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Wednesday, 13 May 2015 12:48

Testosterone needs estrogen's help to inhibit depression (with commentary)

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Click here to view full article titled "Testosterone needs estrogen's help to inhibit depression" by Professor Mohamed Kabbaj from Florida State University College of Medicine.

Article commentary by Jasen Bruce

Men and women on testosterone replacement therapy who previously suffered from low testosterone and depression already understand the positive effect that testosterone has on their mood. A study led by Rupert Lanzenberger from the Vienna Medical University Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy has demonstrated for the first time worldwide that testosterone increases the number of serotonin transporters (proteins) in the human brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in maintaining positive mood and emotional well-being. There are many more studies which demonstrate the relationship between the sex hormone testosterone, depression, and positive mood. Maintaining adequate levels of testosterone is shown to reduce the occurrence of depression. The presentation titled “Testosterone needs Estrogen's help to inhibit Depression “by Professor Mohamed Kabbaj interestingly shows that both estrogen and testosterone work together to alleviate depression and anxiety. In both men and women, some testosterone converts to estrogen. In men, this is the primary source of estrogen. In women, estrogen is also produced in the ovaries. The article indicates that the actual conversion of testosterone to estrogen in the brain is necessary for anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects. This research will hopefully help patients suffering from depression obtain better access to hormone testing and proper treatments when certain hormones are found to be too low

The only statement I do not agree with is regarding the “need” to synthesize a drug which acts like testosterone due to the fear of “numerous side effects” associated with testosterone. Of course those of us who read the latest evidence know that the “numerous side effects” result from improper prescribing of testosterone and the lack of proper monitoring. Testosterone replacement therapy correctly administered and monitored by an experienced doctor has very low risk and long term health benefits. Why take a hormone already identical to what the body produces and alter it to produce a drug? I believe the efforts would be better spent educating more doctors on how to properly monitor testosterone replacement therapy after diagnosing low testosterone. Although this study is done on men, we know the effects are equally beneficial in women. Article excerpt: “Maybe in the future, when we are trying to develop an antidepressant that works in low-testosterone males, we can target some of the mechanisms by which testosterone acts, since it has numerous side effects,” he said. Testosterone acts on many receptors and pathways in the brain, so the challenge is to come up with a drug that provides only the effect you want.” Referenced:

"...the male sex hormone testosterone also affects our mood and emotions, as well as our libido -- and in a positive way."

Read 6839 times Last modified on Wednesday, 30 September 2015 05:40