That’s where testosterone replacement therapy comes in.
If you are clinically low in testosterone—usually levels that test below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL)—supplementing with T can boost your mood, your sex drive, and even your muscle growth. (Find out if your testosterone levels are normal.)
And now, there might be one more benefit to add to the list: heart protection.
At least, that’s what researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine are suggesting after they studied 656 men with low testosterone for about 7 years.
In the study, 360 guys received testosterone replacement therapy and 296 rejected it.
The researchers discovered that the men who took testosterone were significantly less likely to die during follow up. Plus, none of them had a heart attack or stroke during that time—but there were 30 nonfatal strokes and 26 nonfatal heart attacks in the group that wasn’t given testosterone replacement therapy.
At the end of the study, the guys given testosterone therapy experienced significant reductions in blood sugar levels, total cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, liver enzymes, weight, and waist circumference—all factors which the researchers believe may be protective to the heart.
One caveat? The study didn’t monitor lifestyle changes, so it’s possible that some of the benefit seen in these factors may be due simply exercising more.
In fact, people receiving testosterone have anecdotally reported that they became more physically active, previous research found.
It’s also important to note that this is just one study—the link between testosterone therapy and heart issues has been a controversial issue.
In fact, some believe taking testosterone can actually hurt your heart. But it’s possible that may only be a risk if testosterone therapy raises your T levels too high, as we reported.
If your testosterone levels come back low, discuss the benefits and risks of testosterone therapy with your doctor.