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Clin J Sport Med. 1996 Jul;6(3):152-7.

Changes in lipoprotein-lipid levels in normal men following administration of increasing doses of testosterone cypionate.

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Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA 02178, USA.



The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between anabolic--androgenic steroids and lipoprotein levels in men receiving weekly injections of gradually escalating doses of up to 600 mg/week of testosterone cypionate.


The design was a placebo-controlled, double-blind, 24-week cross-over design in which subjects were randomized to one of two treatment sequences: (a) weekly testosterone cypionate injections for 6 weeks, no treatment for 6 weeks, weekly placebo injections for 6 weeks, and then again no treatment for 6 weeks; or (b) placebo, no treatment, testosterone, and then no treatment, with each interval also lasting 6 weeks as in the first sequence.


The setting was a private hospital.


Participants were normal male volunteers.


Testosterone cypionate injections were given in gradually increasing doses of 150 mg/week for 2 weeks, 300 mg/week for 2 weeks, and 600 mg/week for 2 weeks. Eight subjects received testosterone injections during the first injection phase and placebo during the second injection phase, and the remaining eight subjects received placebo first and testosterone second.


We found a 21% depression of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels following the first 300-mg testosterone dose. This depression remained unchanged after the two 600-mg doses. In contrast, we did not find any changes in low-density lipoprotein or total cholesterol levels at any of the time points studied. Subjects' total cholesterol/HDL-C ratios were significantly elevated during testosterone administration and even 4 weeks following the last injection.


Our findings suggest that testosterone cypionate adversely affects cholesterol fractions, that this effect reaches its full magnitude even at very modestly supraphysiologic doses, and that this effect persists for several weeks after discontinuation of the drug.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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