August 15, 2013

Pros and Cons of Testosterone Therapy

Low Testosterone Levels

You can't listen to the radio for more than ten minutes these days without hearing a commercial for male vitality/virility products and how low testosterone levels can negatively affect your life.  Testosterone is a hormone that helps maintain men's bone density, muscle mass, fat distribution, red blood cell production and sex drive.  With age--after the age of 30--normal male testosterone levels decline about 1% per year.  This drop with normal aging results in physical changes (reduced muscle mass and increased body fat), reduced libido and sexual function, and changes in sleep patterns.  So, the focus of these commercials is the goal (fantasy) of recapturing youthful vitality.

However, the appropriate testosterone level for a normal aging male at a certain age has not been established, so therapy is left to be dictated by signs and symptoms, which can be subjective.  At the present time, there are no reputable scientific consensus studies that taking testosterone medications is of benefit for older men who are otherwise healthy.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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