Smith, R. P., Khanna, A., Coward, R. M., Rajanahally, S., Kovac, J. R., Gonzales, M. A., & Lipshultz, L. I. (2013, September). Factors influencing patient decisions to initiate and discontinue subcutaneous testosterone pellets (Testopel) for treatment of hypogonadism [Abstract]. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 10(9), 2326–2333. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23859250
Type 2 diabetes is an important condition in terms of morbidity and mortality, and the prevalence is increasing in the developed and developing world. The prevalence also increases with age. Insulin resistance is a primary pathological feature of type 2 diabetes and predates the onset of diabetes by many years, during which time raised serum insulin levels compensate and maintain normoglycemia. Insulin resistance and/or impaired glucose tolerance are also part of the metabolic syndrome which also comprises an abnormal serum lipid profile, central obesity and hypertension. The metabolic syndrome can be considered to be a pre-diabetic condition and is itself linked to cardiovascular mortality. Table 1 shows the three commonly used definitions of the metabolic syndrome as per WHO, NCEPIII and IDF respectively (WHO 1999; NCEPIII 2001; Zimmet et al 2005).
A number of research groups have tried to further define the relationship of testosterone and body composition by artificial alteration of testosterone levels in eugonadal populations. Induction of a hypogonadal state in healthy men (Mauras et al 1998) or men with prostate cancer (Smith et al 2001) using a gonadotrophin-releasing-hormone (GnRH) analogue was shown to produce increases in fat mass and decreased fat free mass. Another experimental approach in healthy men featured suppression of endogenous testosterone production with a GnRH analogue, followed by treatment with different doses of weekly intramuscular testosterone esters for 20 weeks. Initially the experiments involved men aged 18–35 years (Bhasin et al 2001) but subsequently the study was repeated with a similar protocol in men aged 60–75 years (Bhasin et al 2005). The different doses given were shown to produce a range of serum concentrations from subphysiological to supraphysiological (Bhasin et al 2001). A given testosterone dose produced higher serum concentrations of testosterone in the older age group (Bhasin et al 2005). Subphysiological dosing of testosterone produced a gain in fat mass and loss of fat free mass during the study. There were sequential decreases in fat mass and increases in fat free mass with each increase of testosterone dose. These changes in body composition were seen in physiological and supraphysiological treatment doses. The trend was similar in younger versus older men but the gain of fat mass at the lowest testosterone dose was less prominent in older patients (Bhasin et al 2001; Bhasin et al 2005). With regard to muscle function, the investigators showed dose dependent increases in leg strength and power with testosterone treatment in young and older men but there was no improvement in fatigability (Storer et al 2003; Bhasin et al 2005).
It is hard to know how many men among us have TD, although data suggest that overall about 2.1% (about 2 men in every 100) may have TD. As few as 1% of younger men may have TD, while as many as 50% of men over 80 years old may have TD. People who study the condition often use different cut-off points for the numbers, so you may hear different numbers being stated.
Lets touch on these individually. Gluten has been shown to increase prolactin levels in male mice (48 & 49). Increased prolactin levels in males leads to all sorts of horrible things: Man Boobs (50), High inflammation (51), and most importantly, higher prolactin levels have been shown to be testosterone lowering and lead to shrinking of the testicle (52).
The most commonly used testosterone preparation in the United States — and the one I start almost everyone off with — is a topical gel. There are two brands: AndroGel and Testim. The gel comes in miniature tubes or in a special dispenser, and you rub it on your shoulders or upper arms once a day. Based on my experience, it tends to be absorbed to good levels in about 80% to 85% of men, but that leaves a substantial number who don’t absorb enough for it to have a positive effect. [For specifics on various formulations, see table below.]
According to a study in the International Journal of Reproductive BioMedicine, D-Aspartic acid increases testosterone levels in some animals. However, studies that have looked at its effects on humans are inconclusive and mainly of poor quality. The paper says there is an urgent need for more research on this chemical, which occurs naturally in some human tissues.
Women also feel the effects of testosterone imbalance. Common knowledge holds that testosterone is just for men, but that’s not true. Low testosterone in women results in a wide variety of hard to diagnose symptoms: fatigue, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, and weight gain are some common symptoms. These effects are commonly seen after menopause, but hormone imbalances can happen at any age. Properly balancing the body’s natural testosterone and estrogen levels prevents these symptoms.
Common side effects from testosterone medication include acne, swelling, and breast enlargement in males. Serious side effects may include liver toxicity, heart disease, and behavioral changes. Women and children who are exposed may develop virilization. It is recommended that individuals with prostate cancer not use the medication. It can cause harm if used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
D-Aspartic acid is a natural amino acid involved in the synthesis and release of testosterone, which research shows can be used as a testosterone booster for infertile men. One 90-day study gave D-Aspartic acid to men with impaired sperm production, and found their sperm count rose from 8.2 million sperm per ml to 16.5 million sperm per ml, more than a 100 per cent increase.
"I'm 53 years old and my passion is surfing the oceans worldwide – big waves. Since taking Andro400, I'm now down to my ideal weight – from 185 to 175 now which is probably a net 15 pound loss, taking into account that the increased muscle I have now is heavier than the fat it replaced. My energy level is up. I feel strong and more physically fit in general. Also, from surfing I have been injured many times – for example I've broken my neck and pelvis among other things. Taking Andro400, I have much less pain overall – and I've been able to take less pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs.”
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.
The overweight men participated in one German study. The first group of the participants used a placebo for one year. The second group of the participants consumed vitamin D3. All the participants aspired to shed excessive weight. Those men who took this vitamin lost up to 6 kg of unwanted weight. Also, they got the additional bonus; that is, the increase in testosterone production by about 25%.4
Our clients love the results and energy they’ve get once their hormonal levels are fully balanced. Because hormones are so important, we’re proud to lend our medical expertise to ensure all our hormonal treatments are tailored to your specific needs. If you’re curious about NHT, you can take a short quiz to see if NHT would be a good fit for your body.
The T Trials are a set of seven clinical trials hosted at 12 sites around the country. In the aggregate, 790 men aged 65 or older with low levels of testosterone and associated symptoms participated. First, participants had to qualify for one of the main three trials: the Sexual Function Trial, the Physical Function Trial, or the Vitality Trial. Then, participants could participate in any of the other trials for which they qualified.
Thomas M. Gill, MD, Humana Foundation Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, told EndocrineWeb that these trials were needed because “the pharmaceutical industry did a very good job of promoting testosterone, and there have been suggestions of parallels between age-related decreases in testosterone levels in men, and menopause in older women.”
Longitudinal studies in male aging studies have shown that serum testosterone levels decline with age (Harman et al 2001; Feldman et al 2002). Total testosterone levels fall at an average of 1.6% per year whilst free and bioavailable levels fall by 2%–3% per year. The reduction in free and bioavailable testosterone levels is larger because aging is also associated with increases in SHBG levels (Feldman et al 2002). Cross-sectional data supports these trends but has usually shown smaller reductions in testosterone levels with aging (Feldman et al 2002). This is likely to reflect strict entry criteria to cross-sectional studies so that young healthy men are compared to older healthy men. During the course of longitudinal studies some men may develop pathologies which accentuate decreases in testosterone levels.
In both men and women, imbalances in testosterone result in health issues like diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis. So testosterone is important for more than just men’s health issues; it crosses gender boundaries and affects all areas of the body. The Providers at New Leaf Wellness are aware of the risks and inconveniences that imbalanced hormone levels bring to the human body, and we are pleased to offer Natural Hormone Therapy to our clients.