Over the years testosterone therapy has been a controversial subject. However, a new study published by the Mayo Clinic found no evidence to support claims that testosterone therapy increases cardiovascular risk in men. In fact, there have actually been several studies that suggest testosterone therapy may help to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease and in some cases low testosterone has even been linked to increased mortality in men.
We asked BodyLogicMD physicians, Drs. Jennifer Landa and Anitia Petruzzelli to comment on the significance of these recent findings and what it means for men using or considering testosterone replacement therapy.
The new Mayo clinic review on Testosterone Therapy and Cardiovascular Risk is a much needed document to put to rest the unfounded fears of testosterone therapy that have been raised by several poorly conducted, but well-publicized studies. The media frenzy has suggested that Testosterone therapy is unsafe, but the scientific evidence shows that the exact opposite is true. Higher testosterone levels are associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. I would hate to see men stopping or avoiding testosterone therapy due to an erroneous and uninformed mass panic similar to the one that stopped women from enjoying the benefits of estrogen therapy. All doctors who take care of men should read review and understand the important role that testosterone therapy can serve in a man’s life. In my patients, testosterone has helped restore not only sex drive and erections, but also confidence, energy, motivation, happiness, muscle, memory. Testosterone helps my patients lower their blood sugar and cholesterol which surely reduces their risk of a heart disease. I am grateful to the authors of this review for important topic that has a huge impact on men’s health.
–Jennifer Landa, M.D., Medical Director of BodyLogicMD of Orlando
The well-known benefits of testosterone (improved sex drive, improved sexual function, improved energy, mood, drive, focus, decrease body fat, increase in lean mass, and improved bone density) have been questioned by two recent studies that suggested testosterone use increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The media frenzy caused by these studies even caused the FDA to announce plans to review the cardiovascular safety of testosterone use.
This meta-analysis by Abraham Morgentaler, et al is an excellent review of the vast amount of studies on testosterone from 1940 until present. His careful review reveals scientific evidence that demonstrates testosterone indeed has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk and mortality.
Low testosterone is associated with an increased risk of death, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and worsens obesity and insulin resistance. On the other hand, testosterone therapy reduces risk of death, reduces cardiovascular disease, improves lean mass/muscle, reduces fat, and improves insulin resistance/decreases the risk of diabetes.
He goes on to show that the two studies published in JAMA and PLoS had statistical and methodological problems. The JAMA study actually revealed a lower percentage of adverse effects in testosterone users.
These results are great news for those that are suffering from testosterone deficiency.
–Anita Petruzzelli, M.D., Medical Director of BodyLogicMD of Hartford