Testosterone is a steroid, mainly a male sex hormone that causes the growth of secondary sex attributes in men. Even so, testosterone is developed by women, but in small quantities. Combined with estrogen, testosterone aids the growth and repair of the reproductive system in women.
New research published in the journal Nature Medicine has discovered the fact that women who have genetically greater testosterone amounts are at bigger risk of developing cancer, diabetes, as well as metabolic conditions.
Scientists from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge stated that the connection has been discovered in women and not in men. Moreover, the risk of cancer and diabetes decreased in men who registered higher levels of testosterone.
The study suggested that women with genetically higher testosterone levels have a 37 percent bigger possibility of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, they had a 51 percent greater risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Genetic Determinants Differ Between Sexes
Besides, the scientists found that women with high testosterone levels are more prone to develop cancer, such as breast and endometrial cancers. In men, high testosterone levels have been associated with an increased chance of prostate cancer.
The paper proved that the genetic factors of testosterone levels differ between sexes.
Dr. John Perry from the University of Cambridge said, “Our findings that genetically higher testosterone levels increase the risk of PCOS in women is important in understanding the role of testosterone in the origin of this common disorder, rather than simply being a consequence of this condition.”
“Likewise, in men, testosterone-reducing therapies are widely used to treat prostate cancer, but until now, it was uncertain whether lower testosterone levels are also protective against developing prostate cancer,” he added. “Our findings show how genetic techniques such as Mendelian randomization are useful in the understanding of the risks and benefits of hormone therapies.”
The team of scientists detailed that the research suggests the significance of sex-specific assays on testosterone and its impacts on health. They also explained the high effects of testosterone in the body and how to defeat irregular levels in order to avoid metabolic conditions, cancer, and diabetes.