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Armstrong Confession Validates His Use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Posted 18 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 – For over a decade, world-renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong has strongly denied use of performance-enhancing techniques to improve his athletic performance. Armstrong has now admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs while conquering a record seven Tour de France championships. He said it was “not possible” to win without doping. Armstrong admitted to getting lost in the momentum of a perfect life – beating cancer, having a wonderful family and winning the Tours. He said would do anything at all costs to win. And then, Armstrong apologized. The confession, in a “no conditions” interview conducted by Winfrey appears to be the first step in Armstrong’s hope to lessen his lifetime ban, regain his ability to compete, and soften the blows of a damaged reputation. Prior to taping the episode on Monday, Armstrong also made an emo ... Read more

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Testosterone Gel Fails to Boost Viagra's Effects

Posted 20 Nov 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 19 – Men who have erectile dysfunction and low testosterone may get no extra benefit from adding the hormone to their Viagra prescription, a new study suggests. The first-choice treatments for erectile dysfunction are drugs called PDE5 inhibitors, which include sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis). They work by helping the smooth muscles of the penis to relax, which increases blood flow. When men with erectile dysfunction also have low testosterone levels, doctors often prescribe testosterone gel along with a PDE5 inhibitor. But now a new clinical trial of 140 men with erectile dysfunction and low levels of testosterone puts that treatment combination into question. "We had expected to see some added benefit from testosterone," said lead researcher Dr. Matthew Spitzer, an endocrinology fellow at Boston University School of Medicine. "But that's ... Read more

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More Testosterone, Less Deceit?

Posted 16 Oct 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 16 – Testosterone, commonly thought of as the male sex hormone, seems to promote honesty, a new study suggests. Testosterone also is naturally found in women but at lower levels than in men, and is typically associated with macho attributes such as aggression and risky behavior. However, recent research indicates that the hormone also encourages social behavior. In the new study, German researchers led by Dr. Matthias Wibral of the University of Bonn department of economics applied a testosterone gel to the skin of 46 men to boost their levels of the hormone and an inactive placebo gel to the skin of 45 other men. Neither the men, nor the researchers, knew which gel was applied to which study participants. All of the men then played games of dice where they could win money. The higher their scores, the more money they received. The researchers structured the games so that ... Read more

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As Armstrong Case Unfolds, Experts Describe Doping's Harms

Posted 11 Oct 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 11 – In the wake of new allegations around Lance Armstrong's involvement in blood doping, experts are reminding the public of the devastating impact these substances can have on an athlete's health. The recent report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency accusing seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong (he was recently stripped of those titles) of doping participation shows how deeply the practice is ingrained in cycling, but it's a big problem in others sports as well. So-called performance-enhancing drugs – such as erythropoietin, anabolic steroids and human growth hormone – may affect almost every system in the body, and have been linked to severe medical and psychiatric side effects. Add in diuretics to mask all the drugs, and athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs are risking their long-term health, experts say. One of the most common drugs is ... Read more

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Gel Shows Promise as Future Male Contraceptive

Posted 2 Jul 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 2 – Men may one day have a birth-control option other than the condom or vasectomy – if early research on a new contraceptive gel pans out. Preliminary findings suggest that when applied to the skin, the gel dramatically lowers sperm counts, thus also lowering – though not eliminating – the risk for pregnancy. This is the first time that a combination of testosterone and a synthetic progestin called Nestorone has been tested as a gel that could be applied topically. Previous research involved administering the combination by injection or via a patch, said study senior author Dr. Christina Wang, a professor of medicine at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. The combination contraceptive needs to undergo further testing before it is commercially available. Although men have sometimes received a bad rap for not being willing to assume responsibility for birth ... Read more

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Can Testosterone Therapy Help Obese Men Lose Weight?

Posted 9 May 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 9 – Older obese men with low levels of testosterone can lose weight when levels of the male hormone are restored to normal, a new study suggests. But it might not be the testosterone itself. Rather, it could be that men undergoing the hormone therapy feel better and stronger so they exercise more and watch their diet, speculated experts not involved with the study. "It [the study's conclusion] is overly optimistic," said Dr. Bradley Anawalt, a spokesman for The Endocrine Society and chief of medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. "There is very little evidence that testosterone should cause weight loss in men obese or otherwise; it usually results in weight gain." Anawalt, who was not involved in the study, noted the study was sponsored by Bayer, which makes testosterone supplements. "If you were a drug company, the best product in the world ... Read more

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Testosterone Supplements Might Help Patients With Heart Failure

Posted 17 Apr 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 17 – Patients struggling with moderate to severe heart failure might benefit from testosterone supplementation to boost their ability to exercise, new Canadian research suggests. But it's far too soon to recommend testosterone as a therapy for heart failure patients, a cardiology expert warned. The research team analyzed four randomized studies, conducted between 1980 and 2010, which had examined the potential benefit of treating heart failure patients with testosterone supplementation. "Heart failure is a chronic condition that can be brought on by blockages in the heart, lung disease, diabetes or kidney disease," said study co-author Justin Ezekowitz, an assistant professor in the department of cardiology at the University of Alberta as well as at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, both in Edmonton. "It's a clinical syndrome, where the body can not pump enough ... Read more

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Age Alone May Not Cause Testosterone to Fall

Posted 7 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 7 – Testosterone levels don't necessarily drop with age, but it's more likely among older men with declining general health, a new study suggests. Bucking prior research indicating age-related testosterone deficiency contributes to deteriorating health, fatigue and libido loss, Australian researchers found that blood testosterone amounts didn't fall in older men with optimal health. The data, gathered as part of the Healthy Man Study, is scheduled to be presented Tuesday at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in Boston. "Our interpretation is that age in and of itself does not reduce blood testosterone levels . . . but the accumulating disorders as men age, some preventable and some not, some genetic and some environmental, do have such an impact, albeit pretty modest," said study author Dr. David Handelsman, a professor of reproductive endocrinology and andrology at ... Read more

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Low Testosterone May Raise Risk of Early Death: Study

Posted 19 Oct 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 19 – Men with low testosterone levels may be at increased risk for premature death from heart disease and all causes, a finding that challenges the current belief that testosterone is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, according to new research. The study included 930 men with coronary artery disease who were followed-up for about seven years. At the start of the study, low testosterone levels were noted in about one-quarter of the men. During the study period, one in five men (20 percent) with low testosterone levels died, compared with one in eight (12 percent) of those with normal levels of the hormone, according to the report in the Oct. 20 online edition of the journal Heart. After taking into account other risk factors – such as age, co-existing health problems, smoking and weight – a low testosterone level was found to be an independent risk factor for ... Read more

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Testosterone Could Boost Health of Heart Failure Patients

Posted 5 Oct 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 5 – A small new study is the latest to suggest that testosterone may boost the health of women with heart failure, without causing serious side effects. Researchers aren't yet ready to recommend that their colleagues start prescribing the hormone to female patients. However, the treatment does hold some promise, especially considering the limits of current medicine when it comes to heart failure, said cardiologist Justin A. Ezekowitz, who wrote a commentary about the findings. "They're definitely onto something that deserves explanation," said Ezekowitz, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta in Canada. "We have a hit a wall in terms of what we can do for patients with heart failure. We've made a lot of progress, but there are still patients who have symptoms despite the premium blend of medications and fancy devices." Heart failure is most common in people ... Read more

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Testosterone Gel Could Raise Heart Risks in Frail, Older Men

Posted 30 Jun 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 30 – Older men in poor health who use testosterone gel to boost their mobility may raise their odds of high blood pressure or heart attack, new research suggests. The problems observed were concerning enough to cause the researchers to put an early stop to the study, which is published in the July 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. However, the trial was a small one and volunteers were older men with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other problems, so whether or not these adverse events would affect the larger population of men taking testosterone therapy is still an open question. Furthermore, the testosterone doses used in this study were higher than often seen in doctors' offices and other trials, the authors noted. "These results were a caution flag but not a red light about stopping treatment," said Dr. Evan Hadley, director of the division of ... Read more

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Testosterone May Make Women Less Trusting

Posted 24 May 2010 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 24 – It turns out that testosterone might be responsible for more than masculinity and Hollywood action movies: A new study suggests that women who get doses of the hormone are less trusting of strangers, a possible sign that testosterone boosts levels of caution. The research doesn't prove a direct connection between testosterone, which is found in both sexes. But it does appear to indicate that the hormone helps reduce trust in women and, "in our opinion, protects them from harm," said study co-author Jack van Honk, a psychologist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. The overall role of testosterone in the body remains something of a mystery. "We don't know a lot, to be completely honest," said Paola Sapienza, a professor of finance at Northwestern University who studies testosterone and how it affects decision-making. The hormone seems to be connected to aggression, ... Read more

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Testosterone Therapy May Help Men With Heart Failure

Posted 12 Jan 2010 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 24 – Injections of the male hormone testosterone increased blood-pumping ability and heart muscle strength in men with heart failure, Italian researchers report. "From our study, it appears that testosterone supplementation is useful for both patients with low and normal testosterone levels, although the improvements are greater in those with low levels," said Dr. Ferdinando Iellamo, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and lead author of a report in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Use of testosterone for heart failure, the progressive loss of the ability to pump blood throughout the body, has been controversial in some cases. About one of every four men with chronic heart failure has evidence of testosterone deficiency, as production of the hormone declines with age. Few studies of ... Read more

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Testosterone Gets Bad Rap: Study

Posted 9 Dec 2009 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 – People associate testosterone with aggressiveness, but the male sex hormone actually encourages a sense of fair play, a new study finds. Testosterone does not cause aggression, said lead researcher Michael Naef, of the department of economics at Royal Holloway, University of London. But it does lead to "status-seeking behavior – or trying to secure one's own status," he said. Such status-seeking behavior can include aggression, as well as other behaviors appropriate to particular situations, the researchers said. But they also found that people's preconceptions about testosterone, rather than the hormone itself, may cause them to behave anti-socially and unfairly. For the study, Naef's team randomly assigned 121 women to receive testosterone or a placebo. The women then participated in an experiment where they were asked to distribute money. The money could be ... Read more

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