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M. Brandon Smith
M. Brandon Smith
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Do You Really Need Low T? (Testosterone Supplements)

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Prescription medications for low testosterone levels, also known as “Low T” have been heavily advertised to U.S. men in recent years, and as a result, the sale of testosterone replacement treatments have risen substantially during the last 10 years.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone that helps build a man’s muscles, deepens his voice, boosts the size of his penis and testes, puts hair on his chest, and is the force behind his sex drive. As a man ages, testosterone helps keep his muscles and bones strong and maintains his interest in sex, but after age 30, most men begin to experience a slight and gradual decline in testosterone. The bottom of a man’s normal total testosterone range is about 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), while the upper limits are 1,000 to 1,200 mg/dL.

Although it is natural for testosterone levels to decline as men age, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggested that many American men with normal testosterone levels were being prescribed testosterone treatments, sometimes after only a single test. Variations in testosterone levels can be triggered by many different factors, including:

  • Weight gain
  • Illness
  • Time of day
  • Quality of sleep
  • Diet

Men are being bombarded with media campaigns advertising low testosterone treatments, and as a result, testosterone treatment sales generated about $324 million in 2002, but by 2012, nearly $2 billion in annual sales were reported.

Treatments for low testosterone levels are commonly provided through a gel, cream, injection, pill, or pellet through a variety of Low-T products including:

  • AndroGel
  • AndroDerm
  • Axiron
  • Bio-T Gel
  • Delatestryl
  • Depo-Testosterone
  • Foresta
  • Testim
  • Testopel
  • Striant

Although low testosterone medications are meant to improve a man’s quality of life, recent research has found that the side effects of testosterone therapy may actually increase the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions in some men, including heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), blood clots, and even death.