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Boosting men's Testosterone levels could reduce deaths from heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes, United Kingdom (UK) doctors and scientists say.
A team in Sheffield has demonstrated that Testosterone has a "significant impact" on the way the body handles sugar and fat.
At the Endocrine Society's annual meeting, they said low Testosterone (Low-T) was common in type 2 diabetic patients.
Experts said the field was being "turned upside down" as Testosterone was previously considered a cause of these problems...not a method of prevention or a solution to them.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) was thought to explain why men are more prone to heart disease than women.
There are also concerns about the damaging impact of Testosterone, as seen in bodybuilders who abuse the hormone.
The Role of Fatty Tissue
Type 2 diabetes often occurs in people who are obese.
Piling on the pounds has an adverse impact on Testosterone as fat launches a twin attack on the hormone.
It releases chemical signals to reduce production, and it actively breaks down Testosterone into Estrogen, a feminizing hormone, with disastrous results for men.
If that weren't bad enough, a fifth of people with type 2 diabetes had symptoms of low Testosterone: bad mood, fatigue and lowered sexual performance, the researchers said.
Dr. Daniel Kelly, of the University of Sheffield, won the Endocrine Society's presidential award for the findings he presented at the conference.
He used Testosterone-deficient mice to show that the hormone was heavily involved in processing sugar and fat.
With no Testosterone, the liver and muscles were less able to take up sugar, and fat was diverted from under the skin to clog up the liver and arteries.
Dr. Kelly told the BBC News website: "We know men with low testosterone are at substantially increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease as well."
His findings start to uncover the cause, as well as suggesting that Testosterone Replacement Therapy to restore Testosterone to its average level or "physiological window" could improve health.
"It's detrimental to have testosterone levels that are too low, but if we go above the physiological window then there are effects there as well, so it would require careful monitoring," Dr. Kelly added.
Diabetes: The Impending Tsunami
Prof Hugh Jones, a consultant physician at Barnsley Hospital who was also involved in the work, describes diabetes as the "cancer of the 21st century" that is going to be a "massive" burden on healthcare systems.
He said: "What we're trying to show is that testosterone significantly affects the way sugars and fats are used within the body and has a positive effect when you return testosterone to normal. "
If studies do show that replacing testosterone to normal is safe, and that is key, then it would increase the lifespan of many men."
The research, however, missed out on half the population.
Nobody is considering Testosterone therapy in women as it would lead to traits of masculinity.
How similar biological processes are controlled by women has not yet been uncovered, although a prominent role for Estrogen is suspected.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy is Now Seen in a New Light
Prof Ashley Grossman, an endocrinologist at the University of Oxford, said: "We used to think that testosterone was one of the 'bad guys' and accounted for the adverse metabolic phenotype of men compared to women, and their tendency to more heart disease.
"Now the field is turned upside down as testosterone is seen to have majorly positive effects.
"However, there is a commercial push for older men to have testosterone replacement therapy, and there is some skepticism among clinicians that this is more financially- rather than clinically-driven.
"Nevertheless, these data do suggest that very low levels of testosterone in aging males might not be safe."
However, everyone is still not on board the TRT train...keep reading
FDA Orders Testosterone Label Limits, Heart Attack Warnings
(Bloomberg) -- Makers of Testosterone drugs must change the products’ labels to clarify they are approved for only certain disorders, not to help men deal with aging, U.S. regulators said.
Uses listed for the medications, such as AbbVie Inc.’s AndroGel and Eli Lilly & Co.’s Axiron, are being restricted and warnings are being required on the labels about a potential risk of heart attack and stroke from using Testosterone, according to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety communication on Tuesday.
AndroGel ranked second in AbbVie’s drug sales last year, with $934 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“Testosterone is FDA-approved as replacement therapy only for men who have low testosterone levels due to disorders of the testicles, pituitary gland or brain that cause a condition called hypogonadism,” the agency said.
“However, the FDA has become aware that testosterone is being used extensively in attempts to relieve symptoms in men who have low testosterone for no apparent reason other than aging.”
In 2013, 2.3 million patients received a prescription for Testosterone, a whopping increase of almost double the number since 2010.
This was reported in FDA staff documents in September when it called outside advisers together to discuss Testosterone safety.
The FDA said in January 2014 that it was investigating the risk of heart attack and stroke linked to the drugs.
A study published in November 2013 suggested that Testosterone replacement drugs boost the odds of a heart attack, stroke or dying by 29 percent.
Other studies offered conflicting results, showing a decreased risk of mortality among Testosterone users.
The FDA is also requiring the manufacturers of Testosterone products to conduct clinical trials on the increased risk of heart attack and stroke associated with the drugs.
So, Where Does the Truth Lie? Who is Right? Who is Wrong? Why?
For quite some time, some have warned that the FDA was going to crack down on the use of Testosterone supplementation to combat the effects of aging.
Now it’s finally happened.
As a recent article points out, “[the] FDA has become aware that testosterone is being used extensively in attempts to relieve symptoms in men who have low testosterone for no apparent reason other than aging.”
How dare they!
How in the world could anyone desire to avoid the symptoms of aging?
Weak muscles, stiffness, constant pain throughout the joints and tendons, fatigue, little or no libido or ability to perform sexually, mental decline and confusion, hearing and eyesight decline...who in their right mind would not look forward to old age?
Where do we sign up?
What's wrong with so many men?
They should be ashamed!
Just why is the FDA taking this stance?
The official explanation is that the agency is concerned about possible increases in cardiac risks for those who begin taking Testosterone.
How considerate of them...
But they are ignoring studies like the one mentioned earlier in this article.
There’s a significant body of literature that shows cardiac benefits from Testosterone supplementation.
Not All People Respond the Same Way to Any Drug
20th-century medicine was based on the “one-size-fits-all” approach that determines in a binary fashion whether some drug is good or bad.
Thankfully, the 21st century model of personalized medicine has jettisoned that dinosaur way of thinking and looked instead at the individual.
As usual, though, the lead-footed FDA seems slow to accept this new approach.
Due to their new restrictions, if a doctor determines that a person is at risk for certain ailments, perhaps heart disease or prostate cancer, then that patient might not be prescribed Testosterone, regardless of any potentially life-saving benefits.
Conversely, the benefits of Testosterone can be significant according to many studies as well as millions of users.
Improved sleep is one effect reported by many who have started Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
This has profound health implications, since poor sleep has proven to lead to severe conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to heart disease, and a plethora of more diseases, too numerous to list.
Likewise, the increased muscle mass that Testosterone Replacement Therapy produces has significant health benefits.
Of all the fitness measurements, strength is most associated with longer lifespans.
In none of the discussions about TRT are there any references to the negative health impacts of prohibiting Testosterone supplementation for prevention of age-related symptoms.
Many people suspect that the FDA crackdown on TRT is motivated mainly by the desire to spare insurers the cost of the therapy, thus keeping the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA, commonly referred to as “Obamacare”) and other program costs down.
Before you dismiss this as the ramblings of conspiracy loons, consider this: the new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) dietary guidelines are apparently going to be molded by the issue of environmental sustainability.
Talk about mixing politics with science!
File this following story under the realm of “you can't make this stuff up.”
The problem is not producing enough food.
Agriculture is sustainable.
In fact, today we are using a smaller fraction of the land space for farming than we used a generation ago, and the percent of family budgets that goes to food has fallen from about 40% to 10% in the last one hundred years.
We’re not running out of food.
If, however, you believe the whole man-made climate-change model as endorsed by the government, you certainly have the right and obligation to eat any way you want to prevent CO2 production, even though such policies, if successful, would reduce planetary biomass and probably produce some unintended consequences.
Nutritional science, however, shouldn’t be corrupted by non-nutritional factors.
This is especially true given the track record of past government dietary guidelines, which have been consistently wrong about everything from eggs, fats and carbohydrates.
If a business had proceeded being guided by the same idiotic science our government preaches, there would be an endless array of class-action lawsuits.
Somehow, any science government says it settled seems more than likely to be wrong...exactly, totally and unequivocally wrong.
The takeaway is this...
All of us should be outraged and furious that Testosterone supplementation for the prevention of age-related symptoms in men is considered by regulators and other medical “experts” as some moral failing. Think about it!
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