Drug insight: Testosterone and selective androgen receptor modulators as anabolic therapies for chronic illness and aging

Drug insight : Testosterone and selective androgen receptor modulators as anabolic therapies for chronic illness and aging Shalender Bhasin, Olga M. Calof, Thomas W. Storer, Martin L. Lee, Norman A. Mazer, Ravi Jasuja, Victor M. Montori, Wenqing Gao, James T. Dalton. - (Nature Clinical Practice Endocrinology & Metabolism 2 (2006) 3 (March); p. 146-159)

  • PMID: 16932274
  • PMCID: PMC2072878
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncpendmet0120


Several regulatory concerns have hindered development of androgens as anabolic therapies, despite unequivocal evidence that testosterone supplementation increases muscle mass and strength in men; it induces hypertrophy of type I and II muscle fibers, and increases myonuclear and satellite cell number. Androgens promote differentiation of mesenchymal multipotent cells into the myogenic lineage and inhibit their adipogenic differentiation, by facilitating association of androgen receptors with beta-catenin and activating T-cell factor 4. Meta-analyses indicate that testosterone supplementation increases fat-free mass and muscle strength in HIV-positive men with weight loss, glucocorticoid-treated men, and older men with low or low-normal testosterone levels. The effects of testosterone on physical function and outcomes important to patients have not, however, been studied. In older men, increased hematocrit and increased risk of prostate biopsy and detection of prostate events are the most frequent, testosterone-related adverse events. Concerns about long-term risks have restrained enthusiasm for testosterone use as anabolic therapy. Selective androgen-receptor modulators that are preferentially anabolic and that spare the prostate hold promise as anabolic therapies. We need more studies to determine whether testosterone or selective androgen-receptor modulators can induce meaningful improvements in physical function and patient-important outcomes in patients with physical dysfunction associated with chronic illness or aging.

Original document


1 March 2006
Bhasin, Shalender
Calof, Olga M.
Dalton, James T.
Gao, Wenqing
Jasuja, Ravi
Lee, Martin L.
Mazer, Norman A.
Montori, Victor M.
Storer, Thomas W.
United States of America
Other organisations
Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM)
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Mayo Clinic
Ohio State University (OSU)
UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
S4. Hormone And Metabolic Modulators
Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs)
Medical terms
Health effects
Legitimate Medical Treatment
Document category
Scientific article
Document type
Pdf file
Date generated
14 January 2021
Date of last modification
3 February 2021
  • Legal Source
  • Education
  • Science
  • Statistics
  • History
Country & language
  • Country
  • Language
Other filters
  • ADRV
  • Legal Terms
  • Sport/IFs
  • Other organisations
  • Laboratories
  • Analytical aspects
  • Doping classes
  • Substances
  • Medical terms
  • Various
  • Version
  • Document category
  • Document type
Publication period