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'Alpha males' like spicy food: study

'Alpha males' like spicy food: study

Small bottles of Tabasco sauce are boxed up at Avery Island, La., Monday, Oct. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Wonder if a guy has high testosterone? Just put a spice bottle next to him and see how much he pours on his dinner, according to a new study.

Scientists at the University of Grenoble say that among 114 men aged 18 to 44, those who added the most spicy sauce to their plate of mashed potatoes had the highest levels of testosterone.

Study co-author Laurent Begue tells the Telegraph that testosterone leads men into "more stimulating social groups" and inspires them to "take more risks," and adds that "in this case, it applies to risk-taking in taste." Perhaps, he says, regular spicy-food consumption "contributes to increasing testosterone levels, although so far this has only been demonstrated on rodents." Study participants were invited into a test center, asked to rate their love for spice, and told to spice up the mashed potatoes "to their taste with little sachets of Tabasco sauce," NHS reports.

At some point the men gave saliva samples that scientists used to measure testosterone. Published in the peer-reviewed journal Physiology and Behavior, the study found a "statistically significant" but hardly impressive correlation of 0.29 between spice-love and testosterone-level (0 indicates no correlation and 1 a "perfect" one, says NHS).

Called "Some Like It Hot," the study found no causal link between the hormone and spice. NHS reports that other studies have linked high male testosterone to men who love "dominant colors" like red, so who knows, maybe that was it.

(Another recent study found that macho men have so-so sperm.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: 'Alpha Males' Pour This on Their Food

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