Life Extension Magazine December 2008
As We See It
By William Faloon
Where Life Extension Disagrees With the “Harvard Experts”
Most of the recommendations in Testosterone for Life closely follow what Life Extension long ago published.
There are some exceptions, however, that paint an interesting picture of how differently mainstream medicine thinks when analyzing the exact same scientific data.
Life Extension has dedicated many articles to the disease-prevention potential of testosterone replacement therapy. One study, for example, showed mortality levels 88% higher in men with low testosterone, compared with men who had normal testosterone.10
Testosterone for Life acknowledges all these studies, but does not believe these studies provide enough substantiation to warrant men replacing their testosterone for the purposes of living longer. They specifically state that if a man with low testosterone has no signs or symptoms of deficiency, then he should not restore his testosterone.
We at Life Extension vehemently disagree with this line of thinking. Our position is that low testosterone contributes to the degenerative diseases of aging such as chronic inflammation,11-15 neurologic decline,16-22 diabetes,23,24 and atherosclerosis.6,25-29 Most of us take our nutrient supplements not because we suffer “signs or symptoms” of deficiency, but because we want to prevent the onset of age-related disease.
It is fascinating that the “experts of Harvard Medical School” have such a different philosophy about this critically important issue of disease prevention, though they admit they are leaning towards recommending testosterone for longevity purposes if more confirmatory studies are published.
Testosterone for Life defines low testosterone as free testosterone blood levels below 15 pg/mL. We at Life Extension suggest that aging men maintain their free testosterone at a level of 20-25 pg/mL to more closely resemble that of a healthy 21-year-old.
There are a number of delivery methods available for aging men to restore their testosterone levels. Both Life Extension and the “experts at Harvard” suggest topically applied testosterone creams or gels as the most efficient way of delivering testosterone into the body. While the Harvard experts acknowledge that patients using compounded testosterone creams achieve desired blood levels, they heavily recommend FDA-approved testosterone cream drugs 'because they believe these to be more reliable.
Life Extension has found that testosterone made by compounding pharmacies consistently elevates free testosterone, and that the recommended follow-up blood tests can verify that an individual using testosterone from a compounding pharmacy is achieving youthful levels.
What the Harvard people neglect to discuss is cost. The FDA-approved testosterone cream drugs can cost over $220 a month (or $2,640 a year). Compounded testosterone, on the other hand, can be obtained for around $20 a month (or $240 a year). For whatever reason, Testosterone for Life chooses not to discuss the cost differential issue.
FDA-approved testosterone drugs are unaffordable to many aging men. We at Life Extension do not hesitate to enlighten our readers that they can obtain the same benefits by spending $20 a month, as opposed to $220 a month for FDA sanctioned testosterone drugs.
Testosterone for Life makes compelling arguments for aging men with low testosterone to take corrective action. In rebutting critics who claim nature should not be interfered with, author Abraham Morgentaler, MD, FACS, asks whether aging people should be deprived of their eyeglasses, since visual decline is also a normal manifestation of aging. He questions why doctors who prescribe thyroid hormone drugs criticize testosterone replacement. Why, he asks, is it OK to treat low thyroid but not low testosterone?
Building muscle mass and bone density while reducing abdominal fat are well-established improvements in body composition observed in response to testosterone therapy.30-32 Testosterone for Life relates recent data showing that testosterone not only helps increase the strength and size of each muscle cell, but also influences nearby cells into becoming muscle cells.33,34
Perhaps the most detailed descriptions in Testosterone for Life are the sexual-enhancing effects that occur when this hormone is restored. Dr. Morgentaler relates numerous case reports of patients who had lost interest in sex, were unable to perform satisfactorily, and/or who no longer experienced youthful fulfillment. In most cases, these patients reported that within weeks of testosterone levels being restored, they experienced more youthful sexual urge, performance, and pleasure.
Saving Our Healthcare System
Be it the public or private sector, the United States of America does not have the economic resources to pay the health care costs of its rapidly increasing aging population.
For the past three decades, we at Life Extension have advocated free market approaches that would slash medical financial outlays by maintaining aging people in youthful states of health.
Based on an enormous amount of published scientific data, testosterone deficiency is a major risk factor in the development of expensive-to-treat degenerative diseases in the male population.
If most men restored their testosterone, the savings to Medicare alone in hospital and other medical service expenditures would be incalculable.
Will Testosterone for Life Become a Best-Seller?
Testosterone for Life is not the first book to reveal the profound age-reversal benefits observed when testosterone levels are properly restored.
A decade ago, Jonathan Wright, MD, authored a similar book called Maximize Your Vitality and Potency (Smart Publications; 1999). This book was based on the impressive clinical results Dr. Wright obtained in the 1980s when youthful testosterone levels were restored in his male patients. As some of you will remember, the FDA spent a tremendous amount of taxpayer dollars trying to destroy Dr. Wright’s medical practice.
As we move forward towards 2009, it is unlikely the FDA will repeat its ludicrous abuse of scientific reality again.
With the endorsement of doctors from Harvard Medical School, perhaps the aging male population will awaken to the fact that they have an opportunity to restore youthful mental and physical functions, while adding decades of healthy life span, just by restoring their free testosterone blood levels.
It is my sincere hope that Testosterone for Life becomes a bestseller. It may be the greatest vindication of anti-aging medicine that the establishment has ever admitted to.
Any Life Extension member who has a question about natural testosterone restoration therapy is free to call our Health Advisors at 1-800-226-2370.
For longer life,
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2. Morgentaler A. Testosterone replacement therapy and prostate cancer. Urol Clin North Am. 2007 Nov;34(4):555-63.
3. Miner MM, Seftel AD. Testosterone and ageing: what have we learned since the Institute of Medicine report and what lies ahead? Int J Clin Pract. 2007 Apr;61(4):622-32.
4. Raynaud JP. Prostate cancer risk in testosterone-treated men. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2006 Dec;102(1-5):261-6.
5. Tan RS, Salazar JA. Risks of testosterone replacement therapy in ageing men. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2004 Nov;3(6):599-606.
6. Gooren L. Androgen deficiency in the aging male: benefits and risks of androgen supplementation. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2003 Jun;85(2-5):349-55.
7. Schatzl G, Madersbacher S, Thurridl T, et al. High-grade prostate cancer is associated with low serum testosterone levels. Prostate. 2001 Apr;47(1):52-8.
8. Hoffman MA, DeWolf WC, Morgentaler A. Is low serum free testosterone a marker for high grade prostate cancer? J Urol. 2000 Mar;163(3):824-7.
9. Marks LS, Mazer NA, Mostaghel E, et al. Effect of testosterone replacement therapy on prostate tissue in men with late-onset hypogonadism: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2006 Nov 15;296(19):2351-61.
10. Shores MM, Matsumoto AM, Sloan KL, Kivlahan DR. Low serum testosterone and mortality in male veterans. Arch Intern Med. 2006 Aug 14; 166(15):1660-5.
11. Available at: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2007/6-5-Testosterone.htm. Accessed August 17, 2008.
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13. Maggio M, Basaria S, Ceda GP, et al. The relationship between testosterone and molecular markers of inflammation in older men. J Endocrinol Invest. 2005;28(11 Suppl Proceedings):116-9.
14. Laaksonen DE, Niskanen L, Punnonen K, et al. Sex hormones, inflammation and the metabolic syndrome: a population-based study. Eur J Endocrinol. 2003 Dec;149(6):601-8.
15. Cutolo M, Seriolo B, Villaggio B, et al. Androgens and estrogens modulate the immune and inflammatory responses in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2002 Jun;966:131-42.
16. Lu PH, Masterman DA, Mulnard R, et al. Effects of testosterone on cognition and mood in male patients with mild Alzheimer disease and healthy elderly men. Arch Neurol. 2006 Feb;63(2):177-85.
17. Cherrier MM, Plymate S, Mohan S, et al. Relationship between testosterone supplementation and insulin-like growth factor-I levels and cognition in healthy older men. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2004 Jan;29(1):65-82.
18. Moffat SD, Zonderman AB, Metter EJ, et al. Free testosterone and risk for Alzheimer disease in older men. Neurology. 2004 Jan 27;62(2):188-93.
19. Hogervorst E, Combrinck M, Smith AD. Testosterone and gonadotropin levels in men with dementia. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2003 Jun;24(3-4):203-8.
20. Moffat SD, Zonderman AB, Metter EJ, et al. Longitudinal assessment of serum free testosterone concentration predicts memory performance and cognitive status in elderly men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Nov;87(11):5001-7.
21. Cherrier MM, Anawalt BD, Herbst KL, et al. Cognitive effects of short-term manipulation of serum sex steroids in healthy young men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Jul;87(7):3090-6.
22. Gouras GK, Xu H, Gross RS, et al. Testosterone reduces neuronal secretion of Alzheimer’s beta-amyloid peptides. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2000 Feb 1;97(3):1202-5.
23. Traish AM, Saad F, Guay AT. The Dark Side of Testosterone Deficiency: II. Type 2 Diabetes & Insulin Resistance.J Androl. 2008 Sep 4.
24. Chandel A, Dhindsa S, Topiwala S, Chaudhuri A, Dandona P. Testosterone concentrations in young patients with diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care. 2008 Jul 23.
25. Debing E, Peeters E, Duquet W, et al. Men with atherosclerotic stenosis of the carotid artery have lower testosterone levels compared with controls. Int Angiol. 2008 Apr;27(2):135-41.
26. Khaw KT, Dowsett M, Folkerd E, et al. Endogenous testosterone and mortality due to all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer in men: European prospective investigation into cancer in Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk) Prospective Population Study. Circulation. 2007 Dec 4;116(23):2694-701.
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29. Hak AE, Witteman JC, de Jong FH, et al. Low levels of endogenous androgens increase the risk of atherosclerosis in elderly men: the Rotterdam study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Aug;87(8):3632-9.
30. Isidori AM, Giannetta E, Greco EA, et al. Effects of testosterone on body composition, bone metabolism and serum lipid profile in middle-aged men: a meta-analysis. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2005 Sep;63(3):280-93.
31. Moretti C, Frajese GV, Guccione L, et al. Androgens and body composition in the aging male. J Endocrinol Invest. 2005;28(3 Suppl):56-64.
32. Wang C, Cunningham G, Dobs A, et al. Long-term testosterone gel (AndroGel) treatment maintains beneficial effects on sexual function and mood, lean and fat mass, and bone mineral density in hypogonadal men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 May;89(5):2085-98.
33. Choong K, Lakshman KM, Bhasin S. The physiological and pharmacological basis for the ergogenic effects of androgens in elite sports. Asian J Androl. 2008 May;10(3):351-63.
34. Bhasin S, Taylor WE, Singh R, et al. The mechanisms of androgen effects on body composition: mesenchymal pluripotent cell as the target of androgen action. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2003 Dec;58(12):M1103-10.