If you’re a person of any certain age, you’ve probably noticed all of the ads for supplemental testosterone, hinting that getting the male hormone could cure all that ails you, from waning sexual performance to dwindling muscle tissue and strength.
Along with the ads are most often working: The number of prescriptions written for testosterone have skyrocketed by greater than 300 percent since 2001, reaching 7.2 million in 2013, in accordance with an April 2016 analysis by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City University, and Stamford University School of Medicine. And an estimated 70 % of the prescriptions for boosting testosterone supplements spartagen XT are written males between 40 and 60.
Other research suggests that most those prescriptions are perfect for the drug businesses that make and then sell the pills: testosterone sales topped $1.6 billion in the year 2011, as outlined by a 2013 study in JAMA.
Although some guys who take testosterone report better sexual function, most don’t. That’s partly because erection dysfunction usually comes from low blood circulation towards the pen-is, brought on by high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure levels, not low testosterone, according to the American Urological Society.
And having a testosterone booster doesn’t improve physical stamina or energy, either, based on an investigation funded with the National Institutes of Health and published in February 2016 inside the New England Journal of Medicine.
“My patients come in all of the time seeking it after seeing each of the direct-to-consumer ads telling them they absolutely need to take it,” say Adam Cifu, M.D., a professor of medicine on the University of Chicago and co-author of “Ending Medical Reversal.”
“Since there may be a lot demand, physicians feel pressure to prescribe it to never lose patients.” Some doctors may believe what Cifu calls “marketing hype-that testosterone is likely to make a 60-year-old man with slightly low testosterone feel better. But it’s medicalizing natural aging.”
Most older men won’t feel much better or see health benefits from taking a testosterone booster. Actually, older men that are prescribed it appear to experience a greater risk of dying from any disease in addition to from a cardiac arrest or stroke, based on a 2013 JAMA study.
Another study found out that men over age 65 on testosterone therapy could have twice the chance of having a cardiac event or stroke.
Other studies suggest that testosterone boosters might fuel the development of prostate cancer, and reduce sperm counts, too. Established risks include blood clots in the legs, apnea, an enlarged prostate, enlarged or painful breasts, and swollen feet or ankles.
Additionally, the gel types of testosterone, applied beneath your arm or on your own upper arm and shoulder, can be transferred to others when you don’t wash the area after applying it. Children in contact with the hormone have observed enlargement of the pe-nis or clitoris, growth and development of pubic hair, increased libido, and aggressive behavior. Women may go through acne and the expansion of body hair and, should they be pregnant or breast-feeding, can transfer the hormone for their babies.
If you’re feeling like you have low energy or have sexual problems, don’t believe that low testosterone may be the cause, or that the testosterone booster will be the solution.
Stress, lack of sleep or exercise, and feelings about your partner also can sap your vim and vigor. Plus, diabetes, obesity, and pituitary tumors can play a role in low testosterone, as dexhpky99 some drugs. So they should be eliminated first.
“There’s nothing romantic or age-defying about a drug that is included with long-term risks to you personally and also the people you live with,” says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser.
Instead, try safer ways to bring back that lovin’ feeling: Eat well, exercise, reduce stress, and also a long talk with your partner along with your doctor. Should you do start treatment, reassess after several months and enjoy for worrisome negative effects within you and others near you.