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ETpro's avatar

Testosterone Supplementation -- Good idea or bad for older men?

Asked by ETpro (34568points) July 7th, 2011

I just received an invitation from a major Boston medical group to participate in a study of testosterone supplementation in older men. I had a complete blood-work done 6 years ago, and my level then was within the normal range for my age, 635 ng/dl. The study wants men with a low T. rating. Don’t know if I now qualify or not. But supposing they test and I do. Is supplementation a good idea?

I remember that giving post-menopausal women extra estrogen was all the rage some time back, then we began to learn that it might be causing more harm than it was doing good. There is something to be said for aging gracefully and just accepting the fact than in my late 60s, I am not the same man I was in my early 30s and that’s actually OK. That is how nature designed it.

What do you think? Do it for the benefit that may come to scientific knowledge and whatever benefits it may give me in extra energy, less need for noontime naps, and renewed sex drive (As if I need a ton more of that!)

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10 Answers

jca's avatar

There was an article in, I think it was The New Yorker magazine a few years ago about a guy who did this. He talked about his mood, feeling aggressive, like wanting to fight. I don’t remember much else about the article. If I were you I would try to read some personal stories (try googling) to see what the experiences were like of those that did it. Also talk to your doctor and the doctors in the study, to see what you may expect and the negatives that you will experience.

Cruiser's avatar

I am not a fan of supplements whatsoever. Just Big Pharma trying to convince you they can do better for you than a good whole food diet and exercise. Plus at some point in time reality HAS to set in you are not a spring chicken anymore! IMO supplements are a colossal waste of money! These studies are done to gauge just how desperate people are to pay for a pill than to put in the effort needed to get results without them!

josie's avatar

I would not be screwing around with hormones.
There seems to always be another edge to that sword, and it is never good in the long term.
You can’t remake youth with a chemical.
People are always looking for their generation’s version of the Fountain of Youth.
And it is never there. And the lesson is never learned.
Be careful.

ratboy's avatar

Here’s a New Yorker article.

JLeslie's avatar

I would not do it. Your testosterone number is good, and probably still is. My guess is certain cancers feed on testosterone, the same as certain cancers in women feed on estrogen, why screw around with that?

But, if you are curious, and can get it for free, and will possibly help others go for it. You can always quit if you thnk something is going wrong. For sure you will most likely feel better with more testosterone, but I tend to think along the lines of if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Better to stop putting foods in plastic containers, I am a big believer in certain plastics inhibiting testosterone, work out with some weights, and have “sex” more often. That should naturally raise your numbers. Or, at least that is what I believe through anecdotal experience.

ETpro's avatar

@jca I already did talk to my doctor. That’s how I got the test data from 6 years ago. His feeling was it would be worth letting them test me. If nothing else, it gives me an up-to-date reading to replace th 6-year old one.

@Cruiser & @josie I hear ya. Tend to agree.

@ratboy Thanks for the link. Very interesting.

@JLeslie Goof sound advice. Thanks.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro The timing of the question is funny, because yesterday I thought to write a question asking why medical doctors thought female HRT was such a good thing. Why they believed it lowered risk of heart disease and some other health problems. Was there an old study that demonstrated these results, or was there just a common belief about it? I have never believed estrogen was the big protector from heart disease. I wanted to know because you probably have seen how annoyed I get with doctors, and it would be another reason to hate them, nah just kidding, but seriously they can go on and on about scientific method, and then they do things all the time that are not proven and logically to me seem like a bad idea.

ETpro's avatar

@JLeslie You should ask that. We do have some good MDs here, and while I couldn’t contribute anything in the way of an informed opinion about the issue, I’d really ;ove to hear what they would say. We might also have some members who can tell firsthand what happened when they tried it. I guess whatever your profession, you can never fully escape the foibles we humans all seem to share.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro I know lots of women who used and still use HRT. Mostly they use it to control hot flashes.

mattbrowne's avatar

I think only men who tested below the healthy range should participate.

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