Regulation of body composition by androgens
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- Bhasin, S. J Endocrinol Invest (2003) 26: 814. doi:10.1007/BF03345230
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Human body can be viewed simplisti-cally as being composed of fat-free and fat mass. With more sophisticated techniques, body composition can be broken down into fat mass, skeletal muscle mass, nonmuscle lean mass, visceral mass and bone mineral content. Similarly, it is possible to obtain estimates of total body water and intracellular and extracellular water contents.
Regardless of the model of body composition assessment, it is evident that androgens are important determinants of body composition; there is no body compartment that is not directly or indirectly affected by androgens.
The effects of androgens on skeletal muscle mass have received the greatest attention in recent literature; however, growing body of evidence suggests that androgens also regulate fat mass, bone mineral content, nonmuscle soft tissues and body water.