Low T has been in the medical news for a while now.
First it was said to cause cardiovascular disease then the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists said it didn't. What is the low down on low T? We need to separate fiction from facts.
What causes Low T and how many men have it?
Over 40% of men over age 45 have low testosterone levels. Low T centers have sprung up across America to treat this condition. There are many factors that lower testosterone:
- Vitamin deficiencies (zinc, GLA gamma-linoleic acid)
- Insulin resistance
- Environmental exposures to BPA, PVC, phthalates, pesticides and fungicides (all agents that block aromatase enzymes)
Twenty thousand men who received testosterone during a 5 year period at the Low T Institute had a 7 fold lower risk for heart attack and 9 times lower risk for stroke compared to the general population. There was no evidence of testosterone worsening patients with preexisting cardiac or stroke.
Testosterone is cardio-protective just like estrogen. We need our sex hormones for bone health, brain function, cardiac function and our mental health. It has been repeatedly shown that increasing testosterone levels improves insulin resistance, reduces abdominal obesity, increases lean muscle mass and shifts the immune system from a pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory state.
While the big guys are battling it out, I will continue to recommend bio-identical hormone replacement for patients who are insufficient and deficient.
Hormone replacement therapy must be done responsibly and it is based on lab values. Hormone replacement therapy can extend your life and add to the quality of life.
Who should take this test?
All men who are on testosterone replacement therapy
All men who are currently taking Proscar, Propecia, Avodart or large doses of Saw Palmetto (500 mg or more)
A man whose family has a history of prostate cancer