Scientific articles

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Metabolic and hormonal balance

In the year 2002, there was a before and an after in replacement hormone therapy in post-menopausal women. At that time, the alarm produced by the publication of the initial results of the famous WHI (Women’s Health Initiative) study both in the scientific environment and in the media, in general, resulted in the massive halt of hormone replacement therapy in all post-menopausal women around the world. Extreme endurance training can produce acute and chronic alterations in the heart of the athlete whose clinical consequences should be studied in greater depth at the author’s discretion. For many years now, the scientific community has questioned the interpretation of those results and the state of science regarding this issue in 2013 and showed that replacement hormone therapy properly prescribed in post-menopausal younger women contributes with a very positive risk/benefit, exactly the same as it was thought before 2002. Moreover, they argue that the bad results of the WHI in 2002 has caused over 10 years that millions of postmenopausal women not only had not benefited from replacement hormone therapy but have worsened their health and quality of life (higher incidence of cardiovascular disease, thrombosis, dementia, breast cancer, bone fractures due to osteoporosis, divorces, death, etc.). Hormonal replacement therapy is one of the main pillars of Neolife’s age management programmes.

The aim of this study is to determine if a correlation exists between the normalisation of testosterone levels through hormone replacement therapy in men without a history of myocardial infarction and stroke and the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and other causes of mortality. It is a meta-analysis that analyses 83,100 adult men retrospectively with known values of their plasmatic levels of total testosterone. hey were subdivided into three groups. The first group was of 43,931 men who were 66 years old on average and being treated with testosterone for an average of 6.2 years and who achieved normalising their plasmatic levels. The second group corresponded to 25,701 men who were 66 years old who were being treated with testosterone for approximately 4.6 years on average but who did not achieve normalising their values. The third group was of 13,378 men who were an average of 66 years old without testosterone treatment and who were followed up on during 4.7 years. Group 1 had a significantly lower incidence than group 3 both of myocardial infarction and stroke and of any other cause of mortality. Similarly, group 1 had a significantly lower incidence compared to group 2 of myocardial infarction and stroke. Between group 2 and group 3, there were no significant differences in the incidence of heart attack or stroke. The authors conclude that the normalisation of the values of testosterone in men without a history of cardiovascular disease with previously low levels has a preventive effect.

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FDA representatives (Food and Drug Administration), the authors of this article, encourage pharmaceutical companies that produce testosterone to work together in a same clinical trial to clarify the effect of testosterone at a cardiovascular level. The exponential increase of patients using testosterone for hypogonadism related to ageing, many of them without a previous evaluation of their plasmatic levels, and the conflicting results in some meta-analyses are the main reasons for this statement.

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The relationship between depression and the risk of developing dementia is known, but not the mechanisms that are involved in this connection. On the other hand, it is known that people with depression present high morning cortisol levels (stress hormone). The objective of this study is to evaluate the association between morning and evening cortisol levels in saliva (and its effect) with brain volume and the neurocognitive function in elderly people without dementia. To this end, 4,244 people with an average age of 76 were studied and underwent a brain magnetic resonance, a battery of neurocognitive tests and a determination of morning and evening salivary cortisol. The highest morning cortisol levels are related to a lower brain volume and a worse cognitive function. What is not known is if high cortisol levels produce brain mass loss or if brain mass loss due to ageing is the reason for the high cortisol levels in the morning. In any case, the authors express that although this study does not have a direct clinical application, stress should be treated when possible to decrease cortisol levels and to therefore probably achieve a certain degree of neuroprotection.

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This is a randomised, controlled and double-blind clinical trial, whose objective is to determine the effect of testosterone administration in elderly men with low testosterone levels on the progression of their subclinical atherosclerosis. Three hundred and eight men over 60 with low plasmatic levels of total testosterone were studied.

It is known that vasomotor symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes and night sweats are associated to body mass index, ethnicity/race, anxiety, depression, smoking and low educational level, but so far nobody had found a genetic basis for this symptomatology. In the present study, the authors have discovered a strong correlation between the chances of suffering the vasomotor symptoms of menopause and a gene variation (SNPs) in the locus of receptor three of the tachykinin (TACR3), in chromosome four.

This study has been performed in samples taken from 17,695 women between 50 and 79 years old, in 40 health clinics in the US, who would not have been treated with hormone therapy to avoid the masking of the symptoms due to the treatment. On the one hand, through a questionnaire, it was determined that 63% of the studied women presented vasomotor symptoms. On the other hand, more than 11 million SNPs were analysed and the conclusion was that 14 of them were significantly associated to the vasomotor symptoms of menopause. All these polymorphisms were located in the TACR3 gene of chromosome four. This genetic basis to suffer vasomotor symptoms of menopause is unrelated to race (it occurs in all of them), which also suggests that the mutation is very old.

The biological bases responsible for the hot flushes and night sweats of menopausal women are not fully known and the progress in knowledge about it will contribute new therapies for its treatment (maybe a genetic type) in the future.