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Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec;29(6):697-700. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2010.03.010. Epub 2010 May 7.

Hormone treatment and muscle anabolism during aging: androgens.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA.


Aging is associated with a gradual decline in circulating testosterone concentrations and decreased musculature in men. While testosterone administration is often considered when symptoms of hypogonadism are presented, the long-term effects of androgen use on muscle physiology are not yet fully understood. The definition of hypogonadism in men remains obscure but is generally indicated by total testosterone concentrations less than a threshold value of 300-500 ng/dL. Androgen replacement therapy is generally safe in men and women with low endogenous testosterone concentrations. The development of selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) may provide additional options in treatment of hypogonadism while lowering the potential of side effects often associated with long-term androgen use. Androgen administration, either alone or in combination with other treatments, can be successful in improving muscle mass by increasing protein anabolism and reducing protein catabolism in men and women. Further research is necessary to optimize the anabolic and anticatabolic properties of androgens for treatment and prevention of muscle loss in men and women.

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