Testosterone may fight depression. If you’ve been battling depression, it may be because of low testosterone levels. Researchers have found that men suffering from depression typically have deficient testosterone levels. While scientists haven’t been able to figure out whether it’s low testosterone that causes depression or if depression causes low testosterone levels, preliminary research has shown that some men suffering depression report improvement in mood and other factors of depression after undergoing doctor-directed testosterone treatments.
Testosterone decreases body fat. Testosterone plays an important role in regulating insulin, glucose, and fat metabolism. As our T levels decrease, our body’s ability to regulate insulin, glucose, and fat metabolism decreases, which in turn causes adipose tissue (i.e. fat) to begin accumulating.
Testosterone increases muscle mass. Most men have heard about testosterone’s ability to increase muscle mass and strength. It works its muscle-building magic by increasing muscle protein synthesis.
Testosterone strengthens bones. You may have thought of osteoporosis as a health problem that only women have to worry about, but men can suffer from this bone-weakening disease too. And low testosterone levels may be to blame. Testosterone has been shown to play an important role in bone health by increasing bone density.
Testosterone increases libido and improves erections. Testosterone is a sex hormone, so it’s not surprising that low libido and erectile dysfunction are two of the first signs of low testosterone that men notice. If you’ve noticed a sharp decrease in your interest in sex, you might have low testosterone.
Testosterone may decrease your chances of Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies have linked low testosterone levels to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In a 2010 study by the University of Hong Kong, researchers studied 153 Chinese men who were recruited from social centers. They were at least 55 years and older, lived in the community, and didn’t have dementia. Of those men, 47 had mild cognitive impairment — or problems with clear thinking and memory loss. Within a year, 10 men who were part of the cognitively-impaired group developed probable Alzheimer’s disease. These men also had low testosterone in their body tissues.
Testosterone may improve cognitive ability. Not only have studies shown that there is a link between testosterone levels and Alzheimer’s, they’ve also shown a link between testosterone levels and overall cognitive ability, particularly in older men. The hormone’s connection to cognition explains why some of the symptoms of low testosterone in men are memory loss, trouble concentrating, and “fogginess.”