The consequences of low testosterone levels have been primarily investigated in middle-age and older men. However, low-T in young men aged 20-39 years can confer health risks as well…
It is well-documented that testosterone levels decline with age in men. After the age of 40 years, total T decreases on average -4 ng/dL ( -0.124 nmol/L) per year  or 1.6% per year , and bioavailable T by -2 to 3% per year.  In older men (over 60 years of age), the average decline in total testosterone levels has been found to be 110 ng/dL every decade.
However, the relative contributions of changes in health and lifestyle to that decline have not been adequately evaluated. A notable study was set out to investigate this…
Testosterone deficiency, popularly known as “low T”, has entered the center stage in both the lay and medical communities. However, how is testosterone deficiency (a.k.a. hypogonadism) diagnosed? What is the testosterone level threshold below which you can say you have low T? What are the references ranges for healthy men?
Here you will find out what the medical guidelines say, what critical information they are ignoring, what you should point out to your doctor if he/she doesn’t think you have low T…
Testosterone deficiency in men, aka hypogonadism, is associated with increased total and abdominal fat mass, and reduced muscle mass, which negatively impacts body composition.[1, 2] This contributes to development of risk factors like insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, and atherogenic dyslipidemia (a triad of increased blood levels of small, dense LDL particles and triglycerides, and decreased levels of HDL particles), which increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.[1, 3-16]
Previous studies have shown that testosterone replacement therapy ameliorates these risk factors in testosterone deficient (hypogonadal) men; it increases insulin sensitivity [17-20] and HDL (the “good” cholesterol)[9, 10, 20, 21], and reduces waist circumference [9, 20, 22], fasting blood glucose [9, 20] triglycerides (blood fats), LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) [19, 22-24], and several inflammatory markers.[17, 25]
A 2011 meta-analysis concluded that testosterone replacement therapy improves metabolic control, as well as reduces abdominal obesity. Many studies have shown that testosterone replacement therapy in hypogonadal men increases muscle mass and reduces fat mass.[19, 26-32] Further, adding testosterone (50 mg/day for 1 year, administered as a transdermal gel) to a diet and exercise program results in greater therapeutic improvements of glycemic control and reverses the metabolic syndrome.
Testosterone also has direct (non-obesity mediated) beneficial effects on many metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors [12, 33-37], and reduces death risk independently of body fat status. In line with all these effects, low testosterone levels are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular complications , and all-cause and cardiovascular disease death [40-42]. Low testosterone may thus be a predictive marker for men at high risk of cardiovascular disease. In a group of men aged 50-91 who were followed for 20 years, it was found that men whose total testosterone levels were in the lowest quartile (241 ng/dl or lower) were 40% more likely to die than those with higher levels, independent of age, adiposity, lifestyle or presence of cardiovascular risk factors.
Thus, treatment of testosterone deficient men with testosterone has demonstrated considerable health benefits. Despite this, critics state that most of the studies on testosterone replacement therapy were too small. They also argue that the studies were of too short duration (most of them lasting 6-12 months), and that the long-term effects of testosterone on body composition are not known.
Two 5 year long studies were just published that addressed the duration and small study size shortcomings in previous research…
Exercise protects against heart disease in many ways. One important mechanism is by elevating HDL, a.k.a. the “good” cholesterol. It is well established that high levels of HDL are protective against cardiovascular disease and the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) has emphasized increasing HDL levels to help reduce CHD risk. [2-4] However, not only HDL levels are important. Emerging research in showing that HDL quality and function is as important, if not more important for health promotion and prevention of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases…[5-7]
A hotly debated recent study, the SELECT trial, has casted doubt on the well documented health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. This study found that a higher content of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA+DPA+DHA) in blood plasma was associated with a with a greater risk of low-grade (44%) and high-grade (71%) prostate cancers over a 5-year follow-up 1. Associations were similar for individual long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Higher linoleic acid (omega-6) was associated with a 25% reduced risk of low-grade and 23% reduced risk of total prostate cancer 1 .
This has understandably generated confusion among the general public and intense discussions among health professionals and researchers. However, a deeper look at the data and study methodology reveals a different picture…
Will Brink and Dr Lopez have previously commented on the notorious omega-3 / prostate cancer study:
Here is my take on it…
Another great article from Dr. Lopez that examines in objective detail what risks, if any, long chain fatty acids (the “fish oils” EPA/DHA would be in that category) present to the prostate. His prior article on fish oils can be found HERE.
Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Friend or Foe to Prostate?
More than meets the eye to recent controversy over omega-3 levels and prostate cancer risk—Lets take a closer look
Hector Lopez, MD, CSCS, FAAPMR
A large-scale prospective case-cohort study evaluating plasma fatty acid levels and prostate cancer risk, published in JNCI (Journal of the National Cancer Institute) online ahead of print on July 10th, 2013 has created quite the stir amongst media, health care professionals, nutrition researchers, and the dietary supplement industry…Again! To quote the great Yogi Berra, “It’s like déjà vu, all over again.”
“Bio Identical” hormones are being marketed strongly as a safer alternative to other forms. What is “bio identical” testosterone? In this vid, I explain the facts behind supposed bio identical testosterone.
“Low T” or testosterone deficiency syndrome is a very popular topic these days, with men getting prescriptions for injections, gels, patches, and other T replacement options.
But is it safe? Are there side effects? What are the possible negatives to treatment of Low T? I cover what most medical professionals fail to tell you!