by Nils Osmar. Updated Nov. 2, 2022. Medical Disclaimer
As we age and our sex hormones drop, our quality of life declines.
Having normal youthful levels of testosterone, for example, is associated with having lower blood pressure, lower insulin, lower fasting glucose, more flexible arteries, a better lipid profile and better heart health (generally speaking). It’s also associated, at least under some circumstances, with a greatly decreased risk of dying.
Benefits of higher testosterone
According to a Science Daily article:
Men who have a low testosterone level after age 40 may have a higher risk of death over a four-year period than those with normal levels of the hormone….The effects of low testosterone levels include decreased muscle mass and bone density, insulin resistance, decreased sex drive, less energy, irritability and feelings of depression.
One-fifth (20.1 percent) of the men with normal testosterone levels died during the course of the study, compared with 24.6 percent of men with equivocal levels and 34.9 percent of those with low levels. Men with low testosterone levels had an 88 percent increase in risk of death compared with those who had normal levels.
When the researchers considered other variables that may influence risk of death, such as age, other illnesses and body mass index, the association between low testosterone levels and death persisted…
The study also looked at some possible negatives of having T levels that are too high. Its conclusions were that there is a balance of benefits and drawbacks. Yet many news articles looking at the study ran with the headline that high testosterone is associated with health problems. This article is a good summary of the actual conclusions of the study.
What about hGH?
Taking hGH injections is associated with rejuvenation of the thymus gland in both people and lab animals, and with a two year reversal in epigenetic aging according to the TRIIM trial.
Balance benefits with risks
According to a Mayo Clinic article, raising testosterone has several known risks. From the article:
Testosterone therapy has various risks, including worsening sleep apnea… (and) ausing acne or other skin reactions. Stimulating noncancerous growth of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and growth of existing prostate cancer.
Will raising T levels increase lifespan
There’s no evidence that I’m aware of that restoring hormones to youthful levels will get us to extreme longevity (past the supposed limit of 125). But hormone injections are one tool among many for pushing back against the aging process.
So why is there a tendency in the anti-aging community to look down on people who use a variety of interventions to attempt to restore their hormones to youthful levels? Why do we tend to sneer at people who do hormone replacement therapy?
Going on hormones is obviously an individual decision. And I understand why some people would opt to avoid them. But (in my opinion) doing so should be regarded as one among many anti-aging interventions to consider.
My current method of restoring my hormones to a youthful level is based on diet, exercise, and supplements. So far it seems to be working. As I described in this article, for example, my testosterone increased when I went on this protocol. But if my current approach should stop working, I would definitely consider finding a doctor to increase, for example, my testosterone levels.