Thursday, October 17, 2013

Men undergoing hormone therapy don't benefit from women's hot flash remedies

Hot flashes occur in approximately 80% of men who are undergoing hormone manipulation as treatment for prostate cancer. However, neither soy protein nor a common antidepressant provides relief from hot flashes for men, according to new research.

Hot flashes involve a flushed face, sweating, and a sudden rush of heat. Hormone therapy reduces levels of the male hormone androgen. The goal of hormone therapy is to prevent androgen from reaching prostate cancer cells and stimulating their growth.

"Changing hormone levels cause hot flashes in both women and men, so we hoped that using soy supplements and/or an antidepressant would help reduce them in men as it does in many women," said Mara Vitolins, DrPH, professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (2013; doi:10.1200/JCO.2012.48.1432).

Participants in the phase III, double-blind, multicenter study completed a 7-day prescreening phase and 12 weeks of intervention. A total of 120 men, ages 46 to 91 years, who were androgen-deprived were randomly assigned to one of four daily regimens: placebo pill and milk powder; venlafaxine, an antidepressant commonly prescribed to treat hot flashes in women, and milk powder protein; soy protein powder and placebo pill; or venlafaxine and milk powder.

Hot flash symptom severity and frequency and quality of life were assessed by the researchers. They found that neither venlafaxine nor soy protein alone or in combination reduced hot flashes in men.

"Utilizing interventions that appear effective in decreasing hot flashes in women to treat men who have hot flashes has proven to be relatively ineffective," Vitolins said. She stated that these findings highlight the need for continuing efforts to identify treatments for hot flashes that are specifically developed for men.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Testosterone-dominant personalities – often highly analytical and competitive – tend to be drawn to people with personalities associated with high estrogen and oxytocin levels, who are more nurturing and introspective

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A new study from Rutgers University in the US probes the enduring mystery: why do we fall in love with one person and not another?
Dr Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, suggests that the answer lies in your brain chemistry, LiveScience reports. She discussed her research recently at the Being Human conference in New Jersey.

For that feel-good romantic feeling and sexual drive, we can thank brain chemicals such as dopamine and testosterone, she said. But a specific balance of chemicals shapes our personalities and affects the type of people we are drawn to romantically, the report said. Some of us like people who are more like us. For others, opposites attract.

LiveScience reports that Fisher scoured scientific literature to determine the brain chemicals associated with certain physiological traits and then formulated a personality assessment to determine which combination of chemicals is dominant in a given person.

She administered the test to 28,000 people on a dating website and then watched to see whom they selected in their matches.

Findings showed that people with "active dopamine systems tended to be reward-driven and impulsive, seeking out novelty and experience and getting bored easily," LiveScience writes. They also "tended to be curious, energetic, and mentally flexible, but not particularly introspective”.

"They like their own type," Fisher said.

Serotonin also plays a role and is linked with personality types that are less anxious and more social. These types also tend to be more conscientious, religious, and drawn to people more like themselves.

But those with testosterone-dominant personalities – often highly analytical and competitive – tended to be drawn to people with personalities associated with high estrogen and oxytocin levels, who are more nurturing and introspective, the report said.

The effect worked both ways, with the estrogen/oxytocin group being drawn to people who were more testosterone dominant.

Still, while these factors may spark attraction and the flood of emotions in early love, what keeps a couple together? Fisher says it boils down to one skill. "The simple ability to overlook everything you cannot stand in someone," she said.

Testosterone may help in recovery from stroke

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Testosterone replacement therapy may help stroke victims during recovery, according to preliminary results of a study at Saint Louis University.

Researchers discovered testosterone’s possible benefits in a study conducted on castrated rats that had suffered strokes. During recovery, half of the rats received testosterone, and half received a placebo. The rats receiving the testosterone showed significant improvements in neurological defects versus the rats which did not.

Normally, testosterone – a male sex hormone – is prescribed for men with low testosterone levels. Symptoms of low testosterone levels include reduced sex drive, poor muscle strength, depression and cognitive problems.

Researchers noted that these are the same symptoms exhibited by many people after a stroke. Moreover, according to researchers, many of the therapy techniques used for stroke victims were adapted from therapy for people returning from combat without use of a limb.

Stroke, however, presents a different challenge, and may require different medical therapy. So far, these results are very preliminary, and the team hopes to launch a study in human beings.

“We are trying to find newer, better techniques, including pharmacological techniques, to improve the outcomes of patients who have had strokes,” researchers say.

Canadian study shows that high early morning testosterone levels can boost profits - conflicts with our next story on research that says just the opposite!

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Futures traders with higher morning testosterone levels made higher profits, a provocative new study by a Canadian researcher has found.

Those with lower levels of the hormone in their saliva at 11 a.m. made, on average, lower profits or lost money the rest of that day, says John Coates, a former Wall Street trader who is now a senior research fellow at the University of Cambridge in England.

For eight days, twice a day, he took saliva samples from 17 men working on a mid-size London trading floor.

"We found that a trader's morning testosterone level predicts his day's profitability," he and his colleague, Joe Herbert, conclude in a paper published yesterday in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It is the first study to make a connection between hormones and trading, but forget about asking your broker for a spit sample.

The experiment was a preliminary step, says Dr. Coates, towards understanding the role testosterone and other hormones play in financial risk-taking.

There may be an optimal level of testosterone for male traders; too little may contribute to a poor performance on any given day, but too much may lead to bad decision-making.

In male animals, testosterone plays a well-documented role in what is known as the "winner effect."

The lizard that wins a fight, for example, has a higher level of testosterone than the loser. This gives him an advantage going into his next fight. But at a certain point, too much testosterone impairs an animal's performance rather than improving it; he takes too many risks, runs into the open and gets eaten.

Dr. Coates, who is from Toronto, worked on Wall Street for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank New York. But he has always been fascinated by the brain, and during the bubble in the late 1990s, he began wondering if there was a connection between hormones and trading behaviour.

Game theorists argue that people know there is a bubble, and will try to get out before it bursts, says Dr. Coates. But he doesn't buy that explanation.

"I thought people were on a chemical. ... They were high, and when the whole thing collapsed they were like people with a hangover saying, 'How could I have bought that company that had no earnings, no credible business plan - and I thought it was the future.' "

Could testosterone be the chemical? Dr. Coates began informally studying endocrinology and in 2001 left Wall Street. He returned to Cambridge, where he had done his doctorate in the economics department, to test his hypothesis that hormones play a role in financial risk-taking.

Dr. Coates wanted to include female traders in his experiment, but says there weren't enough working on the trading floor where he did the study to get a good sample size. Testosterone is often described as a male hormone, but it also circulates in women's brains.

The sampling was done in June, 2005, and the traders were between the ages of 18 and 38. They could trade a wide range of assets, but had their largest exposure to the German markets and, in particular, to German interest-rate futures. The traders make between $24,000 and $10-million in take-home pay a year.

One trader averaged twice his historic profit and loss during a six-day winning streak, and saw his mean daily testosterone levels rise 73 per cent.

"It is a very provocative paper," says Bruce McEwen, a leading expert in how stress and sex hormones affect the body and brain who works at The Rockefeller University in New York. He was not involved in the research, and says it is intriguing because it suggests hormones play a role in both good and bad financial decisions.

Neuroeconomics is a hot area of research, Dr. McEwen says, and experiments have shown that particular areas of the brain are active when people make financial decisions, for example whether to take a small, immediate reward or wait for a bigger payoff later. Now, he says, it is clear that hormones are also part of the picture.

Dr. Coates also analyzed levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the saliva samples he collected, and found the traders had higher levels on more volatile days.

Too much testosterone can wreck your portfolio: Behavioral economics show that women tend to make better investments than men

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Bill Mayer/For The Washington Post - Behavioral economics show that men tend to take more financial risks and hold losing stocks longer.
It’s happy hour at Hanaro in Bethesda, and I’m with my wife. We’re there about an hour, gobbling plates of half-price tuna rolls and washing them down with $3.50 Blue Moons. Have to hurry, happy hour ends soon. My wife slows down and cautions me to do the same. I don’t listen. Keep ’em coming, right up to 7 o’clock. Then I get the bill: $75. Yikes, how did that happen? I thought this stuff was half price! Call this stupid male tricks — or behavioral economics.

Behavioral economics tries to figure out why people consistently make irrational financial decisions — like paying $75 to jam 15 orders of sushi down your throat in an hour. The bar happy hour embodies two classic ploys that cause irrational choices: scarcity, get it now before it’s gone; and the idea of getting something for nothing, buy two pairs, get the third free. (You needed that third pair of Birkenstocks?)

“If you think something is going away, it can lead to excessive and desperate consumption,” says George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Legitimate marketers, con artists and stockbrokers make lots of money off our irrational behavior. I didn’t need that last plate of sushi, and I absolutely didn’t need that last drink. My wife told me to slow down, and I didn’t listen — and while she might say that’s not an altogether uncommon occurrence in our relationship, this time I really should have because I overate, overdrank and overspent. And a load of research in behavioral economics suggests that a man’s portfolio and pocketbook would be a lot better off if we listened more to women.

Terry Odean, a University of California professor, has studied stock picking by gender for more than two decades. A seven-year study found single female investors outperformed single men by 2.3 percent, female investment groups outperformed male counterparts by 4.6 percent and women overall outperformed by 1.4 percent. Why? The short answer is overconfidence. Men trade more, and the more you trade, typically the more you lose — not to mention running up transaction costs.

“In our research, male investors traded 45 percent more than female investors,” Odean says. “Men are just making a lot more bad decisions than women. More trading leads to lower performance.”

Stock picking with men is too often about one-upmanship and bragging, says LouAnn Lofton, author of “Warren Buffet Invests Like a Girl: And Why You Should, Too.”

“With men, too often investing is all about keeping score. It’s a macho thing,” Lofton says. “They’re looking for hot stock tips to get the quick win and then talk about it.”

Additionally, men hold onto their losers a lot longer than women. They’re sure the stock will come roaring back — even as it sinks. Academics call it confirmation bias; investment advisers call it boneheaded.

“Women are more loss averse than men, more emotionally unattached and are far quicker to unload losers. Whereas men with their bravado, they don’t want to admit they’re wrong,” says Anthony Zalesky, a certified financial planner who advises individual investors and small businesses.

Bad financial decisions often can be traced back to unwarranted optimism, or the “positivity illusion” that things are going to turn out just right. On paper it sounds good — better to be hopeful right? Not so fast. This tendency clouds critical thinking.

“I like confident clients, but not overconfident ones. I like clients who are secure in a long-term strategy. They won’t react to every bit of short-term news. They won’t listen to the guys screaming loudest on TV,” says Jordan Smyth, managing director of Bethesda’s Edgemoor Investment Advisors. “Once you get caught up in the emotions of investing, you’re going to buy high and sell low. There’s probably a lot of testosterone in some of these decisions.”

Aha, the T word.

Have you seen those TV ads about Low T (low testosterone)? They typically feature a swarthy 50-something, maybe in a Mustang convertible. The ads are often couched between the Cialis and Rogaine spots on, say, the Golf Channel. Apparently, popping a couple of these pills boosts testosterone and thus summons your inner Brad Pitt.

So not only will you be able to land Angelina Jolie, but you’ll jet ski, kayak and climb Mount Kilimanjaro. That’s all well and good, but if you want to trade stocks, you’ll have to leave your inner Brad with Angelina. Because too much testosterone can wreck your portfolio.

“Rising levels of testosterone can lead to irrational levels of exuberance,” says John Coates, a neuroscientist at Cambridge and the author of the book, “The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk Taking, Gut Feelings, and the Biology of Boom and Bust.”

Coates is a former Wall Street trader who began studying the brain and biological implications of trading while working at Goldman Sachs. He performed — in his own words “an act of irrational exuberance by walking away from a high-paying managing directorship on Wall Street for the minimum wage of science.”

But the investing public is better off for it. Coates’s book looks at how our physiology affects decision making and affects risks — he studies things like cortisol and testosterone levels in stock traders. He says, in a bubble market, men become more emboldened and take more risks, while doing less homework, so they get creamed in the inevitable crash. It’s called the “winner effect” and contributes to market meltdowns.

Women produce just 10 percent the testosterone of men, so they are less likely to be swept away in risky gambles. Women probably won’t make as much on the way up — but will lose a lot less on the way down.

“When it comes to trading, men are more hormonal than women,” Coates says.

Take that, Paul Tudor Jones. Last summer, Jones, a billionaire hedge fund guy, stirred the gender pot when he said “you’ll never see as many great woman investors or traders as men.” Jones attributed this to child birth and said a woman loses focus when she has a child.

Coates, in his nicest across-the-pond parlance, says Jones is full of it.

“I think he’s mixing up issues, any important event, like having a child or going through a divorce will affect performance in men or women,” he says. “On the contrary, when women return to the work force, they are so eager to work I find them more focused. Anyone can have an opinion, but that doesn’t matter; data matters. And if you look at brokerage records and hedge fund performance over the long term, women managers generally outperform men.”

Con artists love men, particularly well-educated, optimistic, overconfident ones who think they’re too smart to be taken. These guys are the easiest mark for the crook, according to the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Gerri Walsh, its president, is an expert on investment fraud and behavior.

“Studies show men tend to be overconfident and less likely to seek another opinion,” Walsh says. Women, she adds are “less excited” about investing. All this leads to less of a gambling mentality among women and makes men more vulnerable to a fraud pitch.

Okay, so now what? Men, it seems, are wired to piddle away money on good sushi and bad stocks.

“Ask and check,” Walsh says. “Develop a plan. Stick to it. And ask questions.” She adds that men are more impulsive investors — so having a plan makes it easier to dial back on emotional investing.

Lofton’s remedies are more challenging to certain men, because they involve listening. And not the kind of “yes, dear” head nodding while watching SportsCenter’s top 10 plays.

“If the man is lucky enough to have a wife or girlfriend, bring them into the discussion, share the decision making with them. Women will tamp down some of the crazier risk,” she says. Legendary Fidelity fund manager “Peter Lynch involved his wife and daughters in a lot of decision making, and he did pretty well,” she says.

On the institutional side, Coates has lots of ideas — among them, financial organizations should hire more women and older (Low T) men. He argues this would lead to less overtrading of accounts, more long-term planning and less volatility. And important people are listening. Britain’s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (which studied the 2008 crash) recommended a number of Coates’s ideas, including gender diversity in banking and stringing out bonuses over longer periods of time.

Odean and lots of academics say investors shouldn’t even bother trading individual stocks. It’s a loser’s game.

“Trading underperforms a buy and hold strategy,” Odean says. “My advice is to find a good, broad-based diversified mutual fund that has low fees. There are lots out there.”

How prudent. And, most investors, men and women alike, would be better off following it. But at what cost? Do we lose a little of ourselves always doing things the proper way? Don’t we need a little juice, risk, excitement?

Maybe, deep down, boys just want to have fun.

When I’m not pigging out at happy hour, I like to bet horses. But I found I am no better at handling trifectas than I am at resisting bargain sushi and Belgian ales. I’ve lost a lot more than I’ve won. Yet, I still go and handicap because I just know I am going to beat the pros and my big payday is just around the bend. It’s dumb, emotional, positively delusional — I guess I’ll never learn.

Uptick seen in use of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy

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Benevere Pharmacy in Collierville says it is seeing an uptick in patients who are benefiting from bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, with many experiencing near-normal hormone levels after identifying a therapy regimen that works for them. Bio-identical hormones differ from traditional replacements because they are compounded to be the same as the body's own hormones on a molecular level.

“With BHRTs, we are mimicking the hormones that are naturally occurring in the body by using plant derivatives,” said Brett Wright, president of Benevere, which has been open since May 2011. “The goal is to supplement existing hormones to offset the challenges that women experience as they go through pre-menopause, menopause and post-menopause.”

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is popular primarily among women going through menopause, but can also be used for men. Common menopausal symptoms can include sleeplessness, hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, memory loss, adult acne, depression, energy loss, fatigue and irritability.

During menopause, the body reduces the production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, putting women at greater risk for osteoporosis and heart disease.
The bio-identical hormone therapy offers individualized care for issues specific to each person, rather than standardized hormone replacements, which have been linked to breast cancer and other side effects.

“We can compound a naturally occurring progesterone/estrogen that is specific to each patient’s body, as opposed to a mass-produced hormone,” Wright said.
The most common hormone therapies of the past have included animal-based products such as primarin, isolated from pregnant mares’ urine, and synthetics such as provera, derived from progesterone.

“I’ve been on bio-identical hormone therapy for more than 11 years now,” said Amy Maddox, Benevere sales representative.

Prior to taking the bio-identical hormone therapy, Maddox took synthetic hormones for nearly 15 years after her need for the therapy was surgically induced at age 29. She went every route with synthetics: pill form, injections and a patch – and none were working for her.

“Our bodies are made up differently, like a puzzle, so we need natural hormones coming from a source that will fit our bodies as it should,” Maddox said. “I went to work at the compounding pharmacy and learned about BHRTs. I responded really well to the treatment and have been on them ever since.”

Maddox takes the transdermal therapy, which is like a lotion rubbed on different sites on the body.

“We’ve only gotten thumbs up from the patients who are on them,” Maddox said. “Our compounding is tailor-made for the specific patient and whatever issues we are treating.”

Hormones change with age and are affected by illness, so Maddox explained that dosages sometimes need to be tweaked. She also recommends that patients take a supplement for bone health, a multivitamin and vitamin D3.

Benevere holds a hormone event every other month, and Maddox sees many women who want to get off synthetic hormones – and possibly antidepressants as well – and go the natural route.

“All they might need is some progesterone to help with their sleep, and other hormones could help with the depression,” Maddox said.

She stresses that bio-identical hormone replacement therapy requires a prescription from a physician and is not sold over the counter.

Men suffering from andropause, or male menopause, can also benefit from bio-identical hormone therapy. Andropause is a biological change experienced during mid-life, with a decline in testosterone leading to symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, diabetes, loss of energy and concentration, depression and mood swings.

Blood and/or saliva tests can measure patients’ levels of progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and cortisol levels.

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapies currently make up about 15 percent of the pharmacy’s business, and Wright expects that number to grow.

“The compounds we use have seen a resurgence over the past 10 years,” said Wright, who explained that Benevere is a full retail pharmacy that also does compounding. “We definitely expect this segment to grow as women and men try to manage their hormones and their overall health.”

Monday, October 7, 2013

Low levels of total and bioavailable testosterone may be associated with an increased risk of dementia in elderly men, according to French investigators

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Low levels of total and bioavailable testosterone may be associated with an increased risk of dementia in elderly men, according to French investigators.

From a cohort of 3,650 men aged 65 years and older, Laure Carcaillon, MD, of Inserm in Villejuif, France, and collaborators compared 105 men with incident dementia and a random sample of 413 men without dementia. The median follow-up period was 3.1 years.

Compared with the middle tertile of total testosterone (total-T) level, the lower and upper tertiles were associated with a 2.3 times and 1.9 times increased risk of dementia, respectively.

Low bioavailable testosterone (bio-T) also was associated with a greater risk for dementia, especially among men aged 80 years and older, investigators reported online ahead of print in Alzheimer's & Dementia.

In men aged 80 and older, low bio-T was associated with a significant threefold increased risk of dementia; in men younger than 80, it was associated with a nonsignificant 7% increased risk.

Additionally, the risk of dementia associated with low bio-T was greater in men with a high level of education compared with men who had a low level of education.

Taken together, the authors noted, their results support the hypothesis of a deleterious effect of low testosterone concentrations on brain aging, and also suggest that high levels of total-T could increase this risk.

Male Menopause or Grumpy Old Man?

Lorraine Baillie Bowie PhD, author-therapist-educator, writes about contemporary sex and relationship topics.

Has your once happy and agreeable husband turned into a cantankerous and testy old man? Do you stay awake at night trying to decide if you should accept his irritability and complaining as a normal part of aging, bang him with the frying pan, or haul him to the doctor for treatment? Let’s look at a few facts to help you in your decision.

Does Male Menopause Exist?

No matter what name you give it, age-related hormone changes in men do exist. Experts still debate over what to call it, but most doctors use the term testosterone or androgen deficiency. I find men respond best to the term low hormone rather than deficiency. Men are open to the term low—low oil, low on gas—which implies that something can be done to correct the situation.

Many lay people use the term male menopause because of its similarity to female menopause, but it is a quite different process for men, which is why the term has not gained medical acceptance. The condition, however, is definitely accepted by the medical community.

Difference in Male and Female Menopause

For women, ovulation ends and hormones drop rapidly resulting in obvious symptoms for most. Men, however, experience a gradual drop in hormone that could take years to show symptoms.

Testosterone tends to drop at about 1% a year after age 30 causing a man of 70 to expect as much as a 50% decline. Therefor a slowly increasing level of irritability and depression may not be as noticeable. Also, men do not have the fading menstrual cycle to alert them to a change. Hot flashes, a hallmark symptom in women, are not usual in men.


Look for symptoms that have slowly increased in frequency and intensity:

Psychological: irritability, depression, lack of confidence, poor concentration, poor memory
Physical: higher body fat, reduced muscle mass, decrease in bone density, decrease in body hair, swollen or tender breasts, low energy

Sleep disturbance: insomnia or sleeping too much. Note that a common sleep disturbance for a depressed individual is to fall asleep quickly, but awaken after a few hours. Also, sleep disturbance in older men may be difficult to assess due to prostate problems requiring frequent trip to the bathroom throughout the night.

Sexual changes: reduction in size of testicles, low desire, progressive erectile dysfunction. Note that men prefer to think of their erections as not being as firm as they once were rather than having erectile dysfunction. It’s the same as we women preferring to think about orgasms taking longer and being less intense rather than thinking we have orgasmic dysfunction.


Symptoms require a medical checkup to determine if low testosterone is the cause, or if another condition such as low thyroid, diabetes, depression or medication side effects could be at play.

  • Testosterone replacement, for many men, results in a lifting of depression and irritability, higher confidence, increased sexual desire and performance, and improvement in sleep. The benefits, however, decrease with advancing age. Testosterone replacement is controversial due to possibly increasing the risk of prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.
  • Sexuality treatment presents a wide range of options from pills to implants to help with erections.
  • Depression and sleep problems can be treated with a nutritious diet and regular exercise. In some cases medication is an important part of the treatment.
  • Low muscle mass and bone density are treated with weight bearing exercise and, for some, medication for osteoporosis.

Do not buy into the grumpy old man syndrome. Explain the effects of low hormone to your fella and encourage him to seek treatment for his symptoms. Go to the doctor with him and let him know that you are there for him, just as he was, or will be, when you faced menopause.

In the old days, women’s medical needs associated with menopause were ignored and were even the fodder for jokes. As a young girl I remember my grandmother talking in a whisper about “the change.” Speak up about low male hormone and help him get the treatment he deserves.

You may also like to read:

Male Menopause: Myth or Reality
Manopause: When middle-aged men go through menopause

Lorraine Baillie Bowie PhD Blog: Totally Win At Love: Smart Talk About Sex and Relationships

When it comes to hormone therapy, what works for women doesn't always work for men

Flushed face, sweating, a sudden rush of heat. The hot flash, the bane of menopausal women, also can affect men who are undergoing hormone therapy for prostate cancer.

But unlike in women, neither nor a common antidepressant provides relief for , according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Hot flashes occur in approximately 80 percent of men who are undergoing hormone manipulation as treatment for . Hormone therapy reduces the levels of male hormones, called androgens, to prevent them from reaching prostate cancer cells and stimulating their growth.

"Changing hormone levels cause hot flashes in both women and men, so we hoped that using soy supplements and/or an antidepressant would help reduce them in men as it does in many women," said Mara Vitolins, Dr. P.H., professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study, which is published in the Sept. 30 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Participants in this Phase III, double-blind, multicenter study completed a seven day pre-screening phase and 12 weeks of intervention. One hundred and twenty men, ages 46 to 91, who were androgen-deprived were randomly assigned to one of four daily regimens: placebo pill and milk powder; venlafaxine, an antidepressant commonly prescribed to treat hot flashes in women, and milk powder protein; soy protein powder and placebo pill; or venlafaxine and milk powder.

Hot flash symptom severity and frequency and quality of life were assessed by the researchers.
The researchers found that neither venlafaxine nor soy protein alone or in combination reduced hot flashes in men.

"Utilizing interventions that appear effective in decreasing hot flashes in to treat men who have hot flashes has proven to be relatively ineffective," Vitolins said.

These findings highlight the need for continuing efforts to identify treatments for that are specifically developed for men, Vitolins said.

Research suggests testosterone can promote generosity, but only when there is no threat of competition

New research suggests testosterone can promote generosity, but only when there is no threat of competition.

The study is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Study findings show that testosterone is implicated in behaviors that help to foster and maintain social relationships, indicating that its effects are more nuanced than previously thought.

“Testosterone may mediate competitive and potentially antisocial behavior when social challenges or threats need to be confronted and handled,” said lead researcher Maarten Boksem, Ph.D., of Erasmus University, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

“But it can also induce prosocial behavior in the absence of these threats, when high status and good reputation are best served by positive behavior.”

Animals studies have shown that testosterone plays an important role in dominance behavior, so Boksem and colleagues reasoned that testosterone in humans would also increase a drive for social status.

“But we doubted that this drive would automatically result in aggressive and antisocial behaviors,” said Boksem. “We hypothesized that testosterone could perhaps also lead to prosocial behavior if such behavior would be beneficial for maintaining or obtaining social status.”

To test this hypothesis, the researchers had 54 female volunteers ingest a liquid solution several hours before participating in an investing game — some volunteers received a placebo solution, while others received a solution with added testosterone.

In the investing game, participants were given €20 (about $27 USD) and were instructed that they could keep the amount they wanted and invest whatever remained with a trustee (another participant). The invested portion would be tripled and split by the trustee, who would keep whatever portion she wanted and return the rest to the investor.

If participants were completely trusting, they could invest all €20 and hope that the trustee would split the final €60 equally. If they wanted to play it safe, they could keep the €20 for themselves.
Each participant took turns playing both investor and trustee. When they were the trustee, they were always given €60, indicating that the investor had entrusted them with the task of splitting up the whole sum.

As investors, participants who received testosterone were, on average, stingier — they placed less trust in the trustee and kept more of their initial money. Participants who received the placebo, on the other hand, were more trusting investors, choosing to invest about €3.20 more than those who received testosterone.

Just as the researchers predicted, testosterone seemed to promote antisocial behavior in response to a potential threat — in this case, a threat to financial resources.

But the opposite effect emerged when participants played the role of trustee. In this case, participants given testosterone chose to give more money back to the investor than participants who had been given a placebo. The results suggest that the trustees felt a responsibility to repay the trust that the investor ostensibly placed in them.

“While we expected the decrease in trust found in the first scenario, the increase in reciprocity was surprisingly strong and robust,” Boksem said.

“Testosterone had a more pronounced effect on prosocial behavior than on antisocial behavior.”
The fact that testosterone can promote prosocial behavior, at least in certain contexts, provides a more nuanced account than the traditional view of testosterone as being involved in purely aggressive and antisocial behavior, says Boksem.

The researchers hope to run a similar study in men and they are currently investigating additional types of social behavior under various conditions of social threat.

Source: Association for Psychological Science