Testosterone is created by the male body in the testes. The hormone is responsible for maintaining bone density, muscle mass, strength, sex drive, distribution of fat, sperm production and the production of red blood cells. As the male body ages, the production of testosterone slows. After the age of 40, the production of testosterone starts to decline.
Testosterone replacement therapy can help older men deficient in the hormone reduce their risks of heart disease, diabetes, and death, according to new research presented at ENDO 08, the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society.
”The goal of testosterone treatment is to keep the levels within normal range,” says Farid Saad, director of scientific affairs for Bayer Schering Pharma in Berlin. Saad presented two of the studies at the meeting, held in San Francisco. Bayer Schering Pharma makes several testosterone products.
Low levels of testosterone are common with age, Saad says, occurring in about 18% of 70-year-olds. Low levels of testosterone, he says, are associated with the metabolic syndrome — a cluster of risk factors such as abnormal cholesterol and high blood pressure that boost risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes as well as other risks to health.
In the studies, Saad and his colleagues found that testosterone replacement therapy reduced the metabolic syndrome risk factors and did so in a similar way in all the age ranges studied.
By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News