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

Dallas Anti-Aging Institute now offers testosterone pellet implants, which provide sustained delivery of the hormone for four to five months.

The benefits of restoring testosterone to healthy levels in both men and women are well-documented: greater energy, increased libido and protection against chronic illnesses, among others. To replenish this vital hormone in the most effective and lasting manner, the Dallas Anti-Aging Institute offers testosterone pellet implants, which provide sustained delivery of the hormone for four to five months. 

In a quick, safe and virtually painless in-office procedure, tiny testosterone pellets (rice sized) are inserted into fatty tissue in the hip area, where over a period of up to five months the hormone is time-released into the recipient's system. One of the advantages of this method is that the amounts of testosterone released vary in the same way they do naturally: more during periods of activity like exercise, and less when the individual is at rest or sleeping.

"Many of our patients find this to be the ideal solution for testosterone replacement," says Dr. Robert Newberry, Medical Director of the Anti-Aging Institute. "They report that the beneficial effects of the pellets—including a more robust sex drive, increased muscle mass, emotional well-being, improvement in erectile dysfunction in men, and an overall feeling of energy—can last for many months and thus require fewer treatments."

Another reason pellet therapy is popular among patients is its reasonable cost, which is virtually the same as receiving weekly testosterone injections. The pellet implant package includes an initial physical exam to diagnose a testosterone deficiency, all necessary laboratory work, and follow-up visits as needed to monitor efficacy. "We believe our testosterone pellet implants, excellent medical care and affordable fees are unmatched anywhere and set a new standard in hormone therapy," says Newberry.

Men and women who suffer from fatigue, depression, increased body fat, loss of sexual drive or function, and other debilitating symptoms of low testosterone levels are urged to contact the Dallas Anti-Aging Institute to set up an appointment by calling 214-265-8300 or emailing Further information about this and other wellness services offered at the Institute can be found at

Contact: Mazen Sinno  
Telephone: 214-265-8300 ext 514  
Read more news from Dallas Anti-Aging Institute.

SOURCE Dallas Anti-Aging Institute

Is testosterone linked to belly fat in women?

Courtesy of

A patient recently told me that she wanted to have her testosterone level checked because she had heard that belly fat was in part related to low testosterone levels in men and in women. Is there any truth to this? And if it is true, what is the appropriate way to treat low testosterone in a woman? — KEIRA DILLON, FNP, Vista, Calif.

Physiologic studies indicate that, for reasons not well understood, the usual low-level processes of androgen conversion seen in fat cells is turned off in female abdominal adipose tissue, specifically in the presence of abdominal visceral obesity (J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003;88:5944-5950).

In a position statement on postmenopausal testosterone supplementation, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) stated that women with decreased sexual desire associated with personal distress and with no other identifiable cause may be candidates for testosterone therapy. The NAMS statement went on to recommend that laboratory testing of testosterone levels should be used only to monitor for supraphysiologic levels before and during therapy, not to diagnose testosterone insufficiency.

Transdermal patches and topical gels or creams are preferred over oral products because of first-pass hepatic effects documented with oral formulations. Finally, testosterone therapy is contraindicated in women with breast or uterine cancer and in those with cardiovascular or liver disease (Menopause. 2005;12:496-511). — Sherril Sego, FNP-C, DNP (180-1)

Pellet therapy gaining popularity in the US

By Robert Hunter, M.D. Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology

Question: My hormone replacement is not working; is there anything new?
Answer: Hormones affect every aspect of our lives, including general health, mood and overall well-being. The last 10 years have seen a dramatic change in attitude as to how men and women should be treated for hormonal imbalances.

While the movement toward “bio-identical” hormones has been appropriate from a safety standpoint, the delivery of hormones has been a source of frustration for many patients and their doctors. Because oral therapies have greater risks, patients have been encouraged to try creams, gels, injections and patches.

The issues with these delivery methods are uncontrolled fluctuations in hormone levels, poor absorption into the body, and messy and inconvenient treatment regimens. The net result is that, for many people, their symptoms are not effectively relieved, and the health benefits are not fully realized.

The answer lies in a therapy that, while popular worldwide, is only now beginning to receive the attention it deserves in the U.S. Pellet hormonal therapy seems to be the ideal solution to finding a safe, convenient, reliable and natural delivery of hormonal therapy. Pellets contain pure hormone that is not metabolized into unwanted byproducts, and allows your body to use the right amount of hormone to create better moods, vitality, and health and well-being.

For more information, call (561) 655-6325.

Dr. Robert L. Hunter is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has a private gynecology practice and also works with MD Beauty Labs in West Palm Beach. He educates medical students and is also honored to participate as a guest lecturer for the Sex Therapy Postgraduate Training Institute.

MD Beauty Labs Medical Spa and Wellness Center
320 S. Quadrille Blvd.; West Palm Beach
(561) 655-6325

Low T Center shares three things you need to know as they open new center in Beverly Hills

LOW T CENTER LOGO / Low T Center Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Low T Center)
 Low T Center is excited to announce the opening of its second California center today in Beverly Hills. The center is located at 8820 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 110 Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Dr. Johannes Ramirez, M.D. is the Medical Director of the center. The hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

There are three numbers every man should know: cholesterol, prostate, and testosterone levels. Do you know your numbers? Currently, 13 million men in the U.S. over the age of 40 have low levels of testosterone.

The Low T Center process offers a quick and easy way to diagnose and treat low testosterone. Their belief is that every man deserves to feel virile, have abundant energy, and experience better moods. Low T Center was created with one goal in mind: To give men back the part of themselves that diminished testosterone levels have taken away.

Low T Center is set up so men can walk in, take a simple blood test, and know within 30 minutes if they are a candidate for Testosterone Replacement Therapy. With well over 29,000 visits seen monthly in ten states, experience shows that testosterone injections may lead to improved energy, strength, and libido, as well as decreases in body fat, irritability, and depression. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and high blood pressure have all been linked to testosterone deficiency. Low testosterone isn't known to cause these health problems, and replacing testosterone isn't the cure.

Still, the associations between low testosterone and other medical conditions are interesting and worth a look.

Research also links testosterone replacement to improvements in health issues including Alzheimer's and heart disease. However, low testosterone is not something that should be self-diagnosed or treated by mail or the internet.

Complications and side effects can include high blood pressure, increased PSA levels, edema, and other serious issues. That is why at Low T Center each patient's care is carefully managed by physicians. A full list of potential complications and side effects can be found at Take control of the quality of your life. With Low T Center, you can recapture your youthfulness and vitality!

Low T Center- A National Solution

Founded in 2009, Low T Center has quickly evolved into a pioneering and innovative medical practice model.  The physicians at Low T Centers exclusively diagnose and treat men with low testosterone.  As demand for information about testosterone therapy grows, Low T Center has established itself as a leader in treatment and public awareness.

According to Dr. Bill Reilly, M.D. Chief Medical Director of the Low T Center, "Low T Center seeks to improve the quality of mens' lives in a way that makes a real difference, by diagnosing and effectively treating low testosterone."

There are 39 Low T Centers nationally operating in ten states.  Cities include: Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Colorado Springs, Denver, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Nashville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Chicago, Austin, Irvine, and Beverly Hills.

For more information on the Low T Center, visit their website at

Media Interviews - Information:
Mike Sisk, Founder, Low T Center (817) 442-5698


SOURCE Low T Center

Read more here:

Repros Therapeutics Inc. today announced that the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) has accepted key data on Androxal for presentation at the annual meeting

 Repros Announces Three Studies Accepted for Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America

   -- Presentation Titles Include: Oral Enclomid (Androxal(R)) Raises Free and 
      Total Serum Testosterone in Hypogonadal Men: Comparison with a Topical 
      Gel Oral Enclomid (Androxal(R)) Raises Free and Total Serum Testosterone 
      in Hypogonadal Men and Does Not Lower Sperm Counts: Comparison with a 
      Topical Gel Oral Enclomid (Androxal(R)) Raises Serum Testosterone and 
      Estrogen in Hypogonadal Men and May Have Favorable Effects on Bone 
      Mineral Density
Key conclusions from the presentations:

   -- Confirmation that Androxal can provide consistent and effective therapy 
      in men with secondary hypogonadism. There is no deleterious effect on 
   -- The comparative data show that restoration of testosterone with topical 
      testosterone is more variable and there is clinically significant 
      suppression of spermatogenesis. 
   -- Androxal may have a positive effect on bone mineral deposition. 
   -- Overall, the data presented confirm that Androxal can provide effective 
      therapy in men with secondary hypogonadism, particularly in those wishing 
      to preserve reproductive status. 

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Oct. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Repros Therapeutics Inc. (R) (Nasdaq:RPRX) today announced that the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) has accepted key data on Androxal(R) for presentation at the annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 21 -- 24, 2013. The data presented are from subset analyses of the double-blind, placebo and active control Phase 2 and 3 studies.

One presentation describes the basic clinical profile of Androxal. Androxal acts at the level of the pituitary as a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) to block the negative feedback of estrogen on the pituitary hormones, LH and FSH. Restoration of LH (secondary hypogonadal males have low levels) is shown to provide rapid and effective normalization of T levels without excursion outside the normal range. This profile is in contrast to the topical agents used in the protocol.

In addition, the second presentation demonstrates that preservation of FSH levels in Androxal treated patients ensures that there is no negative impact on sperm function. Once again, this is in contrast to the topical gels which have deleterious effects on spermatogenesis. Overall, this study shows that Androxal may provide effective therapy in men with secondary hypogonadism, particularly in those wishing to preserve fertility.

The final presentation examines the impact of Androxal on bone mineral deposition. Although it could be predicted due to its action as a SERM that Androxal would have an adverse effect on bone mineral deposition, this study shows that Androxal may actually have a beneficial effect.

Dr. Wayne Hellstrom, Professor of Urology and Chief of Andrology, Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, stated, "Selection of all three analyses for presentation at the premier sexual health meeting in the US, shows the increasing interest that the urological community has in the management of hypogonadism. The data presented not only highlight the potential utility of Androxal but also the limitations of existing therapy."

About Repros Therapeutics Inc.(R)

Repros Therapeutics focuses on the development of small molecule drugs for major unmet medical needs that treat male and female reproductive disorders.

Any statements made by the Company that are not historical facts contained in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including the ability to have success in the clinical development of its technologies, the reliability of interim results to predict final study outcomes, the ability to protect its intellectual property rights and such other risks which are identified in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. These documents are available on request from Repros Therapeutics or at Repros disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For more information, please visit the Company's website at
CONTACT: Repros Therapeutics Inc. 
         Joseph S. Podolski  (281) 719-3447 
         President and CEO 
         Investor Relations: 
         Thomas Hoffmann 
         The Trout Group 
         (646) 378-2931  

Monday, September 30, 2013

Lake Mary, FL: Rejuve Health Clinics opens first clinic in your area

Rejuve Health Clinics (RHC), Inc., ( Orlando's Premier Testosterone Replacement Therapy Center is pleased to announce the grand opening of its first location at 766 N. Sun Drive Suite 1060 Lake Mary, FL 32746 (Fifth 3rd Bank Building).

"At Rejuve Health Clinic, we are focused on improving the quality of men's lives," says Dr. Chester Miltenberger, Medical Director at Rejuve Health Clinics, Inc., who is not only an advocate of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), but has experienced the benefits of this technology for 10 years. "Many people associate low T with only sexual dysfunction, when in fact, men suffering from low testosterone can experience a number of physical and psychological symptoms." Dr. Miltenberger is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has been practicing medicine for more than 25 years.

Adequate levels of testosterone help maintain adequate levels of reproductive tissues, energy levels, fat distribution, muscle mass and good bone health. When these levels fall below a certain level, men can experience fatigue, irritability, decreased energy, loss of muscle mass, weight gain, diminished sex drive, depression and sleep disorders. Replacement of Testosterone may improve some or all of these symptoms.

Currently, 13 million men in the U.S. over the age of 40 have low testosterone (low T) levels. Levels typically decline at age 40 at a 1-2 % annually with a marked decline after the age of 60.

"We are thrilled about the opening of our first Central Florida location and are confident that men are going to benefit from our knowledge and experience in the area of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)," says Rejuve Health Clinic's President and CEO, James Skalko. "Our clinic is set up so men can walk in, take a simple blood test, and know the following day whether or not they are a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Men who qualify for TRT will be given their first injection the same day and can expect to see results in as little as two weeks."

Rejuve Health Clinics (RHC), Inc., Orlando's Premier Testosterone Replacement Therapy Center, was established by President and CEO James Skalko in June 2013. Brian P. Black is the Executive Vice President and Dr. Chester Miltenberger is the lead doctor and medical director of RHC. Rejuve Health Clinics, Inc. diagnoses and treats male patients with symptoms of hypogonadism (low T). We are dedicated to helping men with low testosterone regain their vitality and achieve optimal health. Our doctors and experienced medical professionals help address the many symptoms caused by this medical condition including fatigue, decreased energy, low motivation, weight gain and diminished sex drive. For more information, visit or call (407) 331-LowT.

Male menopause: the lay term for andropause - what you need to know now to diagnose and treat it

Courtesy of

Is the male menopause myth or reality? When men reach their late forties to early fifties, some may experience a reduction in libido (sex drive), erectile dysfunction, weight gain, fatigue, depression, and other emotional symptoms which bear some similarities to the female menopause.

However, the female menopause is completely different. In a woman the menopause marks the time when her menstrual periods stop and she is no longer able to become pregnant. Her levels of female hormones - estrogen and progesterone - decline considerably.

Among males, the male menopause is much less abrupt. The signs and symptoms emerge more gradually and subtly, and the decrease in male hormone (testosterone) levels is nowhere near as steep as it is for women.

Do doctors use the term "male menopause"? - No. A health care professional may use the term andropause, testosterone deficiency, or late-onset hypogonadism. Hypogonadism refers to a deficiency in male hormones, where levels are too low even for an aging man. The meaning of late-onset hypogonadism is more similar to what lay people and the media refer to when discussing "male menopause".

Some lay people use the colloquial term "man-opause".

The World Health Organization does not recognize the term "andropause", but does recognize "menopause" (in women).

According to the Cleveland Clinic, health care professionals are currently debating whether males really do go through a well-defined menopause?

Researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital estimated that in the USA five million men are affected by male menopause.

What are the signs and symptoms of male menopause?


Research teams, experts and health authorities appear to have different views when identifying the signs and symptoms of male menopause.

According to the National Health Service, UK, the following are the most common signs and symptoms of male menopause:

  • Hot flashes (UK: flushes)
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Fat redistribution
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Dry skin
  • Thin skin
  • Hyperhidrosis - excessive sweating
  • Reduced concentration span
  • Loss of enthusiasm

A European study led by researchers at The University of Manchester, Imperial College London, and University College London identified the most common symptoms of male menopause, the study was published in NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine):

  • Decreased frequency of morning erection
  • Erectile dysfunction - impotence, problems in getting or maintaining an erection
  • Decreased sex drive

The same study also identified the following symptoms as (weakly) related to male menopause:

  • Inability to walk more than 1 kilometer (0.62 miles)
  • Inability to engage in vigorous activity, such as running or lifting heavy objects
  • Inability to bend, kneel or stoop
  • Loss of energy
  • Sadness
  • Fatigue

The researchers also ruled out the following (not related to male menopause): problems getting up from a chair, anxiety, nervousness, poor concentration, feeling of worthlessness, and changes in sleeping patterns.

What are the causes of male menopause?

After the age of 30 years, a man's testosterone levels start to drop, about 1% each year. Most men in their seventies have at least 40% less testosterone in their system than they did when they were 30.

However, the normal decline of testosterone levels that comes with age is not believed to be the cause of male menopause. If it were, every man would experience it, and this is not the case.
According to the British Association of Urological Surgeon (BAUS), who refer to the male menopause as Androgen Deficiency in the Ageing Male (ADAM), "The overall picture associated with ADAM is, therefore, very complex."

Although male menopause occurs in older men whose testosterone levels have declined, it tends to affect older males with heart disease, obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure) and/or type 2 diabetes.

In other words, unlike the female menopause, several factors together contribute to the development of male menopause.

Some underlying health problems, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, stress, anxiety, and sleep deprivation could also be key factors.

Psychologists suggest the male "midlife crisis", when men are supposed to wonder what they have accomplished so far professionally and personally, can be a cause of depression and might possibly trigger a cascade of factors that lead to male menopause.

Could low estrogen be linked to male menopause?

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital wrote in NEJM that a proportion of testosterone in men is usually converted into estrogen by a type of enzyme (aromatase).

Men with higher testosterone levels therefore have more estrogen, compared to men with low testosterone. Since those with low testosterone also have low estrogen, it is unclear which hormones support certain functions.

Professor Joel Finklestein and colleagues set out to determine whether changes that occur in middle-aged and older men are due to low testosterone, estrogen or both hormones.

They randomly selected 300 men into two groups of about 150. In one group, men were given daily doses of testosterone gel at four levels of dosage, or a placebo gel for 16 weeks. In the other group, the participants were given testosterone gel plus an aromatase inhibitor, which stops testosterone from being converted into estrogen.

They found that the participants on testosterone without the aromatase inhibitor showed similar increases in body fat to what one would expect in a male with mild testosterone deficiency.

What surprised the researchers, though, was that some of the symptoms doctors usually attributed to testosterone deficiency were partly or nearly exclusively caused by a drop in estrogen levels.

Diagnosing male menopause?

The doctor is not going to say "You are going through the male menopause and the treatments for this are...."

Male menopause is a term used by lay people, and represents a set of symptoms (which experts seem unable to agree on) which may be due to low testosterone (and consequently low estrogen), some underlying diseases, mental issues, obesity, and several lifestyle factors.

The doctor will ask the patient about symptoms, lifestyle and check his medical history.

If the doctor suspects there may be signs of depression or anxiety, he or she may recommend that the patient sees a psychologist or psychiatrist.

The patient may be advised to have a thorough check up that may include blood tests and diagnostic tests to check for cardiovascular disease.

What are the treatment options for male menopause?

Treatment for male menopause depends on what is causing it.

  • Depression or anxiety - the patient may benefit from behavioral therapy, antidepressant medications, or both.

  • Obesity - the patient will be advised to lose weight, become more physically active and eat a well balanced and healthy diet.

  • Heart and cardiovascular disease - the disease will have to be treated.

  • Diabetes type 2 - as with heart disease, it will require proper treatment. Patients with good glucose control tend to have fewer problems and complications.

  • Low testosterone - the doctor may recommend testosterone therapy. An article published in Drug Therapeutics Bulletin questions whether testosterone therapy is effective in treating male menopause. Testosterone therapy also raises the risk of blockage of the urinary tract and prostate cancer. It may also aggravate ischemic heart disease, epilepsy, and sleep apnea.

Elizabeth Siegel Watkins, at the faculty of History and Social Medicine, University of California, wrote an article published in the journal Social History of Medicine titled "The Medicalization of Male Menopause in America.".

Watkins explained that male menopause was a much-discussed topic from the late 1930s to mid-1950s. During the following four decades the topic virtually disappeard.

In the late 1990s, popular American newspapers and magazines began discussing the subject more keenly.

Watkins' study described how the male menopause became medicalized. It was not the result of scientific research or a push from eminent clinicians, it was encouraged "instead by a model perpetuated by lay people and medical popularisers."

In an Abstract in the same journal, Watkins concluded "This framework, rather than persuasive evidence from the research laboratory or clinic, helped to medicalise male menopause and provided the basis for its eventual pharmaceuticalisation at the end of the twentieth century."

Written by Christian Nordqvist

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Study shows women can "smell" their competition's ovulation estrogen; in reaction, they increase their own testosterone level to aggressively shut them out

Courtesy of

Jennifer Viegas
Discovery News
Just a whiff of a woman close to ovulation is enough to stimulate another woman's testosterone levels, along with her desire to compete.

"It's well known that testosterone is linked to aggression and competitiveness," says lead author Jon Maner, a Florida State University psychologist. "Based on our testosterone findings, one could speculate that women exposed to the scent of ovulation might become more antagonistic or competitive."

For the study, published in the latest issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, Maner and co-author James McNulty measured the testosterone levels of women before and after they smelled t-shirts that were previously worn by other women aged 18-21. The latter group wore the shirts when they were at high fertility - days 13, 14 and 15 of the menstrual cycle - and at low fertility- days 20, 21 and 22.

For the duration of the study, the t-shirt wearers refrained from engaging in sexual activity. They also showered with unscented soap and shampoo, did not use any perfumes or deodorants, didn't smoke, and avoided eating odor-producing foods, such as garlic and asparagus.

The sniffers were told that the study concerned "how much we can tell about another person without even meeting them," but had no idea about how and when the t-shirts were collected.

Women exposed to the scent of high fertility females displayed greater levels of testosterone. The smell of a low fertility woman actually caused testosterone levels in the sniffers to significantly drop.

We are not consciously noting the smells of other people all day long, unless a particularly good or bad smell hits us, but odors are working on us, even when we don't realize it.

"Humans are influenced much more strongly by ovulatory cues than we tend to think," says Maner. "For the most part, people aren't likely to be consciously aware of the effects ovulatory cues have over them."

"There is solid evidence that people find the scent of ovulation to be pleasant and attractive (relative to the scent of a woman who is far from ovulation), but beyond that, most of the behavioral and hormonal effects are likely to occur below the conscious radar."


Under the radar

Prior research found that men's testosterone levels are also sensitive to female ovulation. For example, in one of Maner's earlier studies, men who interacted with a female research assistant became more risk-taking and flirtatious when the assistant was in the high fertility stage of her menstrual cycle.

Such under-the-radar hormone dynamics might even influence what men and women wear.
Daniel Farrelly of the University of Sunderland and colleagues found that men who chose to wear red when competing had higher levels of testosterone than men who chose to wear blue.

"The research shows that there is something special about the colour red in competition, and that it is associated with our underlying biological systems," says Farrelly.

In all cases, it appears that today's human social interactions can be driven by how we've evolved as primates.

"Some people might like to believe that people aren't animals, or at least that our behavior isn't beholden to the same biological processes as other species," says Maner.

"But humans," he adds, "are very similar to other species in many ways, and those similarities are no more apparent than when it comes to sexuality."

Study shows reducing testosterone levels through hormone therapy for prostate cancer after radiation offers no longevity advantages

Courtesy of  Urology Care Foundation

For men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer, long-term hormone therapy after radiation therapy provides no survival advantages compared with short-term hormone therapy, according to a new study.

Hormone therapy is used to reduce the levels of male hormones (androgens) such as testosterone, which can stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Researchers examined data from 133 men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer who underwent either long-term hormone therapy (59 patients) or short-term hormone therapy (74 patients) after receiving external beam radiation therapy.

Ten-year overall survival was 61 percent in the short-term group and 65 percent in the long-term group, which is not a statistically significant difference. Disease-specific survival was 96 percent in both groups.

The study was scheduled for presentation Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, in Atlanta.

"Most clinicians have felt that 'more was better' when it came to blocking testosterone in prostate cancer patients, however, results for the specific endpoints we focused on, OS [overall survival] and DSS [disease-specific survival], indicate that this was clearly not the case," study lead author Dr. Amin Mirhadi, a radiation oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said in a society news release.

"This data supports administering less treatment, which will result in fewer side effects and reduce patients' overall health care costs," Mirhadi added.

The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The Urology Care Foundation has more about hormone therapy for prostate cancer.

US researchers found a correlation between testis size and a father's propensity towards instrumental care, such as changing diapers, preparing meals, bathing and being present during doctor visits

Courtesy of

A study released this month suggests men with small testicles are more likely to take on a care-giving role when it comes to raising their kids.

Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the report by US researchers out of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, found a correlation between testis size and a father's propensity towards instrumental care, such as changing nappies, preparing meals, bathing and being present during doctor visits.

“Children with involved fathers have better developmental outcomes; they do better socially, they do better psychologically, and they do better educationally,” said study author James Rilling.

“We're interested in trying to identify variables that help to predict how involved fathers are in raising their children. We're certain that there must be many very important social influences — things like was your own father around when you were a child, what are the societal and cultural expectations, what are the demands of your job and so forth — but in this study we wanted to look specifically at biological variables that might explain some of the variation.”
Sampling 70 biological fathers living with children aged one to two and the birth mother, researchers measured testicle size and testosterone levels before conducting MRIs to monitor brain activity as the men looked at photos of their own child and unfamiliar children.

They also asked the men's spouses to fill out questionnaires about their partner's parenting habits.
What they found is that fathers with smaller gonads showed increased brain activity in the ventral tegmental area – a group of neurons responsible for motivation and reward – when looking at pictures of their own children.

“We know that when men become fathers, if they become involved fathers, their testosterone decreases. That's pretty well established,” said Rilling.

“But by looking at testis size we're getting at something different, because most of the volume of testes is dedicated to sperm production. The testes also produce testosterone, but the correlations between testis volume and sperm production are higher than the correlations between testis size and testosterone levels.

"So we think we're getting at something different and the reason that we're looking at testis size is we're testing a hypothesis that comes out of a branch of evolutionary theory known as life history theory.

"The prediction is that organisms face a trade-off between energy that they invest in mating versus energy that they invest in parenting, and that if you invest more in one of those categories you have less available for the other and vice versa.”

Drawing on further evidence from closely related primates such as chimpanzees and baboons, Rilling and fellow researchers Jennifer Mascaro and Patrick Hackett used testis size as an indirect measure of mating effort — because testes produce sperm, men with larger testicles invest more in mating effort in a physiological sense because they're producing more sex cells.

Data from these other species show a direct correlation between this and parental bonds; namely that primates like chimpanzees, who live in promiscuous societies and have large testes for their body size, are less likely to be concerned with childrearing.

Whereas species whose fathers are more involved live in monogamous, two-parent social settings and have a lower testicle-to-body ratio.

Speaking of earlier studies related to testosterone production, Rilling offers up a potential explanation for the decreased levels seen in fathers.

“There is some evidence that testosterone can interfere with empathy and so you can imagine when you have a helpless infant that demands a lot of care it would be important to maintain an empathic stance towards the infant,” he said.

“The other thing is the inconsolable crying on the part of the infant can often be a really frustrating stimulus for parents and it's also thought that testosterone impairs frustration tolerance and impulse control.

"So it may be that when testosterone levels decrease it makes men a little more tolerant of some of the frustrations that go along with parenthood.

"The third prediction would be that it lowers libido and makes men less interested in mating, so that they're more focused on the parenting aspect and not distracted by sexual stimuli, either within or outside the confines of marriage.”

Rilling, however, is at pains to express that these new findings shouldn't be misconstrued to suggest all men with small testicles make great fathers and their big-balled brethren are automatically lousy parents.

Acknowledging that there are variations left unaccounted for in the study — such as personal morals and how committed one is to parenting — he also notes that some of those in the data set with large testes were demonstrably involved with their offspring; though they were in the minority.

He is also uncertain about the direction of causality. Like the decrease seen in testosterone production after the birth of a child, researchers don't yet know whether men with small testicles are natural caregivers or if their testes shrink as a result of their increased parental involvement.

“There are a lot of different ways to be a good father. Not only through this instrumental care-giving but by providing for your family economically, by being a playmate, by coaching and mentoring your kids, helping with homework, all those sorts of things.

"I don't think it's fair to say that men with large testes are bad fathers,” he said, adding he also didn't want men with big testicles to have a convenient get-out-of-jail-free card.

“It's important to recognise that not all men are built the same and it may actually be more challenging for some men to get involved. But we certainly don't want to suggest that men should use having large testes as an excuse for not being involved … all men are capable of being involved fathers.”

Low testosterone levels predicted a greater risk of acute myocardial infarction (MI) in Swedish men with type 2 diabetes, researchers found.

Courtesy of

 Low testosterone levels predicted a greater risk of acute myocardial infarction (MI) in Swedish men with type 2 diabetes, researchers found.

After adjustment for potential confounders, higher total testosterone levels were associated with a 25% reduced risk of acute MI in that group (HR 0.75, P=0.006), according to Bledar Daka, MD, of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

But no such relationship was seen in men without diabetes or in women regardless of diabetes status, Daka reported at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting here.

"In the future, we probably could use serum testosterone for the assessment of cardiovascular risk in men with type 2 diabetes," he said, noting that the findings should be validated in other studies before drawing a definitive conclusion.

Previous studies have revealed a relationship between low testosterone and the development of type 2 diabetes in men, as well as with a greater risk of cardiovascular mortality in otherwise healthy men.
The current analysis used data from 538 men and 571 women 40 and older (mean age 62) who were living in Skara in southwest Sweden and responded to a survey conducted in 1993 to 1994. All had total testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) measured with radioimmunoassays; free testosterone was calculated using the Vermeulen method.

At baseline, the level of total testosterone was 13.5 mmol/L in men and 1.00 mmol/L in women.

Corresponding levels of free testosterone were 0.26 and 0.014 ng/mL.

The rate of type 2 diabetes was 9.8% in men and 7.3% in women.

Through an average follow-up of 14.1 years, there was a significantly higher rate of acute MI in men versus women among the non-diabetic individuals (14.2% versus 9.7%, P=0.02), but not among those with type 2 diabetes (20.8% versus 24.3%, P=0.45).

Having a serum total testosterone level in the highest quartile was associated a lower rate of acute MI, but only among men with type 2 diabetes (P=0.02). The difference remained significant after adjustment for age, waist-to-hip ratio, smoking, physical activity, LDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure. The finding was similar when free testosterone was used.

The test for an interaction between diabetes status and the relationship between testosterone and acute MI achieved only borderline statistical significance, however (P=0.051).

In comments following Daka's presentation, one of the co-chairs of the session, Naveed Sattar, MD, PhD, of the University of Glasgow in Scotland, called the study hypothesis-generating and said that it remains unclear whether testosterone has a direct effect on the risk of acute MI or is simply a marker of risk, even though there are some plausible direct links. Those include testosterone's effects on blood flow and vascular function.

"We're a long way from proving that it's causal," he said in an interview, adding that larger and more comprehensive studies that incorporate genetic information are needed.

"Because if the genes are related, that would suggest it's causal," Sattar said. "And only then should we do some intervention studies, but do them very very carefully."

He noted that a case-control study in the U.K. that includes 10,000 patients with MI and is measuring levels of testosterone and SHBG should be able to provide a definitive answer.

"I think we're kind of early on in the game of testosterone and cardiovascular events in men," Sattar said, "and my gut feeling is it probably won't be the answer."

The study was supported by grants from the Swedish Institute and the FoU VGR. Daka did not make any additional disclosures.