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What men really need to know about low 'T'

Posted at 2:09 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 16:09:08-04

You may have seen ads targeting men with low testosterone or low ‘T’ promising all kinds of benefits...but are they too good to be true?

Dr. Drew Oliveira, Senior Executive Medical Director for Regence BlueCross BlueShield says, “The truth of it is, our testosterone gets lower as we age.”

Oliveira says you may have heard that pills or supplements that can reverse this problem. And while there are some conditions that require testosterone replacement - contrary to advertisements, reduced vitality, strength and even demeanor or mood are not really a diagnostic for low testosterone.

Oliveira says to keep in mind that, “Testosterone replacement has risks. A study of 15,000 older men men, showed a 21 percent increase in cardiovascular events in that group – heart attacks, strokes. So, it’s not 100 percent safe to replace testosterone, especially in that population.”

Instead, he suggests some other ways to stay healthy as you age.

“First, if you smoke, stop smoking. Second, if you need to drink, limit your drinks to two drinks a day.”

Alcohol use, Oliveira says, is associated with higher risks of cancer and cardiovascular risks, including hypertension.

Oliveira says you should also focus on diet and exercise to ensure healthy aging.

“Maintain an ideal body weight. If you’re overweight, even losing five percent will help. Eat healthy, what you eat should be very colorful, fruits, vegetables, grains, limit the amount of fats in your diet. All those things will help.”

150 minutes of vigorous activity is also recommended each week.

“If you do those things, you will feel better, you will feel younger, you will stay fit, you will live in optimum health, and you will live longer,” says Oliveira.