Testosterone and Osteoporosis
What you can do to prevent osteoporosis
What you can do to prevent osteoporosis
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The health of our bones is reliant on a complex process called remodeling. This process relies on three main types of bone cells called bone-reabsorbing osteoblasts, bone reabsorbing osteoclasts, and mediator osteocytes. These cells are sensitive to signals received via hormones, cytokines, minerals, and to what you eat.
If there is any disruption to this remodeling process, the rate of bone formation is slower than resorption, leading to bone mineral density loss. Andropause-associated hormonal changes, age, changes in physical activity, alcohol, smoking, drugs, and diseases can all disrupt this crucial physiological process.
The potential for developing osteoporosis usually begins during the first 30 years of a man’s life, during which time you are growing and strengthening your bones. This means that preventative measures during younger life should be taken and maintained during later life, such as:
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The problem with osteoporosis is that many men don’t even realize they have it until a fall or a break. BMD reduces gradually over many years, and the symptoms are not openly obvious, but there are certain signs to look out for:
Estrogen is considered the ‘female sex’ hormone, and this is true, but estrogen also plays an integral role in both male and female bone health. Interestingly estrogen levels in aging men are higher than those of postmenopausal women, which may explain why women are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
Estradiol (a form of estrogen) is a by-product of testosterone via a process called aromatization. So, if your testosterone falls below optimal levels, your estradiol will as well, reducing the protective benefits these hormones offer. Studies show that estradiol is a key hormone in the maintenance of bone health. Even young men with estrogen resistance or those with aromatization problems show reduced bone mineral density (BMD), suggesting a crucial role for estradiol in the regulation of skeletal growth in men. Moreover, serum levels of both estradiol and testosterone are directly linked to the risk of fracture in aging men.
Furthermore, this highlights why aromatase inhibitors that block testosterone conversion into estradiol are actually harmful. Studies  show the administration of aromatase inhibitors over a period of 12 months resulted in a decrease in BMD. Thus, highlighting the important role of estrogens and androgens in male bone remodeling.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is traditionally only offered to men with significantly low testosterone levels to combat a condition called hypogonadism. TRT is used to treat a wide range of symptoms such as metabolic syndrome, obesity, sexual dysfunction, and bone mineral loss.
The benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy:
Through a combination of diet, exercise, supplements, and testosterone replacement therapy it is possible to limit and even reverse the damage caused by osteopetrosis. The best form of defense is to get your hormone levels checked before the damage is done and maintain optimal hormone levels.
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 Sampson, H Wayne. (2002). Alcohol and Other Factors Affecting Osteoporosis Risk in Women. Alcohol research & health : the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. 26. 292-8.
 Burnett-Bowie SA, McKay EA, Lee H, Leder BZ. Effects of aromatase inhibition on bone mineral density and bone turnover in older men with low testosterone levels. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Dec;94(12):4785-92. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-0739. Epub 2009 Oct 9. PMID: 19820017; PMCID: PMC2795655.
 Bassil N, Alkaade S, Morley JE. The benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy: a review. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2009 Jun;5(3):427-48. doi: 10.2147/tcrm.s3025. Epub 2009 Jun 22. PMID: 19707253; PMCID: PMC2701485.