March 5, 2011

009 Male Menopause [27 April 2009]

Men go through menopause too, but it's more gradual than in women. It's also more insidious in its effects on men's health. The good news though is that to a significant extent, male menopause is reversible.

A man's testosterone levels are optimal in his 20s. Starting in his 30s production of this important hormone declines steadily until by age 60 he has lost 60%. This decline, considered normal by the medical profession, leads to a wide range of health problems, many quite serious.

Low testosterone is linked to a loss of muscle mass and increased fat, especially abdominal fat. The fat compounds the problem because an enzyme called aromatase occurring in fat cells converts testosterone into estrogen.

The list of conditions caused by low testosterone include the obvious ones of hair loss, loss of muscle mass, ED and low libido, but also more serious ones like increased body fat, bone density loss, prostate enlargement, prostate cancer (once thought to be caused by excess testosterone!), cardiovascular problems, diabetes, aching joints, insomnia, moodiness (think "grumpy old men") and depression. Sound familiar, guys?

Sports nutritionist Brad King, in his informative and humorous book "Beer Belly Blues" describes all these problems and how they are connected to low testosterone. He warns against hormone replacement therapy - taking synthetic testosterone by injection or patch - because of the serious side effects. Instead he describes how the body's own production of testosterone can be increased safely and effectively with a combination of specific exercise, dietary changes and supplementation. For more on this subject see

This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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