Men With Low-T at Greater Risk of Deadly Covid-19 Complications

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on November 11th, 2021
Reading Time: 3 minutes

In order to effectively treat Covid-19, researchers and scientists have spent countless man-hours exploring the effects of the Novel Coronavirus on the immune system. It's clear that Testosterone is intricately involved in how men experience the disease.

Testosterone has an important role in modulating the function of the immune system. Testosterone helps prevent the immune system from going into overdrive. This makes men slightly more prone to certain infections but dramatically less likely to suffer from autoimmune disorders than women.

Covid-19 is slightly more infectious among men than women. This is not where the danger of Covid-19 lies, however. The majority of people infected by the novel coronavirus experience only minor symptoms or no symptoms.

Cytokine Storm Contributes to Covid-19 Mortality Risk

Think of Covid-19 as a virally transmitted autoimmune condition. The virus is deadly largely because it leads to Cytokine Storm. Cytokines are proteins that send signals for the immune system to go on the attack. In the case of Cytokine Storm, these proteins urge the immune system to go haywire.

Cytokine Storm is incredibly dangerous and life-threatening because once it begins, the body doesn't have a very effective method to reverse course. This causes the immune response to spread, causing widespread damage and overwhelming the body's normal life-supporting capabilities.

Study Confirms Link Between Low-T and Covid-19 Severity

One study conducted in Saint Louis at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital highlights the effects of Testosterone on Covid-19. Researchers collected blood data from 152 patients, ninety of which were men. The team continued to regularly collect samples from the 143 that were put in the hospital. Samples were taken on days 3, 7, 14, and 28. The samples were then analyzed for levels of IGF-1, Estrogen, and Testosterone (IGF-1 is the most reliable biomarker of HGH Secretion). For the women, these hormones had no traceable impact on the danger of Covid-19.

For men, Estrogen and IGF-1 Levels did not affect Covid-19 Severity, but Testosterone had a notable correlation. The cohort of males with the worst Covid-19 Symptoms had significantly lower Testosterone levels upon admission to the hospital (52 ng/dl) than those with less dangerous symptoms (151 ng d/l).

Both groups were well below the bottom threshold of Low-T, which is 250 ng/dl. Scientists were careful to correct the data for various conditions such as obesity. In the end, 25 of the 90 men succumbed to the disease (compared to 12 of the 62 women. Testosterone Levels at any point could even help predict the future progression of the disease, as Testosterone Levels continued to fall by day three. It's likely that Covid-19 depletes Testosterone bioavailability and that healthy Testosterone Levels prior to infection help create a bulwark against the severity of the disease.

How Testosterone Impacts the Immune System

As men get older, their ability to produce healthy levels of Testosterone begins to decline. From the forties onward, the risk of symptomatic Low-T increases dramatically. It's estimated that half of men between forty and seventy will experience clinically significant Low Testosterone. Several factors further inhibit Testosterone Levels, putting men at risk. Sleep disorders, Type-2 Diabetes, obesity, alcoholism, and drug addiction all suppress Testosterone Levels.

Research suggests that Testosterone makes men more likely to come down with Covid-19, but after infection, Testosterone appears to reduce the risk of severe illness. This is because Testosterone minimizes the risk of Cytokine Storm. When Testosterone Levels are in the ideal range, the mild suppressive effect of the hormone helps keep the immune system in check. When men have Low Testosterone Levels, the immune system is more likely to do extreme or even fatal damage to itself in an attempt to eradicate the virus.

Furthermore, conditions associated with Low-T, such as Diabetes and Obesity, also increase the mortality risk associated with the novel coronavirus. Studies have shown that these conditions increase the danger of Covid-19 in a vacuum, while science has established that these three conditions all positively reinforce one another.

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