The rest of the story on the testosterone study

 Healthy by Nature radio show this week
John Young, MD’s clinic (Young Foundational Health Center in the Tampa Bay area of Florida) focuses on nutrition, natural approaches to chronic illness, herbal detoxification and orthomolecular therapy. Dr. Young is a former emergency room physician who holds a United States government patent on a unique treatment for burn sufferers to decrease pain and scarring. With that kind of background, I don’t think we can stump him, so please call in with your health questions. Dr. Young will be in the studio with me because he is in town to give a free lecture on Saturday (right after I give one). Details.Call the live show with questions at 1-800-281-8255. Click here to find podcasts, show archives and how to listen nationwide.

What are we to believe?
TV ads imply that men all have “Low T” (testosterone) and need what the sponsor is selling. But, then the headlines written about a 2013 study, say that men who supplement testosterone will have a heart attack or stroke and die. As usual, the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. Testosterone is a hormone that both women and men have but, obviously, men have more. It has an important impact on muscle, bone density, body hair and sexual function. Because it also helps athletic performance, testosterone has led to high profile doping scandals.
The abstract of the study in question concluded that men in the Veterans Administration (VA) health care system who (1) had low serum testosterone levels and (2) had medical images made of their arteries, were more likely to have more negative health outcomes if they used testosterone therapy than if they did not. The absolute difference in risk was 5.8% (significant but not huge).

That seems odd since previous research showed cardiovascular benefit from testosterone:
   •In a 40-year study (also published this year) men with higher total testosterone levels had a lower risk of mortality from heart disease and most other causes (except cancer). LINK.
   •A study of male veterans published in 2006 showed that low testosterone levels were associated with increased mortality.LINK.
   •In a recent German study, testosterone therapy resulted in meaningful long term weight loss. Note: this was in men who were low in testosterone.LINK.
   •Another recent study (of 991 US Air Force veterans) showed that obesity is one cause of a decline in testosterone. So, it looks like a bit of a vicious circle. Being fat reduces testosterone which in turn makes you fat which lowers testosterone etc. LINK.

Here are some thoughts on the current headline-grabbing negative research:
   •The study was not prospective. That means that they did not take two groups and put them on different programs to see what happened to each group, but rather observed events that occurred randomly in the past. (This type study is less accurate.)
   •There were wide differences in the condition of various participants. (Those who took supplemental hormones may have done so because they were in poorer health and felt worse.)
   •Since the groups were not controlled during the study period, treatments also varied greatly. For example, some were likely on high doses while others were on low doses. Some may have had natural hormones, others synthetics. Some drugs were well absorbed types, but others not.
   •It isn’t clear how relevant the findings are to the general population because men in the VA system are known to have a greater than average number of health problems.

Bottom line: There may be a pearl of wisdom in the study or more likely one to be gained from highly controlled future studies to follow up on this one. My main concern is with how the media portrays these studies—by over simplifying and sensationalizing.

Next week in the newsletter: Avoiding hormone replacement pitfalls and how to build hormone health naturally.

Job opportunity in Plano, TX
One of our sponsors,, is looking for a smiling face to join their team. No specific experience is required for the starting position which is helping with inventory maintenance and preparing orders for shipment (must be able to lift 25 lbs.). That opening is for 4 hours/day M-F (preferably noon to 4). However, there may be additional opportunity if the person also has office skills and/or retail sales background. In an ideal world, Andy would love to have someone who listens to the Healthy by Nature show and is interested in nutrition. Call him at 1-877-673-2536.

Saturday, November 16, 2013
1:00 Martie Whittekin, CCN – Energy the Natural Way (…without depending on caffeine or energy shots) Stimulants and carb snacks may keep you going temporarily but, you are borrowing energy that your body should be using for other health functions. Learn how you can pop out of bed in the morning, cheerful and eager to pursue your passions and avoid the typical mid-afternoon slump.

2:00 PM – John Young, MD – The Young Health Revolution. This is his natural nutritional strategy for whole-body cell restoration based on the latest Nobel prize-winning science. It has been shown to help patients feel better now while addressing the root causes of many chronic illnesses such as Diabetes, Arthritis, Hypertension, Neuropathy and Cancer.

Location & directions: Courtyard Dallas Plano Parkway at Preston Road
4901 West Plano, TX 75093 Map and Directions
No cost, no reservation required (first come first seated). Attend either or both.

Also, if you are in the DFW area, mark your calendar for Saturday, Dec. 7. A big event is planned with remote broadcast of our program, demos, samples, refreshments and great prizes. Details.

Last Week Follow-up
LINK to that show in the archives. Award-winning editor and journalist James J. Gormley has a new book: Health at Gunpoint. No, we didn’t talk about the political gun control issue, but rather why the Food and Drug Administration has used firearms in its misguided campaign to keep the public from taking dietary supplements. We discussed FDA’s plans for Trans fats. I talked with Jonathan Scott, the contractor twin on the reality show, Property Brothers (and others).

Please help spread the good word-forward this newsletter to friends and family.
My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book: Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

The information contained in this newsletter has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Copyright 2013 Martie Whittekin, CCN

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