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Low Testosterone Levels are Associated with Coronary Artery Disease

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Testosterone - Men

Researchers say that low testosterone levels are associated with coronary artery disease in male patients with angina.
Rosano GM, Sheiban I, Massaro R, Pagnotta P, Marazzi G, Vitale C, Mercuro G, Volterrani M, Aversa A, Fini M. Low testosterone levels are associated with coronary artery disease in male patients with angina.Int J Impot Res. 2006 Aug 31

From the study abstract
Historically, high androgen levels have been linked with an increased risk for coronary artery disease (CAD.) However, more recent data suggest that low androgen levels are associated with adverse cardiovascular risk factors, including an atherogenic lipid profile, obesity and insulin resistance.

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between plasma sex hormone levels and presence and degree of CAD in patients undergoing coronary angiography and in matched controls.

We evaluated 129 consecutive male patients (mean age 58+/-4 years, range 43-72 years) referred for diagnostic coronary angiography because of symptoms suggestive of CAD, but without acute coronary syndromes or prior diagnosis of hypogonadism. Patients were matched with healthy volunteers. Out of 129 patients, 119 had proven CAD; in particular, 32 of them had one, 63 had two and 24 had three vessel disease, respectively. Patients had significantly lower levels of testosterone than controls (9.8+/-6.5 and 13.5+/-5.4 nmol/l, P<0.01) and higher levels of gonadotrophin (12.0+/-1.5 vs 6.6+/-1.9 IU/l and 7.9+/-2.1 vs 4.4+/-1.4, P<0.01 for follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, respectively). Also, both bioavailable testosterone and plasma oestradiol levels were lower in patients as compared to controls (0.84+/-0.45 vs 1.19+/-0.74 nmol/l, P<0.01 and 10.7+/-1.4 vs 13.3+/-3.5 pg/ml, P<0.05). Hormone levels were compared in cases with one, two or three vessel disease showing significant differences associated with increasing severity of coronary disease. An inverse relationship between the degree of CAD and plasma testosterone levels was found (r=-0.52, P<0.01).

In conclusion, patients with CAD have lower testosterone and oestradiol levels than healthy controls. These changes are inversely correlated to the degree of CAD, suggesting that low plasma testosterone may be involved with the increased risk of CAD in men.

Low Testosterone and Men Over 45

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Testosterone - Men

Researchers writing in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, studied the prevalence of hypogonadism (testosterone deficiency) in men age 45 and over and found that nearly 39% of men over 45 suffered from hypogonadism. They noted “Odds ratios for having hypogonadism were significantly higher in men with hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, obesity, prostate disease and asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than in men without these conditions.”

Mulligan T, Frick MF, Zuraw QC, Stemhagen A, McWhirter C. Prevalence of hypogonadism in males aged at least 45 years: the HIM study. Int J Clin Pract. 2006 Jun 2

Testosterone For Men

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Testosterone - Men

The medicinal value of testicles have been documented in the Bible, the writings of the ancient Egyptians and from India. Indeed, nearly every ancient culture believed that the testicles held some form of masculine power.

The use of testosterone as a means of restoring vitality can be traced in the modern era to the work of famed medical researcher Charles Edouard Brown-Séquard (1817-1894). Brown-Séquard had been hailed as a medial pioneer for his ability to treat difficult and previously untreatable disorders of the nervous system. At the age of 72, when he noticed his declining vitality, he injected himself with the extracts of crushed testicles from dogs and guinea pigs and increased his physical strength and intellectual abilities and announced his results to his colleagues.

Brown-Séquard’s work sparked an influx of research and medical use of testicles, however, technology could not, at that time, substantiate his claims.

In 1935 Dutch researchers were able to isolate and create a synthetic form of testosterone. Doctors prescribed it in males with hypogonadism—where levels of testosterone are so low it prevents normal sexual development. Older men suffering from impotence were also treated. A few years later, testosterone supplementation for these disorders became “mainstream.”

What are the potential signs of Testosterone deficiency in men?

1. Diminished Libido
2. Erectile Dysfunction
3. Fatigue
4. Muscle Weakness
5. Bone Density Loss, with increased fracture risk
6. Decrease in Endurance, Stamina
7. Loss of Body Hair
8. Depression
9. Mood Disorders
10. Obesity or increase in fat mass
11. Hypertension
Testosterone Supplementation
Testosterone supplementation has received a fair share of “bad press.” Mostly due to health problems (sterility, coronary artery disease, liver damage, and brain tumors), caused in young men and women who should not be taking testosterone supplementation, but do so at super-physiological doses, to enhance athletic performance. Indeed, testosterone is part of the “Steroid Crisis” affecting amateur and professional sports.

There is very little evidence to support that testosterone supplementation to restore levels lost to aging can cause health problems. Numerous research supports the opposite. Study participants and researchers noted gained muscle, a slowdown in bone loss, increased sexual desire, and better cognitive skills.

Drops in testosterone levels begin in men after the age of 30 and its effects are described as “male menopause” or andropause when problematic.

The recognition that men can suffer from sex hormone deficiency just as women do, and be treated for this deficiency in the same manner as women prescribed hormonal supplementation have lead to an explosion in the demand for testosterone supplementation.

Testosterone Supplementation Risks
It is important to understand that not all men will benefit from Testosterone supplementation. The goals, realities, and risks of Testosterone supplementation should be discussed, at length, with your physician prior to onset of treatment.

Testosterone Supplementation and Prostate Cancer
Men taking testosterone supplementation should have twice yearly PSA tests and once yearly manual examination of their prostate gland. No evidence suggests that testosterone supplementation causes prostate cancer. In fact, studies show a higher incidence of prostate cancer in men with a lower baseline level of testosterone. Have you ever heard of a teen age male (with the highest testosterone levels) having prostate cancer? Studies do suggest that in the presence of existing prostate cancer, testosterone supplementation may accelerate tumor growth. It also appears that there is an association of high estrogen levels and prostate cancer.

Any hormone supplementation can adversely effect other hormone levels.

Testosterone supplementation must be monitored by a physician through blood testing. Very high levels of testosterone can lead to severe and dangerous health problems.

Men who take too much Testosterone may can shut down production of DHEA and other sex hormones.

The result is the frequently seen side effects of:
1. Testicular shrinkage
2. Impotence
3. The development through increased estrogen production of breasts (gynecomastia).
4. Male Pattern Baldness
5. Infertility

Other complications may include:
1. Fluid retention (swelling)
2. Heart Problems through increasing hardening of the arteries.
3. Increase in body hair
4. Acne
5. Liver problems
6. Kidney disease
7. High Blood Pressure
8. Gallstones

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