A single hormone in men can predict their future health: ScienceAlert

A single hormone in men can predict their future health: ScienceAlert

Various diseases associated with aging – including bone weakness, sexual dysfunction, diabetes, Cancerand cardiovascular disease – can be predicted by a single hormone that appears at constant levels in men throughout life, new research reveals.

That hormone is INSL3, and appears for the first time in puberty. From then on, its levels drop only slightly in old age. This consistency, and the early age at which it appears, makes INSL3 valuable to scientists—and perhaps to men’s health.

Someone with lower levels of INSL3 when young is likely to have lower levels of the hormone in old age, new research shows. If this translates into a higher risk of health complications, as the study suggests may be the case, those health risks could potentially be managed many years earlier.

“Understanding why some people are more likely to develop disability and disease as they age is critical to finding interventions that will ensure people not only live long lives, but also live healthy lives as they age,” says reproductive endocrinologist Ravinder Anand-Ivell from the University of Nottingham in Great Britain.

“Our hormone discovery is an important step in understanding this and will pave the way not only to help people individually, but also to help alleviate the care crisis we face as a society.”

INSL3 is made by the same cells in the testes that produce testosterone; unlike testosterone, INSL3 does not fluctuate as men age.

To monitor blood levels of INSL3, researchers took samples from more than 2,200 men at eight different regional centers in Europe. INSL3 levels in men remained stable over time and varied significantly between individuals, enough to dissociate health risks.

Researchers suggest that blood levels of INSL3 reliably correlate with numbers and health Leydig cells in the testicles – there are fewer of these cells and less testosterone was connected to numerous health problems in later life.

“Now that we know the important role this hormone plays in predicting disease and how it differs between men, we are turning our attention to discovering which factors have the greatest influence on INSL3 blood levels,” says molecular endocrinologist Richard Ivell from the University of Nottingham.

“Preliminary work suggests that diet early in life may play a role, but many other factors such as genetics or exposure to some environmental endocrine disruptors may play a role.”

In the nine categories of morbidity reported by the participants in the questionnaires, including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, INSL3 was associated with an increased risk of morbidity in eight of them (only depression no correlation was found in this study).

But when the researchers adjusted for other hormonal and lifestyle factors, such as BMI and smoking status, most of those associations with INSL3 were lost, except for high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

And testing whether INSL3 levels in blood samples of a subgroup of men could predict health outcomes about four years later, lower levels of the hormone were associated with seven of nine comorbidity categories. But again, that was without taking other factors into account.

One area the scientists want to explore in future studies is how INSL3 relates to sexual health, with its strong connection to testosterone, but this was not covered in detail in this particular study.

Future studies should also “focus on longer time periods to determine whether INSL3 measured in younger or middle-aged men … truly predicts later onset of age-related health problems,” the researchers conclude.

If the link between INSL3 and these health risks is established by further studies, and scientists are able to determine exactly why the link exists, it means that preparations can be made much earlier to try to spot – and stop – the various health problems associated with aging. don’t happen.

“The holy grail of aging research is to narrow the fitness gap that appears as people age,” says Anand-Ivell.

The research was published in Frontiers in endocrinology.

title_words_as_hashtags]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *