Antiaging and testosterone

testosterone word in letterpressIt is obviously true that we all have to get older, but I believe we do not have to age. This last statement is true for aging physically, mentally and spiritually. I have been an M.D. 45years and doing anti-aging and holistic medicine for 25 years using Human Bio-identical Hormones (HBIH). These hormones are made by a compounding pharmacist for each individual according to the clients laboratory reports along with the client sitting for about 2 hours and telling me their symptoms and signs. Why? Because each person is an individual with their own unique physiology and listening to a client is as important (or as I think more important) as the laboratory tests.

There is so much scientific evidence based documentations on the benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Unfortunately, there exists so many myths about HRT. (please read blog on testosterone Myths). In this blog I will just explain the benefits of testosterone since progesterone and estrogen presentations have been written about so much and less about testosterone. I do have a blog on progesterone (Progesterone the brain protector). When I write about hormones I am referring only to Human Bio-identical Hormones.  a hormone with the exact molecular structure of that produced by the human ovaries and testes that nature has intended for our body’s use. They can be reproduced by a compounding pharmacist without changing the biochemical structure as is done with synthetic pharmaceutical hormones. It is the synthetic Testosterone which the media writes and talks about negatively without doing the research. The ivy league researchers and physicians also use synthetics instead of bio-identical hormones. There is a big difference between the two types of hormones. Also it is important that the dose be the physiological dose for the individual – that is the amount that nature intended for that individual person to function optimally; not the same pharmaceutical packaged dose for everyone.  The lack of testosterone in the male is called andropause (mens’ menopause) which can be equated to womens’ menopause. In fact, the symptoms and signs that the male has are very similar to the symptoms and sign of the menopausal female. (Except females do not get enlarged prostates). Some males even have hot flashes and night sweats. (See blog on Andropause compared to menopause)

So here are some facts about testosterone:

  • It has been shown that there exists 3-4 more testosterone receptors in the heart of males and females then in the male gonads (testosterone therefore is not just there to bother women). This means that it is heart protective since we know that nature always has a purpose and rarely creates biological states haphazardly.

  • Testosterone also helps stimulate the production of nitric oxide which is necessary to dilate the arteries. This helps prevent high blood pressure and for the male more consistent erections.

  • Testosterone is necessary to prevent osteoporosis. It is true for women that estrogen and progesterone help prevent osteoporosis but it is testosterone that really keeps the bones strong for both men and women That is why men do not get osteoporosis until they are much older then women. Men have been building strong bones and muscles for so long due to their higher amount of testosterone. (The Testosterone Syndrome by Eugene Shippen M.D.) Men can get osteoporosis eventually and therefore like women should after 60 get a bone density test. Even before this age if symptoms and signs suggest this deterioration is happening; such as loss of height, hunched back or even pain of the back or hips.

  • Testosterone is necessary for firm and strong muscles. This also means a flatter abdomen (not necessarily a six-pack). A 50 year old can work out hard in the Gym but if the foundation building blocks are not there (testosterone) they probably will not build hard muscles. Like a pretty house with a poor foundation eventually it will collapse even after many trials of repair.

  • Testosterone has now been shown to have receptors in the brain. Many studies have shown statistically the lower the testosterone level in men and women the more likely that these people get dementia. In fact, in one study they gave testosterone to Alzheimer men (synthetic in this study) and although it did not cure the Alzheimer Disease it dramatically slowed it down. (Pike, C., PhD. & et al (Dec. 20, 2006). “Testosterone therapy may prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.” Science Daily (abstract from the University of Southern California) & (Resnick, Susan PhD. & Moffat,Scott PhD.(2007). Low Testosterone Levels Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease in Older Men. Journal of Neurology.) They have also shown by using functional MRIs (fMRI) that testosterone is needed by the brain. These are MRIs that show different colors for the active and inactive parts of the brain. When testosterone is low it showed lower memory capacity in these areas. In fact, with really low testosterone levels these people were not able to fantasize.

  • Although I did not want to get into testosterone myths in this blog I know some people will have the question of testosterone causing prostate cancer. It has been evaluated by many prominent physicians and researchers that have come up with the same answer that testosterone does not cause prostate cancer but rather it is estrogen. This is because all fetuses start as females and have small uteri.  When the potential male fetus reaches a certain embryological maturity the prostate develops around the uteri (which remains inside the prostate called a utricle). It is estrogen that hits the utricle to cause the cancer as it would cause cancer of the uterus in a female. Also if testosterone was the cause of prostate cancer we would see more of it when males are young bucks with higher levels of testosterone then at the low testosterone levels when men are older and get prostate cancer. The argument against this is that is takes testosterone more then 50 years to cause the cancer. Well, if a man is more then 50 and it takes another 30-50 years for this to happen it will be happy years.There are numerous reasons why a male can build up too much estrogen but again this could be another blog or answer to FAQs.

  • It has now been shown that testosterone does not cause clotting of the blood as  was once thought (but never proven). Because testosterone may mildly raise the hematocrit and hemoglobin that the blood was thickened and therefore clotting would occur. This elevation does not even occur in most males using bio-identical testosterone and when elevated they are still usually within the normal limits for a male.  This was all speculation. In the following research article testosterone clotting was shown not to be the case. (Smith, A. M. et al. (2005). “Testosterone Does Not Adversely Affect Fibrinogen or Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) and Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) Levels in 46 Men with Chronic Angina.” European Journal of Endocrinology, 152 (2), 285-291.)

It is really a shame that testosterone has been vilified for such a long time because of traditional ignorance and not up-to-date healers. A lot of these myths are due to athletes and wanna be athletes taking huge doses of synthetic testosterone. It is true that any natural or unnatural product that is used in non-physiological doses can cause harm. That is why one goes to a physician that is up-to date, non-prejudicial about bio-identical hormones, and willing to listen to you and any new findings and questions that you have for him/her.

Choices are not easy for a client in choosing anti-aging hormones since there are so many prejudicial myths built up for so long in the medical community. That is one of the reasons I  have written my book (Emotional Vampires and your Hormones: an holistic physician’s view of how stress affects your well-being and what you can do about it). I present to the public medical information that is known but not promoted to let the person make their own educated decisions.

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