The goal of the hormone optimization is to improve one’s quality of life and to create an internal healthy environment that provides the lowest possible risk for the various diseases associated with aging and declining hormones. This is accomplished through early detection, identification of risk factors, and proactive strategies designed to prevent disease as much as possible, rather than treating disease once it is established.
Treatment for hormone optimization is dutifully centered on 4 basic principles:
- Low glycemic nutrition
- Appropriate meaningful and adaptive exercise
- Specific nutritional supplementation
- Correction of metabolic and hormonal deficiencies as medically indicated.
The correction of hormonal deficiencies, specifically testosterone, is a topic that draws the most attention and controversy. Is taking hormones safe? Do hormones cause cancer? Do hormones really help or do they just make us feel better? Many physicians who are not familiar with the recent medical literature on the topic feel that correcting hormone deficiencies is not particularly important, and that it may be potentially harmful.
The fact is that hormones decline with age. Most men run into their archenemy in their late thirties, forties and fifties. A slow and gradual decline that is hardly perceptible for most men. Contrarily, for women their nemesis confronts them rather abruptly over a three to five year period. Recently, I had a 32 year old symptomatic patient who’s free testosterone was 37, which is incredibly low and a 70 year old who’s Free T was 210, fantastic! The point here is that hormones decline according to their own schedule. You can submit to this unnecessary, treatable disease or you can Take Action when it is your time!
This inevitably decline in hormones is associated with many disease processes including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s dementia, abdominal obesity, loss of lean muscle, and osteoporosis. Correction of these deficiencies does not stop aging. However, it can delay the onset of many of the diseases associated with aging and slow their progression, as well as improve an individuals overall quality of life. And for me personally, what is life, if there is no quality.
Here are just 20 supporting reasons in the medical literature to optimize your hormones:
“Aging in men is characterized by a progressive decline in levels of anabolic hormones, such as testosterone, IGF-1 (growth hormone), and DHEA. Age associated decline in anabolic hormone levels is a strong independent predictor of mortality in older men. Having multiple hormonal deficiencies rather than a deficiency in a single anabolic hormone is a robust biomarker of health status in older persons.” (Archives of Internal Medicine, 2007)
“…Testosterone concentrations are inversely related to mortality due to cardiovascular (heart) disease and all causes.” (Circulation, the Journal of the American Heart Association, 2007)
“In older men, lower total testosterone levels predict increased incidence of stroke or TIA (mini stroke) after adjusting for conventional risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Men with low-normal testosterone levels had increased risk.” (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2009)
“Testosterone replacement therapy reduces insulin resistance and improves glycemic (glucose) control in hypogonadal (low testosterone) men with type 2 diabetes. Improvements in glycemic control, insulin resistance, cholesterol and visceral adiposity (belly fat) together represent an overall reduction in cardiovascular risk.” (European Journal of Endocrinology 2006)
“In men with low testosterone levels, testosterone treatment was associated with decreased mortality compared with no testosterone treatment.” (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2012)
“Low free testosterone is an independent risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.” (Experimental Gerontology, 2004)
“Administration of testosterone to hypogonadal (low testosterone) men reverses part of the unfavorable risk profile for the development of diabetes and atherosclerosis” (hardening of the arteries). (Journal of Obesity, 2011)
“In patients with coronary (heart) disease, testosterone deficiency is common and impacts significantly negatively on survival.” (Heart, 2010)
DHEA-S concentration is independently and inversely related to death from any cause and death from cardiovascular disease in men over age 50. (New England Journal of Medicine)
Low serum levels of DHEA-S predict death from all causes (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2010)
Higher DHEA-S levels are independently and favorably associated with executive function, concentration, and working memory. (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2009)
“Blood levels of androgens (like testosterone) and other sex hormones do not seem to be related to the risk for prostate cancer. The finding comes from a huge pooled analysis of data from 18 studies, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (that) confirms the lack of evidence to support an androgen–prostate cancer hypothesis.”
Urologist, leading expert, and Harvard Faculty, Dr. Abraham Morgantaler, states that “there is not now – nor has there ever been – a scientific basis for the belief that testosterone causes prostate cancer to grow” (European Journal of Urology, 2006)
Low blood levels of testosterone do not protect against prostate cancer.
Low testosterone and age are the greatest risk factors for prostate cancer.
High blood levels of testosterone do not increase the risk of prostate cancer.
Treatment with testosterone does not increase the risk of prostate cancer, even among men who are at high risk.
“Mortality due to malignancies (cancers) was not elevated in adults receiving hGH treatment.” (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2011)
With respect to hGH (human growth hormone), which is only recommended for patients who have been shown to be deficient based on strict FDA guidelines:
“…Relatively high circulating IGF-I (growth hormone) bioactivity in elderly men is associated with extended survival and with reduced cardiovascular risk.” (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2008)
“Like HDL (good cholesterol), high (normal) levels of IGF-1 (growth hormone) confer protection against coronary artery disease.” (Atherosclerosis. 2011)
The aforementioned excerpts are only a small selection of the medical literature that supports the safety and efficacy of replacing and optimizing hormone deficiencies. My goal is to provide patients with the most up to date medical evidence to help them make informed decisions that guide them to their optimum health and wellbeing.
The monumental issue in addressing the optimization of hormones, especially low testosterone, is that it is a legitimate treatment for a medical condition that affects all persons at various times in their life. Quite different than the illicit and hazardous use by amateur and professional athletes that is portrayed almost daily by the uneducated and misinformed media dramatizing stories for viewer ratings. The notion that testosterone is evil, the cause of male aggression, or dangerous needs to be surrendered. The optimization of testosterone and all hormones under the supervision of a physician is treatment for a medical disease. Restoring hormones to optimum levels corrects deficiencies, is proactive and preventative for many disease processes, and helps the individual regain their full, normal potential and the highest quality of life. And a high quality of life is what we all strive to achieve.
As a physician that specializes in male hormone optimization, I have witnessed first hand the true power of healthful living and the intelligent optimization of male hormones and the profound effects on individual patients lives. And I am grateful for my mentors Dr. Jeffry Life and Dr. Jeffrey Leake who have through their passionate pursuit of empowering male health and fitness have inspired me to seek where our next true potential lies. This is truly an exciting time for men’s health and fitness.
All the Best in Health and Wellness,