Expanded Male Hormone Test
Male Hormone Panel™ (MHP™) and Expanded Male Hormone Panel™ (eMHP™)
The aging process is inevitable. However, restoring lost male vitality is within reach. The hormones involved in this restoration can now be collectively measured in one salivary sample using the regular or expanded Male Hormone Panels™ (MHP™ and eMHP™).
At or around puberty, the important male hormone testosterone reaches adult levels. For a long time it was believed that men maintain adequate levels of testosterone throughout their lives. Many men in their ﬁfties or older, however, experience a progressive decline in their energy, vitality, sexual performance and mental capacity. This decline has been labeled “andropause.” The causes of andropause are believed to be a reduction in testosterone and other androgens. The testicles show a progressive annual drop of 1-1.5% in testosterone output after age 30. Furthermore, as men age, a 1-2% annual decline in the free fraction of testosterone and a progressive annual increase of 1-2% in both luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) has been documented. The clinical manifestations of andropause usually lag ten to twenty years behind the onset of hormone decline. Statistically, andropause affects at least 40% of men of age 55 to 65, and up to 80% of those of age 65 years or more.
Knowing the levels of the seven to nine hormones measured in the two male hormone panels™ helps you formulate an effective plan to relieve andropausal symptoms.
What We Test and What It Tells You
Using a saliva sample, the regular MHP panel measures seven hormones: DHEA, androstenedione, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrone, estradiol and progesterone. The expanded panel measures these seven hormones plus FSH and LH. The hormone levels in saliva reflect the active tissue concentrations, while blood contains mostly protein- bound hormones, whose active levels can only be estimated at best. Urine contains both the active hormones and numerous metabolites and can only provide a gross estimate of hormone production over time. Active fraction measurements from saliva are superior to blood and urine for use in diagnosis and treatment.
Regular Male Hormone Panel™ (MHP™)
Several years ago, Diagnos-Techs introduced the ﬁrst salivary Male Hormone Panel™ (MHP™), which evaluates the androgen pathway by measuring the free fractions of the seven following hormones.
- Progesterone is a precursor to all androgens and is a physiologic modulator of DHT production.
- DHEA/DHEA-S, the main adrenal androgens, are the precursors to both testosterone and estradiol, and are the limiting factor in their production, especially when the patient is under stress.
- Androstenedione, another adrenal androgen and precursor to estrone, is freely inter-convertible with testosterone.
- Estrone is the major estrogen in men and is the product of the peripheral aromatization of androstenedione in fat and muscle tissue.
- Estradiol is an estrogen with more proliferative properties. It is formed partially in the testes, but mostly by aromatase enzyme action in peripheral tissues from both testicular and adrenal androgens.
- Testosterone, the dominant testicular androgen, is the precursor to 5-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The androgenic effect in various tissues is not exerted by testosterone but by the locally produced DHT.
- Dihydrotestosterone is the most potent androgen; it is three to five times more potent than testosterone. DHT is derived partially by direct secretion from the testes, but mostly by conversion from testosterone and other androgens in target tissues (scalp, skin, prostate, liver and others) from five alpha reductase enzyme activities.
Expanded Male Hormone Panel™ (eMHP™)
This panel includes all the tests in the regular MHP™, plus FSH and LH. Early detection of an increase in FSH and LH levels is indicative of a progressive decline in male sexuality and functionality. Salivary measurement of FSH and LH is a technological breakthrough that separates Diagnos-Techs from other laboratories.
Testosterone and sperm production in males are simiar to estrogen and ovulation in females. The pituitary neurohormones FSH and LH stimulate and regulate spermatogenesis and testosterone production respectively.
The expanded Male Hormone Panel™ is helpful for the following clinical uses:
- Measuring baseline hormones.
- Diagnosing andropause and hypogonadism.
- Therapeutic monitoring of HRT.
- Balancing hormones.
- Investigating prostate hypertrophy, hair thinning and hirsutism.
- Evaluating low libido in both sexes.
Beneficial Outcomes of Using the Regular and Expanded Panels
Data from the MHP™/eMHP™ panels can be instrumental in developing treatment plans that use hormones to replace and balance endogenous production. The benefit of these treatment plans include:
- An increase in ﬁtness and a sense of well-being.
- A decrease in body fat and an increase in lean body mass.
- Resolution of hormone-dependent libido problems.
- Prevention of hair thinning.
- An increase in hematocrit and RBC counts.
- Mitigation of osteoporosis and stimulation of bone formation.
- A decrease in total cholesterol, and an increase in HDL.
Note: Unmonitored male HRT may account for increased incidence of prostatic complications, liver cancer and accelerated atherosclerosis.