Male Hormone Replacement Therapy: Andropause
By JP Saleeby, MD
Testosterone is a major player in the complex mielu of hormones (cellular messengers) that direct our bodies to
function. In men who are over the age of 40, there is a significant drop in this level of this hormone. Until
recently it was considered taboo to replace this important hormone. But today forward thinking anti-aging
specialists realize what scientific studies over the past decade have taught us.
As with women who have gone through the change of life, replacement of their sexual hormones (estrogen,
progesterone and testosterone) enact major health benefits such as osteoporosis prevention, heart disease
prevention and increases in cognitive function. Likewise for older male subjects the benefits of the addition of
testosterone under careful physician management is a crucial aspect of maintaining good health. I wish in this
article to dispel some misconceptions about Testosterone Replacement Therapy and provide a list to readers of the
benefits of this simple and safe treatment.
First of all there is overwhelming evidence in the scientific literature that testosterone does not cause
prostate cancer. In actuality it is the unbalanced estrogen excess in man that is implicated in prostate
The caveat here is that once there is prostate cancer, testosterone which is an anabolic (building) hormone can
promote cancer growth, but contrary to the popular belief, even within the medical field, it does not cause cancer.
With advancing age Testosterone levels drop while estrogen levels rise and compete for binding sites on the
prostate gland as well as other cells in the body causing a hormonal havoc.
Such problems as an increase in adipose tissue with midsection obesity, a decrease in muscle mass, generalized
hormonal imbalances (growth hormone, estrogen, thyroid), depression, increased cholesterol and lipid dysfunction,
glucose and insulin imbalance, decreased coronary artery elasticity, elevated blood pressure and loss of a feeling
of well being result from low testosterone levels. Supplementing Testosterone in the appropriate candidates
reverses these unwanted outcomes, but it is not as simple as taking a pill. There are enzymes in our body that can
change exogenous testosterone into other undesirable hormones such as Estrodiol and DHT. Therefore, a physician
that understands the balancing act and has the ability to monitor these other hormones is best to treat such a
Along with the correct replacement modality (cream, gel or patch) there are other considerations which halt the
trend of testosterone conversion and these are usually supplemented along with testosterone. Such supplements are
Saw palmetto, Zinc and Nettle extract to name a few. In a recent study of the Androderm patch after a 12-month
period a depression score dropped by nearly one half with testosterone replacement alone. Again men with complaints
of fatigue receiving testosterone in one study had symptoms of fatigue drop for 79% to 10%. A Medline medical
literature search reveals many more positive outcomes of testosterone replacement. For those interested in finding
out more about their bodies, there is a non-invasive home testing kit available at the Saleeby Longevity Institute
which allows men to evaluate the levels of testosterone in circulation.
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