There have been a number of smaller studies on men receiving testosterone-replacement therapy, and if you look at the results cumulatively, the rate of prostate cancer in these men was about 1% per year. If you look at men who show up for prostate cancer screening, same sort of age population, the rate tends to be about the same. You have to be cautious in comparing studies and combining the results, but there’s no signal in these results that testosterone-replacement therapy creates an unexpectedly high rate of prostate cancer.
I think that the importance of testosterone for cardiovascular health is going to be increasingly recognized. In the past, because men die of heart attacks more often than women and men have more testosterone, the fear has been that testosterone causes heart problems. But every single study of whether testosterone is bad for the heart has been negative, and what people haven’t pointed out in most of those negative studies is that there may be a beneficial effect.
When I was using the gel my testicles also shrank a bit, but not anywhere near this amount. And when I stopped using the gel they plumbed back up again to their former size. It took some time but their size came back. This may be an issue for the younger guys, but I think most older guys can easily handle this as no big deal, because overall it’s not.
Most Americans today are sleep deprived, which may be a contributing factor to declining testosterone levels in men. See, our body makes nearly all the testosterone it needs for the day while we’re sleeping. That increased level of T that we experience at night is one of the reasons we wake up with “Morning Wood.” (If you don’t have Morning Wood on a consistent basis, you might have low T).
More can be learned from a large, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of finasteride treatment in 18,800 men aged 55 or more. Finasteride is a 5α-reductase inhibitor which acts to prevent the metabolism of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the most active androgen in the prostate. The trial showed a greater overall incidence of prostate cancer in the control group, but men treated with finasteride were more likely to have high grade tumors (Thompson et al 2003), suggesting that reduced androgen exposure of the prostate may delay the presentation of prostate cancer and/or promote advanced disease in some other way.
If you’re an older man with low testosterone and interested in taking testosterone, this decision should be carefully considered with your physician. Your physician will be able to better assess the balance of your conditions and whether hormone replacement could put you at potential risk. It's a bad idea for anybody to engage in hormone supplementation without the supervision of a physician. Just because hormones occur naturally in the body does not mean that they can be taken without negative effects.
There are studies that show Soy consumption in humans leads to lower sperm count, but unfortunately they did not look at testosterone levels in the study (40). This (41) particular study compared the estrogen production of men drinking soy protein to those drinking whey. After two weeks they found the estradiol levels were equal, however soy drinkers had LOWER Testosterone levels and HIGHER cortisol levels (both bad).
Another effect that can limit treatment is polycythemia, which occurs due to various stimulatory effects of testosterone on erythropoiesis (Zitzmann and Nieschlag 2004). Polycythemia is known to produce increased rates of cerebral ischemia and there have been reports of stroke during testosterone induced polycythaemia (Krauss et al 1991). It is necessary to monitor hematocrit during testosterone treatment, and hematocrit greater than 50% should prompt either a reduction of dose if testosterone levels are high or high-normal, or cessation of treatment if levels are low-normal. On the other hand, late onset hypogonadism frequently results in anemia which will then normalize during physiological testosterone replacement.
There’s a significant failure rate of the PDE5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction, something on the order of 25% to 50%, depending on the underlying condition. It turns out that a third of those men will have adequate erections with testosterone-replacement therapy alone and another third will have adequate erections with the pills and testosterone combined. There’s still a third who don’t respond, but normalizing their testosterone level has definitely rescued many men who had failed on PDE5 inhibitors.
You may be interested in boosting your testosterone levels if your doctor says you have low levels, or hypogonadism, or need testosterone replacement therapy for other conditions. If you have normal testosterone levels, increasing your testosterone levels may not give any additional benefits. The increased benefits mentioned below have only been researched in people with low testosterone levels.
Let’s do a quick review of what I shared in the introduction to this series. August of last year was a tough month for me, primarily because of a huge and grueling project we were in the midst of here on the site. I was stressed out and my sleeping, healthy eating habits, and workout regimen all suffered. At the end of the month I got my testosterone levels tested and found that my total T was 383 ng/dL and my free T was 7.2 pg/mL – close to the average for an 85-100-year-old man.
I am still on T therapy. But here’s what pisses me off: No one tells you that you will be hooked on the drug virtually forever! Don’t ever stop it abruptly! I did and I had a major crash: physically and emotionally. I went into the darkest depression ever…and I was lacking in energy so much that I had to have 4 naps a day…just to get through the day. I was also robbed of any initiative to do anything.
While testosterone stimulates a man’s sex drive, it also aids in achieving and maintaining an erection. Testosterone alone doesn’t cause an erection, but it stimulates receptors in the brain to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule that helps trigger a series of chemical reactions necessary for an erection to occur. When testosterone levels are too low, a man may have difficulty achieving an erection prior to sex or having spontaneous erections (for example, during sleep).
Andy – If you take testosterone, your hypothalamus will notice an abundance of testosterone in your system and will instruct your pituitary gland not to send LH and FSH to your testicles. If you’re testicles are not receiving these two hormones, they will stop making testosterone. If you quit testosterone call turkey, you will likely fall back to your baseline level fairly quickly. There is a protocol however to get back to your normal production much quicker should you choose to quit therapy.
Sprinting has been shown numerous times that it has positive effects on testosterone levels. One 2011 study (ref 84) looked at weightlifters who performed 4x35m sprints twice a week. In contrast to the control group (who continued lifting but did not sprint), it was found that “After the 4-week training program, total testosterone and the total testosterone/cortisol ratio increased significantly in the (sprinters) EXP group”.
The sad truth, is that these purported testosterone support products were completely and utterly useless. They did absolutely nothing for testosterone production due to the simple fact that they didn’t contain any ingredients shown in human research trials to actually support testosterone production. Sure, they included all sorts of ancient herbs and botanical extracts that worked well in rats, but nary a compound that would actually benefit a real live human being.
This is over simplified but should offer you some clarity to what you are experiencing – If you are getting Testosterone Cypionate injections every 2 weeks, then you are on the roller coaster. I have great results with weekly injections and some folks need bi-weekly injections. It’s all how your body reacts but every 2 weeks is just plain too far apart as the product is relatively ineffective after 10 days. Measurable at 10 days? Somewhat but still ineffective at that point.
This is one of the most controversial recommendations I make, but it shouldn’t be. It’s no different than using thyroid medication. If your levels are low, and the other techniques here don’t work, use TRT. You will like your life again. If your levels are low, bioidentical testosterone will make you live longer and better, provided you use it right.
This being my initial use of product I do find an overall improvement in mind and body "maleness" related to focused goal and strength improvements. Has it turned me into a super stud..no, but at a recent 60th birthday, increased desire has added to performance and that is what I was looking for.I have reinstated diet and exercise that also has made physical and mental health achievements Will finish current bottle, and evaluate overall products worth once completed. Further evaluation pending...
Hypogonadism (as well as age-related low testosterone) is diagnosed with blood tests that measure the level of testosterone in the body. The Endocrine Society recommends testing for suspected low T with a total testosterone test. It may be performed in the morning when testosterone levels tend to be highest in young men, although this isn't necessarily the case in older men. The test may be repeated on another day if the results show a low T level. (5)