This is Science Today. It's been discovered that
patients with kidney disease, who are on dialysis
and suffering from malnutrition, benefit from
low doses of anabolic steroids, or synthesized
testosterone. Dr. Kirsten Johansen, a professor
of medicine at the University of California, San
Francisco, says these patients often suffer from
Malnutrition and low protein mass are the strongest
predictors of mortality that we have right now
in this group. Our hope was that if we could improve
that, perhaps we could improve mortality as well.
When patients were given the steroid anabolic
steroids for six months, their body mass increased
and they reported less fatigue than those given
a placebo. Johansen admits these steroids have
a controversial air about them, but emphasizes
they used much lower doses than those reportedly
used by weightlifters.
I see this from being very different from use
of these compounds by weightlifters. What we're
doing here is trying to treat a problem as opposed
to taking healthy people and trying to do better.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.