Testosterone? Well who wouldn't want to take something that promises "strong bones, plenty of energy, sharper mind,......?
|Maybe, like other cartoons, there's more fiction than truth.|
Well, if it's been shown that "testosterone administration has been associated with development of acne, gynecomastia (breast development in males), peripheral edema, and polycythemia (abnormal increased concentration of hemoglobin in the blood)" maybe you'd want to rethink that decision to take testosterone supplementation.
3 double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials evaluated a year of testosterone replacement in 790 men 65 or older with "moderately low serum testosterone concentrations." The results were disappointing. "Sexual function improved modestly, and there appeared to be marginal benefits in some areas of physical function and vitality as well."
These are the findings published in the 3/14/2016 issue of The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, a non-profit organization which takes an impartial look at new and not-so-new drugs as part of a continuing education program for physicians. Previous studies have shown an association between testosterone replacement and cardiovascular disease as well as potentially with prostate cancer and an elevated serum PSA. These three studies were unable to validate this but The Medical Letter closes with "the safety of testosterone replacement therapy remains unclear."
Even though the participants in these studies were a little (or in some cases, a lot) older than the average reader, you'd expect them to have the most dramatic response if there were one. But what about the reader who's heard that taking testosterone can improve athletic performance? What if the salesman at the local supplement store promises vitality and youth "like back when you were college?" For those patients with clinical low testosterone (hypogonadism - a disease) it can be of some benefit, but according to the Mayo Clinic web site, "It's unclear whether testosterone therapy would have any benefit for men who are otherwise healthy."
Mayo also points out that taking testosterone may 1) contribute to sleep apnea, 2) cause acne or other skin reactions, 3) limit sperm production and cause testicle shrinkage (shrinkage?!!) and increase your risk for DVT blood clots - see my recent blog on this subject http://bit.ly/1XLnFAc . They go on to point to one study where testosterone users increased muscle mass but didn't increase strength.
So, while the information on the street is that, all things being equal, you'd be a better athlete if you took this stuff, it's not supported by science and could actually cause you harm.
If you're interested, I did a piece on this last year, Testosterone. Don't Believe What You Hear! which can be found at http://bit.ly/1F3SyuV .
Images 1,2 Google Images