Monthly Archives: December 2015


update 10 Dec 2015  a reader in Germany  responds:  “ Excellent! I wonder when lawyers will start suing for withholding hormone replacement. 
I think you have made a very strong point by stating that government, medicine and industry are more interested in disease than health.”

its been a long time since this column last reviewed HRT for women (the KEEPS Trial) and for men, other than in the contexts of prevalent cancer phobiamongering.  Both our experience in practice, and longterm observational studies, are increasingly affirmative. Why should we be surprised?

Global pollution and overheating, antibiotic, alcohol and sugar abuse, and shortage of drinkable/arable water and therefore food are the dominant “natural” threats of the next decade let alone century. As a 2013 German-Chinese study says, Water-sustainability requires > 60% of arable land for soil water replenishment.
But thanks to worsening indoor living, sloth and food production policies, deficiency of antiinfection- anticancer antioxidant growth-promoting (not just rickets-and – goiter-preventing) microdose anabolic vitamin D3 and iodine have taken the lead , for the half of mankind who do not go hungry, in the essential needed mineral-vitamin microsupplements in life-and- lifequality-limiting micronutrient deficiencies for young and old. These micronutrient deficiencies are so easily and cheaply remedied for a few $ per person per year- but there is no incentive for high-tech profit-based government, medicine and industry to promote these since Only Disease Pays.

Now the recent October interview with leading Canadian andrologist Dr Alvaro Morales Testosterone Deficiency Focus of New Canadian Guidelines echoes what we have learned  the past 50 years over our career lifetimes about appropriate parenteral natural physiological HRT being as important for deficient aging men- testosterone replacement. This matches need for appropriate parenteral natural physiological HRT for postmenopausal women- for whom progesterone cream often suffices as the safe baseline, adding parenteral testosterone and parenteral estrogen only as selectively in both genders to conservatively restore physiological balanced baseline bloodlevels of healthy young adults. .
Its now 13 years since the USA hysterical banning (2002 then 2003) of all HRT after the badly designed and bad analyses and premature stopping of the Womens’ Health Initiative; which illogically tested unphysiological and long-discredited patent oral xeno- ie non-human hormones (premarin and medroxyprogestin) in mostly elderly women long past the Change- the midlife menopause and menopause symptom decade (ie late forties to late fifties).

Many of us in the International Menopause Society objected to this dangerous hysteria from 2002 onwards, but the Americans involved in the WHI refused to concede for a decade that they were wrong, since such admission would have opened them to culpable negligence claims.. . .

in 2013 co-editors Dr Nick Panay(UK) and Dr Ana Fenton (NZ) asked in the leading journal Climacteric about the Womens’ Health Initiative:WHI: have our worst fears come true? . This was based on ongoing analyses of studies eg by Drs Sarrell, Katz ea at Yale University that showed The mortality toll of estrogen avoidance: an analysis of excess deaths among hysterectomized women aged 50 to 59 years who were denied HRT.

Ongoing studies over 60 years (Schleyer-Saunders, Lee, Dalton, Greenblatt, Gelfand, Gambrell, Schneider, Davey, Shapiro, Cheifitz, Burger & Davis, Nieschlag & Behre, Notelowitz, Lunenfeld, Utian, Harman, Bhasin, Zitzman, Hader, Saad ea) have clearly confirmed what was apparent from experience in the 1940s, and Masters and Grody’s initial landmark HRT studies in the1950s in both sexes, that appropriate human parenteral balanced HRT (testosterone/ progesterone, plus estrogen for women) retard all risks of aging degenerative diseases in sex-hormone deficient aging people; and also extend both healthspan and longevity ie are antiaging.

           Now we have come full circle with longterm followup of stable physiological parenteral testosterone replacement- patches, fortnightly depotTT – or quarterly Nebido TUndecanoate – in 100 000s of men globally to a mean testosterone level around 18nmol/L (let alone to appropriate testosterone  replacement in women):

ongoing followup from a European observer personal communication last week is borne out by already published studies below: “there is no evidence from various registries of increased incidence and/or severity of prostate cancer with testosterone treatment.

      Increasing signals are that adequate testosterone treatment is protective, for the prostate as well as the immune, cardiovascular, nervous, musculoskeletal and cognitive-mood systems. One registry follows both hypogonadal men who refused testosterone treatment, and those on replacement. In 8 years follow-up of 296 elective hypogonadal men , 26% had major cardio-/vascular medical endpoints (21 deaths -19 = 6% cardiovascular, 30 =10% strokes, and 26 = 9% myocardial infarction, in total 77 events) . The elective Nebido testosterone replacement group (360 men) reported NO cardio/vascular endpoints ie no medical deaths, strokes, or heart attacks.(1 traffic accident death, 1 postsurgical complication death), q.e.d. p<0.0000…

REFS- in italics :
Clin Interv Aging. 2014 Jul 23;9:1175-86.. Off-label use of hormones as an antiaging strategy: a review. Samaras N1ea Geneva University Switzerland. Given demographic evolution of the population in modern societies, one of the most important health care needs is successful aging with less frailty and dependency. During the last 20 years, a multitude of anti-aging practices have appeared worldwide, aiming at retarding or even stopping and reversing the effects of aging on the human body. One of the cornerstones of anti-aging is hormone replacement. At present, women live one third of their lives in a state of sex-hormone deficiency. Men are also subject to age-related testosterone decline, but andropause remains frequently under-diagnosed and under-treated. Due to the decline of hormone production from gonads in both sexes, the importance of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in steroid hormone production increases with age. However, DHEA levels also decrease with age. Also, growth hormone age-associated decrease may be so important that insulin growth factor-1 levels found in elderly individuals are sometimes as low as those encountered in adult patients with established deficiency. Skin aging as well as decreases in lean body mass, bone mineral density, sexual desire and erectile function, intellectual activity and mood have all been related to this decrease of hormone production with age. Great disparities exist between recommendations from scientific societies and actual use of hormone supplements in aging and elderly patients. In this article, we review actual data on the effects of age related hormone decline on the aging process and age-related diseases such as sarcopenia and falls, osteoporosis, cognitive decline, mood disorders, cardiovascular health and sexual activity. We also provide information on the efficiency and safety of hormone replacement protocols in aging patients.

     WOMEN: The latest of many are the Danish studies of up to 16 yearsfollowup ;        2008


the USA KEEPS RCT of lower-dose premarin vs estradiol patch +- parenteral progesterone in perimenopausal women by Harman, Naftolin ea,

and again
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2014 Oct;81(4):621-8. doi: 10.1111/cen.12459. Epub 2014 May 5. Transdermal testosterone improves verbal learning and memory in postmenopausal women not on oestrogen therapy. Davis ea . Monash University, Australia. Randomized, placebo-controlled trial in which participants were randomized (1:1) to transdermal testosterone gel 300 mcg/day, or identical placebo, for 26 weeks. 92 postmenopausal women aged 55-65 years, on no systemic sex hormone therapy. Eighty-nine women, median age 60 years, were included in the primary analysis. Testosterone treatment resulted in statistically significantly better performance for the ISLT (improved verbal learning and memory) compared with placebo, adjusted for age and baseline score (mean difference 1•57; 95%CI 0•13, 3•01) P = 0•03 At 26 weeks, the median total testosterone was 1•7 nm (interquartile range (IQR) 1•1, 2•4) in the testosterone group and 0•4 nm (IQR 0•3, 0•5) in the placebo group. The small but statistically significant effect of testosterone treatment on verbal learning and memory in postmenopausal women provides the basis for further clinical trials.
Testosterone in women-the clinical significance. Davis & Wahlin-Jacobsen .Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2015 (12):980-92.      Testosterone is as much an essential hormone for women, with physiological actions mediated directly or via aromatisation to oestradiol throughout the body. Observational studies indicate that testosterone has favourable cardiovascular effects measured by surrogate outcomes. Adverse cardiovascular effects have not been seen in studies of transdermal testosterone therapy in women.

BJU Int. 2014;114:125-30. Long-acting testosterone injections for treatment of testosterone deficiency after brachytherapy for prostate cancer. Balbontin, Morgentaler ea With a median of 31-months follow-up, long-acting testosterone injections in men mean 62yrs with prostate cancer treated with brachytherapy produced significant clinical benefits. There were no cases of rising serum PSA, prostate cancer progression or recurrence.
J Urol. 2015;193:80-6. Incidence of prostate cancer in hypogonadal men receiving testosterone therapy: observations from 5-year median followup of 3 registries. Haider A1, Zitzmann M Yassin ea Germany In 3 parallel, prospective, ongoing, cumulative registry studies 1,023 hypogonadal men received testosterone therapy since 1996. Patients were treated when total testosterone was 12.1 nmol/l or less (350 ng/dl) with symptoms of hypogonadism. Maximum followup 17 years (1996 to 2013), median followup was 5 years. Mean baseline patient age was 58 years and 41 years. Patients received testosterone undecanoate injections in 12-week intervals. Prostate monitoring/ biopsies were performed according to EAU guidelines. RESULTS: A total of 11 patients were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the 2 urology settings at proportions of 2.3% and 1.5%, respectively. The incidence per 10,000 patient-years was 54.4 and 30.7 , respectively, ie mean 0.42% pa – well below that in the general population. No prostate cancer was reported by the andrology center. CONCLUSIONS:Testosterone therapy in hypogonadal men does not increase the risk of prostate cancer. If guidelines for testosterone therapy are properly applied, testosterone treatment is safe in hypogonadal men.
Eur Heart J. 2015 Oct 21;36(40):2706-15. Normalization of testosterone level is associated with halved incidence of myocardial infarction and mortality in men. Sharma R1, ea University of Kansas retrospectively examined 83 010 male veterans with documented low TT levels
Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2015 Dec;18(4):382-7. Preoperative low serum testosterone is associated with high-grade prostate cancer and an increased Gleason score upgrading.Pichon ea, France
Horm Mol Biol Clin Investig. 2015 Jun;22(3):101-9. Obesity and hypogonadism are associated with an increased risk of predominant Gleason 4 pattern on radical prostatectomy specimen. Neuzillet , ea France
BJU Int. 2013;111:880-90. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentrations in hypogonadal men during 6 years of transdermal testosterone treatment. Raynaud ea france
Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2015 Nov;123(10):608-13. The Effect of Metformin and Metformin-Testosterone Combination on Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Men with Late-onset Hypogonadism and Impaired Glucose Tolerance.Krysiak ea Poland . No previous study has investigated the effect of metformin, administered alone or together with testosterone, on cardiometabolic risk factors in men with hypogonadism. The study included 30 men with late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) who had been complying with lifestyle intervention. After 12 weeks of metformin treatment (1.7 g daily), the participants were allocated to one of 2 groups treated for the following 12 weeks with oral testosterone undecanoate (120 mg daily, n=15) or not receiving androgen therapy (n=15). before and after 12 and 24 weeks of therapy with the final dose of metformin. Patients with LOH and IGT had higher levels of hsCRP, homocysteine and fibrinogen than subjects with only LOH (n=12) or only IGT (n=15). Metformin administered alone improved insulin sensitivity, as well as reduced 2-h postchallenge plasma glucose and triglycerides. Testosterone-metformin combination therapy decreased also total and LDL cholesterol, uric acid, hsCRP, homocysteine and fibrinogen, as well as increased plasma testosterone. The effect of this combination therapy on testosterone, insulin sensitivity, hsCRP, homocysteine and fibrinogen was stronger than that of metformin alone. The obtained results indicate that IGT men with LOH receiving metformin may gain extra benefits if they are concomitantly treated with oral testosterone.
Swiss Med Wkly. 2015 Nov 24;145:w14216. Hypotestosteronaemia in the aging male: should we treat it? Christe N1, Meier CA1.Switzerland The term male hypogonadism is defined as the failure to maintain physiological concentrations of testosterone, a physiological quantity of sperm or the combination of both. Aetiologically, androgen deficiency can originate from the testes (primary hypogonadism) or from the hypothalamic-pituitary regulation of the testicular function (secondary hypogonadism). The causes of hypogonadism are very diverse .. But how about the aging male? It is known that there is a highly variable age-related decline in testosterone levels; whether this represents a variation of normality or has a true disease value requiring therapy has been disputed over more than a decade. The key questions surrounding this debate concern not only the age-dependent threshold for serum testosterone but, more importantly, the risks and benefits of testosterone replacement therapy in the aging male. randomised controlled trials of testosterone administration in aging males with a size of at least 100 patients and a follow-up of at least 6 months, identified eight studies. These studies mostly tried to evaluate the effect of testosterone on bone density, muscle strength and body composition, rather than clinically meaningful endpoints. Moreover, these trials have provided evidence for relevant cardiovascular adverse events in elderly men. This supports the need for further studies to define the treatment threshold for testosterone levels in the aging male, as well as with regard to the long-term risks and relevant benefits of testosterone therapy in this population. Until we have more solid data in aging males, testing for testosterone deficiency and testosterone replacement should remain reserved for patients with predisposing conditions, symptoms and signs of bona fide hypogonadism.
Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2015 Nov 21. The complex and multifactorial relationship between testosterone deficiency (TD), obesity and vascular disease.Traish AM1, Zitzmann M2.Boston & Germany Univ. Testosterone deficiency (TD) is a well-established and recognized medical condition that contributes to several co-morbidities, including metabolic syndrome, visceral obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD). More importantly, obesity is thought to contribute to TD. This complex bidirectional interplay between TD and obesity promotes a vicious cycle, which further contributes to the adverse effects of TD and obesity and may increase the risk of CVD. Testosterone (T) therapy for men with TD has been shown to be safe and effective in ameliorating the components of the metabolic syndrome (Met S) and in contributing to increased lean body mass and reduced fat mass and therefore contributes to weight loss. We believe that appropriate T therapy in obese men with TD is a novel medical approach to manage obesity in men with TD. Indeed, other measures of lifestyle and behavioral changes can be used to augment but not fully replace this effective therapeutic approach. It should be noted that concerns regarding the safety of T therapy remain widely unsubstantiated and considerable evidence exists supporting the benefits of T therapy. Thus, it is paramount that clinicians managing obese men with TD be made aware of this novel approach to treatment of obesity.
Cancer Causes Control. 2015 Nov 20. Serum androgens and prostate cancer risk: results from the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. Schenk JM1, EA USA & Australian Univ. examined whether pre-diagnostic serum androgens were associated with PCA risk in the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. In this 3 yr nested case-control study, cases (n = 1,032) were primarily local-stage, biopsy-detected cancers, and controls (n = 1,025) were biopsy-confirmed to be PCA-free.. We found no significant associations between serum androgens, estrogen-to-testosterone ratios, or SHBG and risk of total, low (Gleason <7) or high-grade (Gleason 7-10) PCA.
by contrast, reports:
In recent years, the number of prostate cancer deaths IN USA was 21.4 per 100,000 men per year ie 0.021%pa . c/f apparently no prostate cancer deaths in the TRT studies. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2008-2012 cases and deaths. Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 14.0 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2010-2012 data