Men Without Nuts: Testosterone and Lifespan

by Chris Shugart

The Longevity Study

Some people think testosterone shortens men's lives. Here's why, plus some new science that disproves that silly notion.

"Male Sex Hormones Kill!"
"This Is Why Men Die Sooner Than Women!"

Those were the headlines from 2012. The clickbait worked and lots of people clicked, including doctors. So, what were these histrionic headlines referring to? Well, some researchers wanted to prove that testosterone was the reason why men typically live shorter lives than women. To do this, they studied eunuchs: castrated males.

They dug up a copy of the Yang-Se-Gye-Bo, a genealogy record of Korean eunuchs written in 1805. Back then, if you wanted to work in the Imperial court of the Chosun Dynasty you had to have your nuts lopped off. And sure enough, eunuchs lived longer than intact men of the time, about 14 years longer. The researchers concluded that it was the eunuchs' low testosterone levels that extended their lifespans.

Pretty flimsy, right? These royal eunuchs also led privileged lives compared to most men at the time. They ate well, were more protected from contagious diseases, were less likely to be crushed by an ox, and didn't do risky stuff to impress chicks.

Also, related studies of castrato opera singers showed no lifespan differences from non-castrated singers. Still, the "testosterone bad!" mantra stuck, and many still believe it today. Luckily, a big new study disproves that notion.

The New Study

This meta-study compiled the results of 11 previous studies looking into testosterone's effect on longevity. All these studies followed men for five or more years. The men with the lowest T-levels were more likely to die of any cause (all-cause mortality). If you narrow it down, these men often died from cardiovascular disease.

How low is low? Well, men with baseline testosterone concentrations below 213 ng/dL died early. If the men were even lower, <153 ng/dL, they had a higher cardiovascular disease mortality risk.

I think I'll trust a 2024 meta-study more than a single 2012 study that relied on an antique book. But still, we need to make sure there isn't a "chicken or egg" situation happening here. As Daniel Kelly, a senior lecturer in biochemistry, put it: "Is low testosterone causing disease or is it caused by it?"

That makes sense: several disease states that kill you (especially obesity) also lower testosterone. Which came first? The illness or the low T?

A clue lies with prostate cancer patients. As Kelly notes, these patients are given testosterone-lowering drugs. Those drugs usually help with their cancer, but the treatment also increases the risks of heart attacks and strokes. "So while low testosterone may be a marker of disease, it's clearly also a contributing factor in the development of future disease and possibly death," Kelly concludes.

What This Means to You

Low testosterone and dozens of deadly diseases are caused by chronic inflammation and being fat. So, don't be fat. That's a good start.

You probably know the other common T killers, too: aging, excess booze, smoking, stress, no exercise, crappy diet, low vitamin D, poor sleep, environmental toxins, antidepressants, overtraining, etc. Some of these things we can control; others we can't, like aging, job stress, and endocrine disruptors in the environment. So, get your blood tested and hop on TRT if needed.

If you'd rather not, or you're not low-low just lower than you'd like, add some "testosterone insurance" by taking Longjack. One meta-study concluded that it could even be used as a non-pharmaceutical therapeutic option for men with low T.

The meta-study reported that Longjack led to a significant increase in total testosterone levels in men of all ages, even younger ones, and with no prostate enlargement and no testicular shrinkage common with TRT.

Only one form of Longjack is optimally absorbed by the body, however. It's called LJ100. Biotest's Omega-Man (Buy at Amazon) supplement contains a more-than-therapeutic dose of LJ100 (300mg ā€“ 50% more than standard clinical dosing).

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Reference

  1. Yeap, et al. "Associations of Testosterone and Related Hormones With All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality and Incident Cardiovascular Disease in Men: Individual Participant Data Meta-analyses." Annals of Internal Medicine, 14 May 2024.
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