Testosterone To Reverse Muscle Loss
Reported June 23, 2011
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Along with aging comes the consequence of losing
muscle mass too. A common treatment used to reverse the loss of lean muscle
tissue are anabolic steroids. However, anabolic steroids can have many
unwanted side effects. Now, new research shows that nine proteins, isolated
from blood, alter with age and that the profile of some of these proteins
can be reversed by testosterone treatment.
“One of the universal features of aging is natural decline in muscle, with
declines in muscle there’s an increase risk for frailty, fractures,
hospitalization, all together an undesirable outcome,” Dr. Monty Montano,
Ph.D. of Boston University School of Medicine, Infectious Diseases, and
study author, told Ivanhoe.
The study involved comparing protein levels in serum samples from two groups
of men, ages 18-35 and 60-75. Seven proteins, which were either growth
factors (IGF-1, IL-7, IL-12p40, PDGFß), or were involved in immune response
(ENA78, MIP-1ß, IP-10), and pro-collagen (PIIINP) were all reduced in older
men. In contrast the monokine MIG, also involved in immune activity, was
For both groups of men, the testosterone treatment increased lean muscle
mass, and levels of the appetite suppressing hormone leptin. Testosterone
also increased levels of PIIINP and IGF-1 in young men and the researchers
saw a similar increase in a small group of older men.
"The blood proteins we found that altered with healthy aging also have links
to maintenance of muscle, such as IGF-1 and pro-collagen, or are involved in
regulation of the immune system, possibly reducing T-cell and neutrophil
responses with age. Additionally all of the proteins we found are involved
with the signaling pathways controlled by AKT, NF?ß and TGFß which are known
to be associated with aging,” Dr. Montano said.
"It is no simple matter to find a one size fits all test for aging – our
results suggest that there is a difference in response to anabolic steroids
between young and older men, despite both groups increasing in muscle mass.
It seems that testosterone replacement does not necessarily mean a
restoration of full testosterone functionality for the older man," Dr.
Dr. Montano believes there is a need for newer anabolic formulations that
frail older men can tolerate as well. “The real challenge to medial
research, is understanding how these different approaches might synergize
with each other. We think that testosterone plus exercise will actually
improve the strength and ability that you see in younger people, more than
testosterone alone or exercise alone, but we don’t know for sure. Those
studies need to be done and the biomarkers that reflect healthy aging need
to be measured alongside,” Dr. Montano said. He hopes to assemble a larger
list of proteins associated with healthy aging, and to identify new
therapeutics that can restore the levels of some of the healthy aging
SOURCE: Immunity and Aging, June 22, 2011