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Ageless Forever Anti-Aging News Blog

Testosterone Deficiency - Prevalence and Treatment Rates

Testosterone deficiency, also known as hypogonadism, is gaining recognition among both clinicians and the general population. This article summarizes the findings from a review on the prevalence of testosterone deficiency, as well as the proportion of hypogonadal men who are receiving testosterone treatment.[1]
 
While testosterone prescribing has increased lately, as you will find out here, the prevalence of testosterone deficiency far exceeds the prescribing rate; i.e. majority of men with low-T are still not being treated with testosterone therapy.
 
You may be surprised to find out that testosterone deficiency is still not well-understood by general practitioners and cardiologists, and that these key clinicians lack knowledge on its deleterious cardiovascular effects. Therefore, even man needs to take control of his own health and don't let any ignorant or old-school doctor deny you a prescription that you may need...
 
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Testosterone Levels, Testosterone Therapy and Cardiovascular Risk in Men

Hypogonadism, also known as testosterone deficiency, is increasing in prevalence worldwide. While a rapidly expanding body of research is documenting the detrimental health consequences of hypogonadism, at the same time there is a prevailing concern and misunderstanding about the effects of testosterone therapy on cardiovascular risk.
 
In this article I present a summary of a recently published comprehensive review on the association of hypogonadism with cardiovascular risk factors, and the effect of testosterone therapy on those risk factors.[1]
 
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Efficacy and safety of injectable testosterone undecanoate (Aveed or Nebido) for the treatment of hypogonadism

Since its approval in 2004, many clinical studies have been conducted with testosterone undecanoate, the first long-acting injectable form of testosterone.
 
Testosterone undecanoate has been proven to have an excellent safety profile and need only be administered four times annually to produce stable testosterone levels.[1]
 
Long-term studies have validated the clinical efficacy of testosterone undecanoate in maintaining stable therapeutic levels of testosterone and safely conferring the desired benefits of androgen replacement.[1]
 
Here I summarize the results from a comprehensive meta-analysis of all uncontrolled and placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials (RCTs) demonstrating the effect of injectable testosterone undecanoate on multiple clinical outcomes.[2]
 
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Adherence to testosterone therapy - short term treatment is not sufficient for achievement of maximal benefits

 

Testosterone therapy confers a wide range of health benefits for hypogonadal men, including improvements in body composition (reduction in body fat, increase in muscle mass), lipid profile cardiovascular function, insulin sensitivity/glucose metabolism, bone mineral density, inflammatory parameters, quality of life and longevity.[1] 
 
Despite this, there is a high discontinuation rate with testosterone therapy.[2, 3]
 
 
In this article I summarize results from two studies that investigated adherence to testosterone therapy and treatment patterns.[2, 3]
 
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Incidence of Prostate Cancer after Testosterone Therapy for up to 17 years

One of the major concerns among doctors and patients with testosterone therapy is its allegedly negative effect on the prostate.[1] However, according to the current ISA, ISSAM, EAU, EAA, ASA clinical guidelines, there is no conclusive evidence that testosterone therapy increases the risk of prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia.[2]
 
The guidelines also state that there is also no evidence that testosterone treatment will convert subclinical prostate cancer to clinically detectable prostate cancer.[2]
 
Despite this, many men are being denied testosterone therapy because of undue fears that it would cause harm to the prostate. Here I summarize the results from a study that investigated incidence of prostate cancer with testosterone therapy for up to 17 years.[3]
 
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Testosterone Boosting Medications and Cardiovascular Risk - a systematic review and meta-analysis

Accumulating evidence shows beneficial effect of testosterone therapy on a wide range of health outcomes, including inflammation, insulin sensitivity, muscle mass, body fat mass, lipid profiles,  endothelial, bone mineral density, energy and vitality, mood, sexual function and overall quality of life. [1-9]
 
Despite this, concerns have been raised that testosterone therapy could have detrimental effects on cardiovascular disease.
 
In this article I summarize results from a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis, the largest to date, of all placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on the effect of testosterone therapy on cardiovascular-related outcomes.[10] 
 
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Estrogen elevations in response to Testosterone Therapy – to treat or not?

 

During testosterone therapy, total and free estradiol (the main form of estrogen) levels increase dose-dependently in both young (aged 19-35 year old) and 52 older (aged 59-75 year old) men, and more so in older men compared to younger men.[1]
 
The potential clinical consequences of higher estradiol levels and higher estradiol-to-testosterone ratios in older men remains poorly understood, and the optimal management of high-normal or elevated estrogens is controversial among clinicians.[2]
 
Interestingly, in some patients, an initial elevation in estradiol is followed by decreased estradiol after prolonged testosterone therapy.[3, 4] This may be due to reduced body fat mass or decreased testosterone levels over time with fixed dose treatments. 
 
Here you will get advice on how to best approach estrogen management while on testosterone therapy…
 
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How well informed are general practitioners and cardiologists about testosterone deficiency and its consequences?

A rapidly growing body of medical research is showing that testosterone deficiency (aka hypogonadism and low-T) is strongly associated with a wide range of detrimental health outcomes [1, 2], and that testosterone replacement therapy improves those health parameters that are negatively affected by testosterone deficiency.[2, 3]
 
Therefore, leading testosterone scientists now view testosterone deficiency as a cardiovascular risk factor that contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease.[4-7]
 
As general practitioners and cardiologists primarily care for these patients with cardiovascular disease, a survey study was conducted to assess their knowledge, beliefs and clinical practice with respect to testosterone deficiency and cardiovascular health.[8]
 
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Testosterone Therapy Prevents Gain in Intra-Abdominal Fat and Counteracts Loss of Muscle in Non-Obese Aging Men

Testosterone deficiency is especially common in men who are obese and/or have the metabolic syndrome or diabetes, with a prevalence ranging from 35% to almost 80%.[1-5] However, there is a subgroup of non-obese men who have low testosterone levels and suffer from typical symptoms of low-T, but who do not (yet) have any co-morbidities. 
 
Many studies show that suboptimal testosterone levels may contribute to the development of obesity (including abdominal obesity) [6, 7], metabolic syndrome [8-13] and/or diabetes.[9, 14-20] Therefore, testosterone therapy in non-obese men with testosterone deficiency may be an effective intervention to correct not only symptoms associated with hypogonadism, but also prevent the development of obesity, metabolic syndrome and/or diabetes.
 
A notable study was set out to specifically investigate this…
 
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Testosterone Thresholds and Muscle Mass Gains Needed to Enhance Muscle Strength and Function

In a previous article "Combined Testosterone and GH therapy for best results on body composition and safety profiles" I covered a study showing that testosterone replacement therapy alone produced significant gains in total lean body mass, leg/arm muscle mass, strength and aerobic endurance, together with significant reductions in whole-body and trunk fat. [1] 
 
In the same study, addition of GH (growth hormone) further enhanced these beneficial results. 
 
In a follow-up to that that study, the researchers looked deeper into the data with the following analyses: [20] 
 
- Pathway analysis to test the hypothesis that testosterone and GH affected muscle mass directly and that a threshold change in lean tissue (muscle) mass was needed to generate significant improvements in muscle performance and physical function. 
 
- Bootstrap analysis to determine threshold hormone levels associated with threshold changes in whole-body and appendicular lean mass that would be necessary for improving muscle performance and functional outcomes.
 
Here I report on the results of this insighful analysis...
 
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