The hot topic of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in mixed martial arts (MMA) is one that has caused heavy debate for the past two years as its grown in prevalence. Regardless of what side you’re on of the debate, it’s time to consider some new facts.

I found it very interesting that a day after reading Consumer Report’s “Low T: Don’t Fall For The Hype” July 2013 article, I read a statistic that had shown fighters on TRT (that we know of) actually losing more than winning during their regiment. 15 wins 17 losses, and of course that is a mixed bag of fighters on win-streaks (Vitor Belfort) and losing streaks (Shane Roller). Perhaps it’s just not for everyone?

Chael Sonnen (5-4)
Vitor Belfort (2-0)
Dan Henderson (4-4)
Quinton Jackson (0-2)
Forrest Griffin (1-0)
Frank Mir (0-2)
Todd Duffee (1-1)
Nate Marquardt (2-1)
Shane Roller (0-3)
Total: 15-17

What was most intriguing about Consumer Report’s findings was that TRT use surged in correlation with the rise of heavy advertising of TRT. From there the consumer demands TRT, with reports showing majority of users having other underlying issues such as obesity — bad doctor gives it to them, then the bad stuff happens. New studies reveal that TRT dramatically increases the risk of heart attack, as well as risk of cancer, breast growth (yes, man boobs), and a plethora of other health issues. You can read another source on the side effects of TRT here.

Doesn’t sound too different from our old performance-enhancers, which lead some of our athletes to need TRT. Now we’re lead to the question, is it good, is it bad, is it needed? Like all things, it is circumstantial. The hype in and out of MMA of TRT use may be just that — hype. For the fighter looking for an edge in the sport, you’re likely doing more harm than good if you’re experimenting with TRT. If you really have a medical issue like hypogonadism as Chael claims, then I sympathize and they rightfully have an exemption.