Older men with higher testosterone levels lose less muscle mass as they age

October 27, 2011, The Endocrine Society

A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that higher levels of testosterone were associated with reduced loss of lean muscle mass in older men, especially in those who were losing weight. In these men, higher testosterone levels were also associated with less loss of lower body strength.

Loss of muscle mass and strength contribute to frailty and are associated with falls, mobility limitations and fractures. lose more muscle mass and strength than women as they age, suggesting that sex steroids, and testosterone in particular, may contribute to body composition and physical function changes. This study sought to better understand the relationship between testosterone levels and healthy aging in and found that higher testosterone levels may help older men preserve muscle mass and delay frailty as they age.

"Our study finds that men, aged 65 years and older, with higher testosterone levels lost less , especially in their arms and legs, than men this age who had lower testosterone levels," said Erin LeBlanc, MD, of Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, OR and lead author of the study. "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 before they lost weight."

In this study, researchers used data from 1,183 men aged 65 years or older and tested the hypothesis that higher baseline measures of sex steroids are associated with lesser declines in lean mass and maintenance of physical performance over an average follow-up of 4.5 years. Body composition was measured using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) 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 in men."

Explore further: Proteins used to map the aging process

More information: The article, "Higher testosterone levels are associated with less loss of lean body mass in older men," appears in the December 2011 issue of JCEM.

Related Stories

Proteins used to map the aging process

June 19, 2011
Loss of muscle mass is not only associated with disease, such as HIV and cancer, but also with the normal aging process. Anabolic steroids are sometimes used to reverse loss of lean muscle tissue but they can have unwanted ...

Older age does not cause testosterone levels to decline in healthy men

June 7, 2011
A decline in testosterone levels as men grow older is likely the result—not the cause—of deteriorating general health, say Australian scientists, whose new study finds that age, in itself, has no effect on testosterone ...

Surgery-related weight loss in men reverses testosterone deficiency

June 4, 2011
Low testosterone levels and symptoms of male sexual dysfunction due to obesity may be reversible with weight loss after bariatric surgery, a new study finds.

Recommended for you

Researchers illustrate how muscle growth inhibitor is activated, could aid in treating ALS

January 19, 2018
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine are part of an international team that has identified how the inactive or latent form of GDF8, a signaling protein also known as myostatin responsible for ...

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Secrets of longevity protein revealed in new study

January 17, 2018
Named after the Greek goddess who spun the thread of life, Klotho proteins play an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. In a recent Yale-led study, researchers revealed the three-dimensional structure ...

The HLF gene protects blood stem cells by maintaining them in a resting state

January 17, 2018
The HLF gene is necessary for maintaining blood stem cells in a resting state, which is crucial for ensuring normal blood production. This has been shown by a new research study from Lund University in Sweden published in ...

Magnetically applied MicroRNAs could one day help relieve constipation

January 17, 2018
Constipation is an underestimated and debilitating medical issue related to the opioid epidemic. As a growing concern, researchers look to new tools to help patients with this side effect of opioid use and aging.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.