Understanding Testosterone And Its Benefits For Veterans
Testosterone & Veterans?
Test levels after 50 is about a lot more than you think!
What Happens To Test Levels As We Age?
Levels of the hormone testosterone naturally drop as we get older, but did you know that test levels peak in adolescence and start to decline as early as 30?
The hormone drops around 1% from then on.
And, with average life expectancy of US males at just under 80, that’s a long time to live with low levels of test!
Plus, with nearly 24 million male US vets, that’s almost half the population of the United Kingdom that are at risk of low testosterone.
At present, there are more than 85,000 vets that use a testosterone supplement through the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Testosterone is a hormone produced in both men and women, but men produce much higher levels (and the drop with aging is more significant).
It is thought that 20% of men over 60 have low testosterone levels, and this rises to 30% of men in their 70’s and above.
Low testosterone is diagnosed using a serum testosterone test at levels below 300 ng/dL (nanograms per decilitre).
To put this into context, normal testosterone levels are 300–1000 ng/dL.
Low testosterone levels can be due to aging, or can be because of the disease hypogonadism, where the body can’t produce normal amounts of testosterone because there is a problem with the pituitary gland or the testicles.
Natural testosterone supplements can be an effective way to keep hormone levels balanced as you get older, giving you more energy and enthusiasm for training, and helping you to hang on to precious muscle mass (and keep body fat at bay!)
6 Risks Related To Low Testosterone
Some signs of this lowering of testosterone levels are obvious, but there are plenty of other signs which might surprise you.
1 – Low sex drive
A drop in libido can be a natural part of getting older, but men with diagnosed low testosterone will experience a much more drastic impact to their libido.
Low test can also affect semen volume and erections (this is because testosterone stimulates the production of nitric oxide – you can check out muscle benefits of nitric oxide, here).
2 – Hair loss
Testosterone plays a key role in hair growth, so men with low test might experience loss of facial hair and body hair as well as hair on their heads.
3 – Tiredness
Low testosterone can contribute to lethargy and exhaustion, making men feel tired even if they are getting adequate sleep.
This can have a direct impact on training frequency and intensity.
4 – Muscular atrophy
Testosterone has an important role in building muscle, so men with low test may find it difficult to retain muscle mass and add new muscle tissue.
5 – Increased body fat
Low testosterone signals an imbalance in key hormones, which can lead to increased body fat and even a change in body fat patterns.
Men with low testosterone can develop a condition called gynaecomastia (enlarged breast tissue) which can be embarrassing and upsetting.
6 – Decreased bone mass
Low testosterone can lead to a loss of bone mass and even osteoporosis.
Older men with low testosterone may find that they are at higher risk of bone fractures.
This 2016 study into the effects of testosterone treatment in older men set out to discover whether supplementary testosterone would benefit older men who had low testosterone levels.
After testosterone therapy, older men who had previously had low levels of test showed improved bone density and reduced anaemia, but the therapy had no impact on brain function.
The trials – known as the TTrials – were published in the JAMA and JAMA Internal Medicine journals.
The TTrials were the largest trials to date looking at the effects of test treatment on men aged 65+.
They looked at anaemia, bone density and strength, cardiovascular health, and cognitive function, but not muscle retention or body fat changes.
The most convincing evidence for testosterone therapy was for sexual function.
The Benefits Of Testosterone Supplements For Older Male Veterans
Testosterone supplements can help to raise testosterone levels, and even reverse the effects of hypogonadism.
Vets with low test levels usually report feeling younger, stronger, fitter, and more confident after using a testosterone supplement.
It can also help prevent metabolic syndrome risk and other cardiovascular disease, especially as it helps promote HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).
This means it also reduces artery plaque. Artery plaque narrows the arteries placing more stress on the heart as it tries to pump blood around the body.
But it’s not clear whether testosterone treatment increases strength, or just muscle mass.
However, older men with low testosterone are more subject to mobility issues and falls which can lead to a higher risk of fractures.
Still, if your goal is improving your physique and you have no goals to start powerlifting any time soon, this might be enough for you!
Common Testosterone Supplements
There are plenty of ways to keep testosterone levels higher as you age, and the good news is you are already doing most of them.
Regular weight training, with a focus on load, volume, and intensity will help to promote healthy test levels.
Eating a good diet, avoiding excess alcohol, and not smoking will also help your body age with healthy hormones.
And good quality sleep and stress management helps, too.
It’s important to choose a testosterone supplement designed for older men, so you can take the most effective ingredients at the best doses.
Choose a natural, safe testosterone supplement and carry on lifting heavy and eating well, and you will stay on step ahead of the aging process.
Ensure that when you are looking for a supplement that it includes a number of well researched and proven ingredients that are able to stimulate increased testosterone production.
D aspartic acid, vitamin D3, B6, K2, magnesium and zinc are popular and effective test-boosting ingredients for older men.
You could also look for boron, ginseng extract, and fenugreek.
Making sure the ingredients are not within a proprietary blend is a good way of ensuring that you are getting value for money and a product that can naturally and safely stimulate more testosterone, in turn improving your quality of life.