Injections of the male sex hormone testosterone could offer new hope to thousands of men with low libido – while also helping to protect them against heart attacks, a new study suggests.
Men who were offered a course of five injections saw their sex drive improve dramatically as well as their fitness levels, mood and their ability to concentrate. They also reported weight loss.
In the US study, numbers who said they had a low libido dropped from 64 per cent before the treatment to ten per cent. Although the study was carried out on men with medically deficient levels of testosterone, known as hypogonadism. Experts believe the findings could be relevant to the far larger group of men whose testosterone has simply dropped to the low end of normal – something that occurs frequently in men as they age.
Testosterone, the hormone produced by the testicles, is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics as well as maintaining muscle bulk, keeping bones healthy, helping the body to produce enough red blood cells and improving mood. However, levels of the hormone drop as men age and up to 40 per cent could suffer symptoms of low testosterone, dubbed ‘the manopause’.
Blood testosterone levels above 12nmol/l are considered normal. Men who have levels below 8nmol/l are diagnosed with hypogonadism and about one in 50 men fall into this category. But there is a grey area for the hundreds of thousands of men who have levels between 8 and 12nmol/l. Some believe these men could also benefit from testosterone supplementation in the form of gels, or injections if those gels do not work.
Professor Raj Persad, of Bristol Urological Institute and consultant urologist, says: ‘If you get these men out of their office jobs, get them to cut down on unhealthy food and drink, take up exercise and give them testosterone treatment it can improve their vigour and vitality and may improve cardiovascular health. 'We do not know if the testosterone or the diet and exercise is the key but I have seen it transform patients.’ The study found that after the injections, the proportion of patients with low libido dropped dramatically. Blood pressure and bad cholesterol fell, too. The average waist dropped an inch.
Professor Hugh Jones, consultant endocrinologist at Barnsley Hospital, and a co-author of the report, says: ‘The results are impressive. The reduction in erectile dysfunction was highly significant.’ Prof Persad says: ‘This trial could change the way we approach men’s health. Hypogonadal men have symptoms of ‘‘grumpy old men’’ including tiredness, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, weight gain, osteoporosis, glucose intolerance and cardiovascular ill health.
'If middle-aged men fall asleep early in the evening, get excessively tired or prematurely lose interest in sex, see your GP.’source: DAILY MAIL UK