In a recent article Mike Stone PhD, spoke about the “bad rap” testosterone has gotten for the last twenty years, or so. Body builders have been known to take large doses of testosterone to build muscle and, as he writes, “Since thousands of young men took testosterone for athletic improvement, it became a controlled substance by the Federal Drug Administration.” However, considering the number of young men who have used testosterone and the length of time they’ve been using it, the number of side effects that have occurred are incredibly small.
But the benefits of testosterone in patients are not limited to increased muscle mass. Stone writes, “If you are 50, 60, or 70 and look at your muscle mass in the mirror, I think you will realize that it is not what it was at 20 or 30 years of age.” Testosterone levels are at their peak when men are in their late teens and early twenties, slowly dropping-off throughout our adult life. At age fifty testosterone levels are less than half of what they were when we were 20; by age 70 these levels are substantially lower.
"The benefits of testosterone in patients are not limited to increased muscle mass"
Contrary to popular belief, Testosterone is found in females as well and it has basically the same effect on females that it has on males. “The major effects of testosterone are decreased fat and increased muscle mass ratio, improved skin thickness, improved cardiac output, improved bone density, improved mental acuity, and of course, improved sex drive and function,” Stone writes. He goes on to say that the greatest concentration of testosterone can be found in cardiac muscle. Numerous European studies show that testosterone is a safe and effective way to increase and maintain good cardiac muscle, thus helping prevent cardiac failure with advancing age.
The old prejudices against hormone replacement therapy are beginning to fade into history and the use of testosterone in medical practice, particularly related to aging, is now widely accepted and growing. “Testosterone does not cause prostate cancer, but since testosterone stimulates all living tissue particularly the prostate, it might be found to increase the rate of growth of an existing prostate cancer,” Stone said, so these treatments are not recommended for patients who have prostate cancer. A knowlegeable physician will perform a PSA test prior to prescribing therapy and will monitor prostate antigen levels throughout treatment. This is why it is so important to work with a physician who specializes in Hormone Replacement Therapy. This physician will also order comprehensive blood work to determine your current testosterone levels and overall health. Armed with this information, he will prescribe a therapy to fit your specific needs.