New Drug Builds Muscle for Men with Low Testosterone

Maintaining muscle is a problem for many older athletes, and for men in general as they age. An experimental medication known resulted in an increase in muscle strength in men with low testosterone.

Almost every sport imaginable, strength plays a factor in performance. Athletes are constantly looking for ways to increase muscular strength. But maintaining muscle is a problem for many older athletes, and for men in general as they age and testosterone levels drop.Recent drug trials of an experimental medication known as enobosarm, better known as Ostarine, resulted in an increase in muscle strength and physical functioning among cancer patients who had low testosterone levels.1

The new medication is in a class of drugs known as androgen receptor modulaters, which produce similar growth-enhancing effects as anabolic steroids, but with potentially fewer side effects. Though this trial was done on cancer patients, muscle wasting is also often associated with low testosterone levels, or hypogonadism. Muscle wasting can limit mobility, basic function, strength, and quality of life.2

The study consisted of 93 male patients. Sixty percent of those men had low testosterone levels at the start of the trial. The participants were randomly given either 1 or 3 milligrams of oral enobosarm or a placebo each day, for 16 weeks.3

In the trial, enobosarm improved physical function among patients with low testosterone, and even those who had normal hormone levels. The low testosterone group experienced a 19 percent increase in physical function, whereas the normal testosterone group still experienced a 13 percent increase.4

“These data provide evidence that enobosarm may play an important role in the management of cancer-related muscle-wasting even in the setting of low testosterone,” said lead author Adrian Dobs, M.D., M.H.S., professor of medicine and oncology, as well as vice-chairman of the Department of Medicine, Faculty Development at John Hopkins University Medical School in Baltimore, M.D.5

Dobs stated that this opened the door for more research to be performed on enobosarm’s effects on muscle wasting. “Enobosarm has the potential to improve physical performance and increase muscle mass,” Dobbs added.6

Although the research for enobosarm has been primarily for its effects on cancer patients, the results seem promising for other uses as well. Low testosterone affects many men today, and a drug like enobosarm could help alleviate the associated symptoms. Currently, things sound promising for this new medication, and as long as side effects still prove to be low, then this may be a new and safe choice for aging fitness enthusiasts.7