April 26, 2011

Normal Testosterone Levels?

What Are Normal Testosterone Levels?

At the age of thirty our testosterone begins to decline
Model of Testosterone Molecule

Normal testosterone levels depend on who you are asking and what  your definition of normal is. A  male’s testosterone level can register  normal  when it falls in the 240- 900 range. There certainly seems to be a big spread here, 240 can’t be the same as 900 can it? I think I can explain this and give you a better understanding of what is normal and what is optimal.

Changes in Male Hormone

At the age of thirty our testosterone begins to decline. Associated with this decline is an increase in sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). These two things SHBG and the natural decline lead to drop in total testosterone and in free testosterone. This decline continues throughout our life and leads to multiple problems .

The decline in testosterone after 30 averages about 1.5% a year. By the age of 40 there is noticeable changes in energy, muscle mass, libido, concentration, memory, and increase in multiple diseases. We refer to this as male andropause.

Optimal levels of Testosterone

The 50 year old  male patient visits his doctor with slow down symptoms, elevated cholesterol, decreased libido and loss of his want to. He sure his testosterone is low but the doctor tells him no it’s 400 – so he has normal testosterone levels.

Normal for what? We are living longer, but are we living better? Can I improve my quality of life and get some of that drive back? As we age our muscle mass declines at an alarming rate and at 50 it can be as high as 5% a year. Our bone lose their mineral density becoming brittle. Our incidence of diabetes, heart disease, stroke all increase. That maybe normal but does that mean we shouldn’t correct it? There by improving our quality of life as well as quantity.

Optimal levels of testosterone are defined as a free testosterone of 120-200. This is the level we had when we were thirty.  Our cholesterol weight, blood sugar and heart function were optimal as well. This level may not seem normal to some  but with the normal incidence of disease , obesity and lack of libido who wants to be normal.

Prostate Cancer and Optimal Testosterone

The number one reason your doctor will fight you on supplementing your testosterone is prostate cancer. If you have read “3/11 in the News” you will find reference to recent article stating no increase in incidence of prostate cancer and supplementation of testosterone. The article refers to saturation level that is extremely low and any increase in testosterone has no effect on the prostate. There are  individuals who are waiting to recieve treatment for organ confined cancer who continue to receive supplemental testosterone treatment, with no ill effect.

Benefits of Optimal Testosterone

Increasing testosterone to optimal does more then increase muscle and libido, like those aren’t enough.  There are multiple articles out expounding on the benefits of optimal testosterone.  We can definitely see improvements in the following. Decrease in cholesterol, improvement of insulin sensitivity, Increase mental acuity, increase bone mineral density, increase lean muscle  mass, increase memory, increase energy, feeling of well being, better sleep, increase libido, decrease incidence of prostate cancer, increase coronary blood flow, improvement of vascular plaque, improved endothelium.

You can now see that many of the things that effect males as they age decreasing their quality of life can be improved  by optimizing their testosterone.

Quality of Life and optimization of Testosterone

By increasing our testosterone levels we can improve our lives. Normal testosterone levels are really those that are optimal. We can increase our levels of independence and decrease our reliance on many medications that are commonly used in our aging male  population. Combine this with a healthy diet and exercise and BINGO we have quantity and quality. Don’t forget the libido!

See related articles.

“Testosterone Part III: Supplementation”

“Hormone Replacement for Men”

“Andropause”

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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