Testosterone. You know I’m a fan of the stuff. It can increase your sex drive, can make you feel more masculine and studies show it can make you more of an alpha male.
It’s pretty appealing.
So lots of guys take this info and ask their docs for testosterone supplements. Which seems like a great idea, right?
Maybe not so much.
There is a new lawsuit coming down the pike that claims that the makers of AndroGel (a popular Testosterone supplement) are “Disease Mongering”, and alleges cardiac issues. But there is also another study that shows some benefit for cardiac issues with testosterone supplementation.
So how the heck do you know what to believe? Or what you should do? Because this is SO confusing I’ve taken a deep dive into these newest developments and I’m going to break them down for you now.
Here’s the “good” study on testosterone replacement therapy.
And here’s some eye popping info on the lawsuit:
All of the cases pending in the multi-district lawsuit involve claims of testosterone replacement drugs causing serious injuries including heart attack, stroke, and blood-clot related conditions.
A lawsuit is in NO WAY the same thing as a scientific study.
But when it involves 7000 cases against primarily one drug, I tend to take notice. Especially when the bad side effects involve heart health. That is some potentially dangerous stuff!
One of the main things that the lawsuit is alleging is that the
Testosterone Manufacturers Engaged in Disease Mongering
And so the suit is claiming that many, many people were taking testosterone supplements who really didn’t need them. And because of that they got bad health reactions.
Big Pharma has a serious agenda when it comes to getting you on drugs.
Especially what I call “maintenance drugs”. These are things that you have to take every single freaking day for years and years and years in order to get the benefit.
And the problem with these maintenance drugs is that often the side effects are brutal. Plus they are usually super expensive – because Big Pharma needs to line their pockets, right?
Testosterone is a maintenance type of drug. So this “disease mongering” claim makes a whole lot of sense to me.
Many times Big Pharma seems to have a very bad habit of over-prescribing medications for people who don’t really need it. Which is exactly what is being alleged here. It’s crazy, but it happens all the time and it’s why I’m always, always wary of any kind of medicine that I would have to be on for a long time.
Testosterone supplements do seem to work for men with something called hypogonadism.
Hypogonadism is a fancy word that means your testicals don’t produce a normal amount of testosterone.
This is what the Mayo Clinic says:
Male hypogonadism is a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone — the hormone that plays a key role in masculine growth and development during puberty — or has an impaired ability to produce sperm or both.
You may be born with male hypogonadism, or it can develop later in life, often from injury or infection.
When you have hypogonadism, then testosterone replacement therapy may actually make sense. The “good” study above is telling us:
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) may exhibit a protective effect against myocardial infarction, stroke, and all-cause mortality in men with secondary hypogonadism.
Which means that for some guys in limited instances testosterone replacement therapy could work. But there is a catch because real hypogonadism and suppressed testosterone levels due to other factors look very, very similar.
You can have “normal” testosterone and STILL have symptoms of low testosterone.
And this is where it gets scary, because if you are taking testosterone (instead of making your natural levels more effective and higher) when you don’t really need it, than it looks like you may actually be harming your health.
The reality is that things like PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and cortisol can suppress your normal testosterone function in a big-big way. Even when your body is producing enough of it.
And these things are so prevalent in our environment today that nearly everyone is affected at some level unless they are taking steps to correct it.
The bottom line on testosterone supplementation.
For most guys, fixing the REASONS that they have low testosterone symptoms is enough, and they don’t need to supplement with Big Pharma products.
For a few guys, who really have hypogonadism, testosterone supplementation may be something you want to look at. But do it carefully and with good research.
Always know the risks and the options you have before going on any maintenance drugs peddled by Big Pharma. I’m not a doctor, and I can’t give you medical advice. But I know that for me, I would do triple research before I ever let them put me on a drug like that.
Testosterone Therapy Lawsuit