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Age & Testosterone

Ageing males tend to experience subtle progressive losses in muscle mass and strength or medically termed sarcopenia. Current research all point to the most important hormone responsible for manhood, testosterone. The age-related decline in testosterone may lead to androgen deficiency or andropause, the male version of menopause comprised of symptoms such as sexual dysfunction, decreased physical performance, impaired cognition, sarcopenia and bone fractures.

How Testosterone Works

Circulating testosterone levels and the constitutional effects it has varies in each individual. Studies have demonstrated that there is an overall decline in free (bio-available) testosterone levels in adults every year, mainly attributed to an increase in sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) which functionally inhibits testosterone and its secondary products, after being converted by certain enzymes into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or oestrogen.

Keep T Levels in Check

Maintaining free testosterone levels through external means (intramuscular administration) has been shown to improve lean muscle mass, strength in healthy males aged 60-75 years. Further studies has also shown that patented combinations of Astaxanthin (AX), a compound from a certain species of algae and Saw Palmetto berry extract (SPLE) have been able to increase testosterone levels by inhibiting the enzymes which convert it to DHT or oestrogen. Whilst medical treatments are available to prevent the age-related loss in testosterone, holistic approaches would also be beneficial and more economical. Muscles contain androgen receptors (AR) which respond to the anabolic effects of testosterone. Expression of AR on muscles is affected by the type of training and nutrition. It has been shown that strength training has been able to increase muscle AR in response to increasing testosterone levels post-workout. Another positive outcome is that there has been no reduction in the muscle’s ability to in up-regulate AR in older men. In another study, protein supplements taken by resistance training males have been able to increase lean muscle mass. Furthermore, supplementation with essential amino acids (EAAs) has been shown to promote higher level of both resting and exercise-induced testosterone.

Angwafor III, F and ML Anderson, 'An open label, dose response study to determine the effect of a dietary supplement on dihydrotestosterone, testosterone and estradiol levels in healthy males' (2008) 5 Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 12
Hulmi, JJ et al, 'Androgen receptors and testosterone in men--effects of protein ingestion, resistance exercise and fiber type' (2008) 110(1-2) The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology 130
Kalman, D et al, 'Effect of protein source and resistance training on body composition and sex hormones' (2007) 4 Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 4
KRAEMER, WJ et al, 'Effects of amino acids supplement on physiological adaptations to resistance training' (2009) 41(5) Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 1111
Lapauw, B et al, 'The decline of serum testosterone levels in community-dwelling men over 70 years of age: descriptive data and predictors of longitudinal changes' (2008) 159(4) European Journal of Endocrinology 459
Liu, PY et al, 'Age-related changes in serum testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin in Australian men: longitudinal analyses of two geographically separate regional cohorts' (2007) 92(9) Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 3599
Storer, TW et al, 'Changes in muscle mass, muscle strength, and power but not physical function are related to testosterone dose in healthy older men' (2008) 56(11) Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 1991
Yeap, BB et al, 'In men older than 70 years, total testosterone remains stable while free testosterone declines with age. The Health in Men Study' (2007) 156(5) European Journal of Endocrinology 585

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