Anti-aging: Does testosterone keep men fit in old age?
In the anti-aging medicine, the male sex hormone testosterone is preceded by the reputation of keeping men physically and physically fit, even in old age. But even if positive effects can be demonstrated, the experts disagree whether a regular administration of the hormone actually makes sense.
This is how the sex hormone testosterone works
Already in the late 40s, testosterone was touted as an anti-aging wonder drug. It is produced in the male testes and has numerous effects in the body: It promotes the development of primary male sexual characteristics, ensures sperm production and is responsible for muscle growth.
As part of a testosterone treatment, the hormone can also be supplied to the body in a synthetic form. Just a few years ago, such treatment was one of the “most popular therapies for controversial anti-aging medicine,” reports the “Ärzteblatt”.
Controversial anti-aging effect
Already at the age of 30, the testosterone level begins to decline. This is part of the natural aging process. If men reach 45, it can even lead to a testosterone deficiency – medicine calls the andropause. As the medical portal “Netdoktor” reported, American researchers have been able to prove that a high testosterone levels in older men protects against age-related muscle wasting and ensures that men remain vigorous in old age.
Overall, subjects with high levels of testosterone lost less muscle mass on the arms and legs. This was manifested among other things in the strength of grip, the speed and the ability to rise from an armchair without the help of the arms.
No risk, but hardly any benefit
However, other studies deny that testosterone is actually useful as an anti-aging agent. Because: Not only on the muscle mass matters. For example, a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that while hormone treatment with testosterone in older men may build muscle mass, it has no positive effect on the subjects’ mobility and cognitive performance. For this reason, the researchers could not see any anti-aging indication at that time.
“The drop in testosterone levels is part of the natural aging process for men,” explains Principal Investigator Marielle Emmelot-Vonk of the University of Utrecht. “This reduces muscle mass, physical strength and bone density, but also the mental presence.” In one study, 207 men between the ages of 60 and 80 were given testosterone or placebos over a certain period of time.
Although it came out that the body fat percentage decreased, but this does not lead to more strength and flexibility. It even increased the risk factors for cardiovascular disease or diabetes, the Focus continues. No clear benefit of the testosterone treatment could be found in the study.
Higher testosterone levels in old age
Although the anti-aging effect is controversial, speaks in men against a healthy testosterone levels even at a ripe old age – even if according to information in the “medical sheet” is believed that a high risk of heart attack is accompanied by a high testosterone levels. In order to ensure a sufficient hormone level even in old age, there are different possibilities for men.
This includes, for example, a treatment with testosterone preparations. These preparations are only for prescription and the intake should be discussed with your family doctor. This should also regularly test their hormone levels in the blood. But you can also look for a healthy lifestyle to support hormone production.
This includes, among other things, that you sleep seven to eight hours daily, pay attention to a diet that is as low as possible on your diet and exercise regularly. So you have good chances to stay fit into old age!