Nav: Home

Research finds testosterone treatment improves sexual activity, physical function

February 17, 2016

CHICAGO, IL - A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows testosterone treatment for men over 65 years old not only improves sexual function but also slightly improves mood and physical ability. A team of researchers from 12 medical centers across the United States, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital, participated in the study.

"In recent years, talk about low testosterone and its treatments have become part of the public discussion," said Mark E. Molitch, MD, a Northwestern Medicine endocrinologist and one of the authors of the study. "Yet questions have always lingered about the treatment's effectiveness and safety. I believe the results of this large, nationwide study will provide doctors and patients answers and guidance they've been looking for."

As men age, their testosterone levels decrease and they often become more fatigued and experience a decreased sex drive. Whether these symptoms are due to this drop in testosterone and whether testosterone should be given to older men with low testosterone levels has been controversial and earlier studies of testosterone treatments have been inconclusive.

This study monitored 790 men over the age of 65 who had low blood testosterone along with possible symptoms associated with low testosterone levels, such as decreased sexual desire and activity or decreased physical function. Results showed taking testosterone in the form of a gel applied to the skin raised testosterone levels to the middle of the normal range for men aged 19 to 40 years old for one year. The treatment did not improve energy but did improve mood and depressive symptoms.

"Men in the study experienced an increased sexual desire and small improvements in mood and physical function," said Molitch, who is also the Martha Leland Sherwin professor in medicine-endocrinology at the Northwestern University Feinberg of Medicine. "Importantly, there was no evidence of an increase in heart or other cardiovascular issues in those who received testosterone compared to a placebo. And we monitored the men in this study for at least a year after receiving treatment."

The study also found testosterone treatment did not significantly improve distance walked in six minutes when only men enrolled in the physical function trial were considered, but did increase the distance walked when all men in the trail were considered.

In 2003, the Institute of Medicine reported that there was insufficient evidence to support any beneficial effect of testosterone in such men. This report was the impetus for this nationwide study, which is the largest trail to examine the efficacy of testosterone treatment in older men whose testosterone levels are low due seemingly to age alone. The study was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging and National Institutes of Health.
For more information about Northwestern Medicine, go to

Northwestern Memorial HealthCare

Related Testosterone Articles:

Testosterone makes men less likely to question their impulses
A new study shows that testosterone makes men less likely to realize when they're wrong.
Testosterone treatments may increase cardiac risks
A new JAMA study found a 20 percent increase in arterial plaque among men aged 65 and older who received testosterone replacement therapy for a year,
Benefits of testosterone therapy in older men are mixed
Older men with low testosterone levels showed improved bone density and strength, as well as reduced anemia, after one year of testosterone therapy, according to a new study conducted at Yale and other sites.
Testosterone therapy provides protection against cardiovascular disease in men with low testosterone
Despite the continued controversy surrounding the use of testosterone in men who have testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism), a new study has found that long-term use of testosterone therapy not only improves vigor and vitality, but may reduce the risk of death due to cardiovascular (CV) disease.
Enzyme that digests vitamin A also may regulate testosterone levels
Bco1, an enzyme that metabolizes beta carotene, may play a vital role in testosterone metabolism as well, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Illinois.
'Mean girl' meerkats can make twice as much testosterone as males
Testosterone. It's often lauded as the hormone that makes males bigger, bolder, stronger.
Experts take strong stance on testosterone deficiency and treatment
In an effort to address widespread concerns related to testosterone deficiency (TD) and its treatment with testosterone therapy, a group of international experts has developed a set of resolutions and conclusions to provide clarity for physicians and patients.
Scientists develop recipe for testosterone-producing cells
Researchers led by teams at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Wenzhou Medical University of China have discovered a way to keep adult stem cells that are destined to become testosterone-producing cells multiplying and on track to fulfill their fate, a new study reports.
Testosterone therapy decreases hospital readmissions in older men with low testosterone
A new large-scale population-based study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston showed for the first time that older men using testosterone therapy were less likely to have complications that require them to go back to the hospital within a month of being discharged than men not using this therapy.
Researchers: Testosterone treatment effective for older men
As men age, their sexual function, vitality and strength can decline, but researchers had not yet established whether testosterone treatment is actually beneficial.

Related Testosterone Reading:

The Testosterone Optimization Therapy Bible: The Ultimate Guide to Living a Fully Optimized Life
by Jay Campbell (Author), Jim Brown (Author)

Testosterone: A Man's Guide- Second Edition
by Nelson Vergel (Author)

The Definitive Testosterone Replacement Therapy MANual: How to Optimize Your Testosterone For Lifelong Health And Happiness
by Jay Campbell (Author)

Testosterone: Strong Enough For A Man, Made For A Woman
by Charles Mok Dr. (Author)

The Testosterone Chef: Easy & Delicious Meals Designed To Support Healthy Hormone Production
by Emily Ness (Author), Christopher Walker (Contributor), Ali Kuoppala (Contributor)

Naturally Triple Your Testosterone: A Guide to Hacking Your Hormones and Becoming Superhuman
by Peter Paulson (Author)

Testosterone Replacement Therapy: A Recipe for Success
by John Crisler (Author)

Testosterone:: Testosterone Boosting With Tongkat Ali and 7 Potent Herbs (Testosterone Book - Testosterone Diet - Erectile Dysfunction Books - Testosterone Boosting)
by Sean Ward (Author)

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Why We Hate
From bullying to hate crimes, cruelty is all around us. So what makes us hate? And is it learned or innate? This hour, TED speakers explore the causes and consequences of hate — and how we can fight it. Guests include reformed white nationalist Christian Picciolini, CNN commentator Sally Kohn, podcast host Dylan Marron, and writer Anand Giridharadas.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#482 Body Builders
This week we explore how science and technology can help us walk when we've lost our legs, see when we've gone blind, explore unfriendly environments, and maybe even make our bodies better, stronger, and faster than ever before. We speak to Adam Piore, author of the book "The Body Builders: Inside the Science of the Engineered Human", about the increasingly amazing ways bioengineering is being used to reverse engineer, rebuild, and augment human beings. And we speak with Ken Thomas, spacesuit engineer and author of the book "The Journey to Moonwalking: The People That Enabled Footprints on the Moon" about...