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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Body composition and muscle strength in healthy men receiving testosterone enanthate for contraception.

To determine the effect of androgens on body composition and muscle strength, we measured fat-free mass (kg), fat mass (kg), and bone density (g/cm2) by dual x-ray absorptiometry, and muscle strength (Newton meters) by dynamometry in a controlled, prospective study involving 13 nonathletic men receiving testosterone enanthate 200 mg/week in for 6 months and 8 healthy controls. Biochemical markers of bone turnover were measured in the treated subjects at baseline and 6 months. In the treated subjects at 6 months, fat-free mass (mean +/- SEM) increased by 9.6 +/- 1.0% (P < or = 0.01) whereas fat mass decreased by 16.2 +/- 6.7% (P < or = 0.05). Changes in muscle strength ranged from -1.6-19.2%. Only hip adduction increased 19.2 +/- 9.5% (P < 0.05). Changes in bone density ranged from -1.3-5.2%, decreasing significantly at one site and increasing significantly at four of the nine sites measured (P < 0.05). Serum testosterone increased by 91.1 +/- 7.5% (P < 0.01), and testicular volume decreased by 24.0 +/- 3.2% (P < 0.01). Serum osteocalcin increased by 35.7 +/- 17.3% (P < 0.05), serum immunoreactive PTH (iPTH) increased by 41.4 +/- 15.1% (P < 0.05), serum calcium decreased by 2.3 +/- 1.0% (P < 0.05), and serum albumin decreased by 4.5 +/- 1.7% (P < 0.05). There were no detectable changes in fat-free mass, fat mass, muscle strength, or bone density in controls. The administration of testosterone enanthate in pharmacological doses for 6 months resulted in a modest reduction in fat mass and small increases in fat-free mass, muscle strength, and bone density. These changes do not support the use of androgens for enhancing athletic performance.[1]


  1. Body composition and muscle strength in healthy men receiving testosterone enanthate for contraception. Young, N.R., Baker, H.W., Liu, G., Seeman, E. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1993) [Pubmed]
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