Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Testosterone....and it's role in preventing heart attacks, strokes and depression.

Testing total and Free Testosterone Levels along with Testosterone replacement is important in the prevention of heart attacks, strokes, depression, Diabetes, and even brain function or cognition.

The fact is, aging is accompanied by reduced levels of hormones required to sustain life.  But did you know that Heart Disease, osteoporosis, muscle wastingchronic inflammation, depression, reduced sexual desire and a loss of sense of well-being are all strongly linked to testosterone deficiency. Low testosterone is also associated with excess abdominal fat, loss of insulin sensitivity, and atherosclerosis. 

If this is true, then why have so many doctors shied away from giving their patients testosterone replacement?    It is mainly due to  studies that have shown that it led to increased prostate cancer. And also due to Western Doctors' lack of knowledge/understanding of how hormones work together in the body to create a beautiful choreographed symphony.  The idea of testosterone replacement causing prostate cancer was thoroughly discredited by Harvard professor, Agraham Mortgentaler in his book, Testosterone for Life, published in 2008. In fact, his scientific compilations showed that men with low testosterone levels have an increased percentage of prostate cancers.

What is confusing for doctors and patients, alike, is that testosterone studies have not been consistent and in part, this is due to differing laboratory methodologies, which produce varying result. There has also been conflicting data regarding the safety of giving testosterone to patients mainly due to the fact that mainstream Doctors, conducting the trials,  know nothing about hormone balance.  Clinical trials have been designed  by doctors who have not realized the necessity of blood levels of testosterone and estrogen to be in balance. Yes, estrogen-men have it too.  If there is too little estrogen then men are predisposed to osteoporosis and bone fracture.  If there is too much then there is a bigger predisposition to prostate cancer.

So how do men make Estrogen? Women synthesize it mainly in their ovaries.  Since men lack this female anatomy, they  produce estrogen from testosterone involving an enzyme called aromatase. Some men have too much aromatase (that often comes from too much belly fat) which causes their testosterone to convert to excess estradiol.  This results in the depletion of vital testosterone while spiking estradiol to unsafe ranges.  Some men lack aromatase and suffer an estrogen deficit.  Other  men produce so little testosterone that there is not enough to convert into estrogen which causes low levels of both free testosterone and estradiol.  Some estrogen and testosterone is also produced in the adrenal glands from DHEA.
  
So let's go back to how men make estradiol and how can excess amounts be prevented from being made from free testosterone.  There are some natural substances, such and DIM and Calcium-d-Glucarate which can inhibit the production of excess estradiol from free testosterone.  I would recommend to all men taking testosterone replacement to also take DIM and have their estradiol levels monitored along with their free and total testosterone, and DHEA levels on a regular basis.

The optimal serum ranges for hormones are:
(these ranges are taken from Life Extension Magazine June 2012)
Total Testosterone  700-900 ng/dl (conventional labs allow as low as 193 ng/dl)
Free Testosterone    20-25 ng/dl (conventional labs allow as low as 6.6 ng/dl)
Estradiol                  21.80-30.11 pg/ml
DHEA                    120-530 ug/dl


  If you would like to find out more how testosterone levels can impact your moods, libido and overall health and to make sure that your testosterone, estradiol, and DHEA levels are in the correct ranges please make an appointment with me.  949-370-9843


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