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Testosterone

This hormone is vital for both men and women. And, in both men and women, testosterone levels peak during youth and decline with age. Replacing inadequate testosterone with natural testosterone can help protect the heart, improve mental alertness, make bones stronger, and revive a lagging sex life.

Testosterone and Heart Disease

Enhancing Libido

Testosterone Deficiency in Women

Testosterone Deficiency and Aging

Testosterone and Estrogen Imbalance in Men

Diagnosis of Testosterone Deficiency

Testosterone and Prostate Cancer

How Testosterone is Administered

Testosterone May Protect Against Heart Disease

Recent research demonstrates that the role of testosterone goes far deeper than making men masculine. Researches have found that men hypotestosteronemia (low testosterone) may be at risk for coronary arteriosclerosis.

 

Enhancing Libido

In both men and women, testosterone increases the desire for sexual activity. Although estrogen can also have a libido-enhancing effect, testosterone’s effect is usually far greater. In a well-controlled, double blinded , placebo-controlled study published in 1950, it was found that menopause women receiving testosterone treatment increased their libidinous drive by 65%.

Other researchers who have evaluated the sexual effects of testosterone report that women receiving this hormone after menopause experience increases in:

  • sexual response

  • Frequency of sexual intercourse

  • Sexual desire

  • Number of sexual fantasies

  • Level of sexual arousal

Natural testosterone in women can be effective for preventing and reversing osteoporosis. A recent study has shown that women with osteoporosis who took a combination of estrogen and testosterone increased their bone density, an effect previously demonstrated only with progesterone.

 

Testosterone Deficiency in Women

Other researchers who have evaluated the sexual effects of testosterone report that women receiving this hormone after menopause experience increases in:

• Sexual response
• Frequency of sexual intercourse
• Sexual desire
• Number of sexual fantasies
• Level of sexual arousal

Natural testosterone in women can be effective for preventing and reversing osteoporosis.  A recent study has shown that women with osteoporosis who took a combination of estrogen and testosterone increased their bone density, an effect previously demonstrated only with progesterone.

Testosterone Deficiency and Aging in Men

All men experience a gradual reduction of testosterone levels. Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone that influences physical vitality, development and maintenance of muscle mass, libido, erectile function and sperm production. For men in their forties, the decrease is so small that it is almost imperceptible. The decreased levels start to become noticeable in the fifth or sixth decade of life. As many as 60 percent of men over the age of fifty-five suffer some recognizable decrease in physical vitality, strength, and sexual prowess due to testosterone deficiency.

  • Muscle weakness and shrinkage

  • Decrease in vigor and aggressiveness

  • Decrease in sexual desire

  • Decrease in sexual activity

  • Inability to develop and maintain penile erection for sexual intercourse.

 

 

Testosterone and Estrogen imbalance in Men 

The most significant hormone imbalance in aging men is a decrease in free testosterone while estrogen levels remain the same or precipitously increase.  Some men convert their testosterone to estrogen.  In some men testosterone replacement therapy by itself does not work because the replacement testosterone may convert (aromatize) into even more estrogen.  Estrogen is a necessary hormone for men, but too much causes a wide range of health problems such as heart attacks and stroke.  High levels of estrogen have been implicated as a cause of benign prostatic hypertrophy and one mechanism by which nettle extract works is by blocking the binding of growth-stimulating estrogen to prostate cells.

High levels of estrogen in men also trick the brain into thinking that enough testosterone is being produced, thereby slowing down the natural production of testosterone.  Based on the multiple deleterious effects of excess estrogen in men, aggressive actions should be taken to reduce estrogen to a safe range if a blood test reveals elevated levels.

Remember, excess estrogen (estradiol) blocks the production and effect of testosterone throughout the body, dampens sexuality, and increases the risk of prostate and cardiovascular diseases.

If estradiol levels are high (above 30), total testosterone in mid to high normal and free testosterone levels are low or low normal, you should:

1.             Make sure you are getting 80 –90 mg of zinc daily.

2.             Consume 110 mg of soy isoflavones (phytoestrogens) each day.  High levels of physoestrogens compete with estradiol on cell receptor sites and stimulate the liver to remove estrogens from the blood.

3.             Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption.  Heavy alcohol intake increases estrogen in men and women

4.             Review all drugs you are regularly taking to see if they may be interfering with a health liver function.  Common drugs that affect liver function are the NSAIDS…ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, the “statin” class of cholesterol lowing drugs, some heart and blood pressure medications and some anti-depressants.

5.             Lose weight.  Fat cells, especially in abominal region, produce aromatase enzyme, which converts testosterone into estrogen.

6.             If all of the above fail to increase free testosterone and lower excess estradiol, then the potent aromatase inhibiting drug Arimidex (anastrozole) in the very low dose of ˝ (0.5 mg) twice a week is indicated.  This should cause an immediate drop in estradiol levels and a rise in free testosterone.

Diagnosis of Testosterone Deficiency

Diagnosed by physical examination and, most important, by laboratory tests.  Blood levels of testosterone, free and total, and estrogen levels are measured.

A normal blood level of testosterone is between 900 and 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl) in men and 15 to 100 ng/dl in women. Determinations of blood levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are some times ordered to distinguish the primary cause of low testosterone. Other tests may be order such as thyroid and tests for diabetes as a cause for symptoms.

The patient need not fast before the blood drawing, but timing is important. Because of the body’s circadian rhythm, the highest level of testosterone occurs around 8:00 in the morning. Each blood draw should be done at the same time of day.

 

Testosterone and Prostate Cancer

Although there is no significant evidence that testosterone supplements causes prostate cancer, I do not recommend testosterone supplementation for those with prostate cancer or a history of prostate cancer treatment.

If you are on testosterone replacement, you should have annual prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests to monitor for prostate cancer. Your PSA will elevate slightly due to testosterone replacement, but this is an indication of normal prostrate stimulation, not a precancerous condition.

To reduce the risk of hormone modulation with testosterone could contribute to a prostate problem, men taking testosterone are advised to take: 

Vitamin E 800 - 1000 i.u./day
Selenium 200 - 600 mcg/day
Saw Palmetto Extract 160 mg, twice a day
Pygeum Extract 50 mg, twice a day
Nettle Extract 50 mg, twice a day
Lycopene Extract 20 - 40 mg/day

 

How Testosterone is Administered

Testosterone can be administered in a number of ways. Skin patches are now available, implants under the skin, injections and skin creams. .  We prefer using a testosterone skin cream.  For women, it is usually combined with the natural hormone replacement medications.  

 

Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. You should carefully read all product packaging. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.

Statements and information regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Please consult your healthcare provider before beginning any course of supplementation or treatment.

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