How Do Statins Cause Low Testosterone?
Statins are an effective means to improve mortality rates due to elevated cholesterol, but they are not a perfect solution, as few medications truly are. One of the most notable issues caused by the use of Statins is Testosterone Deficiency, also known as Low-T. Cholesterol is one of the primary building blocks of Testosterone, and one of the reasons why some cholesterol is absolutely necessary to maintain good health. Unfortunately, elevated Cholesterol Levels are very dangerous, which often necessitates the use of Statins and other treatments to reduce cholesterol.
One problem with Statins is that they can often suppress Cholesterol Levels to an extent to which the body no longer produces enough Cholesterol to meet the needs of the body, which can lead to Hormone Deficiencies such as Testosterone Deficiency. Low-T is most recognized for its effects upon sexual function, such as reduced libido and erectile function, but it also leads to other issues, such as lack of energy, depression, poor sleep, anxiety, and cognitive decline. Men on Statins often turn to Low-T Treatments such as Testosterone Patches, Creams, and Gels in order to supplement their Statin Drugs and preserve the benefits of Testosterone for their sexual and physiological health.
What are Statins?
Statins are a collection of pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed in order to keep elevated cholesterol levels in check. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver, and Statins inhibit the production of a key Cholesterol precursor which facilitates the production of cholesterol.
Cholesterol is an essential building block of human life, but, like many other building blocks, such as Cortisol or Estrogen, it is possible to produce too much Cholesterol, which prevents one from maintaining good cadiovascular health. Most notably, high levels of cholesterol can lead to a condition known as Atherosclerosis, in which the arteries of the heart are clogged with plaque, which is comprised largely of Cholesterol.
How do Statins Work?
As mentioned earlier, Statins work because they inhibit Cholesterol from being made by the liver. In particular, statins suppress the function of HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme which modulates the production of cholesterol. Statins block the signaling of HMG-CoA reductase, preventing the enzyme from activating target sites in the liver which produce cholesterol.
As the production of cholesterol drops, the liver responds by absorbing LDL Cholesterol from the blood stream, as well as its relative VLDL Cholesterol. After the Cholesterol is absorbed by liver cells, it is metabolized, reducing the concentration of bad cholesterol in the blood stream.
Why is Cholesterol Important for the Production of Testosterone?
There is strong evidence that suggests that men that use Statin Drugs are twice as likely to experience erectile dysfunction and other symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency than men that do not use these drugs. The human body takes Cholesterol and converts it into Testosterone, and if the body does not have enough Cholesterol for this purpose, then Testosterone Deficiency becomes more likely.
Of course, this isn’t the entire story. Men that have high cholesterol levels are also more likely to be overweight and less active, which are two of the leading causes of Low-T and early Andropause. The effects are cumulative, and by changing one’s habits, it is often possible to mitigate cholesterol levels and reduce the need for Statin drugs.
Why is It Important to Prevent Testosterone Deficiency?
Testosterone is the keystone of optimal male health, and Testosterone Deficiency leads to a host of symptoms which impair male health and wellness. The following are a selection of symptoms associated with Andropause and Low-T:
- Weight Gain
- Loss of Strength
- Reduced Muscle Mass
- Trouble Sleeping
- Loss of Bone Mineral Density
- Loss of Sex Drive
- Reduced Sexual Performance
What Are Common Statin Drugs?
There are a number of Statin Drugs that are available on the market today. Three of the most common are Zocor (simvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), and Livalo (pitastatin). All three work via the same mechanism: they reduce the body’s ability to produce Cholesterol in the liver.
How to Treat Low-T Caused by Use of Statin Drugs
The most effective way to treat Testosterone Deficiency caused by Statin Medications is to supplement Statin Treatment with the use of Low-T Products such as Testosterone Injections, Gels, and Creams. This protects the body from the effects of elevated Cholesterol while also providing the body with a physiologically normal dose of Testosterone. Bio-Identical Testosterone has been used for decades with much success, and as treatments are streamlined and new diagnostic tools become available, Testosterone is safer to use than ever.
What Are Alternatives to Statin Drugs?
Statins are not the only option on the table when it comes to dangerously high cholesterol. Two of the more common Statin Alternatives are Sequestrants and Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors.
Sequestrants – Sequestrants are also known as Bile Acid Binding Resins. These medications lower cholesterol levels in the blood stream by slowing down the rate by which the body absorbs cholesterol through the diet, by limiting the effectiveness of bile. Sequestrants are effective for patients that have only modestly elevated Cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors – CAIs work in a similar manner as Sequestrants—they prevent the body from absorbing Cholesterol from the diet. They do so in a different manner, however. Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors stop the intake of Cholesterol from the small intestine by blocking sites in the intestines that are responsible for absorbing Cholesterol, rather than inhibiting the effectiveness of the bile. To date, Zetia (Ezetimibe) is the only CAI that is available for prescription.
Reduce Cholesterol Levels Naturally Without Drugs
Of course, in any case, the ideal means to treat a disease is without the use of medications. There are lifestyle changes that you or a loved one can make which can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood stream and reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction, low libido, and atherosclerosis.
The following are some steps you can take to control your cholesterol naturally:
- Reduce Consumption of Saturated Fat
- Increase Omega-3 Intake Through Diet, especially through the consumption of fish and nuts
- Increase Fiber Intake
- Green Tea can help reduce Cholesterol Levels
- Modest Consumption of Alcohol Can Improve Cholesterol Counts
- Avoid Margarine
- Stop Smoking!
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