Statins Lower Men's TestosteroneNovember 14, 2016
Statins Lower Men's Testosterone
I've known this for years. You probably have too. I just wanted to read about it and get it in my data base so that I can refer to it freely. I see so many men who come to me with fatigue, lack of "oomph" (initiative), sexual dysfunction, and most of all, fear of cognitive decline. The topic keeps arising and in my practice, I'm now so convinced about men feeling better with sufficient testosterone, I wanted to explore the precise mechanisms of statin damage and just why so many men are on them.
Statins are effective at reducing mortality AFTER a cardiac event. They are one of the world's most commonly used medications. Virtually every primary doctor has "guidelines" that require instituting statin therapy when certain thresholds of cholesterol are achieved. They haven't been proven to have a sufficiently large effect BEFORE if you take into account their side effects and factor in the cost-benefit of those. The argument we have is that you can get the same effect of statins by ridding your diet of high glycemic carbohydrates. More on this later.
This study looked at 237 men on statins in Poland. They found that total testosterone declined from 16.35 nmol/L, to 14.9 ( p = 0.008), free testosterone from 39 to 32 pgms (p < .004), and calculated free from .36 to .32 ngms compared to age-matched controls. It looks like this averages to between 10-20% decline. It makes complete sense. The mechanism of statin inhibition is the blocking of the HMG-CoA reductase step in the production of cholesterol. Making cholesterol is the first step in the cascade of hormone production.
Now, here is where my beef with this strategy comes in. This is a very blunt tool. There are a boatload of other hormones you make that follow the first step. For example, step 2 in the hormone cascade is the production of sex hormones Pregnanolone. That's your hormone of MEMORY. Some argue that it does, and some that it doesn't. But then, the cascade of hormones progresses down to cortisol in one pathway, and DHEA, estrogen, and testosterone on the other side. There are studies that show it has no impact on hormones or gonadotropins. My question would be to ask who funded those studies. I'm skeptical until I see research not funded by pharma.
But the real issue is to explore how to reduce "bad" cholesterol and raise HDL by lifestyle changes. After all, that should be the first step anyways. And this is the dilemma we find ourselves in today. You are told to ask your doctor about how to do healthy lifestyle changes, and then told to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. But doctors haven't been trained in nutrition. I've been stunned by the changes my clients make with their cholesterol when they avoid high glycemic carbs. That means all grains, potatoes, almost all fruits. Their bad cholesterol gets better, (small dense LDLs), their good cholesterol gets better, (Big fluffy LDLs and Big fluffy HDLs). And we can prove this with lab tests within weeks. One by one. What you eat can change your bad cholesterol to good, within weeks. Try it. And back to testosterone.
Men with lower testosterone have higher risk of Alzheimer's. And their muscles ache. I believe the incidence of muscle damage is underreported because most studies have wash-in periods where people with complaints and symptoms are excluded. You decide. What risk do you want? Want heart disease, or brain disease? You can have neither if you reduce your grains and high glycemic foods.
WWW.What will work for me? Bit by bit we are finding more salads and stews that are made with vegetables and dark green leafy stuff. That includes an occasional dandelion lead or two. And stop being so panicked about the fat.
1. Testosterone is lowered by taking statins. T or F? Answer: True. Plain and simple.
2. There are other side effects from statins including such things as muscle aches and memory loss. T or F? Answer: True
3. It takes a long time to make those changes. T or F? Answer:False if you can change quickly. Many of us take a while to actually develop new habits. And our lizard brains keep gobbling sugar whenever it gets within reach.
4. What is your greatest fear of late-life morbidity? Answer: You tell me.
5. I trust the literature published to date on sideeffects of statins. T or F? Answer: If you said true, I have a 40 acre plot of great family vacation camping woods down in Louisiana I would like to sell you.