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Testosterone Supplements: Are They Heart Healthy?

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 01:26 AM

The concept of testosterone therapy is a much debated one. It's already known that testosterone is a very important male hormone produced by the testes. Testosterone is vital for improved bone density, muscle strength, and sex drive.
 
The male body produces a sufficient amount of testosterone. Nonetheless, providing external testosterone supplements to boost age-related deficiencies is an interesting idea. The intake of additional hormone could improve male health, but it could also have damaging effects on some parts of the body like the heart.
 
Popularity and Indications of Testosterone Therapy
 
Testosterone supplements are a multimillion-dollar industry with doctors in the U.S. writing more than 5.3 million annual prescriptions. The main reason for this high number is that after the age of 30, testosterone levels dip by 1 percent every year. This reflects as receding hairlines, weight gain, blood clots, lethargy, insomnia, reduced muscle bulk, emotional changes, etc. These changes are a normal part of the body’s aging. Testosterone therapy can help reverse these symptoms. Apart from normally depleting testosterone levels, doctors also prescribe testosterone therapy for young men whose bodies are not producing testosterone in a normal amount. It can reverse the effects in young men with these sagging testosterone levels. However, the exact effects of supplementing testosterone in healthy older men are unknown.
 
Conflicting Study Results Regarding Testosterone Therapy
 
A new study published in the November 6 issue of the "Journal of the American Medical Association" has shown that older men undergoing testosterone therapy could be at a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes. The study results show a percentage as high as 30 percent in men over the age of 60 who were undergoing testosterone therapy and had concomitant health problems like high blood pressure.
 
However, Dr. Justin Ezekowitz published contrasting results. According to Ezekowitz and his colleagues, testosterone therapy was a promising treatment alternative for patients with heart failure. Heart failure patients undergoing testosterone therapy were able to walk 177 feet further than other patients using the placebo in the study. The results showed no adverse effects on the male heart’s health. (Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0048836/)
 
The Bottom Line

If you believe that testosterone therapy could help you, we recommend that you contact your physician before you start testosterone therapy. A complete medical evaluation is necessary to rule out any underlying medical conditions that might flare up after initiating testosterone therapy. Finally, testosterone therapy is useful, but only your personal physician can ascertain whether the testosterone therapy will produce right health results for you. 

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Testosterone therapy is becoming a very popular treatment. However, researchers studying testosterone therapy’s long-term effects on the male body have not found conclusive results.
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2013-26-11
Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 01:26 AM
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