When we hear about testosterone (T), we often automatically think: muscle, libido, male hormone. However, my main focus in this article is to sensitize you on how low levels can directly impact the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, blood pressure, obesity, etc.
The fact that 1 in 4 men over the age of 30 has low testosterone, yes 30! Studies demonstrate that men diagnosed with prostate cancer undergoing medication therapy to lower their testosterone, 50% of them develop metabolic syndrome (an assembly of conditions including; high blood pressure, diabetes, increased triglycerides and excess body fat around the waist area). How does that happen?
Low testosterone (T) increases belly fat which is associated with metabolic syndrome. More specifically, that same fatty tissue produces inflammatory molecules such as cytokines and increases inflammatory measures also known as C-Reactive Protein (CRP) which put you more at risk of developing the cluster of conditions mentioned above known as being in a “chronic inflammation state.” Another concern that is more commonly spoken about when discussing low T is an increase of estrogen through an enzyme called Aromatase, especially in men. It facilitates the conversion of testosterone to estrogen and is produced in large amounts in adipose tissue mainly in the abdominal area.
So, what can be some alternative solutions that can help increase low T and help with the risks that can be associated with this condition? Apart from improving lifestyle with the help of your naturopath which can include stress management, healthier eating patterns, andropause management, etc. I invite you to consider a traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine plant called Tribulus Terrestris (TT)—found in Tribulus—Croix de Malte, offered by NOW. In preliminary studies, it demonstrated to have antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, cardio-protective and anti-cancer properties. Although it is thought that a molecule called Saponin in TT is responsible for increasing Testosterone levels, it might be possible that the combination with other botanicals can improve those levels more the TT alone such as Tongkat Ali found in NOW’s other supplement called Tribujack.
In summary, low levels of T is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and by treating it you can reduce the risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, triglycerides and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Call and make an appointment with our naturopaths at any of our Tau locations about how testosterone affects your health and the changes that can be done to improve your overall health.
Cristina Pietrunti ND.A
- Why Look at Testosterone Levels for All Adult Male Patients? by Myles Spar, MD, MPH
- Textbook of functional medicine 2010
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