Dr. Noel Peterson, ND, DAAPM

The male hormone testosterone may keep men happy in more ways than one. Besides enhancing sex drive, we know that testosterone helps build muscle mass, preserves bone strength, lowers cholesterol, improves mental performance. Now a new study, the first of its kind to examine a large cohort of older men living within a single community, has revealed that men with lower levels of bioavailable testosterone are much more prone to depression as they age. (Bioavailable testosterone, or “free testosterone”, is the portion of circulating testosterone which is physiologically available to cells and tissues throughout the body.)

Researchers from the University of California evaluated over 800 men between the ages of 50-89 who participated in the renowned Rancho Bernardo Heart Disease Study. They found that men lose as much as 40% of free testosterone in their advanced years, even though their levels of total testosterone often remain unchanged

“There was a graded step-wise decrease in bioavailable testosterone with increasing levels of depressed mood,” the investigators observed. “This association was independent of age, weight change, and physical activity.” No association was found between total testosterone levels and depression, underscoring the importance of measuring the bioavailable form of the hormone.

Researchers speculated that testosterone may improve mental states by binding to specific androgen receptor sites in the brain. “These results suggest that testosterone treatment might improve depressed mood in older men who have low levels of bioavailable testosterone,” they concluded. For more information about hormone testing and natural enhancement procedures, contact us.