Health and Nutrition

January 10, 2009

High Testosterone May Lower Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Risk

Filed under: General Health — Doc Joe @ 5:09 pm

By David Douglas

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jan 01 – Serum levels of testosterone, estradiol, and the ratio of testosterone to 17 beta-diolglucuronide appear to affect the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia, Washington-based researchers report in the December 15th issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Lead investigator Dr. Alan R. Kristal told Reuters Health that he and his colleagues used the testosterone ratio to reflect the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the most active form of testosterone in prostate cells.

“Even within the normal range of conversion of testosterone to DHT, simply due to person-to-person variability in just about all biological processes,” he said, “a higher conversion of testosterone to DHT also predicts benign prostatic hyperplasia risk.”

Dr. Kristal and colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, studied data from patients in the placebo arm of a prostate cancer trial. The team identified 708 participants who developed benign prostatic hyperplasia and compared them with 708 controls without this condition.

After adjustment, compared with those with the lowest testosterone levels, those with the highest were at reduced risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (odds ratio, 0.64). The corresponding odds ratio for estradiol was 0.43 and for the testosterone to 17 beta-diolglucuronide ratio, it was 0.64.

“We know relatively little about what factors affect conversion of testosterone to DHT,” continued Dr. Kristal. “There are likely both genetic and environmental factors that could affect the activity or expression of the enzyme responsible for this conversion — 5-alpha reductase.”

“The implication,” he concluded, “is that benign prostatic hyperplasia prevention could be achieved by lifestyle changes if we better understood what affects testosterone to DHT conversion.”

Am J Epidemiol 2008;168:1416-1424.

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