Can Testosterone Accelerate Bone Growth And Repair?

Can Testosterone Accelerate Bone Growth And Repair?

Is testosterone an effective way to repair and reform bone more quickly?

With testosterone being responsible for bone density, or preventing disease such as osteoporosis, it begs the question whether higher levels of testosterone in a person can repair bone or accelerate the process after a fracture.

It is hard not to be excited about the male sex hormone which is responsible for many physiological functions including:

  1. Fat distribution
  2. Muscle mass
  3. Mood
  4. Energy
  5. Libido
  6. Cognitive health

In studies, lower levels of testosterone are even associated with a higher risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease, more of which can be read, here.

Therefore, it seems it is key to ensure our testosterone levels are maintained to a healthy level, something to be aware of especially considering that men’s natural testosterone levels gradually decrease from around 30 years of age.

So can it be assumed, knowing that higher levels of testosterone are able to prevent osteoporosis, it is also able to accelerate bone repair?

If we consider that men who suffer from low testosterone levels have accelerated bone turnover and also are at a higher risk of bone fractures, it is a plausible theory that men with higher levels of testosterone can repair bone more quickly.

Not only that, but low serum testosterone can contribute to the prediction of clinical vertebral fractures, nonvertebral osteoporosis fractures, as well as hip fractures which is demonstrated by men with hypogonadism who report higher than expected hip or spine fractures.

  • [Francis RM, Peacock M, Aaron JE, Selby PL, Taylor GA, Thompson J, et al. Osteoporosis in hypogonadal men: role of decreased plasma 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, calcium malabsorption, and low bone formation. Bone. 1986;7:261–8]

This could be down to low testosterone levels not allowing optimal calcium absorption.

This is especially relevant when a man has extremely low testosterone levels, particularly after a castration procedure or because they suffer from Klinefelter syndrome.

(Klinefelter syndrome is related to testicular insufficiency, which causes low testosterone levels in serum).

In addition, when men between the age of 20 and 44 were under study, the results suggest that androgens may play an important role in the regulation of bone formation in men.

  • [B. Z. Leder, K. M. LeBlanc, D. A. Schoenfeld, R. Eastell, and J. S. Finkelstein, “Differential effects of androgens and estrogens on bone turnover in normal men,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 88, no. 1, pp. 204–210, 2003]

However, it is also important and relevant to note that conditions such as osteoporosis are more common in women than in men.

Again, suggesting that testosterone has a key role in bone strength and density due to the naturally higher levels of testosterone that men have compared to women.


A study that involved patients with Klinefelter syndrome between the ages of 30 and 44 were administered treatment to increase their testosterone levels.

The results post treatment showed that height increased(!), body mass index reduced as did weight for each patient.

It was also noted that bone mineral density also increased throughout upon long term testosterone supplementation that safely increased hormone levels.

  • [Isidori AM, Giannetta E, Greco EA, Gianfrilli D, Bonifacio V, Isidori A, et al. Effects of testosterone on body composition, bone metabolism and serum lipid profile in middle-aged men: a meta-analysis. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2005;63:280–293]

Further studies demonstrate and confirm that increasing testosterone levels have a favorable effect on bone density.

With the overall conclusion that testosterone has a beneficial effect on bone growth, bone cells and skeletal development.

However, this is only the case for natural testosterone, not synthetically administered testosterone which can potentially be harmful and detrimental to bone development.

  • [Isidori AM, Giannetta E, Greco EA, Gianfrilli D, Bonifacio V, Isidori A, et al. Effects of testosterone on body composition, bone metabolism and serum lipid profile in middle-aged men: a meta-analysis. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2005;63:280–293]

How effective is testosterone at repairing and growing bone?

Studies in mice compared the effectiveness of testosterone at repairing bone with bone morphogenetic protein-2 (Bone morphogenetic protein 2 is shown to stimulate the production of bone).

The results from the study showed that testosterone was as effective as bone morphogenetic protein-2 to repair bone fractures.

With studies showing that androgens are able to increase bone mass and promote the healing and repair of bone defects.

This is a great result, because bone fracture repair utilizing bone morphogenetic protein-2 is expensive, whereas testosterone can provide a cost effective and beneficial alternative.

  • [Maus U, Andereya S, Schmidt H, Zombory G, Gravius S, et al. (2008) [Therapy effects of testosterone on the recovery of bone defects]. Z Orthop Unfall 146: 59–63.]

When a fracture was treated with testosterone or bone morphogenetic protein-2, callus reformation and bone regeneration was visible after 14 days for both separate trials, whereas, when the fracture was not treated with either, there were no signs of repair within the same time frame.

These result shows that testosterone is as effective as bone morphogenetic protein-2 which is used to promote, improve and increase bone healing with tests on rats showing that testosterone helped heal bone faster than other methods.

RELATED: The most effective and natural testosterone boosters

When testosterone was also injected directly unto the growth plate of skeletal cells, there was an increase.

  • [Ren SG, Malozowski S, Sanchez P, Sweet DE, Loriaux DL, Cassorla F. Direct administration of testosterone increases rat tibial epiphyseal growth plate width. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh) 1989;121:401–5]

Furthermore, not only is the expense of bone morphogenetic protein-2 prohibitive, there are a number of adverse side effects that becoming apparent with its use.

  • [Wang C, Eyre DR, Clark R, Kleinberg D, Newman C, et al. (1996) Sublingual testosterone replacement improves muscle mass and strength, decreases bone resorption, and increases bone formation markers in hypogonadal men–a clinical research center study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 81: 3654–3662.]


To conclude, these studies confirm testosterone is able to exert major beneficial effects   upon increasing and improving bone repair.

This is due to testosterone increasing the amount of insulin-like growth factor which enhances osteoblast (secretion of bone from cells) proliferation, in turn, this results in quicker repair and can even increase the height of patients.

  • [Ren SG, Malozowski S, Sanchez P, Sweet DE, Loriaux DL, et al. (1989) Direct administration of testosterone increases rat tibial epiphyseal growth plate width. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh) 121: 401–405.]
  • [Zafirau W, Parker D, Billotte W, Bajpai PK (1996) Development of a ceramic device for the continuous local delivery of steroids. Biomed Sci Instrum 32: 63–70.]
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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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