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20 April 2007

Can testosterone aid fitness?

Scientists trial hormone replacement therapy

YOU'VE heard of hormone replacement therapy for women – but how effective could testosterone replacement therapy be for elderly men?

Scientists at MMU believe extra testosterone could be vital in helping men over 65 maintain fitness and mobility, and are starting tests to find out how effective the treatment could be.

Marco Narici, professor of human ageing at MMU Cheshire, said: "In 30% of the population, testosterone levels are lower than recommended, leading to a decline in sexual potency which is well-documented. What we don’t know so much about is the effects on strength and mobility in later life."

The University aims to measure changes in muscle, bone and tendon composition in 65-year-olds taking testosterone supplements and compare them to people the same age undergoing a programme of exercise.

Offset ageing process

The two-month trial is part of on-going research at MMU’s Institute for Human Movement into physical and biological interventions to offset the effects of human ageing, which have helped local volunteers improve strength and mobility and improve their quality of life.

Volunteers are sought for the trial, both men and women over 65 who are able to attend the MMU’s fitness centre at Alsager a couple of times a week for eight weeks.

Added Professor Narici: "We will be using a novel type of training using a standing vibration platform which requires little effort. Women must be aged 65 or over, and not presently taking part in an exercise programme.

"Men should also be 65 or over and not presently take part in any regular training and not under testosterone replacement therapy."

Telephone Mr Ross Atkinson on 0161 247 5469 or email