A new take on testosterone
Too much testosterone in men has been linked to diabetes, a new study has found.
It’s always been thought that the more of the male sex hormone a guy has, the better his stamina and sex drive. However, research published in the Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences has found serious side effects, such as being at more risk of the blood-sugar level condition and suffering from an enlarged prostate gland.
Those conducting the research took swabs of saliva from 350 farmers of a remote tribe called Tsimane in the Bolivian rainforest. Here, the men generally have much lower levels of testosterone and it was found that enlarged prostates were virtually non-existent. On top of this the level of glucose in the men’s blood was quite low, which means they have a lower risk of getting diabetes.
In most countries and environments, over nine in ten men have suffered from some form of prostate enlargement by the time they reach 80. It’s known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, and half of these males have to seek treatment. From their monitoring of the farmers, anthropologists at the University of California believe a high level of testosterone is the culprit behind this inflammation.
“Abdominal ultrasounds show they have significantly smaller prostates – an age-adjusted 62 per cent smaller prostate size – as compared to men in the US,” Dr Benjamin Trumble explained, adding that testosterone and the other male sex hormone androgen are involved as men without testes have extremely low rates of BPH.
To treat it, Dr Trumble says the best treatments involve lowering the androgen levels.
“We also know from our own previous research that Tsimane have relatively low levels of testosterone – about 30 per cent lower than age-matched US males – and they have very low rates of obesity and hypertension and heart disease and all the other diseases of acculturation, including metabolic disease,” he added.
This study is a warning for those males who use supplements to boost their testosterone levels and while it didn’t check for prostate cancer, Dr Trumble added that other studies have found a link.