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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2010 Nov;65(11):1185-92. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glq128. Epub 2010 Jul 30.

Effects of testosterone administration on nocturnal cortisol secretion in healthy older men.

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Diabetes Unit, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


In animal studies, testosterone decreases, whereas estrogen increases, cortisol production. In one clinical study, short-term testosterone replacement attenuated corticotrophin-releasing hormone-stimulated cortisol secretion during leuprolide-induced hypogonadism in young men. The effects of longer term testosterone treatment on spontaneous cortisol secretion in younger or older men are unknown. In a randomized, double-masked placebo-controlled study, we assessed the effects of testosterone supplementation (100 mg intramuscular every 2 week) for 26 weeks on nocturnal cortisol secretory dynamics in healthy older men. Testosterone administration increased early morning serum concentrations of free testosterone by 34%, decreased sex hormone-binding globulin by 20%, and did not alter early morning concentrations of cortisol-binding globulin or cortisol compared with placebo treatment. Testosterone did not significantly alter nocturnal mean and integrated cortisol concentrations, cortisol burst frequency, mass/burst, basal secretion, pulsatile cortisol production rate, pattern regularity, or approximate entropy. We conclude that low-dose testosterone supplementation for 26 weeks does not affect spontaneous nocturnal cortisol secretion in healthy older men.

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