All first underwent arterial blood flow tests as a measure of heart health and function, before being randomly divided into four groups. One group did aerobic and strength exercises two to three times a week while receiving testosterone treatment; a second received testosterone alone; one third received placebo treatment; and a fourth received a placebo treatment with an exercise routine.
The team found that exercise alone caused an increase in testosterone levels, but not to the same extent as the 62% increase in hormone levels seen in men who took treatment. testosterone.
More importantly, arterial function jumped 28% in those who exercised without taking testosterone treatment. This surpassed the 19% improvement seen among those who exercised and took testosterone replacement therapy.
Men who received only testosterone treatment saw no improvement in their heart health. The researchers concluded that exercise may be preferable to testosterone supplementation for improving heart health in older men.
This thought was echoed by Dr. Robert Eckel, former president of the American Heart Association and past president of medicine and science of the American Diabetes Association.
“This trial was not [designed] to assess the safety of testosterone, ”he noted, leaving unanswered the question of whether taking testosterone replacement therapy could actually pose a heart risk.
Still, Eckel, professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Colorado, said he agreed that “in general, testosterone should not be given unless someone is hypogonadal,” referring to a condition in which the sex glands stop producing enough sex hormones.
As for the potential heart health benefits of exercise, Eckel said there are “no surprises here. Exercise is beneficial … [and] should be promoted. “
Yeap and his colleagues reported their findings on February 22 in the newspaper. Hypertension.
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SOURCES: Bu Yeap, MBBS, PhD, Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Australia, and Endocrinologist, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, and Chairman, Endocrine Society of Australia ; Robert Eckel, MD, Past President, American Heart Association, Past President, Medicine and Science, American Diabetes Association, and Professor Emeritus, Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, and Division of Cardiology, University of Colorado Anschutz; Hypertension, February 22, 2021