Q. I was fascinated to read that women’s sexual desire increases after they take testosterone under the tongue. Could you get the same effect by eating “mountain oysters” (cattle testicles) or would the cooking process and digestive juices destroy the testosterone you might get?
A. We could not find any scientific studies devoted to this intriguing subject. Both men and women absorb testosterone when it is prescribed as a pill or rubbed on the body as a cream or gel. There are also testosterone patches that work by allowing controlled doses to pass through the skin.
Testosterone does appear to increase libido for both men and women but at a price. Men may experience prostate problems that can lead to difficulty with urination. Breast enlargement is another potential side effect. There are also concerns about a negative impact on lipid levels and an increased risk of heart disease.
Women may also experience side effects from testosterone treatment. The skin may become oily and acne can develop. Hair loss is not an uncommon complaint. Hoarseness can occur and may not disappear when the drug is discontinued. The question of whether testosterone therapy may increase the risk of cancer remains controversial.
We doubt that you would get a pharmacological dose of the hormone from cooked “mountain oysters” so we doubt that this would pose a problem or be of any great benefit.