A study recently published online in the European Journal of Endocrinology suggests a new way to prevent muscles from wasting away: Testosterone replacement therapy. The scientists said that by injecting a small amount of the hormone directly into the liver, they were able to stimulate protein synthesis, which could prevent muscle loss and even promote muscle growth.
Researchers from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney found that in post-menopausal women who were free of health-related complications, a restrained dose of testosterone helped keep their protein from wasting. The subjects were given 40 milligrams of crystalline testosterone to take orally per day, which goes directly to the liver. The report noted that it was a small enough dose that the hormone did not spillover to other organs or into the bloodstream.
Because there is no spillover, this new method of preventing muscle loss and promoting growth is free of the usual side effects that testosterone has when given to women. The report listed some of those unwanted results as aggressive behavior and heightened sex drive. Women will also sometimes grow excess facial hair and notice a deepened voice.
"This is really hopeful, because if we can see the same effect on protein metabolism at this stage, we believe it will translate into the same increase in muscle mass that we see from testosterone delivered systemically, yet avoiding all the unpleasant side effects," said Ken Ho, lead author of the study.
The researchers noted that the next step will be to gather healthy male subjects who have below-average testosterone levels and frailer participants who may be experiencing kidney failure. Ho said that should they see similar results, this could be used as a treatment for elderly people to prevent falls and subsequent osteoporotic fractures.
Testosterone therapy and how it is used... Full Story
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