Treatment with testosterone to improve general health?
Some men take testosterone replacement therapy to improve their memory or overall health. However, the latest results show that such treatment with testosterone does not contribute to the effects mentioned above and is only useful for older men with sexual dysfunction.
A recent study by the American College of Physicians found that testosterone treatment in men does not improve memory or overall health. This type of treatment should only be used in older men with sexual dysfunction. New guidelines for treatment with testosterone have been published in the English-language journal "Annals of Internal Medicine".
Results from 38 studies were evaluated
For the new recommendations on the use of testosterone, the researchers analyzed 38 randomized, controlled testosterone treatment studies that were carried out in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia between 1997 and 2018. These examinations monitored men for a period of less than twelve months to three years. Twenty-four of these studies were at least partially sponsored by industry.
How was testosterone administered?
In the studies, men were given testosterone via intramuscular injections or through the skin with a hormone patch or gel. Millions of men are looking for a quick fix for health problems in testosterone replacement therapy. However, the new analysis shows that there is no evidence of health improvement through long-term testosterone supplementation.
Testosterone is not a fountain of youth for men
The only benefit comes from short-term treatment for men with sexual problems. Complaints with general vitality and cognition, on the other hand, do not appear to be symptoms that can be improved by treatment with testosterone. The results could not confirm that testosterone is the type of fountain of youth that it is partially considered.
When is the use of testosterone useful?
If there is a decrease in testosterone in men over the age of 60, testosterone replacement therapy can certainly make sense. In this case, the testosterone level can be tested. If it is very low, testosterone can improve libido and sexual function.
What Reduces Testosterone Levels?
Younger men usually don't have low testosterone levels unless they have a rare disease or very unhealthy lifestyle. A drop in testosterone can be triggered by overexertion, lack of sleep, being overweight and consuming marijuana. The solution to low testosterone levels is lifestyle changes, rather than simply artificially adding testosterone.
Testosterone replacement therapy can reduce sperm count in younger men
A side effect of testosterone replacement in young men is low sperm count, and the longer people take testosterone, the harder it will be to get a normal number of sperm.
How safe is long term testosterone treatment?
There is no long-term data on the safety of a testosterone supplement. Many of the studies used in the analysis were short-term. However, there is data to suggest that the use of testosterone in men with age-related decline could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Sexual dysfunction indicates other health problems
Possible causes of falling testosterone levels and sexual dysfunctions can include diabetes, incipient heart disease, lack of exercise and being overweight. Sexual dysfunction should therefore be seen as a possible indicator of other health problems. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Amir Qaseem, Carrie A. Horwitch, Sandeep Vijan, Itziar Etxeandia-Ikobaltzeta, Devan Kansagara et al .: Testosterone Treatment in Adult Men With Age-Related Low Testosterone: A Clinical Guideline From the American College of Physicians, in Annals of Internal Medicine ( Published January 7, 2020), Annals of Internal Medicine