Behavior and Lifestyle Linked to the Effect of Declining Testosterone, Not Necessarily Natural Aging

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on June 26th, 2020

It is common to believe that as men get older, their production of the "male hormone", testosterone, becomes less and less. That this is part of healthy aging, and the only way to keep up their hormone levels is to take supplementation. A new study has found out that this is not necessarily the case. Aging itself does not result in lower testosterone levels. The drop is caused by changes in a man's behavior and health. The finding is controversial but interesting.

The study was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and presented at the Endocrine Society's 94th Annual Meeting in Houston. The authors analyzed testosterone levels in more than 1,500 men. The measurements were taken five years apart, and all were sampled at the same time using the same method.

The men used in the study ranged from 35 to 80 years old. Men who were taking medications or had conditions which affected their hormones were excluded from the study.

Over the five years, testosterone levels did not decline significantly; only one percent per year. However, after analyzing subgroups of men, specific patterns began to emerge.

For example, men who became obese or were depressed over the five years were more likely to lose testosterone. Also, they found that men who quit smoking had a more considerable drop in testosterone. Most would agree, however, that the benefits of not smoking outweigh the slight decrease in testosterone.

Unmarried men had higher drops in testosterone than married men. This may be due to the finding that married men tend to be happier than unmarried men. Plus married men tend to have more regular sexual activity, which tends to increase testosterone levels.

From this study, men can maintain a healthy, high testosterone level by making certain behavioral adjustments. Besides providing a higher libido, testosterone has other positive health effects such as regulating blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease

Declining Testosterone an Effect of Behavior, not Aging

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