Health

Can Extra Testosterone Help You Live Longer?

I often publish health articles based around children, women or just humankind in general but I came across an interesting news article for all you men out there, particularly those who are in a mid life crisis and looking to change their lives before they hit their twilight years!

A Las Vegas age management doctor, according to the article writer, is 74 although he would appear to have the body of a man half his age – he’s lean, fit and muscular, but he hasn’t always looked like that. He realised when he was in his late 50s that he was moderately overweight and he could see himself spiralling into the usual health traps of later life – destined to have heart problems, diabetes and possibly dementia so, having checked out a muscle magazine that was left in his waiting room, he decided to turn things on their head and set himself a harsh workout programme at his local gym and within the year he’d totally transformed his body! But as he grew older he found it more and more difficult to keep his toned body and was losing his enthusiasm for the gym workouts.

As it happened, when he was in his 60s, he attended a medical conference and was introduced to and became interested in an age management company who made claims that they could make their patients look and feel younger than their years.

The doctor still followed his regime of exercise and good nutrition but decided to have a blood test and was told that he had a testosterone deficiency which had lowered his incentive to go the gym and he now has weekly injections to lift his spirits. Apparently a series of testosterone injections can re-energise men which increases the likelihood of them losing body fat and, at the same time, helping muscle growth.

As one would expect, this method of easing middle aged men into old age, is causing huge debate. For starters, there seem to be no guidelines set out to monitor how much testosterone is safe. The British Medical Journal is one such doubter of this new “fountain of youth” drug and believes that there are a lot of men out there who are receiving testosterone when they’re ageing naturally and yet others who are perhaps looking a little frayed round the edges not receiving a small booster of testosterone from time to time to maintain their health.

Sex hormones (testosterone in men and oestrogen in women) have shown their relevance in body changes in the latter part of life, even helping reduce the frightening age related illness of dementia or Alzheimer’s. One neurologist maintains that the introduction of additional testosterone can be beneficial if early stages of Alzheimer’s are detected and can also be useful in combating prostate cancer, but it most certainly shouldn’t he handed out to every Tom, Dick and Harry “over the counter” merely as a form of “cosmetic surgery”.

I think this subject needs further research to find out whether it’s a safe option to promote longer life but, if I was a man, I wouldn’t be keen on being a guinea pig. I’m all for growing old gracefully (or disgracefully!). I’m in my 50s and I’ve now turned my life around by taking up photography which involves walking and ensuring I eat more vegetables and fruit than I did in my salad days.

As far as my changed diet is concerned, instead of having fries these days I tend to choose roasted or griddled veg – in particular sweet peppers, onions, corn on the cob, courgettes (zucchini), aubergines, (eggplant), tomatoes and anything else I can lay my hands on that will roast easily with just a little olive oil brushed over, and if I feel like boosting it with potato, I opt for the healthier option of baked or boiled.

I’ve also recently started boosting myself with kelp tablets which are natural and cheap. They can be bought fairly readily online or in a health food store but I tend to get mine via my local animal sanctuary – they’re natural, contain no animal products and kelp has been eaten in various guises over centuries! I certainly feel better for changing my life habits without going way over the top with the exercise and artificial stimulation!

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