Looking purely at the biochemical numbers, The Endocrine Society* considers low testosterone to be a total testosterone level of less than 300 ng/dl, and I think that’s a reasonable guide. But no one quite agrees on a number. It’s not like diabetes, where if your fasting glucose is above a certain level, they’ll say, “Okay, you’ve got it.” With testosterone, that break point is not quite as clear.
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Stick to protocols that stress large degrees of muscle mass and are moderate- to high-intensity. Additionally, more seasoned gym-goers may want to incorporate forced repetitions periodically into their programs, as testosterone increases have been observed with this type of training.14 Incorporating other post-failure training techniques such as dropsets or partials may similarly be associated with higher T production.
Tongkat ali (a.k.a. Longjack, a.k.a. Eurycoma Longifolia) is a foundational compound of Ayurveda, commonly used as an aphrodisiac. Similar to DHEA, longjack has been found to be effective in both men and women for improving libido, total and free testosterone concentrations as well as muscle mass and strength in men and women! And, unlike many of the other old world herbs commonly touted as natural testosterone boosters, longjack actually has a fair amount of human research denoting its benefits.
Hoffman, J., Ratamess, N., Kang, J., Magine, G., Faigenbaum, A. & Stout, J. (2006, August). Effect of creatine and beta-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes [Abstract]. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 16(4), 430–46. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17136944
If you take a statin (cholesterol lowering medication) and you follow the 30-Day Heart Tune-Up program, there is a good chance you’ll be able to work with your doctor and over time safely stop your statin medication. Statin medications lower cholesterol, and you need cholesterol to make testosterone. Ask your doctor what you can do with lifestyle changes to not need a statin medication. Improving your cholesterol profile is only part of the answer. Many of the risk calculators doctors use look at tobacco use, body weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Improve all your risk factors, and often you won’t qualify for a medication!
Many clinical studies have looked at the effect of testosterone treatment on body composition in hypogonadal men or men with borderline low testosterone levels. Some of these studies specifically examine these changes in older men (Tenover 1992; Morley et al 1993; Urban et al 1995; Sih et al 1997; Snyder et al 1999; Kenny et al 2001; Ferrando et al 2002; Steidle et al 2003; Page et al 2005). The data from studies, on patients from all age groups, are consistent in showing an increase in fat free mass and decrease in fat mass or visceral adiposity with testosterone treatment. A recent meta-analysis of 16 randomized controlled trials of testosterone treatment effects on body composition confirms this pattern (Isidori et al 2005). There have been less consistent results with regard to the effects of testosterone treatment of muscle strength. Some studies have shown an increase in muscle strength (Ferrando et al 2002; Page et al 2005) with testosterone whilst others have not (Snyder et al 1999). Within the same trial some muscle group strengths may improve whilst others do not (Ly et al 2001). It is likely that the differences are partly due to the methodological variations in assessing strength, but it also possible that testosterone has different effects on the various muscle groups. The meta-analysis found trends toward significant improvements in dominant knee and hand grip strength only (Isidori et al 2005).
Testosterone is used as a medication for the treatment of males with too little or no natural testosterone production, certain forms of breast cancer, and gender dysphoria in transgender men. This is known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which maintains serum testosterone levels in the normal range. Decline of testosterone production with age has led to interest in androgen replacement therapy. It is unclear if the use of testosterone for low levels due to aging is beneficial or harmful.
In essence, there are two types of testosterone boosters, namely natural and synthetic supplements. Anabolic steroids which are under the synthetic category are known to deliver positive results as well as nasty side effects. It is due to this reason that an increasing number of bodybuilders and athletes are now utilizing safer testosterone boosters.
Hello everyone. First off, thank you Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, for the excellent and refreshing article. I do not intend to spill my guts about symptoms or values on here as it has already been done so many times over. I will say that I am an RN BSN and have been on HRT for going on 6 yrs. I live in Oklahoma and when I first started noticing symptoms I knew something was wrong and began to do research myself. With an initial level of 241 no doctor here at that time, would even consider HRT as I was only 35ish at the time.
I am now 65 & have had Low-T problems since I was about 60. I took topical Testosterone for a few years until insurance stopped covering it. Then I took injections at a Men's Health-Low-T Clinic. Then I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer & was told to stop taking Testosterone. I underwent radiation treatment to cure the Prostate cancer, but since there is a theory that taking Testosterone can lead to Prostate cancer, I have chosen not to resume taking it. While I am glad to be free of the cancer, I have been feeling extremely fatigued & tired all the time to the point that doing much of anything like a little yard work would leave me exhausted for days.
Ghlissi, Z., Atheymen, R., Boujbiha, M. A., Sahnoun, Z., Makni Ayedi, F., Zeghal, K., ... Hakim, A. (2013, December). Antioxidant and androgenic effects of dietary ginger on reproductive function of male diabetic rats [Abstract]. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 64 (8), 974–978. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23862759
The diagnosis of late-onset hypogonadism requires the combination of low serum testosterone levels with symptoms of hypogonadism. Questionnaires are available which check for the symptoms of hypogonadism. These have been validated for the assessment of aging patients with hypogonadism (Morley et al 2000; Moore et al 2004) but have a low specificity. In view of the overlap in symptoms between hypogonadism, aging and other medical conditions it is wise to use a formal method of symptom assessment which can be used to monitor the effects of testosterone replacement.
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Attention, memory, and spatial ability are key cognitive functions affected by testosterone in humans. Preliminary evidence suggests that low testosterone levels may be a risk factor for cognitive decline and possibly for dementia of the Alzheimer's type, a key argument in life extension medicine for the use of testosterone in anti-aging therapies. Much of the literature, however, suggests a curvilinear or even quadratic relationship between spatial performance and circulating testosterone, where both hypo- and hypersecretion (deficient- and excessive-secretion) of circulating androgens have negative effects on cognition.
The researchers found that the dose of testosterone required to produce different effects in the body varied widely. The influence of testosterone and estradiol also differed. As the testosterone gel dose was reduced, the scientists showed, reductions in lean mass, muscle size, and leg-press strength resulted from decreases in testosterone itself. In contrast, increases in body fat were due to the related declines in estradiol. Both testosterone and estradiol levels were associated with libido and erectile function.