Declining Testosterone Levels in Men Not Part of Normal Aging

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on August 25th, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes

This is a relevant article you must read because aging isn't the only primary source of why testosterone decline occurs in men.

An exciting men's health data research examination on the male endocrine system discovered that common declines in testosterone score, ranging over the years, decades, and one's lifespan, is more probable to occur from a man's lifestyle, health, and behavioral changes, than by only aging itself.

This doesn't mean that a man's testosterone decline isn't linked to aging, because it is, but behavior and lifestyle choices are thought to have a significant impact on a man's testosterone, more than thought before if this study holds up in the test of time.

Dr. Gary Wittert, MD, Testosterone Research Specialist and Medical Professor

The research examination and study conducted by co-author Dr. Gary Wittert, M.D., lead professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia, stated that “Testosterone changes are largely explained by smoking behavior, and changes in health status, particularly obesity and depression.” and “Declining testosterone levels are not an inevitable part of the aging process, as many people think."

The research results of this study will be delivered at the beginning of the workweek in Houston at The Endocrine Society's ninety-fourth annual meeting.

The Endocrine Society, which is nearly a century old, is one of the most prestigious organizations for investigating advances in our knowledge within the science of endocrinology.

The last hundred years have seen a quantum leap in our understanding of how the human endocrine system works, and testosterone is one of the most fascinating hormones. Even today, new studies are revealing some of its amazing properties in balancing the wellness of humans.

The article and presentation reveal some fascinating insights:

Deleterious, life-changing declining Testosterone levels, are not necessarily, par for the course in human aging processes, as many doctors previously thought, said Dr. Wittert.

Testosterone decline can be very strongly correlated with unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking for instance. There are even studies linking alcohol use to declining testosterone levels.

Lifestyle behaviors, diet, attitude toward life, and aging all play significant roles in Testosterone health. Everyone knows a "horny old man," so this idea that testosterone deficiency is a guarantee doesn't always hold for everyone.

There is a tendency to always blame aging on men having low levels of the sex hormone Testosterone, but sometimes, aging is not the main culprit. A lack of exercise can often be the missing ingredient, more sleep, and a diet that fires up the metabolism.

This study by Dr. Willert was critical because the number of long-range population-based research studies on testosterone in men, tracked over decades, is not as common as previously believed.

The Testosterone Research Study

How Dr. Willert and cohorts conducted the scholarly evaluation:

"In this study, supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the authors analyzed testosterone measurements in more than 1,500 men who had measurements taken at two clinic visits five years apart. All blood testosterone samples underwent testing at the same time for each time point, according to Wittert.

After the researchers excluded from the analysis any men who had abnormal lab values or who were taking medications or had medical conditions known to affect hormones, they included 1,382 men in the data analysis. Men ranged in age from 35 to 80 years, with an average age of 54."

On average, measured testosterone scores, surprisingly, did not drop by any significant amount over five years. They tended to decrease by less than 1% each calendar year, according to the medical scientists who authored the research paper.

However, in subgroups, they did find factors that caused testosterone levels to decline more significantly, and these were linked to lifestyle and behaviors, not aging.  Thus how one conducted their life, rather than aging, seemed to have the ability to accelerate Testosterone decline.

It's NO shocker, the guys that became obese, smoked, or had mental health issues like depression. So even something like one's attitude on life could affect testosterone.

One shocker in the study was that men who quit smoking actually in the short run declined some in their testosterone, but Dr. Willert suggested the health benefits of quitting smoking far outweigh the slight testosterone decline. No one had expected that in the short term quitting smoking could cause one's T to dip.

There have been past research studies that linked low-t (low testosterone) with depression, but they were not publicized as much as they are now.

Mental health has a strong correlation with declining T levels.

Testosterone is linked to fertility, too much or too little, can affect one's fertility, so getting to that optimal range is essential. Testosterone is also vital for maintaining body composition and sex drive.

Obesity is a testosterone killer. The worst thing a man or woman can do is allow themselves to gain a high body fat percentage; it's something we all must fight tooth and nail.

This is why aging can not be considered the only factor as to why a man has low testosterone. The total 360-degree view is required for a proper diagnosis as to what factors are causing hypogonadism, andropause, or low-t.

According to Dr. Willert, "Unmarried men in the study had more significant testosterone reductions than did married men."

The prevailing thought is that unmarried men would have higher testosterone and more likely to be horny, but this is not the case. Unmarried men have lower testosterone levels, probably due to the likelihood of less sex, and less happiness.

Men are thought to be happier on average and have more sex when they are married versus single, even more, sex than single guys who are "playing the field." It's obviously more complicated than that, but on average, married men have better testosterone levels than unmarried men.

There are a lot of complicated factors to consider, but you get a general idea.

The conclusion of the study is that on average if you want to have better testosterone levels, don't smoke, don't allow yourself to become obese, get married, and stay married, also think really hard about things like exercise, diet, and lifestyle, these things all have a significant impact for the better and can mitigate the ravages of the inevitable aging process and natural testosterone decline.

The research study findings were delivered by Dr. Andre Araugo who was a vice president of epidemiology at the New England Research Institutes, Watertown, MA.

Declining Testosterone Levels in Men Not Part of Normal Aging

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