I wish to clarify some points made in the first part of this article, which centered on ESPN’s special on Contact Sports and Brain Trauma (reference here).
Although most of us are aware of the obvious risks that contact sports pose to cognitive function – few understand the risks posed to hormonal function. Unless someone has been previously exposed to this research, the idea that brain trauma can lower testosterone levels is counter intuitive – given that testosterone is produced in the testes and not in the brain. However, you can see how this is both possible and logical since it is the pituitary gland’s production of LH (luteinizing hormone) that is responsible for the production and regulation of testosterone in the testes.
In the video, former World Champion James Toney was shocked when his doctor told him he had low testosterone levels as a possible result of brain trauma. A condition that doctors are only now beginning to understand. The documentary depicts an ironic twist of how contact sport athletes – known for their reputation of testosterone-related aggression – risk suffering from low testosterone as a result of the unavoidable hits they incur.
It is important that both athletes and especially parents of child athletes are well informed of every given sport’s risks. Only then can we innovate the necessary safety provisions to better protect all participants from harm.
Please feel free to share or let us know your thoughts on this very important topic.
Yours in strength,
Coach Craig Smith