In light of Lance Armstrong’s finally coming clean about doping during a career that included winning seven Tour de France titles, researchers at London’s Kingston University felt compelled to share with the World Anti-Doping Agency an interesting discovery they made.
Red wine can increase testosterone, a performance-enhancing hormone; yet it causes the findings of a drug test that measures testosterone in urine to be distorted, because it reduces the amount of testosterone secreted by the body.
Testosterone is a naturally occurring steroid hormone present in both men and women. It can increase muscle mass, boost stamina and speed recovery. In the professional sporting world, athletes are prohibited from taking testosterone or a synthetic version of it. Drinking red wine, however, is not against the rules.
Lead researcher Declan Naughton of the university’s School of Life Sciences stressed that the research had been conducted so far in test-tube experiments and had yet to be carried out on humans.
“A full clinical study would be needed to determine the effects on people but, if the same results were found, it would confirm that compounds in red wine can reduce the amount of testosterone in urine and give a boost to testosterone levels,” he said.