Journal of Sexual & Reproductive Medicine

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Therapeutic approaches to the promotion of anabolism in aging men

Author(s): Richard A Bebb*

It is clear that the marked changes in body composition that occur with aging are associated with an adverse clinical outcome. Decreased lean body mass reflects a decrease in muscle bulk and bone density. Muscle loss or sarcopenia leads to decreased mobility, decreased enjoyment of life, and an increased risk of falling and disability in elderly individuals. Low bone density in older men is associated with an increased risk of osteoporotic fracture, resulting in increased mortality risk. The flip side of lean body mass changes is an increase in the percentage of body fat with aging. This body fat increase is, in part, an increase in visceral fat, with an adverse effect on lipid and glucose metabolism, and an increased risk of vascular disease. It would be desirable to minimize or, if possible, reverse the above morphological changes of aging. Interventions that increase lean body mass and/or decrease the percentage of body fat can potentially decrease the incidence of diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerotic disease and hypertension. The present article explores the available evidence for the promotion of anabolism in aging men.

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