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Sex Hormone in Males Linked to Slower Biological Aging in New Study

sex hormones testosterone estrogen telomeres estradiol shbg

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#1 Engadin

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 10:18 PM


Posted by manofsan ( https://www.longecit.../1192-manofsan/ ) here: https://www.longecit...es/#entry871393

 

A person’s levels of sex hormones, like testosterone and estrogen, have impacts on characteristics ranging from “male menopause” to shopping habits. Now, new research shows these hormones also seem to have an impact on the aging process — particularly in men.

In a presentation on Monday at the Endocrine Society’s conference in New Orleans, the authors of a study published in Clinical Endocrinology show that sex hormone levels have powerful impacts on how quickly the body deteriorates due to age.

A well-studied branch of aging research focuses on telomeres, the tiny caps at the ends of chromosomes. They shorten over time, so their length is often used as a marker of “biological age” — or how well the body is holding up. This study, performed on 2,913 men, shows an association between sex hormone levels and telomere lengths normally associated with people 3.6 years younger. The relationship could potentially lead to hormone-based therapies for aging in the future.

“This study is the largest to date, confirms our previous study, and extends its findings to older men,” lead study author Bu Yeap, Ph.D., a professor at Western Australia Medical School, tells Inverse, referring to his team’s previous workconnecting the presence of certain sex hormones to telomere length. “Sex hormone exposure appears to be related to a lower biological age in men.”

In particular, the study focuses on a lesser-known but very important male sex hormone known as estradiol (the dominant form of estrogen). It’s usually associated with women but is naturally present to some degree in men, and it’s previously been linked to male sexual function.

In Yeap’s study, men who had estradiol levels that were one standard deviation above the average had telomere lengths associated with being 3.6 years younger than they actually were. The men involved with the study were 77 years old on average.

Seeking evidence that sex hormones are related to telomere length in general — that is, they are linked to both shortening and lengthening — Yeap and his team also looked at testosterone and SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin), a protein that binds to sex hormones. High levels of SHBG were associated with shorter telomeres, but testosterone was not associated with telomere length.

Though testosterone patterns were not the main focus of this study, Yeap points out that estradiol in men is manufactured from testosterone. And so, he says, investigating the relationship between both hormones will be crucial to understanding their effect on telomere length down the line.

“This is an observational study,” he says. “We would need to do a randomized, controlled trial of testosterone in men, measure how much is converted to estradiol, and see whether this treatment preserves telomere length.”

For now, Yeap’s study shows how different levels of sex hormones impact telomere length naturally. He’s studying this with the hope that scientists can someday use these patterns to figure out how to manipulate telomere length using hormones, thereby potentially lengthening a biological lifespan.

We already know that telomere length can be influenced by certain behaviors. For instance, endurance exercise lengthens them and stress shortens them. The question is whether estradiol is another intervention that could potentially help lengthen telomeres, too.

Given his team’s current results, Yeap says it’s still “too early to speculate about anti-aging treatments.” Though there are some crucial gaps that still need to be filled, the evidence for the connection between hormones, telomeres, and aging is getting stronger.

 

The rest at the source: https://www.inverse....aging-telomeres


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen, telomeres, estradiol, shbg

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