Attention Baby Boomers — Could Testosterone be the Modern Day “Fountain of Youth?”

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on October 31st, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes
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Over the last hundreds or thousands of years, beginning with Ponce de Leon, adventurers and explorers have been on the lookout and risking their lives in seek of what we now call the "fountain of youth."

The legend is similar to its portrayal in the whimsical movie Everlasting Tuck, where there is a source of water or fountain that, once drunk from, will bring immortality or endless vigor to the curious seeker. In the movie, it's debatable whether this is a curse or a blessing...

Does this "fountain of youth" actually exist? What is the source of its healing and immortality-giving powers?

Over the years, the "fountain of youth" has also been named "water of life" and "elixir of immortality."

In Modern Times, Hormone Specialists are Matter-of-Factly Calling it Testosterone.

You might think this hormone, also known just as "T," is plain wizardry, from its highly touted benefits: a blast of increased energy, razor-sharp mental focus, blowtorch fat, piling on muscle, the ability to induce deep, restorative sleep and a raging libido.

On the flip side, many physicians say that taking testosterone and changing your natural hormone concentrations is too dangerous or uncertain if you do not do it the precise way.

An increasing number of approved testosterone products have been going on the market lately, leaving the generation of "baby boomers" able to live up to their reputation as the “eternally young” generation and jumping on the anti-aging bandwagon.

The testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) business is booming as more and more middle-aged men decide to give it a try to revitalize their lives. In 2011 alone, the business of TRT brought in $1.6 billion in consumer sales, basically tripling the amount made in 2006.

One doctor in California, Dr. Harvey Bartnof, has a very extensive and successful practice that generally provides life-extension treatments and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This stuff isn't just for men; he provides therapy for women.

Baranof says that his patients are looking for anti-aging type remedies or life extension because they want to experience not just a long life but a life that is fulfilling as well -- where they can be physically active and energized well into their later years.

Baranof describes how "we have medications that help people stay alive longer, but the quality of life declines.

"People would rather not go down the pathway of mom and dad if they don't have to."

Testosterone is Like a More Natural and Better Type of Viagra

Testosterone is a natural sex hormone produced in the testes of men's and women's ovaries. Women produce much lesser amounts than men do, however.

Testosterone is an incredibly important hormone for both sexes. It plays a role in several physiological functions, including the density of the bones, fat loss or accumulation, the strength and tone of the muscles, the production of red blood cells, sexual drive and libido, and the production of sperm.

Testosterone is not a stimulation-type hormone like adrenaline or epinephrine that gets your body going, but it does keep the physiological processes running smoothly and as they should be.

For men, testosterone typically comes into play significantly when a boy goes through puberty. The production of the sex hormone reaches its peak in early adulthood, in a man's 20s, and around the age of thirty, production will start to decline by approximately 1% every year.

Low testosterone has other names or terms -- low-T for short or hypogonadism for a more medical term.

Hypogonadism causes some very unpleasant symptoms in men, such as poor sleep, erectile dysfunction, weaker muscles, depression and anxiety, memory and concentration problems, and hair loss.

Also known as "sinking into the disease of aging," John Freiburger says.

John Freiburger, 48 years old, is a man who works in the stressful field of finance, and he began feeling his age in his early 40s.

He founded his own wealth management firm in Illinois, which is a fantastic feat, but just because he was the owner of this firm did not mean that the job came without a lot of work-related stress. He still handled portfolios himself, several a day, and the financial market is incredibly fast-paced, leading to him having to make quick and risky decisions for his clients at times.

As you could probably tell, this required a lot of focus and mental acuity daily. Poor John started to notice that he couldn't concentrate on his work as long as he used to. Things did not improve even when he tried to improve his quality of life on his own -- by increasing his exercise and improving his nutrition -- none of it changed anything.

"Being in the business that I'm in, you need to be on top of your game," Freiburger says. "For a lot of men, it's like, 'Oh yeah, I'm getting old.' I'm not very good at accepting that it's the way it needs to be."

A decade ago, testosterone was just a thing for professional sports players, competitive powerlifters, and bodybuilders.

Things are different these days. Testosterone has moved into the corporate offices of Wall Street and CEOs and presidents. In fact, the sex hormone has recently been called "Viagra for the boardroom."

TRT comes in many forms, according to Nelson Vergel, author of "Testosterone: A Man's Guide."

Injections, gels, creams, and pellets allow patients to choose what works best for them.  A doctor determines the proper dosage through regular blood tests.

Freiburger saw results just two days after starting TRT.

First, his energy levels skyrocketed. Then he saw an increase in his concentration level at work.

Soon after, his libido came roaring back, and within a month, he lost weight and put on muscle at the gym.

"I'm a better person. I'm a better wealth manager," he said. "(I) have the energy, vitality to go conquer the world."

However, it is not the “Fountain of Youth.”

You probably know that there's no magic pill for perfect health.

While direct-to-consumer marketing may make it seem otherwise, testosterone is no exception, Vergel says.

"I'm just amazed how many men start a hormone without doing research," he says.

"It's a wonderful thing to start if you need it. It also has some side effects if not done properly."

The hormone will help you burn fat and build muscle, but not on its own; you need to get moving and eat right.

It will also boost your sex drive; what it won't do, Vergel says, is make you into a raging teenager again.

A 2004 study found that almost 20% of patients might not respond to TRT.

And the benefits from testosterone can flatline anywhere from six weeks to one year into the therapy.

A crucial consideration is that most men never stop TRT, says Dr. Gregory Broderick, a urologist with the Mayo Clinic.

He explains that once you start, your body begins shutting down the natural production of the hormone, thinking it's no longer needed.

This can lead to "shrinkage" of the testicles and suppression of sperm production.

Broderick says finding a qualified doctor is critical.

Anti-aging is a new field, and even though it is growing by leaps and bounds, most doctors are not trained in hormone therapy, so they learn as they go from pharmaceutical reps and the latest published research.

TRT is often done by physicians who specialize in "boutique medicine."

Once you find a physician, he or she should screen for prostate cancer before starting treatment.

While studies have shown testosterone replacement therapies do not increase the chance of developing cancer, they can cause tumor growth if a patient already has the disease.

Broderick recommends getting blood work periodically after beginning TRT.

Men undergoing testosterone therapy have elevated levels of red blood cells, which can lead to circulation issues, thus depriving areas of the body of oxygen and possibly putting them at risk for cardiovascular problems.

On average, testosterone replacement therapy costs less than $40 a month.

But many baby boomers, such as Freiburger, are using it as part of a more expensive holistic approach that includes exercise, nutritional supplements, nootropics (smart pills and drugs), and stress reduction that will (hopefully) allow them to stay healthy into their senior years...and they say it's worth every penny.

"I would like to have as much quality of life and be as vital as I can as long as the Lord's going to have me on this earth," Freiburger says.

"I'm going to take the time and financial resources to try to make that a reality."

Notice how the article emphasizes that finding a qualified doctor specializing in boutique medicine is key. That description fits our clinic to a T. Contact us.

Reference

Hormone Replacement: The Fountain of Youth?

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