Baby boomers find youth in testosterone

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Published on November 18th, 2012

John Freiburger, 48, says people have noticed the difference in his energy levels since he began taking testosterone.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

(CNN) -- For thousands of years, explorers have been searching for the Fountain of Youth. Legend has it the elusive fountain contains a restorative source that brings endless vitality to those who drink from its pool.

No one knows what the source is, exactly. It's been called everything from the "water of life" to the "elixir of immortality."

These days, anti-aging specialists simply refer to it as "T."

You'd think T, or testosterone, was pure magic from its advertised results: increased energy, better mental concentration, less fat, more muscle, fewer sleepless nights and a higher sex drive. But experts say altering your body's natural hormone levels can be dangerous if not done properly.

As more FDA-approved products hit the market, the baby boomer generation is taking note. In 2011, consumers spent approximately $1.6 billion on prescription testosterone therapies, almost triple the amount spent in 2006, according to market research company IMS Health.

Dr. Harvey Bartnof is the founder of the California Longevity & Vitality Medical Institute. His practice focuses on age management medicine and hormone replacement therapies for both men and women. He says patients come to him to slow the aging process; they want to remain active and engaged as they grow older.

"We have medications that help people stay alive longer, but the quality of life declines," Bartnof says. "People would rather not go down the pathway of ... mom, dad if they don't have to."

'Viagra for the boardroom'

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Baby boomers find youth in testosterone

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