Australian scientists have some great news for older men: age does not necessarily mean drop in their testosterone level. If their health is great, they can continue their normal sexual activity long into the old age. If the level drops, it is due to the state of their health. The biggest culprits are obesity, depression and cessation of smoking.
The role of testosterone
Testosterone is a hormone that plays huge role in the lives of men. It is responsible for their physical characteristics, for the muscle mass, fertility, sexual performance and general health. Testosterone also plays important role in the formation of red blood cells and for maintaining sufficient bone density.
As men age, they expect that their testosterone level, and all associated characteristics, will drop. The study by a group of scientists from University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia, was conducted on 1,500 men aged between 35 and 80. Men were tested two times, five years apart. For healthy men, there was insignificant change of one percent in the testosterone level. But, men with serious health issues such as obesity, diabetes and depression showed very different picture. Depending on the severity of their diseases, their testosterone level dropped significantly.
Disease, not age
The biggest drop in their testosterone level was caused by obesity and depression. Men who stopped smoking also had a drop in testosterone level, but the gain they had on other aspects of their health was incomparably higher.
Another interesting finding from the Australian study was that married men had higher testosterone levels than singles of the same age. Scientists explain this by the belief (which you may not share) that married men are in general happier and healthier than singles. Regular sex also had something to do with it.
The results of this study have not been published yet and were presented during the recent Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society.
Talk to your doctor if you experience drop in your testosterone level. You will usually notice is by the decrease in the need for sexual activity or difficulty in performance. Make sure that your doctor knows that you are feeling depressed, he can help you with that. If you have gained a lot of weight, you know what to do: healthy diet and increase in exercise.