Of the patients who received treatment at least twice, 93% chose to continue hormone pellet therapy.

The high rate of voluntary continuation in this real-world retrospective analysis speaks to patient satisfaction with the therapy, Donovitz said. Hypogonadism in men negatively affects general health and numerous conditions, including diabetes. The use of testosterone therapy in men has been increasing progressively year over year since the 1990s. As the most abundant biologically active gonadal hormone throughout the female lifespan, testosterone is also gaining recognition for its role as a vital hormone in women.

Pellets are inserted under the skin, where they are absorbed by the body over time. They have been studied since the 1930s. Practitioners reported complications in 0.785% of the procedures studied, the most common being implant extrusions, cellulitis/infection and bleeding at the delivery site. Pellet extrusion was more common in men (<3%) than women (<1%).

The study is the largest reported retrospective study to evaluate the continuation and complication rates of testosterone pellet implants. Practitioners self-reported procedure data, a limitation of the study mitigated by its large sample size as well as the fact common secondary procedures usually required office follow-up. As the study examined the risk of pellet delivery procedure, it did not analyze secondary reactions that can occur in women, such as acne or body hair.

The safety of hormone pellet implants in men and women over the long term appears to be better than other routes of administration, said Terry S. Weber, CEO of Biote. We are hopeful that this study motivates further inquiry so that women and men managing hormone-related conditions like menopause, diabetes and hypogonadism benefit from a broader continuum of care options within standard clinical protocols.

About BioTE Medical

BioTE Medical is a hormone optimization company that has translated over 80 years of scientific insight into clinically-validated medical approaches that identify and treat imbalances in the production of hormones. By partnering with over 5,500 medical providers across the United States, BioTE Medical is educating practitioners on the scientific evidence of the roles of hormones and supplements to support improved health, and on responsible treatment of patients. We are dedicated to helping patients live better, longer by changing the way healthcare is practiced on a global level.

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Largest Real-World Study of Bioabsorbable Testosterone Pellets in Men and Women Shows Low Complication Rates Over 7 Years and 1.2 Million Implants -...

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Testosterone

Burundis Francine Niyonsaba, the 2016 Olympic 800m silver medalist who cannot race that distance anymore unless she takes testosterone-suppressing measures, ran an Olympic qualifying time in a different event, the 5000m, on Tuesday.

Niyonsaba clocked 14:54.38 at a meet in Montreuil, France, easily clearing the Olympic standard of 15:10.

No other woman from Burundi has ever run 15:10, according to World Athletics. A nation can qualify no more than three athletes to the Games in track and field events.

All three of the Rio Olympic 800m medalists Caster Semenya, Niyonsaba andMargaret Wambui said they are impacted by a rule instituted in 2019 that caps testosterone levels in womens events from 400m through the mile for athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD). World Athletics said that no female athletes would have a level above the cap five nanomoles per liter unless they had a DSD or a tumor.

Niyonsaba, 28, announced in February that she was moving up to the 5000m for a Tokyo Olympic bid. She ran her first 5000m on May 22 in 15:12.08, then the fastest recorded time for a woman from Burundi, according to World Athletics.

Semenya also moved up to the 5000m this year with a best time so far of 15:52.28. Semenya can also qualify for the Olympic 5000m via world ranking if she does not hit the 15:10 standard but reportedly said in April that its not about being at the Olympics.

Its being healthy and running good times and being in the field for the longest, the 30-year-old said, according to multiple reports. We had to look into can we do 200m for the next five years? It was not really in our favor. Im getting old Im scared to tear my muscles. We had to sit down and make sure that the decision that we make makes sense. Distance makes sense.

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Testosterone

Testosterone BoosterMarket Scenarios and Brief Industry Analysis with Size, Status, and Forecast 2020-2026 | Covid-19 Impact Analysis

The report titled Global Testosterone Booster Market 2021 provides an in-depth analysis of different attributes of industries such as key factors affecting global and regional markets, size, status, policies, clients operating in several regions, opportunities, industry-specific trends, and effective business outlook. The qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques have been used by analysts to provide accurate and applicable data to the readers, business owners, and industry experts. This research report also provides pre & post COVID-19 impact analysis of the Testosterone Booster industry.

The Global Testosterone Booster Market size will grow from xxx Million USD in 2020 to xxxx Million USD before 2026 and with a CAGR of xx%. The base year considered for this report is 2019, and the market forecast period is projected from 2021 to 2026.

The prime objective of this report is to help the user understand the market in terms of its definition, segmentation, market potential, influential trends, and the challenges that the market is facing with 10 major regions and 50 major countries. Deep researches and analysis were done during the preparation of the report. The readers will find this report very helpful in understanding the market in depth.

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This market research reports analyze the growth prospects for the key vendors operating in this market space including:

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In addition to the complete assessment of the market, the report presents Future trends, Current Growth Factors, attentive opinions, facts, historical data, and statistically supported and industry-validated market data.

This report segments the Testosterone Booster market on the basis of Types that are

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Oyster Extract

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Stinging Nettle

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Regional outlook:The regions covered in the reports of the Testosterone Booster market are

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Europe (Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Russia, Spain etc.)

Asia-Pacific (China, India, Japan, Southeast Asia etc.)

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Forecast Period: 2021-2026

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Testosterone Booster Market Specifications, Types, Growth Factors Analysis and Demand Outlook 2021 to 2026 The Manomet Current - The Manomet Current

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Testosterone

Listen up, fellas. According to research presented at the 23rd European Congress of Endocrinology, a low-calorie ketogenic (keto) diet has been shown to improve sex hormone levels in overweight and obese men.

In the first study of its kind, investigators from Italy examined the potential effects this eating pattern could have on weight loss, along with testosterone and sex hormone levels called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) since obesity can lead to low testosterone (typical symptoms of which include low sex drive and difficulty getting an erection). In order to test this theory, the authors instructed 17 overweight or obese men who didn't have diabetes to follow an 800-calorie-a-day keto diet for four weeks. Tests were performed before and after the one- and four-week marks of the study.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Master The Keto Diet, According To Experts

At the end of the study, the participants showed a significant decrease in body weight, fat mass, and body mass index (BMI), as well as a "substantial increase" in total testosterone and SHBG levels. The medical researchers say their findings have shown a link between insulin action, energy balance, and testicular function.

Obesity remains a national and global epidemic. The World Health Organization reports that obesity rates around the globe have tripled since 1975. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity affects approximately 42% of adults in the U.S. and is one of the leading causes of prematureand preventabledeaths from various chronic conditions, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

"The aim of this study was to assess the effect a low-calorie ketogenic diet had on a group of subjects affected by morbid obesity. Therefore, a typical keto diet wouldn't allow a remarkable weight loss as we expect from a low-calorie approach," lead researcher Angelo Cignarelli, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the section of internal medicine, endocrinology, andrology, and metabolic diseases at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy, tells Eat This, Not That!

He explains it's well-understood that fat massparticularly visceral adipose tissue (defined as a type of fat that surrounds the organs) is associated with a reduction of testosterone level, which is referred to clinically as functional hypogonadism. "Moreover, hypogonadism is responsible itself for abdominal fat mass gain dragging subjects in a sort of vicious cycle reducing exercise and energy expenditure."

Dr. Cignarelli also quickly points out this low-cal eating plan is a very temporary situation.

"The low-calorie ketogenic diet should be considered as a short-term nutritional intervention able to induce a rapid fat mass loss," he continues. "Thus, even recognizing the value of higher-rated eating plans [such as the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, or the Flexitarian diet] which should be followed at the end of a short-term nutritional treatment, we aimed to assess the possibility to give a boost in terms of weight and fat loss and testosterone levels in the short term in order to support the patients in such a difficult context, like morbid obesity."

RELATED: Keto Dieters Are Raving About This Costco Bread

However, if your BMI is in the obese range, keep in mind it's important that you don't try this super-low-calorie version of the keto diet (or any diet for that matter) without a doctor's supervision.

"Let me put this into perspective: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 800 calories per day is the recommended daily amount for a 12- to 23-month-old baby to eat!" says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD, author of "The Superfood Swap: The 4-Week Plan to Eat What You Crave Without the C.R.A.P."

"In fact, it's a set up for failure since it is unrealistic to maintain that low level of calories. And, even more importantly, an adult male is not able to get all of the recommended nutrients for a healthy body at that calorie level."

Looking ahead, Dr. Cignarelli and his team plan on digging deeper into the keto-testosterone connection. "Whether the effect obtained from this approach is sustained by calorie restriction or by ketosisor bothis not yet established. Further studies will clarify this point."

Now, be sure to check out This One Thing Could Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Success, New Study Says

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One Major Effect the Keto Diet Has on Men, Says News Study | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Testosterone

Mercia Safer Neighbourhood Team/Facebook

A neighbourhood policing group made the parents of young party-goers clean up the mess left on a football field.

The parents of a gang of testosterone-fuelled youths were handed rubbish bags and ordered by police to clean up the aftermath of a party on a football field in the United Kingdom.

Police came across a trail of wanton destruction on a football field in Derbyshire, England, at the weekend, following an unauthorised party.

In a post online, a community neighbourhood team, which is part of the Derbyshire Police, said a gang of testosterone-fuelled youths turned up to a local football club and held an impromptu unofficial open-air party, leaving a trail of wanton destruction, litter and vomit behind.

Mercia Safer Neighbourhood Team said that the Hilton Harriers Football Club did not give permission for the party, and that a number of parents had somewhat unbelievably pre-arranged to drop their children off at the field, some driving long distances to do so.

READ MORE:* We bought a hill, now what? The past and future of Te Ahu Ptiki* Suspected drink-driver went on joyride after keys left in patrol car's ignition* Found on Fortnite, groomed on Snapchat it's every parent's nightmare* Is your school burning fossil fuels? Even the Government may not know

... It was very disappointing when officers attended the location, to see that the facilities had been covered and strewn with alcohol bottles, beer cans and other after-dark materials, the policing team said.

As a result, the parents of the children involved were called by police, and they and their children were given rubbish bags and ordered to clean up the mess.

Mercia Safer Neighbourhood Team/Facebook

A neighbourhood policing team posted a harsh message online to the youths who left a mess on a UK football field.

A number of other youths who fled the incident can expect visits from officers in the coming days, the post said.

According to the BBC, the parents of at least four boys, aged 15 and 16, were called to the field. No-one was arrested and no fines were issued, the BBC reported.

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UK police order the parents of a 'gang of testosterone-fuelled youths' to clean up party mess - Stuff.co.nz

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Testosterone

Hypogonadism is an endocrine disorder characterized by inadequate serum testosterone production by the Leydig cells of the testis. It is triggered by alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is another common disorder in men that involves an alteration in erectile response-organic, relational, or psychological. The incidence of hypogonadism and ED is common in men aged over 40 years. Hypogonadism (including late-onset hypogonadism) and ED may be linked to several environmental factors-induced oxidative stresses. The factors mainly include exposure to pesticides, radiation, air pollution, heavy metals and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals. These environmental risk factors may induce oxidative stress and lead to hormonal dysfunctions. To better understand the subject, the study used many keywords, including hypogonadism, late-onset hypogonadism, testosterone, erectile dysfunction, reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress, and environmental pollution in major online databases, such as SCOPUS and PUBMED to extract relevant scientific information. Based on these parameters, this review summarizes a comprehensive insight into the important environmental issues that may have a direct or indirect association with hypogonadism and ED in men. The study concludes that environmental factors-induced oxidative stress may cause infertility in men. The hypothesis and outcomes were reviewed critically, and the mechanistic approaches are applied through oxidant-sensitive pathways. This study also provides reccomendations on future therapeutic interventions and protective measures against such adverse environmental factors-induced hypogonadism and ED.References

PubMed

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Environmental Factors-Induced Oxidative Stress: Hormonal and Molecular Pathway Disruptions in Hypogonadism and Erectile Dysfunction. - Physician's...

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Testosterone

The deadline for weightlifters to qualify for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is tomorrow (May 31) and there is no doubt about who, among the qualifiers, wins the gold medal for attracting publicity.

That award goes to someone who was unknown in weightlifting at the time of the last Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro five years ago, and who did not make her first lift in international competition until March 2017.

Step forward Laurel Hubbard, the New Zealander who will compete in the over-87 kilograms womens super-heavyweight category scheduled for August 2.

There are plenty within the sport - you have only to look at social media to see how many - who think Hubbard should not be there.

I admit to being one of them, not because of any outrage at how Hubbard qualified - there is nothing wrong with that - but because her participation will seriously diminish the chances of having a rational discussion about transgender policies. She should not take her opportunity.

Laurel was born as Gavin, who competed at a reasonably high level through the junior ranks, hitting a 300kg total in the over-105kg mens category.

To put that in perspective, that total would have won the past couple of Junior National events in the United States, but would not come close to earning a place on an international team.

At the 2019 Junior World Championships, a 300kg total would have been good enough for last place by 31kg.

In short, Gavin was talented, but not a world-calibre athlete.

Gavin continued to live and presumably train as a man until age 35, when they transitioned to being Laurel.

At age 35, Laurel started competing as a woman in the over-90kg - now over-87kg - womens category.

Although her total was down from her days as a junior male, she made 285kg in Pattaya, Thailand at the 2019 World Championships, her best in international competition and good enough for sixth place.

Most of her totals tend to be in the 270-280kg range, good enough for the top 10 in any recent international event. If Hubbard were to place sixth in Tokyo there would probably not be much uproar. If she is on the podium, and circumstances suggest that it could happen, it will be a disaster for transgender policy.

If China sends Li Wenwen, the best of its many elite super-heavyweights, she should win.

Tatiana Kashirina from Russia, who has the next best total, is serving a suspension.

North Korea is not participating so Kim Kuk-hyang, the only other non-Chinese athlete, besides Kashirina, to have made 300kg in her career, will not be there.

That opens the silver and bronze medals wide open.

Among the major contenders for those spots are the American Sarah Robles, whose best total is 290kg but who tends to total in the 280kg range, Emily Campbell from Britain, who just made 276kg at the European Championships and looks good for another 10kg at the Olympic Games.

Anastasiia Lysenko of Ukraine and Lee Seon-mi of South Korea are others, and even without the Hubbard controversy it should make for a great session of weightlifting.

If an American or a Briton is displaced by Hubbard on the podium in Tokyo, it will spotlight transgender policy, at least in the western world, to a far greater degree.

The question then becomes: Is Laurel Hubbard the person advocates want to be the face of transgender policy?

The question is rhetorical because the answer is obviously no.

Having an individual who spent most of her adult life as a man, transitioning at age 35, as the face of a movement will surely spell disaster for any real transgender policy from ever taking effect or even being considered.

Although it should not be the case, anecdotes make policy, and Laurel Hubbard is a totally unsympathetic character upon which to make policy decisions.

If she wins a medal, she will highlight the fact that men should not be competing in womens sports, that it is patently unfair.

The only thing people will notice is that an above-average male lifter just placed at the Olympics as a woman, and that the laudable efforts of other women were devalued, in real terms, because of that.

To believe "people" will view this any other way is simply delusional.

Policy on transgender athletes needs to be based on fair competition and inclusiveness, in that order.

Any policy that is implemented by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) must ensure that fair competition is its primary goal.

Inclusiveness is important, but it cannot come at the cost of fair competition.

The current transgender policy from the IOC states:

"2. Those who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in the female category under the following conditions:

2.1. The athlete has declared that her gender identity is female. The declaration cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.

2.2. The athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L (nanomoles per litre) for at least 12 months prior to her first competition"

That IOC Policy does not guarantee fair competition in weightlifting.

Subsection 1(D) of the IOC Policy provides, in relevant part, that "The overriding sporting objective is and remains the guarantee of fair competition."

That guarantee must ensure that women - as classified by sex, not by gender - in sport have an opportunity to excel.

The average range for elite female athletes is from 0.26 to 1.73 nanomoles per litre (nmol/L) of total testosterone.

Essentially, the policy of the IOC is that a transgender woman may have five times the average total testosterone of a biological woman.

What makes this even more interesting is the fact that Hubbard is 43. Testosterone of 10 nmol/L barely registers as low for a man of that age according to the American Urological Association, which recommends anything lower than 10.41 nmol/L be treated as low testosterone.

One would assume that there would be some sound science behind the <10 nmol/L policy, but there is nothing in the IOC Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism to indicate what science supports the policy.

What difference does this make on elite athletes?

No idea - we have no science to tell us whether this apparently arbitrary number makes sense at the elite athlete level.

Also, the imposition of a 12-month requirement is not, to my knowledge, supported by any study that would indicate that 12 months is sufficient to do anything other than maybe confirm someones dedication to living as a woman.

Unlike the prior policy, the current IOC Policy does not even require sex-reassignment surgery as a condition for transgender athletes to compete as women.

There is plenty of science to support the idea that suppression of testosterone in non-elite transgender women is ineffective in achieving parity with biological women.

The review article Transgender Women in the Female Category of Sport: Perspectives on Testosterone Suppression and Performance Advantage,published last month, is worth reading.

Its authors are a developmental biologist from Manchester University, Dr Emma Hilton, and Tommy Lundberg, a researcher in clinical physiology from the Karolinska Institute, a medical university and research centre in Sweden.

The reviewers reach the conclusion that the minimal losses of performance, roughly five per cent, after at least 12 months of suppression therapy are not even close to the advantages of having gone through male puberty, which gives an advantage of 30-40 per cent, in weightlifting specifically.

So the five per cent loss took Hubbard down from her 300kg total, as a male, to 285kg as a female.

And the 30-40 per cent advantage? I wonder what the other medal contenders think about that.

Interestingly, two of the female athletes used by Hilton and Lundberg for the comparison - Kashirina and her fellow Russian Oxana Slivenko - have both been sanctioned for doping offences, which further reinforces the argument that even using performance-enhancing drugs cannot close the gap created by biology.

How much benefit is there to an elite athlete going through puberty as a male?

The Hilton-Lundberg paper cites a 45 per cent difference in the amount of lean muscle mass that is attributed to male puberty. In all categories - body composition, muscle mass, cardiovascular function and so on - male puberty provides an enormous benefit.

Anecdotally, the results support the notion that male puberty is an insurmountable advantage.

In reviewing the results from the under-11 competition at the 2019 USA Youth Nationals, the boys and the girls tend to lift very similar weights.

For example, in the 44kg boys class, the three best totals were 64kg, 61kg, and 60kg, while the girls in the 45kg class were 74kg, 66kg, and 65kg.

So as not to be accused of cherry-picking results, there were weight classes where boys would have dominated, and weight classes where girls would have dominated.

For the most part, however, the gender of the athlete did not matter much - if they had all lifted together, gender would not have been an accurate tool for predicting who would win.

Contrast that with the USA Senior Nationals from 2019.

In the 81kg classes, shared by both genders, the top three men hit 318kg, 300kg and 295kg.

The top three women were 232kg, 213kg and 210kg.

Even comparing Kate Nye, the IWF Female Lifter of the Year for 2019, to a man in a comparable weight class is striking.

Nye, who lifts at 71kg or 76kg, totalled 248kg at the 2019 IWF World Championships as a 71kg lifter to win gold. She would have placed last among the men at the USA National Championships that year in the 73kg class and would have finished fifth of nine in the 67kg weight class.

That is, arguably the best female lifter in the world would not have won a medal at her National Championships if she had to compete against men in a lower weight category.

Even in the Youth Nationals that year for 15 to 17-year-olds the last-placed lifter at 81kg made a total of 166kg, which was 5kg better than the winner of the womens category at the same weight.

That is, the top female athlete would have finished at the very bottom had she had to lift in the male group - and this is at age 15-17.

From an optics standpoint, there is a real difference between: one, transitioning as a grown man; and two, being born male, suppressing puberty, transitioning to female, then competing as a woman.

The latter individual could be the face of the transgender movement.

Let me say it differently - that person should or even must be the face of the movement if the transgender community wants to have any chance at science being used to support policy.

Even more than optics, this has real consequences to the lifters.

More than just losing out on a medal, funding for many nations, including Britain, is likely to be determined by how their weightlifters perform at the Olympic Games.

If Hubbard displaces Campbell at the Olympics, that will likely influence how UK Sport funds the British womens team.

It also has direct financial consequences to the athletes.

An Olympic medal brings more than just glory, it brings stipends and performance bonuses.

For example, a bronze medal for Sarah Robles nets a $20,000 (14,100/16,400) bonus, silver $25,000 (17,600/20,500), and gold $50,000 (35,200/41,000).

On a larger scale, performances at a national level are used to determine international teams, college scholarships, stipends, and funding for international events.

How can the IOC, and thereby the IWF, create inclusion while maintaining fair competition?

There are a number of solutions that get discussed, such as giving transgender athletes their own competitions; disallowing them from a reassigned gender; allowing them only under hormone restrictions; or allowing them to compete but not to win medals.

Having a separate competition for transgender athletes is a terrible idea in my view - taking a marginalised group and segregating them even more.

Being inclusive is one of the stated goals of the IWF. Besides, there are not enough athletes to make the competition meaningful.

Disallowing transgendered women from competing in their reassigned gender?

The argument here is that many athletes have a medical condition such as low testosterone, which, if treated, would disallow them from competing.

The same argument can be used to say that if an athlete wants to treat gender dysphoria, they can do so, but give up their ability to compete.

The argument is sound, but it requires us to abandon being inclusive, which is a stated goal.

By contrast, if an athlete goes through female puberty, then transitions to being male, my belief - unsupported by science - is that it would not matter what hormones they took, they would never catch up with the elite men.

If there is science to refute this, it should be followed, of course.

Allow transgendered women to compete without restriction or with a hormone restriction?

Under the existing scientific evidence, this is not a viable strategy if the IOC Policy of "fair competition" is to be maintained.

Inclusiveness is a great goal, but it cannot come at the expense of giving an unfair advantage.

If there is additional research to be done, then policy can evolve when it is accomplished.

Maybe the policy does not need to be solely testosterone-driven.

No matter what policy is chosen, it must follow science, not emotion or rhetoric. Subsection (1)(G) of the IOC Policy provides that, "These guidelines are a living document and will be subject to review in light of any scientific or medical developments."

At the time the policy was written, maybe the IOC could be excused for believing that the 10 nmol/L was a decent policy.

That policy, however, has not withstood scrutiny.

If further evidence supports the notion that a sport-by-sport policy makes sense, that should be examined.

In a strength-based sport such as weightlifting, there is probably no way to overcome the advantage of going through male puberty.

Which is why allowing transgendered athletes to compete, but not to win, may be the best option, or even the only one.

A similar argument has been raised in masters weightlifting forums about using testosterone in masters athletes - those aged 35 and up.

I will use myself as an example here: I take testosterone because mine is low due to a medical condition.

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Laurel Hubbard qualified fairly but should not lift at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Insidethegames.biz

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Testosterone

World Athletics should introduce a third category of events in order to allow competitors with high testosterone levels to compete in their preferred disciplines, Kenyan 800m runner Margaret Wambui has said.

Like other athletes classified as having differences of sexual development or DSD Wambui cannot contest any distance between 400m and one mile in the female category unless she artificially reduces her testosterone levels. The Kenyan was an 800m bronze medallist at the 2016 Olympic Games.

It would be good if a third category for athletes with high testosterone was introduced - because it is wrong to stop people from using their talents, Wambui told BBC Sport Africa.

The sports governing body, World Athletics, says it has no plans to introduce such a category and will stick to its current classifications of mens and womens events. The idea of a third category in athletics has been floated before, but Wambui is the first athlete to express outright support for the suggestion.

We would be the first people to compete in that category - so we can motivate others who are hiding their condition, she said. We could show them that it is not their fault, that this is how they were created, and that theyve done nothing wrong.

The 25-year-old, who has not raced competitively since July 2019, will not be competing at the Tokyo Olympics, having struggled to choose between competing in either sprints or long distances. Since World Athletics introduced its latest rules governing DSD athletes in 2018, not one of the three athletes who stood on the 800m podium in Rio has contested the distance at a global international championship.

At the 2016 Games, Wambui was beaten to gold by South Africas Caster Semenya and silver by Burundis Francine Niyonsaba.

It is sad to see that whole podium wont be there, said Wambui. They cut short our careers, because that wasnt our plan. I feel bad that I wont be in the Olympics because of World Athletics rules.

On Wednesday, Niyonsaba qualified for the Olympics in the 5,000m. The three are classified as having differences of sexual development owing to their higher than normal testosterone levels. These DSD athletes consider themselves barred from the distance.

According to the World Athletics rules published in 2018, female DSD athletes cannot run any event between 400m and one mile - unless they lower their high testosterone levels, which the athletics global body claims give the runners an unfair advantage.

Athletics global body says testosterone can boost endurance and muscle mass, among other effects, and that the DSD rules are needed to ensure fair and meaningful competition within the female classification.

Athletes can reduce levels by taking specific drugs or having surgery although the second is not necessarily recommended.

None of the womens 800m medallists from the 2016 Olympics in Rio will be competing in the same event at the 2020 Games in Tokyo

Two-time Olympic champion Semenya is currently leading a campaign against the DSD rules. Despite repeated failures in the law courts of Europe, she is continuing to fight.

In February, she took her case to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that the decision to ask athletes to change their bodies is a violation of their human rights.

The 30-year-olds legal team are also questioning the very definition of a sports body - currently classified as private organisations - as a means of fighting World Athletics DSD rules.

If we can get a judgment from the European Court which says that international sporting bodies are not private bodies above and beyond international conventions of human rights, that will be an extremely important thing for sport in general, said Patrick Bracher, one of Semenyas lawyers.

International sporting bodies will become sort of state-related bodies because they cover things internationally and that will be a major prize for sport. World Athletics will have to take account of that because they will know that when they go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport [sports highest legal body] in future, ultimately they will have to apply broader social issues: in other words, human rights issues.

Should they lose, Bracher admits it will be the end of the road for Semenyas legal challenge. However, unlike Wambui, Semenya does not want a third category introduced in athletics.

Caster Semenya was born, raised, and trained, lived and competed as a woman and the entire case is about her right to do so, said Bracher.

Worse than that is the fact that if you create a category like this, it means no one can run within that category without publicly declaring private health details. It would just be another form of sex testing by enforced self-declaration.

Meanwhile, World Athletics has ruled out any possibility of a third category.

It should be noted that athletes with this condition make up 0.7 per cent of the elite female athlete population, so a third category may not be viable in many events, World Athletics said in a statement to the BBC.

Such a stance means that Wambui who says taking [testosterone-reducing] drugs has never crossed my mind - will never again be able to contest her favourite distance. After plenty of deliberation, the 26-year-old has chosen to try the 5,000m, which will mean a lengthy lay-off from competition as she adjusts to the longer distance.

It will be painful watching the Olympics on TV knowing that I would have been capable of qualifying, she said. But I will watch [the Games] because sport is in my blood.

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Olympic medallist Wambui calls for third category in athletics The Star - The Star, Kenya

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Testosterone
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