Testosterone May Protect Against Atherosclerosis
Despite findings from studies in animals that suggest testosteroneencourages the buildup of plaque in the arteries, clinicalstudies in humans have suggested that the male hormone mayinstead protect elderly men from developing atherosclerosis.Findings from the University of Turku, Finland, confirm that inhealthy middle-aged men, normal testosterone levels are protectiveagainst atherosclerosis. The study involved 99 men (averageage 58) whose testosterone levels had declined, and comparedthem with 140 similar men who had normal levels. After takinginto account age, blood pressure, and other determining factors,researchers found that artery wall thickness increased as levelsof testosterone decreased. They found that the thickness of thewall of the carotid artery was significantly higher in men withlower testosterone levels. The researchers agree that furtherstudies are needed to investiagte the effects of testosterone supplementationon those whose levels decline with age.