Figure 4 The age-related decline in total and bioavailable testosterone. Bioavailable testosterone was not measured in some groups. (Reproduced with kind permission from Rhoden, E. L. N. Eng J. Med. 2004, 350, 482-492 © 2004 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.)

5,5-dimethyl-3-(3-fluorophenyl)-4-(4-methylfsulfonyl)phenyl-2-(5H)-furanone (DFU) was used as a dietary supplement, there was an increase in StAR protein concentrations and a corresponding increase in testosterone production. However, other researchers suggest that in an aging male there is an increase in lipid peroxidation resulting in higher concentrations of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), and this in turn will increase the concentration of NADPH-sensitive 5a-reductase. An excessive conversion of testosterone (albeit reduced levels) to DHT is likely to upset the regulatory balance, and may lead to excessive DHT-mediated epithelium and stroma growth.

Prostate volume increases steadily with age, starting after the fourth decade of life. This process can occur independently of hormonal status, and is more pronounced in the central zone of the prostate (this is the area where BPH is usually more obvious). Some studies have shown that age-related annual growth ranges from 3.5% for the central zone to 1.5% for the periurethral zone and 0.8% for total prostate volume.7 A more recent study, which assessed the relationship between age and prostate weight in 962 volunteers, showed that age-related volume increases were significant in epithelium and stroma from the transition zone of the prostate, and this was coupled with calculi and lymphocyte (i.e., inflammatory) infiltration.8

All of the processes described above (i.e., hormonal changes, nonhormonal growth, and inflammation) are likely to have a significant impact on the normal functioning of the prostate, and particularly the homeostasis between cell proliferation and apoptosis, which could result in prostate enlargement. In some men, progressive enlargement will result in the development of BPH (or benign prostatic enlargement), which can result in bladder obstruction and overt urinary symptoms (see Figure 5).

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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