It’s been clear for some time that the pharmaceutical industry has been preying on adult men’s fear of aging and losing sexual vitality to overprescribe testosterone supplements. In a New York Times op-ed piece published yesterday, physician John La Puma reports on a study that just came out finding that taking prescription testosterone doubled the rate of heart attacks in men 65 and older, as well as in younger men who had heart disease, within three months.
This is serious business and worth reading by men who are taking or considering taking male hormone supplements.
Fortunately, La Puma doesn’t just critique the pharmaceutical industry but offers concrete advice to men on how to address the crucial health issues for which they tend to seek testosterone supplements:
Too many doctors are now writing testosterone prescriptions without even measuring the patient’s hormone levels, much less re-testing for confirmation and adjusting the dose after prescription. Up to a quarter of these prescriptions are dispensed without a blood test.
From a psychological perspective, this isn’t helping men. From a medical perspective, it’s devastating. In addition to the cardiac risks, prescription T can mean a permanent shut-off in men’s own, albeit diminished, testosterone production. In other words, once you start, you may well be hooked for life.
Instead of heading to the pharmacy to get their fix, men should address the leading cause of the problem. Losing weight is a tried and true way to naturally boost testosterone levels. According to findings presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in 2012, obese men who lost an average of 17 pounds saw their testosterone levels increase by 15 percent. In general, a man’s waist should be half his height.
Some diet changes may be useful for reasons other than just weight loss. If you drink too much booze, switch to water — alcohol lowers testosterone levels. Eating more cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and collard greens can also help, by blunting the effects of estrogen in a man’s body. At the end of the day, eating more of the right foods and fewer junk foods improves mood and energy — which may be the only fix many men need.
You can read the whole article online here.