Scientists say they have found a link between spicy food and levels of testosterone in men. Testosterone is a hormone and steroid in our bodies that is responsible for sexual development. Men produce up to 20 times more of it than women. Men with higher levels of testosterone are usually seen as being more sexually active, arrogant, brave and bigger risk takers. The co-author of the report, Laurent Begue, said the findings of his study matched a lot of research linking testosterone with financial, sexual and behavioural risk-taking.
Begue's study looked at the degree to which 114 men liked spicy food. The men added a hot pepper sauce to some mashed potatoes. They then evaluated the spiciness of what they ate. The researchers tested the men's saliva. They found that those who put more hot sauce on their potatoes had higher levels of testosterone. Britain's health service website nhs.uk said the study was too small to prove the link between spice and testosterone. It said many other things could get people to like spicy food. These include genetic, cultural and psychological factors.