NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES

Potential new target for reducing osteoporosis risk in men

Jan 2018

Researchers have identified a new regulator of vitamin D metabolism that could be targeted to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in men undergoing prostate cancer therapy, according to a study published in the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology.

 

Reduced levels of sex hormones in men, caused by prostate cancer therapy can lead to lower vitamin D levels, which in turn increases the risk of bone fractures. This study has identified a previously unknown link between male sex hormone levels and vitamin D that may have future therapeutic value for treating related deficiencies of the vitamin.

The male sex hormones, or androgens, in addition to regulating male sexual development, are also involved in maintaining balance in other body processes, including metabolism. Lower levels of androgens have been associated with an increased risk of bone fracture and the development of osteoporosis in men. Androgen levels in men may be reduced by a variety of factors including normal aging or by some drug treatments, including prostate cancer therapy. Since prostate cancer affects approximately 1 in 9 men and vitamin D deficiency is known to be a common risk factor for bone fractures and developing osteoporosis, the present study aimed to further investigate the link between changes in androgen levels and normal vitamin D function.

Dr Eui Ju Hong and colleagues at Chungnam National University, investigated the effects of increasing or decreasing male sex hormone levels on several different markers of vitamin D function, in cell culture and experimental mouse models. The team found that a deficiency of male sex hormones correlated with increased levels of an enzyme that inactivates vitamin D, which reduces its normal activity. Their work showed that levels of this enzyme increased in the presence of another protein – the progesterone receptor .These receptors directly increase the levels of the vitamin D inactivating enzyme when androgen levels are low, and therefore could be a new target for treating vitamin D deficiency in patients with low androgen levels.

Dr Eui Ju Hong comments, “Reduced sex hormone levels may be caused by normal aging or antihormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer, so this discovery opens up new avenues for tackling vitamin D deficiency in affected men. Vitamin D supplements may be more effective if combined with progesterone receptor blockers, which could reduce the risks of bone fractures and other related complications.”

Dr Hong and his team are now interested in investigating how this previously unknown role of progesterone receptors may affect vitamin D metabolism in women, particularly during pregnancy.

Dr Hong, states, “Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy is linked to a higher risk of complications including abnormal bone growth of the baby, diabetes and low birth weight. We know that progesterone receptor levels are increased during pregnancy, so this finding may have important health implications for the effectiveness of vitamin D supplements in pregnant women, particularly those at higher risk.”

--------ENDS-------

 

The study “5α-dihydrotestosterone reduces renal Cyp24α1 expression via suppression of progesterone receptor“ was published in the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology on 31 January 2018 (doi: 10.1530/JME-17-0187).

The Journal of Molecular Endocrinology is published by Bioscientifica, an innovative and agile publisher. Bioscientifica collaborates with learned societies worldwide to develop new and existing quality products that meet the ever-changing needs of the biomedical community. Our publishing portfolio includes journals and online resources, including Journal of Endocrinology, Endocrine-Related Cancer, Endocrine Connections, Bone Abstracts and Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports. Bioscientifica is a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the Society for Endocrinology.

The Society for Endocrinology is a UK-based membership organisation representing a global community of scientists, clinicians and nurses who work with hormones. Together we aim to improve public health by advancing endocrine education and research, and engaging wider audiences with the science of hormones. www.endocrinology.org

Press

Mentally tiring work may increase diabetes risk in women
Antioxidants may prevent cognitive impairment in diabetes
Skin inflammation may increase your risk of type-2 diabetes
Debate - Is the gut or the brain more important in regulating appetite and metabolism?
Routine vitamin B12 screening may prevent irreversible nerve damage in type-2 diabetes
Good nutrition could protect children from cognitive difficulties caused by early-life stress
Women more resilient to extreme physical activity than previously reported
Oestrogens in cows’ milk are unlikely to pose a threat to adult health
Diabetic patients are more at risk of death from alcohol, accidents and suicide
Too much vitamin A may increase risk of bone fractures
Vitamin D supplements may promote weight loss in obese children
Vitamin B supplements may protect kidney function in children with diabetes
Bad habits in childhood may lead to an ‘unhealthy’ balance of gut bacteria and increase health risks in later life
Lord Robert Winston cautions that advances in infertility therapies may be hindered by over-regulation
New link identified between inflammation and depression in type-1 diabetes
Walking a tightrope: universal thyroid testing could reduce pregnancy problems in some cases, but interfere with healthy pregnancies in others
Brain stimulation may reduce food cravings as obesity treatment
Larger waistlines are linked to higher risk of vitamin D deficiency
Transgender brains are more like their desired gender from an early age
Could intermittent fasting diets increase diabetes risk?
Minimising exposure to common hormone-disrupting chemicals may reduce obesity rates
Brain development disorders in children linked to common environmental toxin exposures
Children born to mothers with low vitamin D levels may develop autism-like behaviours
Over-the-counter antihistamines linked to impaired fertility in men
Arthritis drug can lower sugar levels in diabetes
Potential new target for reducing osteoporosis risk in men
Successful male infertility treatment does not lower fertility of sons
Warm temperatures can lead to misdiagnosis of diabetes in pregnancy
Guidelines for management of recurrent pituitary tumours recommend new drug as first line treatment
Taking paracetamol during pregnancy may reduce fertility of daughters
Link found between morning sickness, smoking and healthy pregnancies
High fat diet during childhood may increase PCOS risk later in life
Early pregnancy test for cows improves welfare and food production
International collaboration release revised guideline for improved management of Turner syndrome
Treating PCOS with a combination of oral contraceptives and spironolactone does not increase the risk of diabetes or heart disease
Vitamin D supplements could help pain management
Breast cancer risk is more affected by total body fat than abdominal fat
New nanotechnology application for difficult-to-treat cancers
Just six months of frequent exercise improves men’s sperm quality
Consuming more than two soft drinks a day can double risk of diabetes
Age-related scarring in ovaries may explain reproductive decline
Happy cows make more nutritious milk
Third of pregnant women iron deficient; risk thyroid-related pregnancy complications
New recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of Adrenal Incidentalomas published in the European Journal of Endocrinology
Sitting down for long periods when pregnant linked to weight gain and depression
New drug provides safer alternative to conventional IVF treatment
Enzyme potential target for fight against obesity and diabetes
Bursts of high-intensity exercise could help diabetes patients manage low blood sugar levels
Soybean foods may protect menopausal women against osteoporosis
Vitamin D pill a day may improve exercise performance and lower risk of heart disease
Diabetes associated with increased risk of serious bacterial blood infection
Breast cancer risk higher in women with overactive thyroid
Injection of appetite gene may offer a more effective alternative to dieting
Hyperthyroidism could be great cost to countries in disability benefits
Mother’s hormone levels predict child’s ability to do maths