Does Testosterone Increase Bone Density in Men?

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Key Points About testosterone and bone density

There is a definite link between testosterone and bone density in men.

Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when bone density is lost. Osteoporosis is more common in women than men. However, men can and do suffer from bone loss as well.

A man’s testosterone level is directly related to his risk of developing osteoporosis. Testosterone and particularly testosterone therapy, can increase bone density in men.

Why Is Bone Density Important for Overall Bone Health

Bone density is a measure of how much mineral content is present in bone tissue. The higher the bone density, the stronger and more resistant the bone is to fractures and other injuries. Bone density is an essential aspect of overall bone health because it is a key factor in determining bone strength.

why is bone density important for health

As we age, bone density decreases, and this can lead to a condition called osteoporosis, which is characterized by brittle and fragile bones that are more prone to fractures. Osteoporosis is a significant public health concern because it affects millions of people worldwide, including men and can have severe consequences, including disability and death.

Having adequate bone density is essential to maintaining good bone health throughout life. It helps to prevent fractures and other injuries, and it also allows the body to support its weight and move efficiently. Bone density is affected by several factors, including age, gender, genetics, diet, physical activity, and hormonal levels – in men, testosterone levels, in particular, impact bone density and bone health.

What is Bone Density, and How Is it Measured

Bone density is typically measured using a technique called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA). This test uses a low-dose X-ray to scan the spine, hips, or other bones to measure bone mineral density. The DXA scan provides a “T-score,” which compares a man’s bone density to the average peak bone density of a healthy male adult of the same age.

A T-score of -1.0 or above is considered normal bone density. A T-score between -1.0 and -2.5 indicates low bone density, also known as osteopenia, and a T-score of -2.5 or below indicates osteoporosis.

Other methods used to measure bone density include quantitative ultrasound (QUS), peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These tests are less commonly used than DXA but can provide additional information on bone structure and strength.

It is important for men over 40 to monitor bone density, especially men who may already have low testosterone and are at greater risk for osteoporosis, as these tests can help identify potential bone health issues early and guide treatment options.

The Role of Testosterone in Bone Growth and Development

Testosterone is known to increase bone density in men, which helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Testosterone increases bone density through several mechanisms. Firstly, it stimulates the activity of osteoblasts, which are cells responsible for the formation of new bone tissue. These cells produce proteins that form the bone matrix and deposit calcium into it, thereby increasing bone density.

Testosterone increases bone density in men

Secondly, testosterone decreases the activity of osteoclasts, which are cells that break down bone tissue. By reducing the activity of these cells, testosterone helps to preserve bone density and prevent bone loss.

Thirdly, testosterone also indirectly affects bone density by increasing muscle mass and strength. Strong muscles pull on the bones, which creates a mechanical stress that stimulates bone growth and density. Therefore, increased muscle mass and strength from testosterone can help to improve bone density.

What Do the Medical Studies Say About Testosterone and Bone Density

Clinical research has confirmed that age-related testosterone deficiency is one of the leading causes of osteoporosis in men. 

For example, a study published in the Journal of Osteoporosis concluded, “Testosterone is an important hormone for both bone gain and maintenance in men. [Men with low testosterone] have accelerated bone turnover and increased fracture risk. In these men, administration of testosterone inhibits bone resorption and maintains bone mass.”

Recently, researchers from the prestigious Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in association with several other well-respected medical centers nationwide, conducted seven clinical trials in partnership with the National Institute on Aging specifically to determine the value of testosterone replacement therapy for aging men.

The findings of the “Testosterone Trials” were published in March of 2018. The key takeaways from the TTrials were that for older men with low testosterone, testosterone treatment for one year:

    • Improved all aspects of sexual function
    • Improved strength and mobility 
    • Improved mood and depressive symptoms
    • Markedly increased bone mineral density and estimated bone strength.

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Benefits and Risks of Testosterone Therapy

In addition to increasing bond density, testosterone therapy has many benefits for men suffering from age-related testosterone loss. Most studies indicate that the benefits of testosterone therapy for men far outweigh any potential risks. In addition to improving bone density and lowering the risk of osteoporosis, other benefits of testosterone replacement include the following:

benefits and side effects of testosterone therapy

  • Increase energy.
  • Increased muscle mass and strength. 
  • Increased libido and sexual function. 
  • Improved mood.
  • Improved heart health and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Improved memory and cognition, lowered risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Testosterone therapy is not without some risks; some of the possible side effects of testosterone therapy include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Skin color changes
  • Oily skin
  • Hair loss
  • Acne may occur
  • Pain and/or swelling at the injection site (testosterone injections)  

However, when used as directed and with proper medical supervision, most of our testosterone therapy patients have few, if any, side effects, and should any side effects occur, they can usually be mitigated simply by changing your dose or delivery method of testosterone therapy.

Other Ways to Increase Bone Density

In addition to increasing testosterone levels either through lifestyle changes and/or testosterone replacement therapy, other ways to improve bone density in men and possibly prevent or treat osteoporosis include the following:

  • Exercise – Strength training and weight-bearing exercise can strengthen bones and their support system, your muscles, and joints. High-impact exercises such as running or jumping should be avoided as these can lead to fractures.
  • Calcium supplements – Taking calcium supplements as well as magnesium, zinc, fluoride, and vitamin D can all help you to grow new bone.
  • Medications – There are several prescription medications that are used to treat senile osteoporosis. These are known as “antiresorptive medications” and are part of a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. Some of the common brand names of such medications include Fosamax and Boniva.


As men age, they lose testosterone, weakening bones, and loss of bone density leading to osteoporosis is one of the health concerns of low testosterone. Osteoporosis in aging men can be dangerous as it can lead to osteoporosis fractures which can be hard to heal and debilitating. Testosterone therapy can improve bone health and lower the risk of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures because testosterone increases bone density in men.

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