A 2006 study done by the University of Washington and Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System found an interesting link between lower testosterone levels and an increase in the mortality rate. The study was published by Internal Medicine on August 2006. Specifically, Doctors Molly Shores, Alvin Matsumoto, and Kevin Sloan worked with 850 veterans who had their testosterone levels tested at least twice a year for a five-year period. All men were in their 40’s or older, and their mortality was tracked for up to three years later.
Researchers’ data showed that veterans who had shown low testosterone levels in their blood serum tended to have a higher mortality rate compared to men who had shown normal levels of testosterone. It is known that testosterone decreases gradually in men after the age of 30, and that testosterone can also periodically decrease after a serious illness or disease.
To put it simply, older men with lower testosterone have a higher likelihood of dying sooner than later. While more research is necessary to look at specifically what illnesses are causing such early death, there is a better understanding of what testosterone does with the body.
Lacking testosterone could most likely weaken these systems:
1. Testosterone keeps your heart strong. By supporting the production of red blood cells in the marrow, the heart is kept continuously healthy. Low testosterone levels have been connected with an increase in cardiovascular health issues, so it is possible that heart health might be a factor in the mortality rate described in the study above.
2. Testosterone strengthens bone and muscle. Testosterone levels keep muscles and bones strong, which decreases the fat in the body. When you have strong bones and muscles, you have a healthier metabolism and structure to hold all of the valuable organ systems. The body also has an increased athleticism, further increasing a person’s ability to complete tasks.
3. Testosterone helps maintain mood levels. Often, men with low testosterone levels suffer from symptoms of depression, fatigue, and irritability. Combined with weight gain, it results in self-esteem and mental health suffer even more. Men with lower testosterone have reported having less energy.
The dangers of low testosterone are also compounded by the fact that the regulatory system for hormones is associated with the fats that a person eats. Consuming good saturated fats and omega-3 fats reduce inflammation that can disrupt the hormonal system. Fats lubricate joints and reduce joint pain, meaning more movement. A diet high in poor processed fats and heavy starches can create the kind of circumstances that can disrupt the endocrine system, and ultimately, create fluctuations in testosterone levels.
I always advise getting testosterone levels measured to create a better picture of where your health is at and where we can improve it. Preventive knowledge is the key to creating a healthy future!