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Red Wine Could Mask Testosterone Levels, Study Suggests

Update Date: Jan 09, 2013 05:55 AM EST

A new research suggests that red wine could boost the performance levels of athletes and players by increasing the amount of performance-enhancing hormone testosterone in their bodies.

The research from London's Kingston University further says that apart from helping them become successful in sports, it could also allow them to beat anti-doping tests.

In their study, lead author professor Declan Naughton from the University's School of Life Sciences and team members found that red wine may also reduce the excretion of testosterone in the body, distorting the findings of drug tests.

Testosterone, a hormone present in both men and women, can increase muscle mass, boost stamina and speed up recovery, according to Medical Xpress.

For healthy competition and fair judgment, athletes and sportsmen are prohibited from taking it.

Red wine is not currently banned from the sports field, but Naughton's team has referred their findings to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

"Previous research has shown the effect over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can have on enzymes," he explained. "Since many of these drugs are derived from plants, we decided to look at the effect particular foods and beverages can have on enzymes involved in testosterone excretion. We chose green tea and then red wine because both have a huge variety of natural molecules and we wanted to see if they affected the amount of testosterone excreted in urine."

The researchers found that quercetin, a compound in red wine, partially blocked the action of an enzyme called UGT2B17 which looks for testosterone and then sends a message to the kidneys to excrete it, the report said.

"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," Naughton explained.

Red wine works differently on different people depending on their weight, fitness, health and diet. This makes it hard to estimate how much of red wine exactly was needed to improve performance, he said.

Further revelations of the study suggested that the red wine extract in supplement form also functioned in the same way.

The findings have been published in leading international journal Nutrition. 

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