High testosterone may mean shorter lives

April 13, 2006

A North Dakota State University study suggests males with higher levels of testosterone sire more children, but have shorter life spans.

Wendy Reed and colleagues followed a group of dark-eyed juncos, small mountain songbirds found across North America, through seven breeding seasons. The scientists injected males with elevated levels of testosterone and found they had shorter lives, but sired more offspring -- even with females who were mated with other males.

"The surprising result was that testosterone-treated males had a higher overall fitness than control males," write the authors in the May issue of American Naturalist.

"Although testosterone increased male fitness, as measured by lifespan and number of offspring, the extended effects on offspring and female mates were generally negative and may ultimately constrain the evolution of higher testosterone levels in males," said the authors.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Effects of prenatal stress passed across generations in mice

Related Stories

Effects of prenatal stress passed across generations in mice

August 17, 2011

Sons of male mice exposed to prenatal stress are more sensitive to stress as adults, according to a study in the August 17 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. These findings suggest experiences in the womb can lead to individual ...

Recommended for you

Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin

August 26, 2016

How genes in our DNA are expressed into traits within a cell is a complicated mystery with many players, the main suspects being chemical. However, a new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.