Testosterone for General Health
By Ross Macdonald
This is the first of three articles on the androgenic hormone testosterone produced by both men and women. It is important in muscle mass, bone density, red blood cells, obesity and ED (erectile dysfunction). Low levels are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), metabolic syndrome, and prostate cancer.
Measuring free testosterone is the most accurate way of assessing levels in men. The balance should be 15-20ng/dl free with estrogen less than 30ng/dl. An imbalance between these two hormones leads to diet resistant belly fat which is due to either too much estrogen or too little testosterone. In men this fat increases estrogen, resulting in memory loss, lack of motivation, depression, and low libido.
Low testosterone, which may be linked to stress, can also lead to belly fat in both men and women. This type of fat resists diet, is very difficult to remove and can increase estrogen levels. This jump in estrogen levels helps to develop platelet aggregation, coagulation and inflammation in arteries, which may cause a heart attack.
High HDL levels (good cholesterol) protect against heart attacks by helping to remove plaque from arteries. Testosterone enables HDL to remove this build-up of cholesterol from arterial walls and cycles it back to the liver for disposal. This is known as Reserve Cholesterol Transport (RCT). Adequate levels of testosterone are required for optimal support of this process; low levels may cause a drop in HDL, increasing the chance of CVD.
A major research study revealed that free testosterone levels below 17pg/dl resulted in a 3.3 fold greater risk in developing arterial disease. In perspective, aging men with levels below 17pg/dl often have HDL levels below 40-50 mg/dl.
Chronic heart failure (CHF) is characterized by exercise intolerance, shortness of breath and muscle wasting. Low testosterone is one of the main culprits. Testosterone increases anabolic function, improves arterial dilation and is a known anti-inflammatory agent.
The Journal of the American Medical Assoc. published a study measuring estradiol (the active form of estrogen) in men with chronic heart failure (CHF). The end results were: men with the lowest level were 217 percent more likely to die and men in the highest level were 133 percent more likely to die sooner from all sources than men with a balanced estradiol, testosterone level. A 2004 report on strokes from the American Heart Assoc. followed 195 men for eight years. The results showed that men with low testosterone had a 3.57 greater risk for the processes leading to a stroke than the control group who had adequate levels.
Ross Macdonald. BS,MS,CPT has written over 150 article on healthy, exercise and vitamins/supplements for the Atención since 1997. He specializes in and sells vitamins and supplements for health. For further information on testosterone and its health benefits contact firstname.lastname@example.org .