Age-related in the male sex hormone testosterone are common in older men; some 30% of men over age 55 have it. Low levels of the hormone can cause symptoms of fatigue, a decreased sex drive, and irritability. … These were also men who had little or normal levels of testosterone test results.
They analyzed 16 trials with a total of 944 men and published their findings in the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry. The data showed a significant positive impact of testosterone on mood. They looked at the data from several different angles to gain a better understanding of testosterone’s precise influence.
Age. The effects of testosterone on mood were most profound in men younger than 60 years of age. In older men, testosterone’s ability to boost atmosphere was not as specific.
Testosterone levels. Testosterone was significantly useful for boosting mood and treating depression in men with low baseline testosterone levels, but not in men whose testosterone levels were healthy before the start of treatment.
Depression severity. Testosterone worked best in men with either minor depression or dysthymia, a subtype of depression that is characterized by less severe but longer-lasting symptoms. Testosterone was still helpful in men with a more severe recession, but the effect was not as strong.
Overall, the researchers concluded, testosterone is used as the sole treatment for milder forms of depression in middle-aged men with low baseline testosterone levels. For men over 60 or those with more severe depression, testosterone may not be as active, they said, calling for more research in these areas.
Most Recent Study on Low Testosterone and Depression Supports Findings
Another clinical trial looking at testosterone’s effects on depressive symptoms was wrapping up around the same time the St. Louis researchers completed their study. The results of this six-month trial, published in the medical journal Aging Male, were consistent with previous studies in showing that testosterone replacement therapy efficiently treats depression in men with low testosterone.
This study looked at 50 men with an average age of 57 who had low testosterone and were treated by urologists at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan. Thirty of the men were diagnosed with depression at the beginning of the study. For those men, depression symptoms significantly decreased by month 6, and only 11 of the 30 (36.7%) were still suffering from some depression after testosterone therapy.
Testosterone’s Benefits Go Beyond Depression
For all of the men, whether they had diagnosable depression at baseline or not, testosterone therapy significantly improved many aspects of health and well-being, including the following areas:
- Sleep problems
- Increased need for sleep/feeling tired
- Physical exhaustion/lacking vitality
- Decreased in muscular strength/ sense of weakness
- Depressive symptoms
- Total cholesterol
- Erectile function and libido
- Prostate symptoms
Choose Bioidentical Testosterone over Conventional
As you can see, testosterone replacement therapy can make a huge difference in the lives of men with low testosterone. The physical and emotional benefits of testosterone therapy can be gained by using bioidentical testosterone, which is testosterone that has been synthesized to exactly match the testosterone produced inside the body. Many natural and integrative healthcare practitioners prefer to prescribe bioidentical forms of testosterone rather than the more commonly prescribed pharmaceutical testosterone gels or Testosterone Injections, which do not precisely match the body’s natural testosterone and may be associated with more side effects and long-term risks.
Read more about symptoms of low testosterone and the use of bioidentical testosterone in my previous article on testosterone therapy for depression in men, found here. If you’ve tried testosterone therapy, please tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.
Originally published in 2015, this post has been updated.