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Endocrinology Study: Testosterone Not the Fountain of Youth

Posted by floriza in Endocrinology

A study conducted by The University of Western Australia’s Western Australian Center for Health and Ageing (WACHA) and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reports that testosterone may not make men feel as young as previously believed. The article was titled, “Low Free Testosterone Predicts Mortality from Cardiovascular Disease But Not Other Causes.”

The endocrinology researchers concluded that testosterone only has the capacity to prevent cardiovascular disease. They did not find any evidence to support the previous belief that testosterone promotes greater vigor and longevity or prevents other age-related diseases.

The study included more than 3,500 elderly men between the ages of 70 and 88. The men chosen were not taking hormones, nor did any of them have prostate cancer. Testosterone levels were tested at the beginning of the study and five years later. Six hundred of the men died during the five-year period of the study, one-third of which died of cardiovascular disease. Another third died of cancer, and the remaining third succumbed to other diseases.

The testosterone levels of those who died of cardiovascular disease were lower than those in the other groups. Low levels did not appear to correlate with mortality or other diseases.

What About Testosterone Therapy?

Endocrinology researchers are cautious about the use of testosterone supplementation as a preventative measure for cardiovascular disease since a direct cause and effect relationship cannot be presumed from the study results. Studies would need to be conducted to determine if testosterone supplements could actually lower the risk of cardiovascular disease without presenting new risks from the therapy itself.

Testosterone supplementation has been shown to sometimes cause acne, sleep apnea, enlarged breasts in men, shrinking of the testicles, an overabundance of red blood cells, and growth of the prostate gland.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone that exists in both men and women, although at much higher levels in men. It is known to aid in promoting a healthy sex drive, bone density, production of red blood cells, and muscle mass.

Testosterone levels decrease naturally in men during the aging process. It is highest in the teen years and early 20s. A reduction in spontaneous erections and, in some cases, infertility are believed to be caused by low testosterone levels. Sleep problems are also sometimes attributed to low testosterone levels.

Endocrinologists in New Jersey and elsewhere can assist patients in determining if their testosterone levels are too low and what, if anything, should be done to treat it.


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