Conflicting results have been obtained concerning the importance of testosterone in maintaining cardiovascular health. Nevertheless, maintaining normal testosterone levels in elderly men has been shown to improve many parameters that are thought to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, such as increased lean body mass, decreased visceral fat mass, decreased total cholesterol, and glycemic control.
Many endocrinologists are sounding the alarm about the damaging effects that come with exposure to common household chemicals. Called “endocrine disruptors,” these chemicals interfere with our body’s hormone system and cause problems like weight gain and learning disabilities. One type of endocrine disruptor is particularly bad news for our testosterone levels.
The hormone testosterone plays a major role in a man’s life. “We’re literally better at who we are if our T levels are thriving,” says Chad Howse, co-author of The Man Diet: A Proven Guide to More Energy, Increased Virility, and Higher Testosterone Levels. T affects just about everything, from a man’s appearance to his physical and emotional health.
Known as the "male hormone," testosterone is produced primarily by the testicles. "Beginning around age 30, testosterone levels begin to decline naturally and continue to do so as a man ages," says Holly Lucille, ND, RN, a naturopathic doctor, educator, and author, "sometimes leading to low testosterone symptoms such as depressed moods, decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and difficulties with concentration and memory.”
Caffeine: While caffeine can’t ramp up testosterone directly, it can help you put in the quality work in the gym that will spike your T. One International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism study, for instance, found that athletes who consumed caffeine before training lifted more—and experienced a greater subsequent lift in testosterone—than those who took a placebo.
It also had a purpose. It turns out posing in powerful stances causes your testosterone to increase within 20 minutes [13,14]. In those two studies, power posing for just a few minutes also dropped cortisol and boosted confidence. It’s a great way to start your day, or to give yourself an edge before a job interview or a big presentation. They don’t call it “warrior pose” for nothing!
Mental status changes including excess aggression are a well known phenomenon in the context of anabolic steroid abuse (Perry et al 1990). An increase in self-reported aggressive behaviors have also been reported in one double blind placebo controlled trial of testosterone in young hypogonadal men (Finkelstein et al 1997), but this has not been confirmed in other studies (Skakkebaek et al 1981; O’Connor et al 2002). Aggression should therefore be monitored but in our experience is rarely a significant problem during testosterone replacement producing physiological levels.
When many people think of someone with a high level of testosterone, they may picture a man loaded with strength, sexual prowess, and machismo. But while high-T has been correlated with all those things, it’s also been correlated with aggression, sexual misconduct, and violence. One of testosterone’s most common uses—as a performance-enhancing steroid—illustrates both sides of the hormone. Injecting steroids can be a quick way for athletes to dramatically improve performance, but the side effects can also be extreme, and can include excessive body hair growth, sexual dysfunction, and the hard-to-corral anger known as “roid rage.”
The biologically available part of total testosterone is called free testosterone, and it’s readily available to the cells. Almost every lab has a blood test to measure free testosterone. Even though it’s only a small fraction of the total, the free testosterone level is a pretty good indicator of low testosterone. It’s not perfect, but the correlation is greater than with total testosterone.
Maybe someone could help me out here. I am a 21 year old former college football player and have been experiencing low test for a while now, about a year ago i went in to see my doctor, and after becoming an expert over the subject thanks to the internet, i told him that i thought it had to be my testosterone level. So he had me come back the next day and got a level of 107ng/dL. He was shocked to say the least. He referred me to an IDIOT endocrinologist, and he which tested me again and got a level of 187. He said to do nothing for the next 3 MONTHS and levels should be 700-900… Yeah well about 4 months later, which was last week, i had to go in, there is some serious shit wrong with me, physically, mentally, you name it. The level came back at 57ng/dL… They said we need to run further tests… WTF is going on, i am dying here. What do i do people???
These researchers took saliva samples from recreational women athletes before and after playing 10 minutes of flag football. The data showed that this short, intense burst of competitive sport triggered the immediate release of testosterone. Interestingly, the subjects' mental state also contributed to the data. Self-rated performance scores were directly related to testosterone levels.
Trials of testosterone treatment in men with type 2 diabetes have also taken place. A recent randomized controlled crossover trial assessed the effects of intramuscular testosterone replacement to achieve levels within the physiological range, compared with placebo injections in 24 men with diabetes, hypogonadism and a mean age of 64 years (Kapoor et al 2006). Ten of these men were insulin treated. Testosterone treatment led to a significant reduction in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) and fasting glucose compared to placebo. Testosterone also produced a significant reduction in insulin resistance, measured by the homeostatic model assessment (HOMA), in the fourteen non-insulin treated patients. It is not possible to measure insulin resistance in patients treated with insulin but five out of ten of these patients had a reduction of insulin dose during the study. Other significant changes during testosterone treatment in this trial were reduced total cholesterol, waist circumference and waist-hip ratio. Similarly, a placebo-controlled but non-blinded trial in 24 men with visceral obesity, diabetes, hypogonadism and mean age 57 years found that three months of oral testosterone treatment led to significant reductions in HbA1C, fasting glucose, post-prandial glucose, weight, fat mass and waist-hip ratio (Boyanov et al 2003). In contrast, an uncontrolled study of 150 mg intramuscular testosterone given to 10 patients, average age 64 years, with diabetes and hypogonadism found no significant change in diabetes control, fasting glucose or insulin levels (Corrales et al 2004). Another uncontrolled study showed no beneficial effect of testosterone treatment on insulin resistance, measured by HOMA and ‘minimal model’ of area under acute insulin response curves, in 11 patients with type 2 diabetes aged between 33 and 73 years (Lee et al 2005). Body mass index was within the normal range in this population and there was no change in waist-hip ratio or weight during testosterone treatment. Baseline testosterone levels were in the low-normal range and patients received a relatively small dose of 100 mg intramuscular testosterone every three weeks. A good increase in testosterone levels during the trial is described but it is not stated at which time during the three week cycle the testosterone levels were tested, so the lack of response could reflect an insufficient overall testosterone dose in the trial period.
Hypogonadism is highly prevalent amongst men with diabetes mellitus type 2 or symptoms of the metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance, impaired glucose regulation, obesity, and hypertension.1,6,13,14,17,18 Low testosterone in many men with diabetes remains undiagnosed and untreated, and current guidelines recommend measurement of testosterone levels in such patients and, equally, that such chronic diseases should be investigated and treated in men with hypogonadism.1,6 It is not yet fully known whether diabetes is a cause or a consequence of low testosterone, and the full effects of testosterone administration on glycemic control in hypogonadal men with diabetes are unclear. However, there are indications that treating hypogonadism may have benefits on metabolic status in men with diabetes, and there is evidence that testosterone replacement therapy has a beneficial effect on risk factors for diabetes such as central obesity, insulin sensitivity, glucose control and blood lipid profiles in hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes.14,19,20
Other side effects include increased risk of heart problems in older men with poor mobility, according to a 2009 study at Boston Medical Center. A 2017 study published in JAMA found that treatments increase coronary artery plaque volume. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufactures to include a notice on the labeling that states taking testosterone treatments can lead to possible increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. The FDA recommends that patients using testosterone should seek medical attention right away if they have these symptoms: