By definition, testosterone is a hormone and in molecular structure it is a steroid. In terms of its function, it is considered as androgen. A hormone is produced by a gland, and is therefore not a drug. As a result it will not interact with other medications. As a steroid and androgen it functions in three categories: masculinization, anabolism (tissue building) and sexual arousal.
Above testosterone therapy image credit to health.wsuf.usf.edu.
Natural vs Synthetic Steroids
Some may be concerned about using an anabolic steroid. There are two types of anabolic steroids – natural and synthetic. The natural bioidentical testosterone is safe because it is molecularly equal to what your body produces naturally. Synthetic testosterone has drug additives that push testosterone and estrogen to unsafe levels. They are designed for use over short periods in treating selected diseases. They have been used and abused by athletes that have given them somewhat of a bad reputation.
Some testosterone in the body is converted to other hormones. Some testosterone is converted to estradiol by an enzyme called aromatase and some testosterone is converted to a stronger form of testosterone called DHT by a enzyme call 5 a-reductase. These conversions are important. As testosterone declines, muscle is replaced by fat. Fat contains aromatase and converts testosterone to estrogen. In men a little estrogen is good – too much estrogen is bad. Estrogen binds to testosterone receptor sites further restricting the effectiveness of the limited testosterone remaining in the aging body. The result is the formation of more fat – a vicious cycle is created. Excess estrogen also is responsible for swollen prostate and is emerging as the culprit in prostate cancer.
DHT Side Effects
DHT has in the past been blamed for swollen prostate, prostate cancer and hair loss. Recent studies have shown that DHT might contribute to hair loss in approximately 10% of men that have DHT sensitive hair follicle. Studies are showing no implications for harm to he prostate. It is important to raise the level of testosterone while simultaneously suppressing the level of estrogen. It is quite simple and safe.
Eugene Shippen, M.D., authored a book in 1998 called The Testosterone Syndrome. In his book he provided extensive evidence documenting the pathology of the testosterone deficiency syndrome in men (andropause).
Testosterone – Body Hormone
First, Testosterone is not just a “sex hormone”. It should be seen as a “total body hormone”, affecting every cell in the body. The changes seen in aging such as the loss of lean body mass, the decline in energy, strength, and stamina, unexplained depression, and decrease in sexual sensation and performance, are all directly related to testosterone deficiency. Degenerative diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, bone loss, and hypertension are all directly or indirectly linked to testosterone decline.
Secondly, testosterone functions also as a prohormone. Local tissue conversion to estrogens, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), or other active metabolites plays an important part in cellular physiology.
Excess estrogen seems to be the culprit in prostate enlargement. Low testosterone levels are also associated with more aggressive prostate cancer. While fear of prostate cancer keeps many men from testosterone replacement, it is in fact testosterone deficiency that leads to the pathology that favors the development of estrogen driven prostate cancer.
Testosterone improves cellular bioenergetics. It acts as a cellular energizer. Since testosterone increases the metabolic rate and aerobic metabolism, it also dramatically improves glucose metabolism and lowers insulin resistance.
Testosterone Heart Myth
Another myth is that testosterone is bad for the heart. Actually, low testosterone correlates with heart disease more reliably than high cholesterol. Testosterone is the most powerful cardiovascular protector for men. Testosterone strengthens the heart muscle; there are more testosterone receptors in the heart than in any other muscle. Testosterone lowers LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, and improves every cardiac risk factor. It has been shown to improve or eliminate arrhythmia and angina. Testosterone replacement is the most underutilized important treatment for heart disease.
TRT – Turn Back Aging Clock
Previous research on testosterone used the wrong form of replacement. Injections result in initial excess of testosterone, with excess conversion to estrogens. Likewise, total testosterone is often measured instead of free testosterone, the active form of testosterone. Studies on testosterone have shown very positive results. However, many studies do not last long enough to show the full potential for improvement. For instance, it may take six months to a year before the genital tissue fully recovers from atrophy caused by testosterone deficiency, and potency is restored.
Replacing testosterone can and will turn back the aging clock!