National Institute of HealthBIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that a higher amount of testosterone has no benefits for older men.

The study followed 790 men over 65 who were all given elevated testosterone levels, similar to the amount found in 19-40-year-old men. Researchers did find some benefits, including mood improvement, walking speed, and sexual interest. But the difference between the control group and test group was marginal, at most.

Furthermore, doctors completely debunked the myth that higher testosterone levels mean more energy and less pain. Dr. Cora Lewis, at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, said that additional findings would be published at a later date. She further cautioned that, before beginning testosterone therapy, men carefully consider all their options and thoroughly discuss the situation with their doctors.

The National Institutes of Health was the primary sponsor for the study.


Higher testosterone levels were once marketed as a panacea for a wide range of maladies collectively referred to as “male menopause,” including sexual dysfunction, weight gain, depression, and lethargy. The aggressive marketing campaign, which featured saturation advertising during football games, also had a catchy nickname: “low T.”

Then, in 2014, researchers published a study that linked elevated testosterone levels with a 200 percent increased risk of a heart attack. That study confirmed earlier findings that showed a connection between testosterone and heart problems. In addition to heart problems, some men develop pancreatitis or even pancreatic cancer; other men suffer from strokes and blood clots.

Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the risks of accidental exposure to testosterone gel. Women were at an increased risk for physical deformities and birth defects, children often developed abnormally large genitalia, and pets were prone to sudden violent outbursts.

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