Jun 17, 2019 | Updated: 11:38 AM EDT

Men Who Enjoy Spicy Food Have Higher Testosterone Levels: Report

Dec 17, 2014 02:27 AM EST

Man selling spices
(Photo : Getty Images)

Not everyone may have a strong threshold for spicy food. Some don't even have the guts to partake of food dashed with chili or chili sauce because of the unbearably tingling hotness they bring to the palate. However, for men who enjoy spicy food, they were also observed to have elevated testosterone levels, according to a new study.

Scientists at the University of Grenoble found a correlation between partaking of spicy food and testosterone levels. And this was manifested by men who were more adventurous and reckless, had an increase in libido and showed more aggression--all behaviors enhanced by high testosterone levels.

Laurent Begue, co-author of the study said, "These results are in line with a lot of research showing a link between testosterone and financial, sexual and behavioral risk-taking. In this case, it applies to risk-taking in taste."

The study involved 114 men with age ranging from 18 to 44 years old who were asked about their taste for spicy food. The participants were also asked to have a taste and evaluate the spiciness of mashed potatoes which they were asked to season with hot pepper sauce and salt.

The study found that the men who voluntarily and spontaneously consumed higher levels of hot pepper sauce had a more increased level of testosterone. This was done through saliva test.  

The hormone drives men to seek thrills and new sensations, leading them to frequent "more stimulating social groups and take more risks," according to Begue. "In this case, it applies to risk-taking in taste. It is also possible that the regular consumption of spicy food contributes to increasing testosterone levels, although so far this has only been demonstrated on rodents."

Begue added that rats also exhibited high testosterone levels upon regular consumption of spicy food.

The study, which is entitled "Some Like it Hot" will be published in the Physiology and Behaviour journal next year.

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