So, Mister, we know that your testosterone level is what keeps you going under the sheets, in the bedroom! But are you aware of its roles outside the bedroom as well? You would be surprised to know, it does quite a bit of work for your body, apart from the but obvious ones of fuelling your sexual desire and helping you get an erection! It helps in bone mass development, fat distribution, red blood cell production, muscle mass development and production of sperm. So keeping in mind its various roles, it is pretty clear that, low T can definitely be harmful for you in more than just one way.
It would be interesting to know that although testosterone levels increases during puberty, after a man reaches his 30’s, his testosterone levels start decreasing by 1% every year and by the time he is in his sixties, his levels are pretty low. But sometimes men even in their 30s may face the problem of low T, also known as hypogonadism. Hypogonadism happens when the testes in men produce little or no sex hormone, which is testosterone in this case.
Some common signs of men suffering from low levels of testosterone are fatigue, depression, lack of libido, problems concentrating, and erectile dysfunction to name a few. This is when testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) comes in place. But before assuming you have got low T, the best way to go about it is to get a blood test done which will show whether you are clinically low in testosterone or not. Usually, levels below 300 ng/dl are considered low. In that case, supplementing with T can not only help increase your sex drive but also boost your mood and muscle growth.
But now adding one more feather to its list of benefits, a recent study shows that the T supplement can even protect your heart as well. This is exactly what a study conducted by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine is saying. For this study, 656 men with low testosterone levels were studied for a period of 7 years. Of these men, 360 men received TRT, while 296 didn’t. The researchers found that although there were 30 non-fatal strokes and 26 non-fatal heart attacks in the group that hadn’t received the supplement, there were no such incidents reported in the group that had received the therapy.
Further, adding to the good news, the men who had received the therapy, also showed a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides, liver enzymes as well as a reduction in weight and waist circumference, all of which does play an important role in maintaining a healthy heart.
Although this is one isolated study, a similar study which was conducted in Salt Lake City by Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, also showed that testosterone therapy helped elderly men with low testosterone levels and pre-existing coronary artery disease, to reduce their risks to heart diseases including strokes, heart attacks, and death. As per the study men who didn’t receive TRT were 80% more susceptible to suffer from an adverse event.
In this research 755 male patients from Intermountain healthcare hospitals, were studied over a period of three years. They were all aged between 58 and 78 and had severe coronary artery disease. As per the findings of the study, it was found that after a period of one year while 64 patients who were not taking the therapy, suffered from major adverse cardiovascular events, only 12 and 9 of the men who were on medium doses and high doses of testosterone respectively, suffered from similar such events. After a period of three years, the findings turned out to be pretty similar with 128 men from the non-testosterone group suffering from major adverse cardiovascular events compared to only 38 and 22 suffering from the same, belonging to the medium and high levels of TRT groups, respectively.
These studies come in contrast to the mandatory warning of FDA which requires all manufacturers of all approved testosterone products to add labels outlining the coronary risks of testosterone supplementation.
Speaking on the same cardiologist Brent Muhlestein, who is also MD and Co-director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, said that the FDA’s warning was based on the best clinical information available at that time. As further information becomes available from studies, such as these, hopefully, this warning might be changed by FDA in the future.
So in case, you have low T (as per blood test) the best thing would be to consult your doctor who may weigh the pros and cons of testosterone therapy, before advising you the same.