Ageless Forever Anti-Aging News Blog

Monica Mollica

Monica Mollica

Medical Writer & Nutritionist

MSc in Nutrition

University of Stockholm & Karolinska Institute, Sweden 

   Baylor University, TX, USA

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The Androgen Study Group - Cutting Through Misleading Headlines and Exposing the Truth about Testosterone Therapy and Health

Recently several flawed studies, implicating that testosterone replacement therapy increases risk for heart attack and death, created large media headlines. This despite a large body of research evidence showing the contrary, ie. that testosterone replacement therapy decreases risk for heart disease and that higher testosterone levels are associated with reduced death rates. No wonder there is confusion and unnecessary concern and among healthcare providers and their patients.
 
In response to this, The Androgen Study Group was formed. The Androgen Study Group is a multidisciplinary group of androgen researchers and clinicians who are dedicated to education and accurate reporting on the science of testosterone deficiency in men and its treatment. With the media attention that testosterone therapy is attracting it is critical that clinical trials are properly conducted and analyzed, and that results are presented in a way that is not misleading. The mission of the Androgen Study Group is to ensure that the results of research on testosterone deficiency and its treatment is presented accurately and fairly in the medical literature as well as in public media.
 

Niacin - vitamin B3 - elevates HDL levels (the "good" cholesterol) more than popular medications

Low HDL-C levels are an independent risk factor for development of coronary heart disease (CHD).[1] At all levels of total cholesterol, HDL-C shows a strong inverse association with incidence of CHD. Every 1 mg/dl increase in HDL is associated with a 2-3% decrease cardiovascular risk.[1]

Among men and women aged 49-82 years, who were free of CHD at baseline, after a follow up of 12 yr, the participants with high HDL-C levels (over 60 mg/dL) had half the risk of cardiovascular events compared with participants with low HDL-C levels (below 40 mg/dL).[2] Another large study of 4,500 subjects aged 16-65 years, found after a follow-up of 6 years that individuals with HDL-C levels below <35 mg/dl were at 4 times higher heart disease risk than those with HDL-C levels over 35 mg/dl.[3]

The prevalence of low HDL levels in apparently healthy US adults is 35% in men (defined as below 40 mg/dL or 1.03 mmol/) and 39% of women (below 50 mg/dL or 1.29 mmol/L).[4] Among patients with established cardiovascular disease, 20% to 60% have low HDL levels.[5-7] Furthermore, low HDL levels are part of the criteria for the metabolic syndrome [8] and are highly prevalent among patients with diabetes, affecting more than 50% of men and 66% of women who are diabetic.[9, 10]

Statins are the most commonly used medications for heart disease. However, while statin is the most effective medication to reduce LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) levels, there remains an unacceptably high residual risk in patients who have been on statin treatment. Even after intensive statin treatment that has achieved very low LDL levels, morbidity and mortality rates among statin-treated patients still remain approximately two thirds to three quarters of those found in patients who were getting placebo.[11, 12] This large residual risk clearly indicates that LDL only modestly impacts atherosclerosis at best. Therefore, medical research is investigating HDL elevating treatments with the aim to reduce residual risk, and prevent development of cardiovascular diesase in the first place.

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Dr. Pierce's Medical Organization Affiliations

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