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Paper of the Day - Testosterone HRT of little benefit

Giving hormone replacement therapy to men with low testosterone levels does not improve cognition or mobility, say the authors of the largest testosterone supplementation study yet carried out.

'Male aging is associated with a gradual but progressive decline in serum levels of testosterone, occurring to a greater extent in some men than in others. Decline in testosterone is associated with many symptoms and signs of ageing such as a decrease in muscle mass and muscle strength, cognitive decline, a decrease in bone mass, and an increase in (abdominal) fat mass, say the authors of the new study.

Previous trials on the clinical benefit of testosterone supplementations have yielded mixed findings.

This trial included 207 men aged between 60 and 80 with lower than average testosterone levels for their age. They were randomly assigned to receive 80mg testosterone or a or placebo twice daily for six months.

Lean body mass increased and body fat decreased in the treatment group compared to placebo but these changes had no effect of functional mobility or muscle strength. Cognitive function and bone mineral density did not change. Although insulin sensitivity improved there was an overall drop in HDL levels associated with testosterone supplementation.

JAMA 2008;299(1):39-52

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