Most people familiar with bodybuilding or medicine, for that matter, are fairly aware of what testosterone is, and does. Even those without a strong background in the benefits of hormone replacement therapy can usually look at a big “muscle guy” and recognize they’re looking at a lot of testosterone. For those of us approaching 35, 40, 45, or beyond, it can be highly beneficial to step back and take a look at the true benefits of testosterone. It’s not just about being a big muscle guy – although testosterone can help you become bigger and stronger. New research is detailing just how effective testosterone can be for improving mental abilities as well – or is it?
First, let’s run down the basic physical benefits of testosterone supplementation. Users will gain some lean muscle mass. Strength will increase on most lifts. Fat stores on the body will decrease, particularly on the glutes, hips, and stomach, where men tend to store the most fat. Energy levels will skyrocket, as will sexual desire and ability. Essentially, you will regain the level of strength, virility, and energy that you possessed 20, 30, or even 40 years prior to that. It’s essentially the physical fountain of youth for men as they age.
A battery of tests was recently completed upon a group of men over age 60 to evaluate not how testosterone affected them physically – which has already been well-documented – but mentally. You’re probably expecting to be dazzled with stats detailing how the group of men was able to perform better thanks to the testosterone supplementation. You probably believe you can skim the remainder of the article now, as you have the ‘jist’ of it, right? Wrong.
In the studies completed upon the men given artificial testosterone, most of the men LOST mental abilities. They performed more poorly in verbal, memory, and other cognitive tests. Over a series of months, as their bodies became physically stronger, leaner, more energetic, and more capable, their brains became less and less proficient.
Does this mean one shouldn’t use testosterone for its many health benefits? Of course not. For many people living with extremely low levels of testosterone, hormone replacement therapy can be a godsend! It returns them to the levels of their peers, or even their grandchildren! It allows them to feel young again. However, these studies make us all aware of the fact that testosterone should not be abused. Just as excessive use of the compound can wreak havoc on your endocrine system and lead to prostate issues, we now know that excessive testosterone use can also have temporary effects upon cognitive abilities.
If you or a loved one is in your 50s or above, and using testosterone, you should be very aware of these studies. You should research more of the same. You should consult with a physician at the earliest signs of mental degradation. This can be a result of the aging process, or perhaps Alzheimers. Or, it could be a result of testosterone supplementation at too high of levels. Remember – too much of anything is a bad thing!