Boosting Testosterone Naturally

By Michael Aziz, MD
Michael Aziz, MD
Michael Aziz, MD

Q: I’m a 55-year-old male whose testosterone is in the low range. My doctor does not want to prescribe me testosterone replacement therapy. What can I do to help boost my testosterone levels?

A: It is unfortunate that many doctors are either reluctant to replace testosterone in men, or are totally inexperienced in this area. Aging men need our hormones, just like women do. We may not get the hot flashes that women do, but we can experience low self-esteem, depression, erection problems, weight gain, etc. Many of these symptoms are frequently dismissed by doctors as part of getting older or misdiagnosed as depression, when, in fact, our testosterone is declining. Replacing testosterone to youthful levels has many benefits and can even help prevent heart disease.

Many things lower testosterone, including: smoking, certain drugs, weight gain, and illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. Living a healthy lifestyle and following the right diet can boost your levels. If you are doing everything correctly and still not getting great results, I suggest checking 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Levels should be around 55 ng/mL. Most of us are deficient, especially if we live in a cold climate with little to no sun exposure. Correcting vitamin D by taking vitamin D3 at a dose of 4,000 to 5,000 IU a day can naturally boost your testosterone levels because D3 plays a part in its production. 

You can also take zinc at a dose of 80 mg a day, as well as a formula from Life Extension® that I personally take, called Super MiraForte. You should see improvement. 

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Top off your testosterone naturallySuper Miraforte with Standardized Lignans offers a way to boost testosterone naturally.Muira puama, Bioperine® to enhance absorption of chrysin, and lignan extracts to combat the effects of high estrogen. Be at your best and add Super Miraforte to your supplement regimen!
This unique blend of natural extracts includes high potencies of chrysin and nettle root extract, which reduce the conversion of testosterone to estrogen and maintain free testosterone levels. It has also been fortified with the natural libido booster.

Benefits at a Glance
  • Natural support for healthy testosterone levels
  • Reduces conversion of testosterone to estrogen
  • Increases libido
  • Fights effects of high estrogen
  • Healthy testosterone linked to improved mood, sex drive, and heart health

If you’re over 40, you already know how important it is to maintain youthful testosterone levels. In fact, studies show that by age 70 many men produce about 60 percent less testosterone than they did at age 40.1 Low testosterone can affect every part of your life, including mood, cognitive health, sex drive, and even weight gain. And normal testosterone has been associated with maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.

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David Justice Ross Living Life to the Fullest

By Jon Finkel
David Justice Ross  

Brains and brawn have always been considered traits that have to exist separately from each other. Visions of muscled-up oafs and scrawny scientists are practically embedded into our mainstream culture. Jocks are dumb. Nerds are weak. This narrative is, like most narratives, largely untrue. A genius can be in great shape. An athlete can be highly intelligent. Rarely, however, does an elite level of smarts meld with a high performance athlete to the extent that we are impressed by accomplishments in both fields. If you add in that this dual level of distinction happens to be found in a 63-year-old man, well, you’re in for one heck of a story.

This story is about David Ross. You’ve likely never heard of Ross, but you have no doubt been affected in some small way by his work in pattern recognition and information management solutions. He holds a degree in Physics from Yale University and an advanced degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Sciences from Stanford University. He is also the chief architect of the US Treasury Department’s Verification System and a former applied mathematician for public- and private-sector aerospace initiatives. He has held senior engineering positions at Ford Aerospace and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and he has consulted for the US Post Office.

Of course, there is one way that you may have heard of him; you could be one of the 850,000 plus viewers who have checked out the impressive photo that his son posted of his physique on Reddit.

“That photo is kind of what started my interest in talking to Life Extension®,” Ross says. “I am 63 years old, I’ve run 36 marathons in seven years and I look how I do without any chemical additions. I have no joint pain. All I do is exercise, eat well, and take Life Extension products.”
Discovering Life Extension

“I first heard about Life Extension many years ago from Dr. Greg Fahy,” Ross says. “He presented the whole idea about how you don’t just target for inefficiencies, but you supplement to retain your youthful vigor. At that point I started reading the magazine and doing my own research about some of the recommendations.”

Ross says that he was always reasonably athletic and that he was a varsity soccer player in high school. His favorite exercise for most of his life has been hiking and in 2005 he decided to hike across the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. With a peak elevation of over 7,000 feet and distance of 44 miles, hiking along the entire range is not something most people would tackle in a single day, but Ross isn’t most people.

“It’s a spectacularly beautiful hike,” Ross says. “I was hiking with a friend and one day one of us suggested that we try to do the whole hike, but in one day. We started training and that involved longer and longer hikes and walks. The first time I was walking and I got to 26.2 miles, I realized that was a marathon distance. It occurred to me that I could complete that distance and it was encouraging.”

Right after Ross’ day-long hike of the mountains, an old college roommate of his called and asked if he was up for a crazy challenge.

“My old roommate wanted to know if I was interested in running a marathon…in Antarctica,” Ross says. “I thought, ‘why not?’”

As one can imagine, running 26 yards in the South Pole would be challenging enough, but running 26.2 miles is borderline insane.

“It’s minus nine degrees out and you’re running in snow shoes,” Ross explains. “The course changes because the ice isn’t static. My son, who ran with me, describes it as running 1,600 meters in the Sugar Bowl in snow shoes and then doing it over and over again. Since the ice moves, one lap around the course there could be a hill, the next time, not. The entire run took twelve hours.”

David Justice Ross
  • Super MiraForte
  • Resveratrol
  • Life Extension Mix
  • Whey Protein
  • Creatine
  • Fast Acting Joint Formula
  • CoQ10

Super Miraforte with Standardized Lignans

Maintain Optimized Testosterone Levels



Optimizing Testosterone Levels in Aging Men

By Paul D. Navar, MD
OptimizingTestosterone Levels in Aging Men

By the age of 80, a man’s testosterone level may only be 20% of what it was in his youth. This decline in testosterone occurs gradually, starting as early as his mid-30s, and can result in an increased risk of life-threatening illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Testosterone deficiency can also lead to a number of disturbing symptoms, including loss of stamina and lean muscle mass, reduced libido, anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline. Known as the andropause, these changes are the male equivalent of female menopause. 

Unlike menopause, however, the drop in testosterone is so gradual that the symptoms of andropause appear over a longer period of time and are often ignored for a while or are attributed to “getting older.”

The good news is that many symptoms of testosterone deficiency can be reversed by restoring youthful testosterone levels in a variety of ways. 

Millions of men are now using testosterone-building supplements and even testosterone itself for this reason.

Recognition of an Increasingly Prevalent Problem

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone that is vital for sustaining proper erectile function and libido. It is also critically involved in building muscle, burning fat, and supporting endothelial function, energy level, mood, immune function, and bone density.

Millions of men in the United States suffer from the effects of low testosterone levels. This population of testosterone deficient men will only grow in the future, as the number of aging American men increases.

Low testosterone is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. A recent study found that men with lower testosterone levels were more likely to die from cardiovascular disease and all causes compared with men who had higher levels. The authors concluded that low testosterone may be a predictive marker for those at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

 Another review from the Baylor College of Medicine reported that there is a higher prevalence of depression, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, fracture rates, frailty, and even dementia with low testosterone states.

You might now be asking yourself these questions—Why hasn’t my doctor discussed these risks with me and why haven’t I been tested for low testosterone levels? Why am I just hearing about this?

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Maintain Optimized Testosterone Levels



Testosterone Supplements — An Undeserved Shady Past

The medical community has been slow to recognize the consequences of low testosterone levels in aging males and, in fact, wrongly believes that restoring youthful levels of testosterone is dangerous and unwarranted. Back in the mid-1900s, some drug companies sold a synthetic and chemically altered testosterone called methyltestosterone. They pawned this chemical off as real testosterone, even though it does not naturally exist in the human body. After several years on the market, some men taking this particular chemical developed liver cancer.4,5 “Testosterone therapy” was then declared to be dangerous, and research on testosterone fell by the wayside.
Testosterone Supplementation—An Undeserved Shady Past
While testosterone is a member of the group of compounds known as “anabolic steroids,” it is different and less potent than the illegal synthetic compounds that have been taken in excessive doses and abused. Beginning in the late 1980s, overambitious and unscrupulous professional athletes began taking illegal anabolic steroids to gain an unfair competitive edge. Unfortunately, this abuse has wrongly clouded the important health benefits of prescribing testosterone therapy to correct its decline associated with aging and other diseases. In response to the sports abuse issue, federal law has made testosterone a controlled substance just like narcotics and amphetamines. Illegal-use penalties can be severe for any doctor who improperly prescribes anabolic steroids. Although this has made some doctors reluctant to prescribe testosterone, medical prescribing of the hormone jumped by 50% in four years from 2001 to a total of 2.3 million prescriptions in 2005.6 Some physicians do therefore appear to be increasingly recognizing the consequences of low testosterone levels in aging males.

Evolving Opinions on Testosterone Replacement

In November 2003, the Institute of Medicine declared that “existing scientific evidence does not justify claims that testosterone treatments can relieve or prevent certain age-related problems in men.” Most age-management physicians today strongly disagree with that statement. There are hundreds of studies in the medical literature showing the health benefits and safety of testosterone therapy.
In 2007, Drs. Miner and Seftel published a review of the medical literature on testosterone since the 2003 Institute of Medicine Report.7 The summary of their article states: “Recent studies have demonstrated that hypogonadism [low testosterone] in men may be more prevalent than previously thought, is strongly associated with metabolic syndrome, and may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardio-vascular disease. Clinical studies have shown that testosterone replacement therapy in hypogonadal men improves metabolic syndrome indicators and cardiovascular risk factors. Maintaining testosterone concentrations in the normal range has been shown to contribute to bone health, lean muscle mass, and physical and sexual function, suggesting that testosterone replacement therapy may help to prevent frailty in older men. Based on current knowledge, testosterone replacement therapy is unlikely to pose major health risks in patients without prostate cancer and may offer substantial health benefits.”

Testosterone and Cardiovascular Health

Let’s take a closer look at what the medical literature says about the specific benefits of testosterone restoration. Many studies have shown an association between low testosterone levels and a higher prevalence of coronary artery disease8-10 and aortic atherosclerosis.10 Lower testosterone levels are also associated with reduced pumping ability of the heart.9
Testosterone and Cardiovascular Health
Recent studies suggest that testosterone-replacement may improve the symptoms of coronary artery disease. A placebo-controlled crossover study in men with ischemic heart disease and low testosterone levels reported that exercise time and the time to development of ischemic changes on a treadmill test were both increased with testosterone-replacement therapy.11 Another placebo-controlled study found that 12 weeks of oral testosterone-replacement therapy improved the ability of the brachial artery to dilate in men with coronary artery disease,12 suggesting an improvement in endothelial function. These and other medical studies provide mounting evidence of the clinical benefits of testosterone-replacement therapy in men with coronary artery disease.

Testosterone and Insulin Resistance/ Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions in America today. Likewise, metabolic syndrome—a condition marked by insulin resistance that dramatically increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes—is becoming increasingly more prevalent.
Growing research suggests that low testosterone levels may be intimately linked with insulin resistance and its related conditions of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.13,14 Recent research suggests that between 20% and 64% of men with diabetes have low testosterone levels; older men appear to be particularly susceptible.15Likewise, low serum testosterone is common among men with metabolic syndrome, and some scientists have proposed that low testosterone might serve as a prognostic tool for early detection of the condition.14
Restoring testosterone to youthful ranges may confer a wide array of benefits to men affected by type 2 diabetes. The reported benefits of testosterone administration in these men include improved glucose homeostasis (balanced sugar levels), reduction in abdominal fat, and improved erectile function.16 Likewise, scientists believe that testosterone replenishment may help reverse some of the key biochemical abnormalities that underlie metabolic syndrome, such as insulin resistance and central obesity.14,15
  • Testosterone, the chief male hormone, is essential for libido and erectile function, and plays a crucial role in mood, energy, bone health, and body composition.
  • Testosterone levels decline with age, usually beginning in a man’s mid-30s. Diminishing testosterone levels have been linked with disorders such as depression, fatigue, obesity, and cognitive decline.
  • Low testosterone levels increase the risk of coronary heart disease as well as all-cause and cardiac mortality.
  • Restoring testosterone to youthful levels offers men a wealth of health benefits, including benefits for heart health, body composition, mood, and memory.
  • Bioidentical testosterone has not been found to have adverse effects on the healthy prostate gland—in fact, it may help improve prostate symptoms in men with low-normal testosterone levels. Testosterone therapy is contraindicated in men with prostate cancer.
  • Regular blood testing can help you and your physician decide if testosterone therapy is right for you. Optimizing testosterone levels requires a multi-pronged approach that includes optimal diet, proper nutrition, nutritional supplements, exercise, and bioidentical testosterone, if necessary.

Super Miraforte with Standardized Lignans

Maintain Optimized Testosterone Levels



Testosterone and Body Composition

With the obesity epidemic raging and its tremendous impact on the overall health of our nation’s population, integrative physicians are particularly interested in the role testosterone plays in body composition. Testosterone appears to affect fat cell metabolism and fat loss in several ways through:
  • Inhibiting fat storage by blocking a key enzyme called lipoprotein lipase that is necessary for the uptake of fat into the body’s fat cells. When fat cells are exposed to testosterone in a test tube, the activity of lipoprotein lipase is dramatically reduced.
  • Stimulating fat burning by increasing the number of certain receptors on the fat-cell membrane that release stored fat.17
  • Increasing insulin sensitivity and improving lipid and insulin metabolism, while enhancing growth of muscle fibers and decreasing fat deposits.
All of these effects benefit body composition by promoting lean body mass and reducing fat mass.18,19
Testosterone and Body Composition
In a landmark study out of Sweden in 1991, researchers gave a group of overweight men supplemental testosterone for six weeks.20 After this time, they found the activity of the fat-storage enzyme lipoprotein lipase to be dramatically reduced in abdominal fat tissue. Waist and hip circumference also decreased in 9 of the 11 men.
Furthermore, a recent review highlights numerous placebo-controlled trials that have demonstrated both significant increases in lean body mass and decreases in fat mass after varying courses of testosterone supplementation in older men.21 In these studies, the greatest favorable changes in body composition were seen in participants with low baseline testosterone levels who received testosterone therapy for a period in excess of 12 months.

Testosterone and the Prostate

A common misconception among physicians is that testosterone administration adversely affects the normal prostate. This idea is not supported by the medical literature. A 2002 study indicates that testosterone is actually beneficial for the prostate gland in the vast majority of cases. In this study, researchers looked at multiple parameters, including prostate volume, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, and lower urinary tract symptoms in a group of men with low or low-normal testosterone levels.22 Of the 207 men studied, 187 responded favorably to testosterone treatment. These positive responders all showed improvement in almost every parameter measured: their prostate glands all decreased in size, PSA was lower, and urinary symptoms such as frequency, urgency, dribbling, and getting up at night to urinate all improved.
In a separate recent study that looked at a similar group of men, the authors observed that “No treatment-related change was observed in prostate histology, tissue biomarkers, gene expression, or cancer incidence or severity. Treatment-related changes in prostate volume, serum PSA, voiding symptoms, and urinary flow were minor.”23
On the question of whether testosterone therapy causes prostate cancer, the answer clearly appears to be no. In a landmark review article published in 2004 in the New England Journal of Medicine, the authors report “there appears to be no compelling evidence at present to suggest that men with higher testosterone levels are at greater risk of prostate cancer or that treating men who have hypogonadism [low testosterone] with exogenous androgens increases this risk.”24 However, since testosterone stimulates cell growth, it is possible that it can accelerate the growth of an existing prostate cancer. Cancer-screening tests such as a PSA test are necessary before replacement therapy. Testosterone-replacement therapy is contraindicated in men with known prostate cancer.
The most efficient way for me (or other doctors) to prescribe the proper dose of low-cost individually compounded testosterone cream is for patients to bring their recent blood test results to my office during the initial visit. Life Extension’s comprehensive Male Blood Test Panel provides the biochemical data I need to help safely restore testosterone to youthful ranges, while suppressing excess estradiol if necessary. The Male Blood Test Panel can be ordered by calling 1-800-208-3444. I encourage men over age 35 to have this comprehensive blood test and evaluation performed annually.
Life Extension members who reside in the Southern Utah area are welcome to call my office at 435-688-8582 to schedule an appointment for a medical consultation.

Testosterone and Depression

Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide. In a recent study of 3,987 older men in Australia, researchers found that those with depression had significantly lower testosterone concentrations than men without depression.25 The authors suggested that older men with depression may benefit from systematic screening of testosterone levels and testosterone supplementation where appropriate. In my own practice, I have seen both younger and older men with low testosterone levels and depression improve remarkably after testosterone supplementation. Other studies have shown an improvement in depression scores with testosterone therapy in patients with depression who are unresponsive to conventional treatments.26,27 Further research in this area is ongoing.

Testosterone Improves Cognitive Abilities

Testosterone supplementation clearly seems to be beneficial for proper male mental and verbal function. Several studies have shown that decreased serum testosterone levels appear to adversely affect verbal memory in healthy young men. Short-term testosterone administration exerts a beneficial effect on spatial and verbal memory and enhances cognitive function in healthy men.28-31

Management of Low Testosterone Levels

Optimizing testosterone levels in men requires a multi-faceted approach that includes proper lifestyle, nutrition, nutritional supplements (such as lignan and plant extracts),32,33 dietary modifications, and exercise, as well as testosterone supplementation and other prescriptive approaches when indicated.
Management of Low Testosterone Levels
Initially, a medical history and physical examination should be performed, along with a blood-testing panel that includes not only testosterone levels, but also other important parameters such as fasting glucose, PSA, estradiol, and complete blood counts (CBC). It is important to work closely with a knowledgeable physician who is readily accessible and who can adjust treatment as needed. Careful, thoughtful optimization of testosterone levels with a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan can result in dramatic improvements in one’s overall health and well-being.
For men who no longer produce enough testosterone, an experienced doctor can prescribe a topically applied cream to restore testosterone to youthful ranges. These testosterone creams usually come in delivery systems that enable the precise amount of this hormone to be applied to the skin each day for absorption into the bloodstream.
The reason testosterone cream is used as opposed to tablets is that the oral ingestion of testosterone can result in rapid degradation in the liver and wildly inconsistent blood levels. A testosterone cream, on the other hand, gradually releases into the bloodstream, which is more analogous to the way testosterone is naturally secreted each day by the testicles of younger men.
Compared with brand name testosterone topical drugs, consumers can save more than 85% by using natural testosterone cream made by a compounding pharmacy. For example, the name brand Androgel® cream costs around $225 for a month’s supply. The identical amount of natural testosterone can be obtained from a compounding pharmacy for less than $25 a month. For those patients in whom a cream is not the best choice, testosterone injections can be prescribed.
Follow-up blood testing 30-60 days later is important to ensure that PSA, estradiol, and other blood markers stay in normal ranges. Some men will aromatize (or convert) testosterone into estrogen, which necessitates the use of a drug like Arimidex® or nutrient-lifestyle changes to inhibit excess aromatase activity.

Super Miraforte with Standardized Lignans

Maintain Optimized Testosterone Levels



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