The effect of supraphysiologic doses of testosterone on fasting total homocysteine levels in normal men

Atherosclerosis. 1997 Apr;130(1-2):199-202. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9150(96)06057-1.


Elevated total homocysteine (tHcy) levels are associated with increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. tHcy levels are higher in men than in women, and estrogen replacement therapy may reduce tHcy levels in postmenopausal women. The effect of androgenic hormones on tHcy levels in men has not been examined. The present study determined the effect of supraphysiologic doses of testosterone, with or without its aromatization to estradiol, on fasting tHcy levels in 14 normal male weightlifters aged 19-42 years. Subjects received testosterone-enanthate (200 mg/week intramuscularly), the aromatase inhibitor, testolactone (1 g/day orally), or both drugs together in a crossover design. Each treatment lasted 3 weeks and each treatment was separated by a 4-week washout. Both testosterone regimens increased serum testosterone levels, whereas estradiol increased only during testosterone alone. Mean tHcy levels were not significantly altered when testosterone was given alone or together with testolactone. Testolactone did not significantly influence tHcy levels. We conclude that short-term, high-dose testosterone administration does not affect fasting tHcy levels in normal men.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Homocysteine / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Testolactone / pharmacology
  • Testosterone / administration & dosage
  • Testosterone / analogs & derivatives
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Testosterone / pharmacology*


  • Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Homocysteine
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Testolactone
  • testosterone enanthate