Exploring the Vital Link Low Testosterone Levels and Men’s Health Risks

New research sheds light on the multifaceted role of testosterone beyond its commonly known associations with male characteristics and sexual desire. While traditionally linked to muscle size, bone strength, and mood regulation, testosterone’s influence on health appears to extend further.

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on May 13, 2024, suggests a potential link between low testosterone levels and increased risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality in men.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Western Australia, in collaboration with experts from Australia, Europe, and North America, analyzed data from 11 studies encompassing 24,000 individuals. Participants, predominantly older men, underwent baseline testosterone measurements using mass spectrometry and were monitored for a minimum of five years.

Findings indicated that men with low baseline testosterone levels faced elevated risks of all-cause mortality, while those with very low levels exhibited a heightened risk of cardiovascular-related deaths.

The association between testosterone levels and mortality risk underscores the potential significance of testosterone in overall health. However, the study does not definitively establish causation, leaving open questions about whether low testosterone directly contributes to adverse health outcomes or merely serves as a marker of underlying health issues. Reported by NCBI

Experts suggest several mechanisms through which low testosterone might impact health, including its role in muscle mass reduction, fat accumulation, and potential links to other health complications. Dr. Karen Eilber, a urologist and co-author, emphasizes the need for further research to clarify the precise relationship between testosterone levels and mortality risk.

Low testosterone levels have been implicated in various health concerns beyond sexual function, including bone density loss, muscle mass decline, weight gain, mood disturbances, fatigue, and depression. Moreover, studies suggest potential correlations with cardiovascular events, emphasizing the importance of monitoring testosterone levels in men’s health assessments.

Diagnosing low testosterone involves a simple blood test, ideally conducted in the mid-morning when testosterone levels peak. It’s essential to differentiate between total and free testosterone, with free testosterone being the bio-available form crucial for bodily functions.

For individuals with low testosterone, lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, adequate sleep, and exercise, alongside dietary adjustments, may help elevate testosterone levels. Supplements like DHEA, vitamin D3, Tribulus, and maca could also be considered, although caution is advised, particularly with DHEA in cases of prostate cancer.

In cases where natural interventions prove insufficient, testosterone therapy under medical supervision offers an alternative. This therapy can be administered orally, via injections, or through topical applications, tailored to individual needs and health considerations.