Testosterone supplements have long been thought to cure a plethora of ailments from diminished libido to poor muscle tone. Many studies are testing the effectiveness of testosterone supplements and their harmful side effects. While there is much controversy surrounding the use of testosterone supplements as a performance enhancing drug for athletes, there are many groups of men that appear to benefit from testosterone supplements. Before starting a testosterone supplement regimen, for any reason, it is important to get the facts straight.
There are several types of testosterone supplements that can be categorised by the method of delivery. Testosterone supplements can be taken through the skin via cream, gel or a patch, or through an implant that is placed under the skin and left to dissolve slowly over time. The most common testosterone supplements, however, are taken orally or injected directly into the bloodstream. When looking for testosterone supplements, realise that all testosterone supplements consist of carbon and the hormone testosterone. Testosterone alone is neither water nor oil soluble, meaning the body cannot absorb testosterone alone. Carbon makes the testosterone soluble. More carbon added to the testosterone often means the more quickly the body will absorb the hormone. This carbon addition is why all types of testosterone supplements will be called testosterone followed by a chemical name ending in "ate". For instance: testosterone enanthate or testosterone cypionate.
Testosterone supplements have many uses. Most commonly, young men use testosterone supplements to build muscle mass or increase endurance. Older men use testosterone supplements to help with erectile dysfunction and as a mood elevator. Additionally, transgender female-to-males use testosterone supplements as one of the steps to becoming male. Many physicians also prescribe testosterone supplements for men with lower than average levels of testosterone.
In June 2008 the Endocrine Society released information regarding the positive effects of testosterone supplements. Several studies were compiled to show that men with low testosterone levels, mostly men over the age of 55, could benefit from the use of testosterone supplements. The researchers discovered that these supplements help lower bad cholesterol while boosting good cholesterol. The studies also revealed that men with low levels of testosterone are two-and-a-half times more likely to die within the next 10 years than men with a normal level of testosterone. The studies concluded that testosterone supplements can be a beneficial solution.
Younger men with healthy testosterone levels claim that testosterone supplements increase mental abilities, athletic abilities and sex drive. Transgender female-to-male patients report similar results.
The most common side effects of testosterone supplements include hair loss, acne, aggression and growth of breast tissue. However, once a person stops using testosterone supplements these side effects typically diminish. While the side effects seem somewhat unsubstantial when weighed against the possible benefits, the National Institute on Aging warns that preliminary studies indicate that testosterone supplements may increase the odds of prostate cancer and stroke. As a precautionary measure, men on testosterone supplements should be examined regularly for signs of elevated blood pressure and for prostate cancer.
The best way to find safe testosterone supplements is through a physician. A doctor can run a testosterone test to find your current testosterone levels. From there she can use your size and desired results to calculate the proper testosterone dosage for your needs. Doctors specialising in sports medicine or gender transition, or general practitioners can help get you on the right path. While several testosterone supplements are offered online, many of these are either fake or dangerous. Before jumping on the cheapest online testosterone supplements, thoroughly research the potential side effects, as well as the potency.