Testosterone Therapy: “Significant Reduction” in Heart Attack, Stroke Risks

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Large-scale Veterans Affairs database study reaffirms safety and benefits of testosterone replacement, in men.

A US Veterans Affairs database study of more than 83,000 male subjects found that men whose low testosterone was restored to normal through gels, patches, or injections had a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from any cause, versus similar men who were not treated.  Rajat Barua and colleagues analyzed data collected on 83,010 male veterans with documented low total testosterone levels, dividing them into three clinical groups: those who were treated to the point where their total testosterone levels returned to normal (Group 1); those who were treated but without reaching normal (Group 2); and those who were untreated and remained at low levels (Group 3).  Importantly, all three groups were “propensity matched” so the comparisons would be between men with similar health profiles. The researchers took into account a wide array of factors that might affect cardiovascular and overall risk. The average follow-up across the groups ranged from 4.6 to 6.2 years. The sharpest contrast emerged between Group 1 (those who were treated and attained normal levels) and Group 3 (those whose low testosterone went untreated). The treated men were 56% less likely to die during the follow-up period, 24%less likely to suffer a heart attack, and 36%less likely to have a stroke.  The differences between Group 1 and Group 2 (those who were treated but did not attain normal levels) were similar but less pronounced.  The study authors conclude that: “normalization of [total testosterone] levels after [testosterone replacement therapy] was associated with a significant reduction in all-cause mortality, [myocardial infarction], and stroke.”

Sharma R, Oni OA, Gupta K, Chen G, Sharma M, Dawn B, Sharma R, Parashara D, Savin VJ, Ambrose JA, Barua RS. “Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced incidence of myocardial infarction and mortality in men.”  Eur Heart J. 2015 Aug 6. pii: ehv346.

Article Source: https://www.worldhealth.net/news/testosterone-therapy-significant-reduction-heart-a/

 

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How Much Booze Do You Have To Drink To Mess With Your Hormones?

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We all love to unwind at the end of the day. Sometimes that’s a great bout of yoga or high-intensity training, and sometimes it’s a glass of wine or a favorite cocktail. Everything in moderation, right?

Or not? Have you ever wondered what impact (if any) alcohol has on your hormones? And just how much is too much? Is any amount “safe”? What is alcohol doing inside our bodies? And what does moderate consumption even mean?

To answer those questions, let’s take it one step at a time.

Alcohol consumption can increase estrogen—but it’s not the same for everyone.

According to clinical studies, moderate alcohol consumption can vary with life stages. What you consume at age 20 may not be the same as what you consume at age 40—and what you drink will affect your hormones really differently as well. As a woman ages, her hormones fluctuate; therefore, less alcohol is needed to have larger hormonal effects over time. For a woman in her 40s or 50s, even “moderate” amounts of alcohol can affect the hormonal system.

Drinking alcohol can cause a rise in estrogen and a decrease in progesterone in premenopausal women. Some studies even suggest that menopause was delayed by moderate alcohol consumption, since “alcohol consumption was significantly correlated with estrogen levels.” Though binge drinking (five or more drinks in one day) is the most detrimental, in terms of hormonal disruption and other health problems, this study suggests that moderate alcohol consumption needs further analysis to determine its health impact.

Alcohol consumption can decrease testosterone—but it depends how much you drink.

According to a study by the Testosterone Centers of Texas, “alcohol is the enemy of testosterone.” Testosterone is important for both men and women (although men have much more)! It’s well-known as the hormone for sex drive and libido, but it is a key player in muscle formation, bone mass, fat distribution, and brain health. Low testosterone (caused by alcohol or something else) in both men and women can result in brain fog, fatigue, irritability, lower muscle mass, and lower motivation.

The Testosterone Centers study goes on to cite that the decrease in testosterone is in direct relation to the amount of alcohol consumed, which poses the question: How much is too much?

In this particular study, the findings suggest that drinking two to three beers a day caused a “slight” reduction in testosterone for men and none for women, a good sign that moderate drinking doesn’t have that huge of an impact. The way in which alcohol affects hormone levels is related to the chemicals alcohol contains. Beer and wine contain chemicals that can increase estrogen, thereby lowering testosterone.

Heavy drinking (more than three drinks a day) is the real culprit for all kinds of health maladies in both men and women: weight gain, lowered testosterone levels in men, and increased testosterone levels in women. Both sexes are affected in terms of fertility. Studies have shown that men who drink in excess suffer from both fertility and “abnormally low testosterone.”

How to balance drinking with a healthy lifestyle.

Though most studies seem to suggest moderate alcohol intake may not cause any health issues in men and women, I’ve found in my years as a practitioner that “moderate” can mean very different things to different people.

The best solution? Consult with your health care provider to:

  • Determine a baseline for your health.
  • Talk to (and trust) your doctor to let her or him know your accurate alcohol intake on a weekly basis.
  • Follow-up, on a regular basis, about how that intake may be or may not be affecting your health.

The bottom line: What’s moderate and appropriate for you might not be the same as what’s moderate and appropriate for me—especially when it comes to hormone balance.

Article Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/is-drinking-alcohol-bad-for-hormone-balance

Written By: Dr. Amy Shah

 

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Jane Fonda reveals testosterone is the secret behind her sex success at 73

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She has attributed her youthful looks to a healthy love life and given hope to millions by saying she had the best sex of her life at 71.

So it is something of a let down to find out that even sex symbol Jane Fonda needs artificial help.

The Barbarella star has revealed she took the male sex hormone testosterone from the age of 70 to boost her libido.

Miss Fonda said it made ‘a huge difference’.

Advising other women of a certain age how to pep up their love lives, three-times married actress, political activist and fitness guru said: ‘Here’s something I haven’t said publicly yet: I discovered testosterone about three years ago, which makes a huge difference if you want to remain sexual and your libido has dropped.

‘Use testosterone, it comes in a gel, pill or patch.’

Earlier this year, Robbie Williams shocked his legions of female fans by admitting he was injecting himself with testosterone to boost his sex drive.

Although testosterone is usually thought of as a male hormone, it is also made by women, but in much smaller amounts.

Levels drop off after the menopause, leading to some doctors prescribing testosterone alongside more traditional hormone replacement therapy.

It is relatively cheap, costing around £50 for six months’ supply and comes in patches, implants and gels.

But a reinvigorated love life can come at a cost.

Miss Fonda, now 73, and in a relationship with music producer Richard Perry, who is four years her junior, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘I had to stop because it was giving me acne.

‘It’s one thing to have plastic surgery, but it is quite another to have adolescence acne. That is going too far.’

Two years ago, she created envy in millions of bedrooms by telling how she was having the best sex of her life, despite having had spinal surgery and boasting an artificial knee and a titanium hip.

She said: ‘How do I still look good?  I owe 30 per cent to genes, 30 per cent to good sex, 30 per cent because of sports and healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and for the remaining ten per cent, I have to thank my plastic surgeon.

But I’m happier, the sex is better and I understand life better. I don’t want to be young again.’

More recently, she has devoted 50 pages of her new autobiography to explaining how couples can keep the passion alive long after the vigour of their youth has failed.

However, her use of testosterone has remained secret until now.

British experts welcomed the revelation.

Professor John Studd, of the London PMS and Menopause Clinic has been prescribing testosterone for women for 30 years.

He said: ‘It is not just about libido.  The benefits include more energy, more self-confidence, better mood and all of those things.’

He added that carefully balancing the dose should remove the risk of side-effects such as acne and excessive bodily or facial hair.

Dr John Stevenson chairman of the charity Women’s Health Concern, said: ‘Jane Fonda clearly thinks there should be no time limit to being sexually active, which is fine. Good for her.’

However, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warns that the long-term consequences of the treatment are unknown.

THE TRUTH BEHIND TESTOSTERONE

Testosterone can be part of the hormone replacement therapy given to menopausal women.

Gels that are rubbed into the skin are the most popular.  But patches, creams and implants are also available.

Topping up levels of the hormone can give a woman in her 50s or 60s the libido of someone half her age, as well as boost energy and mood.

But too high a dose carries the risk of acne and greasy skin and hair.

‘Masculine’ side-effects such as excessive bodily and facial hair and a deepened voice are also possible.

Testosterone pills aren’t given to women but can raise cholesterol, increasing the odds of heart attacks and strokes.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists urges caution when prescribing the libido-boosting treatment to women other than those who have had their ovaries removed.

It advises: ‘Testosterone replacement may be associated with adverse clinical and metabolic side effects and long-term consequences are unknown.

Written By: Fiona Macrae

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2028544/Jane-Fonda-reveals-testosterone-secret-sex-success-73.html#ixzz4cj0r8L4x

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Estrogen Dominance In Men

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How it is ruining your health and virility, and what you need to do to prevent It

Estrogen dominance is often thought of as a female-only disorder, however men suffer with it as well, and overexposure to estrogen-like compounds (xenoestrogens), has made it increasingly common.

Understanding Male Estrogen Dominance

The healthy range of estradiol is between 15 and 60 pg/ml. When estradiol climbs higher than that, or when testosterone levels fall too low to balance out estrogen, estrogen dominance occurs.

Estrogen Dominance Symptoms

Estrogen dominance can cause: mental fatigue, memory problems, an inability to concentrate, moodiness, irritability, emotional hypersensitivity, insomnia, unrelenting physical fatigue, depression, obesity, bone loss, back pain, headaches, and high cholesterol.

Estrogen Dominance and Your Sex Life

Estrogen dominance can cause: a loss of libido, an inability to get and/or maintain an erection, low sperm count, infertility, an inability to orgasm, and male breast enlargement.

Estrogen Dominance and Prostate Health

As estradiol levels climb, both prostate size and fibrous tissues increase. This makes it hard to urinate and increases the risk for prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Four Main Causes of Estrogen Dominance in Men

Cause #1: Diet

Animal products are major estrogen dominance contributors. Non-organic produce and processed foods made from them, can also contribute to estrogen dominance because they are grown with herbicides and pesticides which mimic estrogen.

Cause #2: Excess Body Weight

Fat tissues are rich in an enzyme that converts protein into testosterone, and testosterone into estradiol; the more fat you have, the higher your estradiol levels will be. Estrogen is also stored in fat cells, so if you’re overweight you’ll need to lose excess fat cells to reverse estrogen dominance.

Cause #3: Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeinated beverages are major estrogen dominance triggers. Alcohol is also problematic because plants used to produce alcoholic beverages contain estrogen-like compounds that mimic estrogen in the body.

Cause #4: Tight Underwear

Tight underwear forces the testicles to be squeezed up against the body, which reduces the flow of blood to the testicles and causes them to overheat. These two factors lead to an increase in estradiol and a decrease in testosterone.

Article Source: http://www.worldhealth.net/news/estrogen-dominance-men-ruining-your-health-/

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Heart and bone damage from low vitamin D tied to declines in sex hormones

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Researchers at Johns Hopkins are reporting what is believed to be the first conclusive evidence in men that the long-term ill effects of vitamin D deficiency are amplified by lower levels of the key sex hormone estrogen, but not testosterone.

In a national study in 1010 men, to be presented Nov. 15 at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando, researchers say the new findings build on previous studies showing that deficiencies in vitamin D and low levels of estrogen, found naturally in differing amounts in men and women, were independent risk factors for hardened and narrowed arteries and weakened bones. Vitamin D is an essential part to keeping the body healthy, and can be obtained from fortified foods, such as milk and cereals, and by exposure to sunlight.

“Our results confirm a long-suspected link and suggest that vitamin D supplements, which are already prescribed to treat osteoporosis, may also be useful in preventing heart disease,” says lead study investigator and cardiologist Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S.

“All three steroid hormones – vitamin D, estrogen and testosterone – are produced from cholesterol, whose blood levels are known to influence arterial and bone health,” says Michos, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart and Vascular Institute. “Our study gives us a much better understanding of how the three work in concert to affect cardiovascular and bone health.”

Michos says the overall biological relationship continues to puzzle scientists because studies of the long-term effects of adding estrogen in the form of hormone replacement therapy in women failed to show fewer deaths from heart disease. Indeed, results showed that in some women, an actual increase in heart disease and stroke rates occurred, although, bone fractures declined.

The Hopkins team’s latest data were provided by analyzing blood samples from a subset of men participating in a study on cancer. That study was part of a larger, ongoing national health survey involving both men and women and was designed to compare the risk of diseases between those with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D to those with higher amounts. An unhealthy deficiency, experts say, is considered blood levels of 20 nanograms per milliliter or lower.

The men in the study had their hormone levels measured for both chemical forms of testosterone and estrogen found in blood, when each is either unattached or circulating freely, and when each is attached to a separate protein, known as sex hormone binding globulin, or SHBG for short.

Initial results showed no link between vitamin D deficiency and depressed blood levels of either hormone. And despite finding a harmful relationship between depressed testosterone levels and rates of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as osteopenia in men, researchers found that it was independent of deficiencies in vitamin D.

However, when researchers compared ratios of estrogen to SHBG levels, they found that rates of both diseases, especially osteopenia, the early stage of osteoporosis, were higher when both estrogen and vitamin D levels were depressed.

For every single unit decrease in ratios of estrogen to SHBG (both in nanomoles per liter), men low in vitamin D showed an 89 percent increase in osteopenia, but men with sufficient vitamin D levels had a less worrisome 64 percent jump.

Using the same measure of estrogen levels, men low in vitamin D were also at heightened risk of cardiovascular diseases, at 12 percent, compared to men with adequate levels of the vitamin, at 1 percent, numbers that researchers say are still statistically significant.

“These results reinforce the message of how important proper quantities of vitamin D are to good bone health, and that a man’s risk of developing osteoporosis and heart disease is heavily weighted on the complex and combined interaction of how any such vitamin deficits interact with both their sex hormones, in particular, estrogen,” Michos says.

Michos and her team next plan to analyze blood samples from women to see if the same results from men hold true.

Michos recommends that men and women boost their vitamin D levels by eating diets rich in fatty fish, such as cod, sardines and mackerel, consuming fortified dairy products, taking vitamin supplements, and in warmer weather briefly exposing skin to the sun’s vitamin-D producing ultraviolet light.

She points out that clinical trials are under way to determine whether or not vitamin D supplements can prevent incidents of or deaths from heart attack, stroke and other signs of cardiovascular disease.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine suggests that an adequate daily intake of vitamin D is between 200 and 400 international units, but Michos feels this is inadequate to achieve optimal nutrient blood levels (above 30 nanograms per milliliter). Previous results from the same nationwide survey showed that 41 percent of men and 53 percent of women are technically deficient in the nutrient, with vitamin D levels below 28 nanograms per milliliter.

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Funding for this study was provided by the Hormone Demonstration Project, a part of the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund Research Grant Program at the Johns Hopkins University. Additional support was provided by the American College of Cardiology Foundation and a Clinician Scientist Award at the Johns Hopkins University.

Besides Michos, other researchers at Johns Hopkins involved in this study were Jared Reis, Ph.D.; and Meredith Shields and Elizabeth Platz, Ph.D., Sc.D., at the University’s School of Public Health; and Sabine Rohrmann, now at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. Another investigator in this research was Nader Rifai, Ph.D., at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School.

(Presentation title: The association of cardiovascular disease and osteopenia may be mediated through a vitamin D-sex steroid hormone interaction, results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, NHANES-III.)

Article Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-11/jhmi-hab111109.php

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Testosterone Therapy in Patients with Treated and Untreated Prostate Cancer: Impact on Oncologic Outcomes

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Purpose

Testosterone deficiency and prostate cancer have an increasing prevalence with age. However, because of the relationship between prostate cancer and androgen receptor activation, testosterone therapy among patients with known prostate cancer has been approached with caution.

Materials and Methods

We identified a cohort of 82 hypogonadal men with prostate cancer who were treated with testosterone therapy. They included 50 men treated with radiation therapy, 22 treated with radical prostatectomy, 8 on active surveillance, 1 treated with cryotherapy and 1 who underwent high intensity focused ultrasound. We monitored prostate specific antigen, testosterone, hemoglobin, biochemical recurrence and prostate specific antigen velocity.

Results

Median patient age was 75.5 years and median followup was 41 months. We found an increase in testosterone (p <0.001) and prostate specific antigen (p = 0.001) in the entire cohort. Prostate specific antigen increased in patients on active surveillance. However, no patients were upgraded to higher Gleason score on subsequent biopsies and none have yet gone on to definitive treatment. We did not note any biochemical recurrence among patients treated with radical prostatectomy but 3 (6%) treated with radiation therapy experienced biochemical recurrence. It is unclear whether these cases were related to testosterone therapy or reflected the natural biology of the disease. We calculated mean prostate specific antigen velocity as 0.001, 0.12 and 1.1 μg/l per year in the radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy and active surveillance groups, respectively.

Conclusions

In the absence of randomized, placebo controlled trials our study supports the hypothesis that testosterone therapy may be oncologically safe in hypogonadal men after definitive treatment or in those on active surveillance for prostate cancer.

Article Source: http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347(16)30307-X/abstract

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Former Abusers of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids Exhibit Decreased Testosterone Levels and Hypogonadal Symptoms Years after Cessation: A Case-Control Study.

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Abstract

AIMS:

Abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) is highly prevalent among male recreational athletes. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of AAS abuse on reproductive hormone levels and symptoms suggestive of hypogonadism in current and former AAS abusers.

METHODS:

This study had a cross-sectional case-control design and involved 37 current AAS abusers, 33 former AAS abusers (mean (95%CI) elapsed duration since AAS cessation: 2.5 (1.7; 3.7) years) and 30 healthy control participants. All participants were aged 18-50 years and were involved in recreational strength training. Reproductive hormones (FSH, LH, testosterone, inhibin B and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH)) were measured using morning blood samples. Symptoms of hypogonadism (depressive symptoms, fatigue, decreased libido and erectile dysfunction) were recorded systematically.

RESULTS:

Former AAS abusers exhibited significantly lower median (25th -75th percentiles) total and free testosterone levels than control participants (total testosterone: 14.4 (11.9-17.7) nmol/l vs. 18.8 (16.6-22.0) nmol/l) (P < 0.01). Overall, 27.2% (13.3; 45.5) of former AAS abusers exhibited plasma total testosterone levels below the lower reference limit (12.1 nmol/l) whereas no control participants exhibited testosterone below this limit (P < 0.01). Gonadotropins were significantly suppressed, and inhibin B and AMH were significantly decreased in current AAS abusers compared with former AAS abusers and control participants (P < 0.01). The group of former AAS abusers had higher proportions of participants with depressive symptoms ((24.2%) (11.1; 42.2)), erectile dysfunction ((27.3%) (13.3; 45.6)) and decreased libido ((40.1%) (23.2; 57.0)) than the other two groups (trend analyses: P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Former AAS abusers exhibited significantly lower plasma testosterone levels and higher frequencies of symptoms suggestive of hypogonadism than healthy control participants years after AAS cessation. Current AAS abusers exhibited severely decreased AMH and inhibin B indicative of impaired spermatogenesis.

Article Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27532478

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