Estrogen metabolism modulates bone density in men

N. Napoli, R. Faccio, V. Shrestha, S. Bucchieri, G. Battista Rini, R. Armamento-Villareal

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24 Scopus citations


Estrogen is a critical hormone for bone homeostasis in men, but no information is available on the role of estrogen metabolism among men. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of estrogen hydroxylation on male bone mineral density (BMD). Participants consisted of 61 healthy Caucasian males (mean age 66.6 ± 1.0 years). Urinary estrogen metabolites were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, serum estradiol by ultrasensitive radioimmunoassay, sex hormone binding globulin by radioimmunoassay, and BMD of the lumbar spine and the proximal femur by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Active estrogen metabolites, 16α-hydroxyestrone (16αOHE1) and estriol (E3), positively correlated with adjusted BMD in all regions of the proximal femur (all P < 0.05) but not at the lumbar spine, and those in the highest tertile of urinary 16αOHE1 had the highest BMD. Free estradiol index (FEI) also positively correlated with BMD of the total hip, femoral neck, and intertrochanter (all P < 0.05), while there was no correlation between BMD with inactive metabolites (2-hydroxyestrone and 2-methoxyestrone) and serum testosterone. Multiple regression analysis showed 16αOHE1, FEI, and body mass index are important independent predictors of BMD in all regions of the proximal femur. Estrogen metabolism may modulate BMD in men. Increased urinary 16αOHE1 and E 3 levels are associated with high BMD at the proximal femur, and 16αOHE1 appears to be a major determinant of BMD among the metabolites evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Bone mineral density
  • Estrogen metabolism
  • Male osteoporosis


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