7 November 2011
More evidence linking testosterone and muscle in old age
by George Atkinson
A new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism shows that in older men, higher levels of testosterone were associated with reduced loss of lean muscle mass and less loss of lower body strength.
Men lose more muscle mass and strength than women as they age, suggesting that testosterone may contribute significantly to body composition and physical changes. This study, explained lead researcher Erin LeBlanc, sought to better understand the relationship between testosterone levels and healthy aging in older men.
"Men, aged 65 years and older, with higher testosterone levels lost less muscle mass, especially in their arms and legs," said LeBlanc. "Men who had higher testosterone levels before they lost weight also lost less leg function and could stand up more easily from a chair than men who had lower testosterone levels before they lost weight."
LeBlanc, from Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, said the study measured body composition using dual energy x-ray scans and physical performance was measured through a series of exercises that assessed grip strength, lower extremity power, walking speed and the ability to rise from a chair without the use of arms.
"The amount of testosterone men have in their bodies may contribute to how much muscle and strength they lose as they get older," said LeBlanc. "Our study adds evidence to the growing body of literature that suggest higher levels of endogenous testosterone may be favorably associated with some key components of healthy aging."
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Source: The Endocrine Society