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Active Voice: Estrogen, Like Androgen, Can Affect Muscle Strength

Active Voice is a column by ACSM experts in science, medicine, and allied health. The viewpoints expressed do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Dawn Lowe, PhD, FACSM, is Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle deterioration in relation to age, injury and disease. See the April 2010 issue of ACSM's Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews for a related research review she coauthored: "Mechanisms Behind Estrogen's Beneficial Effect on Muscle Strength in Females."


Estrogens and androgens are the primary sex hormones of females and males, respectively, and these hormones are quite different. Right? We recognize androgens as anabolic steroids that influence the response of skeletal muscle to exercise in males. But what about estrogen’s influence on exercise and skeletal muscle in women? If you are not so sure about this answer, you are not alone. more


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