March 29th, 2016
Testosterone is a naturally occurring powerful hormone that has amazing effects on the rejuvenation and revitalization of biological tissues. There has been claims that testosterone therapy can also reverse the physiological signs of aging, which probably explains why a lot of people today consider exogenous testosterone replacement therapy to feel younger and more exuberant.
Classic benefits of testosterone replacement therapy are:
Testosterone therapy also improves mood, cognition, intellectual capacity and synthesis of red blood cells (also known as erythropoiesis). Several other research studies also suggested that testosterone therapy improves the quality of life and overall life expectancy in hypo-gonadal males.
Due to extensive popularity of testosterone therapy as an anti-aging hormonal agent, many males (and some females as well) choose testosterone replacement therapy. Some classic indications of testosterone therapy are:
Despite all the positive hype and potential benefits on physical and physiological health, several clinical studies suggests that exogenous supplementation of testosterone carries several risks. Most statistically significant adverse effects of testosterone therapy are:
Other common risks associated with testosterone therapy include enlargement of male breasts and compromised production of sperms. Study reported in the Journal of Urology (4) suggested that intramuscular injection therapy with human chorionic gonadotropin can reduce the negative effects on spermatogenesis caused by testosterone therapy.
Despite the controversies surrounding the use of testosterone therapy, there has been a 500% increase in the prescription of testosterone in males since 1993 (1).
Due to potential risk of adverse effects, the US Endocrine Society and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists is strictly against the use of testosterone supplementation in males with no clinical deficiency or requirement of testosterone. If you are considering testosterone therapy; here is what you should do:
Some tips to reduce the risk of adverse effects are:
US Food and Drug Administration is further investigating the risk and benefit profile of testosterone replacement therapy in susceptible males.
1. Rhoden, E. L., & Morgentaler, A. (2004). Risks of testosterone-replacement therapy and recommendations for monitoring. New England Journal of Medicine, 350(5), 482-492.
2. Vigen, R., O’Donnell, C. I., Barón, A. E., Grunwald, G. K., Maddox, T. M., Bradley, S. M., … & Rumsfeld, J. S. (2013). Association of testosterone therapy with mortality, myocardial infarction, and stroke in men with low testosterone levels. Jama, 310(17), 1829-1836.
3. Surampudi, P. N., Wang, C., & Swerdloff, R. (2012). Hypogonadism in the aging male diagnosis, potential benefits, and risks of testosterone replacement therapy. International journal of endocrinology, 2012.
4. Hsieh, T. C., Pastuszak, A. W., Hwang, K., & Lipshultz, L. I. (2013). Concomitant intramuscular human chorionic gonadotropin preserves spermatogenesis in men undergoing testosterone replacement therapy. The Journal of urology, 189(2), 647-650.
5. Sharma, R., Oni, O., Barua, R., Sharma, M., Sharma, R., Chen, G., & Gupta, K. (2015). EFFECT OF TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY ON INCIDENCE OF DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS AND PULMONARY EMBOLISM. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 65(10_S).