This publication has covered putative herbal testosterone supplements in previous issues. Such supplements are of intense interest to those who seek to elevate their testosterone levels in a more natural manner. The unsaid corollary to this is the hope that such natural-based supplements will produce little, if any, significant side effects. This isn't the case when using actual testosterone. While testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is considered safe with the exception of a few possible contraindications, it still involves a potent hormone. As such, unanticipated events are always possible, though exceptionally rare. But what isn't debated is the fact that testosterone levels drop with age, usually beginning in earnest about age 40 in most men. According to medical texts, this involves an average decline in testosterone production of 1% per year. The main symptoms of low testosterone or "Low T" can include depression, more rapid onset of type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. That last possibility is perhaps the most controversial aspect of TRT, besides that of prostate cancer. A few years ago, a few very poorly designed studies were published that suggested using any dose of testosterone would lead to such effects as heart attacks and strokes. However, when these studies were scrutinized, their flaws became readily apparent. Subsequent studies that also examined any relationship between testosterone use and cardiovascular disease (CVD) found that, if anything, having chronically low testosterone levels appears to be a risk factor in men for CVD.
Another controversial aspect of testosterone usage is its effects on body composition. Studies and practical observation show that testosterone has a positive effect on body composition. Simply put, it tends to favor a gain of lean mass or muscle along with a loss of body fat. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why maintaining optimal testosterone levels helps to prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes, which is strongly related to body fat levels. Testosterone has been shown to steer pluripotent stem cells, which can be converted into either fat cells or muscle cells, to the muscle pathway. Another way that testosterone helps to control body fat levels is by increasing the sensitivity of lipocytes or fat cells to the effects of catecholamine hormones, such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, both of which promote the release of stored fat in fat cells. One reason why so many older men walk around with pot bellies and skinny arms and legs is because the beta-adrenergic fat cell receptors in their bodies have become inactive.These receptors release fat from fat cells, allowing the fat to be oxidized or burned. When such men start testosterone therapy, it's not unusual to see them lose as much as three inches off their waist measurement even without exercise. What happened there was that testosterone restored the activity of the adrenergic beta receptors in their fat cells.
The effects of testosterone on body composition is readily apparent when you compare natural . . .