The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

October 4, 2007,Number 173

This issue:

Testosterone Tuneup

Action to take

Consider ways to keep your testosterone at more youthful levels (men and women).


As men and women age, testosterone levels decline. The result is lower energy levels, less muscle and muscle tone, lower sexual drive, and a tendency to put on pounds. Testosterone also helps with mental focus, strong bones, and may help prevent heart disease and dementia. On the average men's testosterone levels drop 55% between ages 20 and 60 and continue to decline with age.

While women produce much smaller amounts of testosterone, they do produce it--until menopause. After menopause women produce far less estrogen and almost no testosterone. The ratio of testosterone to estrogen tilts further toward estrogen and weight gain often follows.

Millions of men take testosterone supplements--usually with a cream or gel or patch. While it is clear that testosterone goes with virility and muscles, I have not seen much research on the effectiveness of testosterone supplements.

The problem is that mens' bodies often convert free testosterone to estrogen This of course defeats the intent of the supplement. Testosterone is a very emotional issue for men and I would expect a placebo effect in at least at third of men taking it. Thus a testimonial from a friend is not very good evidence.

What can be done?

  • Exercising helps--especially weight lifting.
  • Keeping trim reduces estrogen production.
  • Avoiding fat in meat (that isn't organic) helps as most animals in the US are fed estrogen to fatten them up and the hormone residues are in their fat
  • Certain supplements can help metabolize estrogen including: diindolylmethane (DIM), chrysin, and nettle.
  • Cruciferous vegetables are rich in DIM.
  • In extreme cases, there are aromatase inhibitor medications that block the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. They are primarily used in cancer treatment and would be off label for general health.

Most of us could use some tweaking in our exercise and nutrition to help with testosterone levels. As with so much of health, going to extremes often does more harm than good, e.g., research indicates that either too little or too much testosterone increases the risk of cancer.

If you want more details on testosterone enhancement, I recommend Dr. Al Sears' book 12 Secrets to Virility.


You can tell who won a tennis match without knowing the final score...Just sample their T [testosterone] levels throughout the match. In this example, "love" equals low testosterone.

~Dr. Al Sears


Men are delusional. Hugh Hefner lounges around in a bathrobe with three live-in girlfriends. You know guys are sitting at home watching the Playboy channel and thinking, "That could be me. I've got a bathrobe."

~Diane Munro Robb

Men do cry, but only when assembling furniture.

~Rita Rudner.

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