Marketing Of Testosterone Replacement Therapy Comes Under Suspicion

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Is it normal aging or low testosterone?

This is the question being asked by government researchers, specifically, the National Institute on Aging, which has seen big advertising dollars spent pharmaceutical companies hoping to turn old age into a treatable disease.

There is no real agreement on what the effects of low testosterone as one ages has on the body.

The normal range of 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter fluctuates during the day and what seems low for one individual produces no adverse affects in another.

Unknown side affects, and dubious claims made by research funded by drug makers calls into question the validity of treatment claims.

Baby boomers are also pushing an industry to supply the “fountain of youth” when real vitality is better obtained through lifestyle choices than through medicine.

Adding to the confusion over what defines “low testosterone,” there’s not much understanding of whether testosterone replacement therapy actually improves men’s symptoms. Evidence of the benefits of testosterone is mixed, and the potential health risks are serious. The largest study conducted to date, a 2008 trial involving 230 patients in the Netherlands, found no improvement in muscle strength, cognitive thinking, bone density or overall quality of life among men taking testosterone. Muscle mass increased 1.2 percent, but not enough to improve physical mobility.
The National Institute on Aging is currently conducting an 800-man trial to definitively answer whether testosterone therapy improves walking ability, sexual function, energy, memory and blood cell count in men 65 years and older. But those results aren’t expected until 2014.
In addition to concerns about testosterone’s effectiveness, the long-term side effects of the hormone are not entirely understood because most trials to date have only followed patients for a few months. But the most serious risks include heart problems and prostate cancer. In fact, all testosterone drugs carry a warning that the hormone should not be given to men who have a personal or family history of prostate cancer.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy Helps Men Lose Weight

Male testosterone should never be below normal, according to Dr. Larry Fisch, Urologist and author of, “The Male Biological Clock”.

Those men who have low levels of testosterone may experience fatigue, low sex drive and loss of strength.

Many men with large bellies may have low levels of the male hormone as well as those with diabetes.

Check with your physician to see if you could benefit from testosterone replacement therapy.

Higher Testosterone Protects Older Men’s Hearts

Naturally occurring high testosterone can protect the heart of older men.

Findings published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that of 2,400 Swedish men in their 70s and 80s, those with the highest testosterone levels were less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke over the next several years than men with the lowest levels

Low testosterone may be a marker of other health conditions that put men at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.


Do Men Experience a “Change of Life” as They Age?

“Manapause” ,if you will, while not quite the female equivalent of menopause is still marked by distinctive physiological changes in men.

Unlike women, men experience hormonal changes gradually over a period of many years. A man’s testosterone level peaks around age 20, and then steadily declines from about 40 on, so ultimately it’s about 50% less by the time he is 80 years old. The result can sometimes be a condition called “andropause,” which potentially affects millions of American men.

The symptoms – irritability, changes in sexual function and erectile quality, low desire – can have a very real impact on a guy’s sex life and his overall relationship.

Testosterone Drops in New Fathers

It seems that women aren’t the only ones affected by hormone fluctuations during child birth. Fatherhood, it seems, also comes with physiological changes.

A new study reveals that testosterone levels drop when men become fathers.

The study, experts say, suggests that men’s bodies evolved hormonal systems that helped them commit to their families once children were born. It also suggests that men’s behavior can affect hormonal signals their bodies send, not just that hormones influence behavior. And, experts say, it underscores that mothers were meant to have child care help.

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